Blackboard Connect Helps California Schools Stay in Front of H1N1


With flu season peaking in California this month, Blackboard is helping Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), spread the word about important tips and H1N1 vaccine information at the state’s K-12 schools and college campuses.

In a recorded message, Dr. Horton highlights the need for continued vigilance against H1N1, saying: “H1N1 still poses a threat in California, so we must continue to do our part in preventing the flu this spring. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent H1N1…Also, please continue to cover your cough, wash your hands, stay home from work and keep your children home from school when sick.” Blackboard Connect has shared Dr. Horton’s message with more than 1000 superintendents, college administrators and school health leaders in California.

According to CDPH, more than half of all Californians are still at risk for H1N1 influenza, with children and young adults six months to 24 years of age, as well as their parents, among the most susceptible groups. Many of those young adults have recently seen more stress and less sleep during midterms and spring break vacations, increasing their exposure to germs and risk of infection. Early vaccination and flu prevention measures are the best way to keep students healthy during this time.

The Blackboard Connect service has also played an important role in the fight against H1N1, as schools and local officials have leveraged the mass notification platform to provide parents, students and communities nationwide with important facts on the flu, including information on symptoms, vaccination availability, and general tips on avoiding infection. Over the past six months, schools, universities and communities have used the Blackboard Connect platform to send a combined 21.7 million H1N1-related messages via phone, E-mail and text message.

“Communication plays a vital role in keeping Californians healthy during flu season. Blackboard Connect is proud to help the California Department of Public Health put important H1N1 information in the hands of educators, parents and students,” said Ed Miller, president of Blackboard Connect.

Under the partnership, California K-12 and higher education clients of Blackboard Connect can use the service to send a pre-recorded message from Dr. Horton to their campus communities, relating the importance of flu prevention and vaccination. School officials, as well as the public, can also access these messages by clicking here.

Blackboard Inc. April 14, 2010 press release

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