Jim Victor Vision Fund supports Genesis Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative

Local News
Ana Martinez

FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2018, file photo, a medical assistant at a community health center gives a patient a flu shot in Seattle. U.S. health officials say the flu vaccine has again turned out to be a disappointment. The vaccine didn’t work against a flu bug that popped up halfway through the season. Figures released Thursday, June 27, 2019, show the vaccine was only 29% effective overall. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The late Jim Victor’s legacy of philanthropy, compassion and his support of health in the region will continue with a new fund named in his honor.

The Jim Victor Vision Fund of the Genesis Health Services Foundation will benefit health in the region. In its first year, the fund will match funds up to $50,000, including new and increased individual contributions for Flu-Free Quad-Cities, according to a news release from Genesis.

The Genesis Flu-Free Quad Cities program will be available in the region for the 14th year this fall.

A kickoff Flu-Free Quad Cities vaccination event will be 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, Oct. 24, at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport. Each elementary=school-age child vaccinated will receive a free ticket from the Quad Cities River Bandits to a game in April.

Even more so than in the past, the 2020 initiative will help keep teachers, staff, students and parents safe in the learning environment.

“We recognize this year there is uncertainty and concerns as we all continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic. But seasonal influenza will also return later this fall,’’ said Michelle Cullen, community health manager, Genesis Health System. “There is a potential for serious complications of having seasonal influenza and COVID-19 at the same time or one after the other.”

said, “Getting a flu shot is one of the most important things you can do for your health and for the health of others, especially in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Bharat Motwani, infectious disease specialist at Genesis Health System. “When a child gets the flu vaccine, they’re much less likely to catch the flu and they contribute to reducing the risk of flu illness and are less likely to spread it to others.”

Genesis has provided free flu vaccinations to nearly 100,000 elementary school students in the region in 13 years of Flu-Free Quad Cities.

This year Genesis is considering several models for the flu clinics. Full safety mitigation measures will be in place at each clinic as recommended by public health and the CDC.

The Jim Victor Vision Fund will match the gifts of others for the next 10 years. In addition to Flu-Free Quad Cities, the fund will benefit Family Connects, Genesis nursing scholarships, the Genesis Center for Breast Health and other areas of need.

“Jim’s legacy will be a powerful benefit to health in the region. Jim would be very humbled but also pleased to help us raise funds to help patients and families,’’ said Missy Gowey, executive director, Genesis Foundation.

Jim Victor, a financial advisor and community leader, died in July 2018 in an auto-racing accident at Elkhart Lake, Wis.

To learn more about the Genesis Flu-Free Quad Cities program, contact Abigail O’Connor at 563-421-6867 or email OConnorA@genesishealth.com

Major sponsors for this year’s Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative include the Quad-Cities River Bandits and Green State Credit Union.

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