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October 23, 2017

2017 Immunization Champions

The Immunization Champion Award is an annual award given by  the Idaho Immunization Program to recognize individuals or teams that go above and beyond to promote childhood immunizations in their communities.  The Immunization Champions are an inspiration to everyone who cares about children's health. The Idaho Immunization Program is pleased to recognize the recipients of the award for the special contributions they have made through their work in childhood immunization.

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Charlotte Boarst, President of the College of Idaho, strengthened the immunization requirements at the College of Idaho by mandating that all students have Polio, Hepitatis A and B, MMR, Tdap, Varicella, and Meningitis vaccinations and a TB test before school entry. Charlotte began changing the immunization requirements when she arrived in the Fall of 2015. She also removed philosophical exemptions as an option for exempting from the required vaccines. Charolette has been active at the vaccine clinics that are held at the college which include clinics for Meningitis B, HPV, Flu, and immunization catch up clinics for International Students. She has even given the Director of Health and Wellness Services the ability to place holds on student accounts until all vaccine requirements have been met. The College of Idaho has a three-year live on campus policy, and by enacting these immunization requirements Charlotte has helped the students become good stewards of their health and the health their community, while potentially setting a new standard in their minds as to the benefits of immunizations that they will hopefully pass on to their own children.

Leta Palmer took over as the Immunization Coordinator for Moscow Family Medicine in May of 2016. Leta quickly recognized a disconnect in communication between clinical staff and Idaho Immunization Program vaccine management policies. While learning about her new role as an immunization coordinator, Leta also identified a need for ongoing internal IT processes for the electronic data exchange with IRIS. In the first 6 months of her role as the immunization coordinator, Leta improved the clinic’s vaccine accountability by 52%. She did this by correcting over 700 deduct from inventory errors in less than three months. It is equally as impressive to note that during the same time period of making these corrections, Leta stopped any new errors from occurring. Leta also worked diligently with her IT department to create a consistent, weekly schedule for electronic data exchange. In addition, she helped staff understand the importance of correcting errors and the ongoing maintenance of electronic data exchange. Lastly, Leta has implemented regular monthly immunization updates during staff meetings. This allows all staff an opportunity to receive the most up-to-date immunization information, as well as provide a platform for Leta to address any immunization concerns. Leta is an immunization champion due to her ability to quickly recognize problems and take on the challenge of improving her clinic’s immunization processes.

In May 2016, Sandy Kibler became the Primary Vaccine Coordinator at Coeur d’Alene Pediatrics, one of northern Idaho’s larger providers. She reached out to the Idaho Immunization Program to request training in all aspects of the program, noting vaccine management and accountability as her primary concerns. Sandy took a proactive approach to understand how she could most effectively manage vaccine inventory for multiple locations, identify and resolve accountability discrepancies, and prevent errors moving forward. She also sought a deeper understanding of the clinic’s E.H.R. functionality and how this system communicates with IRIS. Prepared with well thought-out questions and a strong curiosity, Sandy jumped into training with a positive attitude and a sincere desire to improve deficiencies within the organization. As a direct result of Sandy’s efforts, Coeur d’Alene Pediatrics has made major improvements in two areas of their practice. First, Sandy streamlined the organization’s vaccine ordering practices by having vaccines shipped directly to all three locations, as opposed to one. As a result, routine vaccine transports were eliminated, thus removing the risk of vaccine wastage due to a breach in the cold chain. Consequently, Sandy has stated that moving to a direct-ship model has maximized staff time in areas related to patient care, that was otherwise spent on physically transporting vaccines. The second improvement was made after Sandy immediately identified how data management within the clinic’s E.H.R. could reduce and prevent accountability errors. She also reached out to the clinic’s E.H.R. vendor to inquire about multiple clinic functionality, how the E.H.R. managed corrections, and if corrections could be sent to IRIS. In short, Sandy quickly recognized that the clinic was not utilizing the full potential of its E.H.R. and took immediate action to implement improvements. Within seven months, Sandy reduced the number of unaccounted for doses administered at Coeur d’Alene Pediatrics by 85%, which accounted for over 1,700 doses of vaccines supplied by the Idaho Immunization Program. Sandy is an immunization champion due to her dedication and continuous desire to improve vaccine management practices within her organization.

Melissa has improved immunization storage and handling and administration processes in her clinic by working with management staff to create a dedicated immunization space and a double-check system every time immunizations are ordered. Melissa has also reviewed over five years worth of immunization records for her clinic to ensure that all patient records are complete, up-to-date, and that Idaho Immunization Program supplied vaccines are all accounted for in IRIS. Melissa has also worked with local schools to help identify and immunize students that are not up-to-date with immunizations. Her efforts have helped strengthen the health of children in the community. Melissa’s continued efforts to improve immunization processes, data quality, and community participation in immunizations has led to increased immunization rates and a well-protected community.

Since her transition into the role of Immunization Manager at  Primary Health late last year, KC Wardian has been a champion of immunization collaboration. She was personally present at every AFIX visit scheduled with a Primary Health location (7 of them - her patience is endless), and she took an active role in promoting the importance of maintaining accurate patient lists, reminder/recall, and checking IRIS during each visit. Many organizations have large lists of patients with missing immunizations that need to be reviewed. These patients either need to have a reminder/recall sent, or need to be listed as inactive patients. KC volunteered to go through each of these lists and reconcile them with the actual patient populations at each Primary Health location. It is an enormous amount of work and it is evident that Primary Health has someone who is dedicated and in a position where she can do a lot of good. Due to KC’s coordinating efforts, the Primary Health organization (specifically those with AFIX visits in 2016) increased overall immunization coverage rates for infants by nearly 4.5% and for adolescents by 4%. Missed opportunities have decreased by 3.7%. KC has also ensured that patient populations tied to each location are more clearly defined, resulting in immunization rates that are higher and more accurate.

Samantha Congdon is a nurse for two schools within the West Ada School District. She works daily with students and their parents to encourage immunizations and ensure students are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. She has also offered immunization clinics at school registration to ease the burden of access for parents to get their children immunized for school. Samantha’s advocacy for immunizations extends beyond the West Ada School District. During the hearing for Senate Bill 1050 this year, Samantha gave exceptional legislative testimony for school immunization exemption forms using her perspective as a school nurse and as the current president for the School Nurse Organization of Idaho. In her testimony, Samantha spoke about the importance of having a standard school exemption form for the health and safety of school children. Her valuable input even prompted the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Director, Richard Armstrong, to tell the Senate Committee Chair that he did not need to give any concluding remarks about the Senate Bill because Samantha said everything he wanted say about advocating for a standard exemption form. Samantha is a champion for immunizations, and as a result she sits on a number of committees which serve to improve the health of school students and the community.

Leti goes above and beyond to make sure that the staff at her clinics are properly immunizing children, and that they are fully in compliance with Idaho Immunization Program Policies & Guidelines. When issues are found during site visits, Leti works to make sure that they are resolved as quickly as possible and always seems to genuinely care about correcting anything that needs to be addressed. After her last site visit, Leti sent the required follow-up information before her feedback information had even been sent. Leti is also thorough in her attention to detail and has implemented office policies to minimize error within the clinics she oversees. For example, she has developed her own nursing station worksheet, and she requires all staff to document any Idaho Immunization Program-supplied vaccines that are used, along with all of the patient and administration information. Staff are then required to compare this worksheet daily with patient charts in the EHR and with patient IRIS records to ensure that there are no documentation errors. These detailed practices help minimize inventory issues. Leti’s dedication and precision make her an immunization champion.

Representative Jeff Thompson showed that he is active in advancing immunization related policies for infants and young children in Idaho through his carrying of Senate Bill 1081 to the House floor during the 2017 Idaho Legislative Session. The perseverance he demonstrated in carrying this bill contributed to its passage despite several days of questions and voting delays. His significant involvement in the successful passing of Senate Bill 1081 means that the Idaho Immunization Assessment will be extended for another two years, beginning on July 1, 2017. Through his commitment to this key piece of legislation, Idaho can continue to operate as a universal vaccine supply state. The Idaho Immunization Assessment has led to reduced vaccine costs for insurers and providers while increasing vaccination access for Idaho’s children. With more access to vaccine, children have more opportunities for getting fully immunized and, with better immunization coverage, vaccine preventable diseases will be prevented. Representative Thompson has served as a key member of the Idaho Immunization Assessment Board (IIAB) for years. He was not only instrumental in communicating the importance of the Idaho Immunization Assessment, but he also understands the benefits that the Assessment brings to Idaho providers and children. Through his dedication and service, Representative Thompson is working to improve the health of Idaho’s children.

2017 Immunization Rate Awards

The Idaho Immunization Program has standardized its rate achievement award criteria, as well as rate improvement award criteria.  For calendar year 2016, rate awards were given to providers who meet or exceed the Healthy People 2020 immunization goals for the 4th dose of DTaP (90%), the 2nd dose of Hep A (85%), and the 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series (80%); rate improvement awards were given to providers with a 15% or more increase for one dose of Tdap.

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Organization Percent Number of Patients
LATAH COMMUNITY HEALTH CHAS 100 5
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH JEROME 100 13
ST LUKES SALMON RIVER CLINIC 100 5
TERRY REILLY MELBA CLINIC 100 11
MATT JOYCE MD 97 120
BRIZZEE FAMILY MEDICINE 95 20
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH BLAINE 93 15
EASTERN IDAHO PUBLIC HEALTH MUD LAKE 92 12
PRIMARY HEALTH MERIDIAN 92 13
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO PUBLIC HEALTH BUTTE COUNTY 92 13
ST LUKES TREASURE VALLEY PEDIATRICS 92 155
TREASURE VALLEY FAMILY MEDICINE 92 12
MACHEN FAMILY MEDICINE 91 11
BINGHAM FAMILY MEDICINE 90 10
EMMETT FAMILY MEDICINE AND DIRECT PRIMARY CARE 90 10
HEALTH WEST ABERDEEN 90 31
SAMG BOISE PEDIATRICS 90 946
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH MINI-CASSIA 90 77
Organization Percent Number of Patients
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH JEROME 92 13
MADISON MEMORIAL REXBURG MEDICAL CLINIC 88 138

Organization Percent Number of Patients
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH JEROME 100 13
MATT JOYCE MD 96 120
EASTERN IDAHO PUBLIC HEALTH MUD LAKE 92 12
PRIMARY HEALTH MERIDIAN 92 13
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO PUBLIC HEALTH BUTTE COUNTY 92 13
TREASURE VALLEY FAMILY MEDICINE 92 12
ST LUKES TREASURE VALLEY PEDIATRICS 91 155
BINGHAM FAMILY MEDICINE 90 10
BRIZZEE FAMILY MEDICINE 90 20
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH MINI-CASSIA 90 77
BORRON FAMILY MEDICINE 88 8
FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES KIMBERLY 87 23
HEALTH WEST ABERDEEN 87 31
SAMG BOISE PEDIATRICS 87 946
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH BLAINE 87 15
EAGLE PEDIATRICS 86 59
MADISON MEMORIAL REXBURG MEDICAL CLINIC 86 138
ST LUKES TRAVEL MEDICINE 86 7
DR M COLE JOHNSON & MERRICK REYNOLDS OFFICE 85 154
ST LUKES SYRINGA FAMILY MEDICINE 85 20
ST LUKES TREASURE VALLEY PEDIATRICS IDAHO 85 812
ADA PEDIATRICS 84 264
MOUNTAIN VIEW FAMILY MEDICINE PO 84 123
PRIMARY HEALTH BROADWAY 84 31
PRIMARY HEALTH CALDWELL 83 18
SAMG LAKE HAZEL 83 6
FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES BURLEY 82 79
FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES JEROME 82 60
IDAHO FALLS PEDIATRICS WEST SIDE 82 518
SOUTH CENTRAL PUBLIC HEALTH GOODING 82 34
ST LUKES TREASURE VALLEY PEDIATRICS 82 866
TERRY REILLY MELBA CLINIC 82 11
FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES RUPERT 81 27
THE FAMILY CLINIC 81 81
CARIBOU MEDICAL CLINIC 80 25
EMERGENCY RESPONDERS HEALTH CENTER 80 5
EMMETT FAMILY MEDICINE AND DIRECT PRIMARY CARE 80 10
LATAH COMMUNITY HEALTH CHAS 80 5
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO PUBLIC HEALTH POWER COUNTY 80 5
SPECIALIZED FAMILY MEDICINE 80 5
   
Organization Percent Increase Number of Patients
CENTENNIAL JOB CORPS 61 8
PANHANDLE HEALTH KELLOGG 35 32
BINGHAM FAMILY MEDICINE 29 56
SAMG FRUITLAND HEALTH PLAZA 29 114
PANHANDLE HEALTH BONNERS FERRY 26 122
NIMIIPUU HEALTH CLINIC LAPWAI 25 243
CENTRAL DISTRICT HEALTH MOUNTAIN HOME 24 220
PRIMARY HEALTH DOWNTOWN 22 407
CATALYST MEDICAL GROUP MOSCOW FAMILY MEDICINE 21 1207
PRIMARY HEALTH CROSSROADS 19 796
ST LUKES FAMILY MEDICINE DR WATERS 19 99
CENTRAL DISTRICT HEALTH MCCALL 18 59
MAIN FAMILY MEDICAL 18 97
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO PUBLIC HEALTH ONEIDA COUNTY 18 203
THE PEDIATRIC AND ADOLESCENT CENTER 18 1172
CENTER FOR LIFETIME HEALTH 17 235
HEALTH WEST PRESTON 16 46
PRIMARY HEALTH EAGLE 16 1095
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT PAYETTE COUNTY 16 175
DOCTORS CLINIC OF ELMORE COUNTY 15 65
PEND OREILLE HEALTHCARE 15 22
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT WASHINGTON COUNTY 15 176
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