Delhi hospital, college protect workers from rabies

May 10—Bassett Healthcare Network's O'Connor Hospital in Delhi recently worked with SUNY Delhi to hold free clinics to administer rabies prophylaxis vaccine to workers with high exposure risks around the region.

According to a Bassett news release, Dr. Bret Meckel, dean of the SUNY Delhi School of Veterinary and Professional Studies, learned in March that SUNY Delhi had an oversupply of rabies vaccine that would be expiring soon. He reached out to colleagues at nearby O'Connor Hospital to explore how the institutions could work together to provide a public health service to workers at high risk for contracting the virus, including professionals, faculty and students in veterinary medicine and employees who work at local animal hospitals and animal control offices.

"It is a privilege to work closely with our colleagues at O'Connor Hospital to offer our communities care and resources," Meckel said. "We are proud to have been able to offer this critical preventive intervention to people in our region."

The rabies vaccine is a two-shot series given seven days apart and requires a booster every two years. O'Connor Hospital staff worked with Dr. Peter Sosnow, medical director and division chief of Bassett Healthcare Network's health centers across Delaware County, to obtain orders for vaccine doses. With assistance from O'Connor Hospital's patient access team and ambulatory care team, 90 doses of vaccine were administered in two days, the release said.

"Our collaborative relationship with SUNY Delhi has always been a great source of pride and satisfaction for O'Connor Hospital and Bassett Healthcare Network," said Susan Oakes Ferrucci, chief hospital executive of Bassett's Critical Access Hospital Division. "I am grateful to everyone at O'Connor Hospital for helping to make these clinics happen. We look forward to continuing to partner with SUNY Delhi on future initiatives to serve our communities."