March 9, 2018
The last day of the St. Peter’s Health Medical Group’s (SPHMG) Seasonal Flu Clinic will be Friday, March 9, 2018. The clinic, which saw patients by same day appointment, opened in early February at the height of the flu season to provide another option for community members seeking care for flu-like symptoms. SPHMG decided to close the seasonal clinic for the year due to recent decreases in the number of patients testing positive for the flu and the number of patients seeking care for flu-like symptoms.
“This was the first year SPHMG has opened a seasonal flu clinic,” said Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Don Skillman. “We opened the clinic to address the significant community need for timely, appropriate care for flu-like symptoms. It is definitely something that we will explore in future years depending upon the severity of the flu season, the volume of patients and wait times for those seeking care from their primary care provider, urgent care locations and the emergency department.”
The clinic saw nearly 400 patients over the course of a little over one month. Skillman warns that even though the seasonal clinic has closed, the flu and other flu-like illness remain prevalent in the Helena area and Montana, “flu season is not over. However, we generally see decreasing flu activity in March and April. We encourage everyone to still take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu by frequently washing their hands, staying home when ill and seeking treatment.”
The visitation restrictions due to widespread flu activity remain in place at the St. Peter’s Health Regional Medical Center for those under the age of 12 and those experiencing flu-like symptoms. Individuals visiting patients who have the flu, exhibit flu-like symptoms or are post-pneumonia will be asked to follow special masking and hand sanitization protocols to protect patients and prevent the spread of the flu. Additional information on visitation restrictions can be found online at www.sphealth.org.
St. Peter’s Health
St. Peter’s Health is a system of health care services including a 123-bed acute care hospital, physician clinics, cancer treatment center, behavioral health unit, urgent care clinics, home health and hospice care, dialysis center and ambulance services. St. Peter’s Health serves the Helena region and southwest Montana counties of Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Jefferson, Meagher and Powell, with a combined population of approximately 97,000 residents. The mission of St. Peter’s Health is to partner with patients and the community to provide exceptional and compassionate health care. For more information, visit sphealth.org.