Connectus Health Offering Free Flu Shots and Walk-In Care, Despite Unresolved Federal Funding Cliff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Feb. 1, 2018 -- Connectus Health is offering no-cost influenza vaccinations as an already dangerous flu season intensifies, further emphasizing the crucial role that federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) fill in the community.

Federal funding for FQHCs expired on Sept. 30, 2017, and community health centers such as Connectus rely heavily on those funds to serve thousands of patients each year.

“We treat some of the most vulnerable patients in our community, and it is perilous to let this funding cliff drag on,” said Suzanne Hurley, co-CEO of Connectus Health. “We strongly urge our federal legislators to act quickly and fix the cliff, as thousands of lives, jobs and community health centers are at risk.”

As the funding cliff extends into its fourth month, the CDC has classified influenza in Tennessee as “widespread” and as having reached “high activity” levels. Several flu-related deaths have already been reported across the state.

While supplies last, the vaccine will be available at Connectus in Vine Hill at 601 Benton Avenue and Priest Lake at 2637 Murfreesboro Pike. Children must be at least six-months-old before they can receive the vaccine.

“Peak flu season typically hits around mid-February and continues through mid-March, so we want to encourage members of our community to take advantage this service and get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Hurley. “Though a flu shot does not necessarily prevent you from getting the flu entirely, it can reduce the severity and duration of the illness if you do become infected.”

Patients are not required to make an appointment to receive a free flu shot, and Connectus will accept new patients for this offer. For more information about Connectus, call (615) 292-9770 or visit www.connectus.org. Additional services are available but may incur cost.

Learn more about taking action against the funding cliff at http://www.hcadvocacy.org/takeaction.

Maggie Forester