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Immunization Clinic Closure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The Commander's Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander. 

QUESTION 
On Friday, Nov. 4, I brought my two children to the immunization clinic to receive their flu vaccine. When I went into the facility and asked for directions to the immunization clinic, I was informed that the immunization clinic was closed for moving and would not reopen until Tuesday, Nov. 8. Upon being told that my children would not be able to get their vaccinations I asked to speak with someone who could help resolve the issue, and I was directed to a Major Hartze. Major Hartze was very nice, and attempted to make the accommodations so my children could get their flu vaccine; however, to no avail. She explained that there were some last minute problems with the immunization clinics move, and that was why they were closed. I explained to Major Hartze that I understood the unforeseen move problem, but didn't understand why the immunization clinics recorded message wasn't changed so people could be aware of their closure. I even called the immunization clinic earlier in the day on Friday and listened to their recorded message to ensure they were open, and it stated their normal business hours, and made no mention about being closed for moving.

My issue is this, I take time out of my schedule, which I gladly do for my children, only to be told that we can't get the needed vaccinations and that we'll have to make another trip to the base, and all because someone wouldn't make the effort to inform patients that the office was closed. This to me is unacceptable. Your thoughts?

Col. Mark Weatherington
Col. Mark
Weatherington
  RESPONSE
Sorry for your inconvenience - you arrived during relocation of the Immunizations Clinic due to our vital renovation project. The 28th MDG strives to provide the best possible patient centered care in the command, and communications are a key piece of this approach. Unfortunately, in this case, the staff failed to update the outgoing message. This process has been corrected and new callers should receive up-to-date information on availability of care.

On the Friday afternoon when you came to the clinic, the immunizations staff could not access the electronic immunization records to verify which immunizations your children needed, making it unsafe to administer immunizations at that time.

I asked the clinic to look at other ways to communicate with patients and prevent this same problem from coming up again. Thanks for your call.