By Molly Zimmick, IU Health Adult Academic Health Center Senior Communications Associate
During the week of July 25, the IU Health LifeCare clinic became one of the first departments in the IU Health system and across the state to receive the Monkeypox vaccine from the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH). Since then, LifeCare team members have continued distribution of vaccines for vulnerable patient populations, improving the health of Hoosiers.
When the vaccines became available, LifeCare Manager Kyle Bonham says the team “immediately went to work, proactively calling our patients who were most at risk to get our limited supply of the vaccine in the arms of those who needed it most.” In Indiana, demographics of those impacted by Monkeypox illustrate that LifeCare patients are among the greatest risk for contracting the virus. However, Bonham says, “Viruses don’t discriminate, and anyone can contract Monkeypox through skin-to-skin contact or prolonged face-to-face interaction with a person with Monkeypox.” Bonham continues by saying the team is “motivated to continue distributing vaccines, reducing their patients’ risk of contracting the virus and keeping individuals healthy.”
Adapting to changing work environments and implementing new care strategies isn’t new to the LifeCare team. At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the LifeCare Clinic saw large patient volumes for vaccinations. “For us, the Monkeypox public health emergency feels very reminiscent of the first year of COVID,” says Bonham. “We saw a public health emergency caused by a virus that led to rapid and constant change to processes, quickly-evolving scientific understanding of the impacts, brand new vaccines and treatments and helping manage the impact to our patients lives.”
The LifeCare team is proud to be a trusted medical provider and takes pride in the positive relationships they build with patients. “Our team has come together to provide excellent, high-quality care, in a manner that is compassionate, judgement-free, and in a way that we hope reduces the stigma that already exists about this virus,” says Bonham. “That type of care is at the heart of LifeCare’s mission and represents our purpose every single day.”
Demonstrating the IU Health values, the team continues to work closely with the IDOH to distribute vaccinations and increase accessibility to vaccines for patients in need.
For helpful resources, FAQs and more information about Monkeypox, visit this link.
Watch a short video about the spread of Monkeypox in Indiana here.