Dr. Jeb Teichman has joined Families Fighting Flu as a Medical Advisor. Dr. Teichman spent a majority of his career as a pediatrician before transitioning to managed care. He is a retired Chief Medical Officer for United Healthcare Community Plan of Kentucky. Dr. Teichman understands the toll of flu not just from his work over the years with children and families, and now on the burden to our healthcare system, but from a deeply personal perspective. Dr. Teichman’s 29-year-old son Brent died from the flu in 2019. As a Families Fighting Flu Medical Advisor, Dr. Teichman will support our mission and continue to share Brent’s story as a reminder of the importance of annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older.
While the world has its eyes and ears on the latest rise in cases of COVID, there’s another deadly virus emerging, as the fall season gets underway soon. The flu. While it may seem common and harmless, it is the flu that has dramatically changed my professional and personal life forever.
As a retired Chief Medical Officer for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kentucky my work will never be done. I happily devoted my career to health care, and I plan to fuel my passion of helping people live healthier lives, through my retirement, and even after I’ve gone. Ever since losing my adult son to the flu, I’ve made it my personal life mission to prevent other families from suffering the lingering pain my wife and I continue to endure daily. Once you lose a child, you are never the same. Our hope is that our son’s legacy lives on with our commitment to saving lives of others through vaccine advocacy.
We’re well into 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away. We’re experiencing another resurgence with the Delta variant. This will not go away unless we all take the vaccine more seriously. The latest rise in cases and deaths is a reminder that being vaccinated can help you and others from ending up in a hospital bed or in some cases, a coffin.
The one thing I want to reinforce to all Americans is that we’re facing double trouble this fall. Last year we were all masked up and the flu was barely on anyone’s radar. That is not the case this year. With travel increasing, children back to school, and less mask mandates, it’s likely the flu season will be a tough one, because we’re still dealing with COVID-19 too.
If you’re thinking that you’re immune to the flu. I’m here to remind you that the flu does not discriminate. It will take the life of young, healthy individuals like my wonderful son who missed his flu shot. It can truly happen to you or someone you know. We’re also seeing the young and healthy being affected by COVID-19 too. Both vaccines matter.
While it may seem simple, you can save your life and another’s life by one needle. The flu or COVID vaccine is available to all of us. Why take a risk when you don’t have to?
I realize vaccine hesitancy is alive and well. But this fall, we can’t let our guards down especially when we can be protected if we choose to.
By remaining vigilant partnering with local organizations, I know we can help improve health outcomes and save lives and preserve the hearts of moms, dads, brother, sisters, friends, neighbors and even strangers this fall. We don’t want anyone else to become a new statistic.
Please watch my story to learn more about the importance of the vaccination and learn more about why I do what I do.