When it comes to the seasonal and H1N1 viruses, Dale Sargent doesn't want Wellmont Health System employees to be “Flirtin' with Disaster,” as Southern rockers Molly Hatchet sang. To promote vaccination, which requires three shots, Sargent, the chief medical officer of the Kingsport, Tenn., system wrote new lyrics to another Southern rock classic, Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Gimme Three Steps.” The system's marketing department took it from there, enlisting a local band to perform the sort-of cover song and filming a parody video with Wellmont employees lip-syncing and air-guitaring the song. The video can be seen at www.wellmont.org at bit.ly/m02K9, and on the system's YouTube channel.
Outliers: ... while Wellmont rocks the flu
Sargent, who was a pulmonary and critical-care physician before leaving his practice to become CMO, says the idea came about after an infectious disease physician told him about another hospital that used an old song with new lyrics to promote handwashing.
“I'm a fan of Southern rock across the board,” Sargent adds. “I wouldn't say Skynyrd is my favorite band, but certainly, among the top five or six.” Sargent says his favorite Southern rockers are the Allman Brothers Band, but “I couldn't come up with an Allman Brothers song that was such a natural like this one was.”
Wellmont's flu vaccination compliance historically has been around 50%, which Sargent is hoping to boost to 85% to 90%, if not 100%. Outliers certainly hopes the effort is a success so Sargent won't feel like his lyrics were just “Wasted Words,” as the Allman Brothers Band sang.
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