Seven AAP chapters have committed to improving HPV vaccination
rates through collaboration with
their state health departments, use of
vaccine registry data and partnerships
with local stakeholders.
Every year, about 31,000 women
and men in the U.S. are diagnosed
with a cancer caused by HPV infection. Most of these cancers could be
prevented by timely HPV vaccination,
according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
The Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,
Iowa, Minnesota, Uniformed Services
East and Utah chapters are using education grants supported by Merck
to promote adolescent HPV vaccinations.
Immunization databases and
Several chapters are using information from their state health departments and vaccine registries to determine factors affecting immunization
rates and where rates are low so they
can target their efforts accordingly.
The Iowa Chapter studied factors that influence HPV vaccinations in the state’s 99 counties.
It learned that patient race, socioeconomic status,
insurance status, educational attainment and living
in a rural area were not independently associated
with low immunization rates, but rates improved
when providers strongly recommended the vaccine.
The Florida and Utah chapters partnered with
their departments of health to identify practices with
a large adolescent patient population and low HPV
vaccination rates and invited them to participate in
projects to improve immunization rates. Practices
participating in the Florida Chapter’s improvement
program were educated about the importance of
using a statewide vaccination tracking system. The
ability to track patients, including those who move
between providers, practices and insurance plans, increases the probability that patients will remain up-to-date on immunizations. If gaps do occur, practices can work with patients on a catch-up schedule.
The Georgia Chapter used the state’s immunization registry to run baseline adolescent immunization reports. It targeted specific practices and
encouraged them to adopt a reminder/recall system.
A follow-up survey will be sent to the practices in
the coming months to assess outcomes.
The Uniformed Services East Chapter uses the
military health care database to measure the effects
of its education efforts at clinics that were targeted
in its program.
The Arkansas Chapter has worked with its health
department, as well as individual practices, to extract
relevant, accurate and timely data from the state’s
Collaboration and partnerships
The Iowa Chapter has partnered with the Iowa
Cancer Consortium, a coalition of hundreds of individuals and organizations working to reduce the
burden of cancer in the state. With the consortium,
the chapter is educating providers on the importance
of strongly recommending the HPV vaccine. In addition, clinics are encouraged to track immunization
rates and set improvement goals.
“This funding has provided a
great opportunity for our partners
to explore an exciting model for
increasing vaccination rates within
a system,” said Kelly Sittig, exec-
utive director of the Iowa Cancer
Consortium. “We hope this proj-
ect can be used as an example for
systems and clinics across the state
to increase HPV vaccination rates and ultimately
reduce HPV-related cancers in Iowa.”
The Florida Chapter has partnered
with the American Cancer Society to
create resources practices can use to
educate parents and youths, recall pa-
tients for subsequent doses, and train
their office staff to give a clear and
The Minnesota Chapter produced
a Somali HPV education video in
partnership with a Somali commu-nity-based organization and a Somali
physician. The video will be used as a
public service announcement in clinics and for discussions at mosques.
The Utah Chapter collaborated
with the Intermountain West HPV
Immunization Coalition to pair an
HPV advocate and cancer survivor
who then visited pediatricians and
family practitioners in the state.
“Pediatricians have no opportunity
to personally experience the awful re-
sults of HPV (genital warts, pharyn-
geal cancers, cervical cancers, etc.) nor
witness the life-changing treatments
for those diseases,” said William E.
Cosgrove, M.D., FAAP, project lead
and Utah Chapter
past president. “Thus, the HPV
survivor brings the relevance, the
emotional response and hopeful-
ly inspires personal commitments
from the pediatric office team to
improve HPV delivery.”
The seven chapters will build
on their work with health departments and coalitions to improve HPV vaccination
rates, and continue to schedule educational sessions,
presentations, webinars, roundtable discussions and
HPV workgroup meetings to further their projects
beyond the grant cycle. They also plan to share information with chapter members, physicians, allied
health professionals and other AAP chapters.
For more information on chapter efforts to improve
HPV vaccination rates, contact Jonathan Faletti, in the
AAP Division of Chapter and District Relations, at 847-
434-4752 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapters team up with health departments, coalitions
to improve HPV vaccination rates
Grants are helping state chapters improve HPV immunization rates, such as
through use of statewide tracking systems, stronger recommendations from
providers, educational videos and goal setting.