The Fight the Flu competition trophy will stay in Hancock for another year.

This winter, Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health brought Upper Peninsula universities together for the second annual Fight the Flu competition. Students, staff and faculty from Finlandia University, Michigan Technological University and Northern Michigan University competed to see which school could get the highest percentage of its total population vaccinated against the flu.

Based on the self-reported statistics, the winning University for the second year in a row is Finlandia University, coming in at a 17.6% vaccination rate of student, staff  and faculty population. 

“I feel very proud of our success in this competition for the second year in a row. Despite being a small private school, Finlandia University has great power to create a positive impact on the community,” said Irina Sergeyeva, assistant professor and director of the RN to BSN program at Finlandia. “Everyone was involved in this successful outcome: the marketing department, faculty/employees and their families, and administration. Finlandia nursing students deserve special recognition for dedicating their time and demonstrating their skills in protecting the local community from flu.”


Fight the Flu 2022 Winner
Finlandia University Nursing students accept the 2021-2022 "Fight the Flu" competition trophy.


Sergeyeva extended a special thank you to Angela Luskin from UP Health System - Portage, who provided all the supplies that were needed for on-campus clinics.

Results were based on individuals anonymously self-reporting they had been vaccinated through an appointment with their provider, the health department, a pharmacy, a community event or campus-wide flu shot clinics.  

Northern Michigan University placed second at 11.4%  and Michigan Technological University came in third at 6.8%. Finlandia will hold onto the Fight the Flu competition trophy designed by Dale Wedig, NMU Professor of Art and Design/Metalsmithing & Sculpture. Elise Bur, Director of the Northern Michigan Center for Rural Health, traveled to Hancock, Mich. to congratulate Finlandia nursing students and faculty.  

“My hope is to have all U.P. universities and colleges participating in the competition this coming fall. Campus communities strive to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their students, staff, faculty and visitors and this friendly competition is one way higher education institutions can come together and set an example for surrounding communities” said Bur. 

The Michigan Health and Human Services Department’s goal is to vaccinate 4 million residents during the 2021-2022 flu season. As of April 16, 2022, there have been 3,296,979 doses administered (82.4% towards goal) for the 2021-2022 flu season. For more information about flu signs and symptoms, how the flu spreads, and who is at risk, please visit

The Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health seeks to improve the health and well-being of Upper Peninsula residents and communities by developing collaborative partnerships that enhance the access and availability of affordable, quality healthcare services. For questions or comments related to this story, contact