OH now offering travel vaccine clinic; local travel agent praises service

February 19, 2024 | 12:09 am

Updated February 18, 2024 | 7:14 pm

In collaboration with Dr. Jim Tidwell and the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, Owensboro Health now offers an outpatient pharmacy travel health clinic. The protocol allows pharmacists to prescribe and dispense vaccinations and medication to prevent and treat travel-related diseases. 

The clinic currently focuses on yellow fever, traveler’s diarrhea, malaria, altitude illness, cholera, and typhoid fever. They also administer other vaccinations and OTC items and provide counseling and education related to specific travel destinations. 

“We have 3 pharmacists who have obtained the APhA Travel Health Certificate and completed the CDC Yellow Fever Vaccine Course, which allows them to prescribe and administer per protocol,” said outpatient pharmacy supervisor Lauren Free. 

Lori Whitehouse owns Whitehouse Wanderer, a local travel agency, and considers the clinic a significant asset to the community. She was planning a group trip to Africa this month when she discovered the local service. 

“When I started researching the immunization requirements, it was overwhelming,” Whitehouse said. “We will be going to 4 countries, each with different recommendations based on its geographic location. Some things are required, and some are just recommended.”

She said general practitioners rarely encounter travel vaccine needs, and when she approached her physician, he recommended going to the travel clinic in Evansville. Fortunately for her, she discovered Owensboro Health was launching a clinic and immediately contacted Free. 

The group visited the clinic at the same time and received all of the required immunizations. Whitehouse said. Free and her team were incredibly knowledgeable, discussing other helpful prescriptions and filling them onsite. 

“My group was more than happy to be their first patients,” she said. “It was so reassuring to have health professionals who had done the legwork and could tell us exactly what we needed. I will definitely recommend Lauren and her team to all my clients traveling to destinations requiring any type of medical preparation.”

The cost to use the service is $50 in addition to medication prices, and group discounts are available for large groups. They also bill insurance when possible. 

“This service being offered allows Owensboro Health to provide local access to travel medicine, reducing the need for patients to seek care in surrounding areas,” Free said. “The Outpatient Pharmacy would love to partner with churches and colleges within the community to provide clinics for mission trips or students studying abroad.”

February 19, 2024 | 12:09 am

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