4-14-15 Feature Story:
Five community health center employees today will be honored as 2015 Immunization Champions at the state's 20th annual Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference in Marlborough, MA.
Springfield Healthcare for the Homeless Program's Linda Barnet, RN and Fenway Health's HPV Vaccination Improvement Team members Sarah Wolfrum, Catherine Basham, Dr. Jennifer Potter and Kiefer St. Pierre were nominated by their peers and chosen by the conference planning committee based on their leadership, innovation, collaboration, advocacy and initiative in improving adult immunization rates.
Linda Barnet has spent the last 20 years caring for Springfield's homeless patients, many of whom lack regular access to a primary care provider. Linda works diligently to obtain vaccination histories to ensure that her homeless patients remain up-to-date on their immunizations and leads her organization in the number of homeless patients served.
The Fenway Health HPV Vaccination Improvement Team launched a focused effort to improve HPV vaccination rates among their adult patient population in 2012. After establishing a three-pronged approach that included staff education, patient education and systems change, the team's physician (Jennifer Potter), nurse (Kiefer St. Pierre), data analyst (Sarah Wolfrum) and program coordinator (Catherine Basham) increased HPV vaccination rates among 22-26 year olds in just one year. Importantly, the team has been able to sustain these higher rates going forward.
The honorees will be recognized during an awards luncheon scheduled as part of today's conference. This year's agenda will focus on a range of timely topics, including counseling pregnant women about the risks and benefits of maternal vaccinations, identifying ways that risk perception can influence the response to infectious disease threats, and disseminating the most current adult immunization information available. Click here to view the full conference agenda.