The Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine team at Gifford Health Care has been named Vermont’s 2018 “HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion” for outstanding efforts to protect adolescents from cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The award, announced last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society, and Association of American Cancer Institutes, recognizes clinics and practices that go above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination in their community.
According to award program officials, “after a thorough review from healthcare professionals committed to achieving high HPV vaccination rates, Gifford Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine is recognized as the most deserving nominee from Vermont.” Gifford is one of 32 award recipients nationwide.
“This award reflects the leadership demonstrated by our providers in promoting HPV vaccination in central Vermont,” said Dr. Louis DiNicola, who nominated the Gifford team. “That leadership has included strong internal collaboration, educational programs in our community, and an innovative reminder system designed by Pediatric Nurse Manager Danielle Davis as part of our ongoing HPV Quality Improvement project.”
Since initiating the project, the Gifford team has achieved a 30 percent increase in the HPV vaccine series completion rate for the patient population aged 13-17, from 51.8 percent in 2016 Quarter 1 to 81 percent today, and to 81.4 percent for the patient population aged 13-15—surpassing the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent coverage.
HPV vaccine is important because it protects against cancers caused by human papillomavirus infection. HPV is a very common virus; nearly 80 million people are currently infected in the United States. Every year in the U.S., 33,700 women and men are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers—about 31,000—from occurring. Both boys and girls should start the HPV vaccine series when they are 11 or 12 years old and finish all recommended doses before age 13.The HPV vaccine series can be started as early as age 9.
For more information about the award, and to read Gifford’s spotlight on the CDC website, visit cdc.gov/hpv. For more information about Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Gifford, visit giffordhealthcare.org/service/primary-care.
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