|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
April 12, 2013
Statement of HHC President Alan D. Aviles Regarding NY State Decision to Require Masks for All Health Care Employees
Who Have Not Received a Flu Vaccination
"The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation welcomes the new State Department of Health requirements for mandatory face masks for health care workers who have not been vaccinated against influenza. We stand ready to implement and enforce this practice across our hospitals, nursing homes and community-based health centers.
"For too long, health care organizations in New York and across the country have struggled to increase influenza vaccination rates among their workforce. Employee education campaigns, programs that offer incentives and ready access to free flu shots have simply not been enough to persuade many staff to take this necessary precaution to protect themselves and patients from the potentially life-threatening dangers of the flu virus. The new requirements are a sensible and fair approach that will better protect our patients from the flu virus as we continue to urge all staff to accept vaccination to protect themselves and their families."