FARMINGTON — San Juan College will offer a free flu shot clinic on Friday in partnership with the state Department of Health.

The clinic will also be part of an exercise in emergency preparedness. The clinic will be from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In case of an actual emergency, the college would help the health department and offer certain treatment to people so they would not have to go to hospitals and other locations that likely would be busy.

"We want to have a place in the community to provide for people who are not yet sick," said Julius Manz, the college's Dental Programs Director. "Mike Taha, and now Dr. (Toni) Pendergrass have been focusing on making the college more community oriented. This is one way of getting back to our roots."

Standard procedure during infectious disease outbreaks calls for minimizing contact between those who have fallen ill and those who are still healthy. Partnership programs such as San Juan College's allow for distribution of medication, medical supplies, vaccinations and other preventative care to healthy people.

These measures lessen the strain on San Juan Regional Medical Center, doctor's offices and clinics by preventing more people from getting sick and allowing doctors, nurses and other health-care providers to give the best possible care to those who fall ill.

"It gives us a proactive stance to help the community," said Michael Rose, regional public health specialist at the state Department of Health. "It's a great location and partnership.



Friday's flu shot clinic will allow the health department and college officials to practice coordinating efforts, it comes with immediate benefit to the Farmington community, said Josh Stratman, of the college's Health and Human Performance Center.

"It keeps you healthy, but it also stops the spread of the virus," he said.

The college's dental and nursing students will administer 1,000 vaccines to people 19 and older on a first come, first served basis. Preservative-free vaccines will be available for pregnant women.

San Juan College plans to hold a flu shot clinic or other emergency preparedness exercise each year, and encourages people to take advantage of the free vaccinations, Manz said.

To volunteer for the clinic, call Josh Stratman at 505-566-3412. For more information on Friday's clinic, call the San Juan College Health and Human Performance Center at 505-566-3410.