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MGH Hotline 1.1.10 Once a week, Boston-area television viewers and web users will have the opportunity to obtain the latest information on the flu by chatting live on www.whdh.com with a Partners HealthCare expert as part of a collaborative public health campaign from Partners, WHDH-TV 7 NBC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Partners HealthCare Flu Team helps viewers

01/Jan/2010

FLU TEAM: From left, Lisa Owens MD, medical director of Brigham Primary Physicians at Faulkner Hospital and associate physician at BWH; Biddinger; Greenspan; Richard Zane, MD, vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at BWH; and Riley

Once a week, Boston-area television viewers and web users will have the opportunity to obtain the latest information on the flu by chatting live on the WHDH website with a Partners HealthCare expert as part of a collaborative public health campaign from Partners, WHDH-TV 7 NBC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Five physicians from the MGH and BWH comprise the "7 News Flu Team," a group of leading Partners providers representing a range of specialties, including primary care, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics. The flu team physicians from the MGH are Paul Biddinger, MD, director of Operations for Emergency Medicine and medical director for Emergency Preparedness; Laura Riley, MD, director of Labor and Delivery; and Peter Greenspan, MD, vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics and medical director of MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

For the past month, the 7 News Flu Team experts have been answering viewers' questions -- from flu vaccine safety, flu risks for children and pregnant women, and flu prevention -- during TV interviews and on the web. WHDH has promoted the Flu Team through a TV spot and a web page, which includes the latest flu news, commonly asked questions and vaccine clinics. In addition to the 7 News Flu Team, Partners HealthCare has worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to produce a TV spot promoting H1N1 flu vaccination. The spot features MGH physicians Biddinger and Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH, director of the Disparities Solution Center, who also appears in a Spanish TV spot for Telemundo.

"We consider this a service to the community, a chance to support the state and city health departments in their efforts to communicate accurate and timely flu information, and a way to bring visibility to some of our extraordinary physicians," said Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, MBA, Partners HealthCare president and CEO. "We are delighted about the response and very grateful for our physicians' willingness to be part of this public service."

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