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February 7, 2009

Hospital tries doo-wop to push flu shots

Philadelphia Inquirer (PA):

A usually reserved internist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania dances with abandon, a stethoscope around his neck. A cluster of workers sways gently in Central Supply while nurses, technicians and patient reps get down in the ER. Words can't quite describe this music video of hundreds of health-care workers lip-synching to a Chinese a cappella group's doo-wop beat.

About flu shots. For one another.

Baby baby baby baby oh baby baby oh baby . . .

It starts with me and you

Our fight against the flu

Don't we gotta be there when others need us?

With tens of thousands of flu-related deaths a year, medical institutions are fighting an uphill battle to persuade workers to get shots. Some use carrots (win a free iPod!). A few use big sticks (no shot, no job). Penn added "Baby Be Wise - Immunize!," the music video created by an irrepressible nurse and an ER volunteer.

"It's wonderful in my opinion - an engaging and fun way to garner interest on a serious topic while making people feel part of a team," said Gregory A. Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's vaccine-research group, who saw the video on YouTube.

Kearney, 56, is a nurse in Behrman's department - and a fanatic about flu shots. Leonard, 20, is a premed Chinese major, a cappella singer and video producer. Kearney suggested a flu video. Leonard jumped at the chance.

"I got this idea that we could get the whole hospital staff involved in a musical number," he said. "But that would have been chaos." Lip-synching would be simpler. The pair started brainstorming lyrics, many picked up - loosely - from federal vaccine guidelines.

But they needed music. Leonard turned to PennYo. The a cappella group, whose name is a play on péng you, Mandarin for friends, had recorded a catchy Chinese pop song about a guy waiting at the airport for his girlfriend. "It had sort of a doo-wop feel," Leonard said.

Members of the group recorded solos, and then the nurse and the student roamed the halls of HUP - he with a camera, she with treats and a loud music player. Lyrics were handed out. "You don't even have to sing," Kearney told them. "You can sway to the beat, click your fingers. Just look like you're having fun." The video debuted at a flu fair in October and was posted on internal Web sites. Early data show that HUP has vaccinated nearly 20 percent more staff this season. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at February 7, 2009 12:00 AM


Stop your kids from getting you sick in the first place! As we know, young children are the # 1 spreaders of germs, and there is a new program out called Germy Wormy Germ Awareness for Germ Transportation Vehicles ages 2 - 7. If you've got kids and/ or work around small children - this is priceless.


Give kids a PLACE to give their germs to- Instead of you! "

Posted by: Maggie Brown at February 8, 2009 8:03 PM

Thanks. Music is a great tool for education. I enjoy seeing the employees moving to the rythmn.

Posted by: sherry watson at March 9, 2009 3:19 PM

Loved it! Who says medical people are boring?

Posted by: Wonderful idea! at March 12, 2009 7:15 AM

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