AcademyHealth and the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC) today announced a new partnership funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed at improving immunization rates for low-income children and pregnant women enrolled in the Medicaid program.

“Despite coverage through Medicaid and the Vaccines for Children Program, low-income children and pregnant women have consistently lower vaccination rates than those with higher incomes,” AcademyHealth Vice President and project lead Enrique Martinez-Vidal said. “While there are a variety of reasons for this disparity, collaboration between Medicaid programs and other key stakeholders can help address barriers to improving immunization rates for these important populations.”

To facilitate this collaboration, the project will engage AcademyHealth’s Medicaid Medical Directors Network (MMDN), a learning community engaged in peer-to-peer learning and dialogue among senior clinical leaders of 43 state Medicaid programs. AcademyHealth and CCIC, a non-profit with 26 years of experience advancing strategies to improve immunization coverage rates, will work closely with four to six states from the MMDN, who will form multidisciplinary teams comprised of a Medicaid Medical Director, an Immunization State Program Manager and a State Immunization Information System Coordinator. AcademyHealth and CCIC will work with these teams to identify barriers to and share promising practices for increasing immunization rates for children and pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid. AcademyHealth will also disseminate lessons learned and promising practices to the broader MMDN to achieve wider outreach and impact.

An additional key objective of the project will be to identify strategies for improving sustainability of immunization information systems.

“The immunization information system is the backbone of any state’s immunization efforts,” said CCIC’s Executive Director Stephanie Wasserman said. “These systems help states ensure kids get timely and appropriate vaccinations to be protected from deadly communicable diseases, so making sure they are supported and widely used is essential.”

The goal of the project is to lead to positive impacts in immunization outreach procedures to increase immunization rates among lower-income children and pregnant women. Funding from the CDC provides full support for this project at $150,000 per year.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to work with the leadership of these two organizations,” said Aaron Borrelli, policy analyst at CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We think this collaboration can lead to reductions in vaccine-preventable diseases and, ultimately, to healthier populations.”

About the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition:
The Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC) is a statewide, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Its mission is to strategically mobilize diverse partners and families to advance children’s health through immunizations. CCIC does not accept funding from vaccine manufacturers or distributors. To learn more, visit www.childrensimmunization.org and connect with CCIC on Facebook and Twitter.

Staff

Lauren Adams, M.A.

Director of Communications and Public Relations - AcademyHealth

Lauren Adams, M.A., is director of communications and public relations at AcademyHealth, where she oversees pu... Read Bio