Frye Regional Medical Center adds immunizations to back-to-school list

James Hodges, MD, family physician on staff at Frye Regional Medical Center.
James Hodges, MD, family physician on staff at Frye Regional Medical Center.

HICKORY, NC - School will soon be back in session, and parents everywhere are rushing to make sure their budding scholars are well-equipped for classes. In fact, according to the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker survey in 2010, 18 percent of parents planned to spend money on teeth-whitening for their kids to prepare for the first day back. Nearly 10 percent of respondents said that they would be willing to pay for tattoos for their son or daughter before classes begin.

Clearly, all parents want to help their children feel ready and eager for the school year ahead. Throughout the mad dash for all of the different kinds of glue sticks and graphing calculators, it may be easy to forget the most important prerequisite for learning: health. Frye has teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during National Immunization Awareness Month to make sure that life-saving vaccinations aren't lost in the back-to-school shuffle.

"Vaccines don't just protect kids against frequent disruptions to attendance like influenza - they also shield the people around them who are endangered by any illness, like elderly relatives, pregnant women and infant siblings. It has to be a community-wide effort," says James Hodges, MD, family physician on staff at Frye Regional Medical Center. "Frye is proud of the fact that we have wiped out awful diseases like polio in this country and how you can only read about smallpox in history books. We urge everyone in Hickory to schedule your children for their shots early so you can avoid long waits and make your lives a little easier - which every parent needs."

Dr. Hodges encourages families to get the facts about vaccination and keep a list of immunization recommendations in a prominent place as a reminder. Most children are not thrilled to be going in for yearly shots and some may drag their feet – physicians have seen great success for parents who combine immunization visits as just one part of an otherwise fun and positive day of enjoyable activities. They also advocate discussions with young ones about the need for vaccination in order to help kids develop into adults who place health as a top priority. Teaching children to start on this path early is the best gift any parent can give to their child. For physician referral, call 828-315-3391.

Frye Regional Medical Center is a member of Spirit of Women®, an elite coalition of American hospitals and healthcare providers that ascribe to high standards of excellence in women's health, education, and community outreach. This exciting program promotes Frye Regional Medical Center as a regional leader in women's health education and community outreach for women and their families in the Greater Hickory Metro Area. For information on how to become a member, log onto


Frye Regional Medical Center is an acute care facility that has been servicing the medical and health care needs of Catawba County and central western North Carolina since 1911.

The hospital's main campus includes a comprehensive heart center, accredited cancer center and bariatric surgery program, orthopedics, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, neurosciences, a women's center with level III nursery, a neonatal transport team, and pediatrics.

FryeCare Physicians, LLC provide hospitalists and critical care coverage. Frye has several extended campuses to serve families throughout the area, including FryeCare Outpatient Imaging Center, FryeCare Pulmonology, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Infusion Care, Vein and Wound Center, Piedmont Therapy, offering sports and industrial rehabilitation; South Campus for psychiatric services; The Frye Wellness and Education Center houses an accredited Center for Diabetes Self-Management Care, perinatal education and community wellness classes; Tate Surgery Center; Unifour Pain Treatment Center; and two urgent care facilities—FryeCare Urgent Care in Conover and Hudson.

For employers, Frye provides industrial health services through Hart Industrial Clinic.

Frye Regional Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation's oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.  To learn more about the hospital, visit For physician referral, call 828-315-3391.