Is Tamiflu Right For You?


With this year's widespread influenza outbreak, you may have heard of Tamiflu, an antiviral medicine used as a treatment option for influenza. While Tamiflu may minimize flu symptoms, it won't help everyone with the flu. Galen Engel, CNP, a trusted provider at IHA Urgent Care locations advises on common questions about Tamiflu - learn why it may or may not be the right option for you this flu season. 

I visited an IHA Urgent Care location and was tested for the flu - it turns out I have it. Why didn't the Urgent Care provider prescribe me Tamiflu? I want to feel better, stat. 

Tamiflu isn't a cure-all treatment for influenza. First, it is only recommended within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends prescribing Tamiflu for "high risk" populations like those with chronic conditions (including asthma and diabetes), immunocompromised individuals, children less than 2 years of age (and some children less than 5 years of age), and pregnant women. Learn more about "high risk" populations. Finally, it is very important to have a conversation with the provider you are seeing at an IHA Urgent Care location to review your medical history and the length of your illness, so the best medical decision can be made for you as an individual. 

My kids / coworkers / classmates have the flu - can I get Tamiflu so that I don't get sick too? 

Tamiflu as a preventive measure should be considered for populations who are "high risk" (see above) for complications from influenza - Tamiflu and other antiviral drugs may prevent serious complications and can make you feel better, faster. If you are concerned about exposure to the influenza virus, contact your primary care provider for guidance about possible preventive treatment. 

I've been sick for days - I heard Tamiflu is the only thing that works! Can I get it? 

Tamiflu is recommended within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. 

I just started experiencing flu-like symptoms a few hours ago - what should I do? 

If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a "high risk" group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your primary care provider as soon as possible for guidance about treatment. Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. 

Please seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, purple or blue discoloration of the lips, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, seizures or flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough. Learn more about taking care of yourself & others through the flu. 

I'm breastfeeding my baby - will Tamiflu help me keep her safe from the flu? 

Tamiflu is advised to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding if necessary. There is a very low concentration of Tamiflu in breast milk. However, if you have the flu it is important to take precautions to avoid spreading the flu to your infant as babies cannot get a flu shot under 6 months old. Influenza may cause serious illness in postpartum women and prompt evaluation for febrile respiratory illnesses is recommended. Learn more about protecting your baby from the flu. 



The 2017 - 2018 flu season is beginning to wane, but it is always important to protect yourself and others from the spread of the flu. If you haven't had a flu shot since September 2017, it's not too late - learn more & schedule your flu shot at IHA. 


Information for this blog post was interpreted from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's resources on influenza. 

EMU Health Center



News Release
February 9, 2018
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Amy Middleton
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Eastern Michigan University, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Integrated Healthcare Associates to collaborate on new health center on EMU campus

Primary and urgent care facility will serve University’s students, faculty and staff, as well as greater community

YPSILANTI, MI – (February 9, 2018) – Eastern Michigan University (EMU), Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) and Integrated Healthcare Associates (IHA) will collaborate on a new health center on the EMU campus under a plan approved Feb. 9, 2018 by the EMU Board of Regents.

The health center will be located on the northwest end of campus on open land off Huron River Drive and Oakwood Street, near the present headquarters of the EMU Department of Public Safety. The center will offer:

  • Comprehensive primary care services
  • 7-day-a-week urgent care services, including x-ray
  • Electronic Medical Record capabilities, including a 24/7 patient portal
  • Online appointment scheduling
  • A “Save your Spot” tool to manage urgent care arrival and wait times
  • Onsite pharmacy staffed by SJMHS

    The new health center will incorporate the University’s existing Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and other services presently located in Snow Health Center, along with the EMU Psychology Clinic, located on Cross Street, and will also support the University’s College of Health and Human Services programs with hands-on educational opportunities for students and faculty. The new center is tentatively set to open in summer 2019.

    The collaboration will include the construction and operation of a new 25,700 square foot facility, with the construction costs of nearly $6.6 million to be funded by IHA/SJMHS. The University will fund the construction of a $1.8 million roadway to the facility. Eastern will occupy slightly more than half the facility, 14,500 feet, and IHA will occupy 11,200 square feet.

    The new facility reflects an expansion of the strong collaboration between St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital and Eastern, which includes formal affiliation agreements for nearly 20 health-related programs, including the Physician Assistant Program at Eastern, which was launched in spring 2014.

    The collaboration also includes a simulation center and anatomy lab, residency training at the student health center, exercise science, inter-professional patient care and education, and large-scale emergency preparedness exercises.

    “This is special moment in terms of community and campus health care,” said EMU President James Smith. “This partnership, with an established, world-class health care provider and a top-tier physicians’ group, will provide a modern medical environment able to meet the primary and urgent care needs of students, faculty, staff, and the community.

    “This new facility is conveniently located, with excellent access to roads and parking,” added Smith. “It addresses a major priority raised by many on our campus for improved health care, including our student government leaders, and truly broadens our ability to serve the needs and welfare of our students, faculty, staff and community.”

    “We are so pleased to come together as three major area organizations to create collaborations that work to each of our strengths,” said David Brooks, president of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. “This health center will bring leading physicians and needed health services to both the campus and Ypsilanti residents. We look forward to continuing to work closely together to develop innovative programs and initiatives that address the needs of the local community.”

    “IHA is honored to join with St. Joe’s and Eastern Michigan University to bring our high-quality and patient-centered model of health care to the students, faculty and staff at EMU as well as the surrounding communities,” said IHA CEO Mark LePage, M.D. “Whether it’s accessing primary care services through a real-time online scheduling tool or “saving your spot” in line at the urgent care, this will truly be a state-of-the-art health care facility.”

    The existing Snow Health Center area on Eastern’s campus will be evaluated for other potential uses.


    About Eastern Michigan University

    Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 20,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University,

    About IHA

    IHA is one of the best and largest multi-specialty groups in Michigan. IHA employs nearly 2,200 staff, which includes more than 650 providers consisting of: physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives in approximately 70 practice locations across Southeast Michigan. IHA provides high-quality medical care and excellent service to nearly 470,000 active patients. Recognized as Metro Detroit’s Top Physician Group by Consumer Reports magazine, IHA also ranks in the top quartile for patient satisfaction nationally. Offering extended office hours and urgent care services, along with online patient diagnosis, treatment and appointment access tools. IHA demonstrates that it cares by bringing safe, high quality, comprehensive and affordable care to its patients. For more information about IHA, visit

    About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

    Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving seven counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Jackson, and Lenawee. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, and 133-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. Combined, the five hospitals are licensed for 1,553 beds, have five outpatient health centers, six urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 15,300 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians. SJMHS has annual operating revenues of about $2 billion and returns about $120 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs.

    SJMHS is a member of Trinity Health, a leading Catholic health care system based in Livonia, Mich. Trinity Health operates in 22 states, employs about 131,000 colleagues, has annual operating revenues of $17.6 billion and assets of about $24.6 billion. Additionally, the organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit


    Eastern Michigan University

    Geoffrey S. Larcom
    734.487.4401, 734.417.9658 cell
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


    Amy Middleton
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    Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

    Laura Blodgett
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    Cervical Health Awareness Image



    Did you know that nearly 13,000 women are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer each year in the United States alone? January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a time to take the opportunity to learn how to monitor your own cervical health for early detection of cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) related issues. It is important to stay up-to-date with cervical cancer screening recommended by your OB-GYN provider based on your age. Stay in touch with your body – here are common recommendations for women of all ages:

    AGES 9-26

    It’s time to get your Gardasil Immunization to prevent infection and transmission of the most common strains of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus, the most common cause of cervical dysplasias and cervical cancers). No cervical screening is recommended for young women before age 21.

    AGES 21-29

    When you turn 21, it’s time to start with regular cervical cytology – commonly known as the Pap test or Pap smear - every three years. If your results are ASCUS (borderline between normal and abnormal), your doctor may recommend HPV triage, which is done using the same cells taken at your screening and will look for any high-risk HPV infections. This approach may be taken between ages 21 and 24 and it is preferable between ages 25 and 29.

    AGES 30-65

    At age 30 it is recommended to maintain cervical cytology alone every three years, or to get co-testing, cytology and viral culture, every five years.


    Once you reach age 65, no cervical screening is needed if prior testing has been normal. 


    Of course, your gynecologist will chart your plan of care based on your personal screening history – it can vary, but annual care is most important!


    Learn more about cervical health and cancer warning signs from the CDC. 

    Learn more about HPV screening and safety from the CDC.