Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Immunization Program (NHIP) held its 2014 statewide conference at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on March 26, with over 400 attendees. Each year the Immunization Program recognizes health care provider offices in New Hampshire that achieve a high standard of excellence in immunization, meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals and vaccine management standards. DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Montero presented ten New Hampshire medical practices the Excellence in Immunization awards in three categories: (1) Excellence in Vaccines for Children Program: Childhood Initiatives, (2) Excellence in Vaccines for Children Program: Adolescent Initiatives, and (3) Excellence in Adult Immunization.
Excellence in Vaccines for Children Program: Childhood Immunization Initiatives awards were given to Core Pediatrics Exeter, Doctors Park Pediatrics, Merrimack Valley Pediatrics, Nashua Pediatrics, and Weeks Medical Center: North Stratford Physicians. Excellence in Vaccines for Children Program: Adolescent Initiatives awards were given to Alton Family Medicine a department of Huggins Hospital, Belknap Family Health Center–Meredith, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester Pediatrics, Elliot Pediatrics and Primary Care at Raymond, and Nashua Medical Group. NHIP identified the following medical practices for Excellence in Adult Vaccination Initiatives: Central NH Regional Public Health Network, Core Pediatrics Exeter and Core Pediatrics Plaistow, and the Manchester Health Department.
The keynote speech at the conference was given by Carolyn Bridges, MD, FACP, Associate Director for Adult Immunizations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Bridges outlined recommendations and coverage estimates for adult immunizations as well as the barriers doctors commonly face when trying to keep their adult patients up to date with their vaccinations. The afternoon session featured the author of the award winning “The Panic Virus: The True Story of the Vaccine-Autism Controversy,” journalist Seth Mnookin, who spoke of his experience researching and writing about vaccines and vaccine safety.
"This year, the Planning Committee did an outstanding job of expanding our audience beyond our traditional pediatric and family group to include adult providers,” says New Hampshire Immunization Section Chief Marcella Bobinsky. “New Hampshire’s adult immunization rates leave much to be desired, and with last fall’s launch of our ‘Start the Conversation’ campaign, NHIP is placing high value on helping our providers implement evidence-based practices to achieve the best rates possible—through this conference, our campaign toolkit, and ongoing provider education. We are thrilled to have hosted Dr. Bridges who was exceptional in highlighting the importance of keeping our 18 to 64 population vaccinated.”
“New Hampshire vaccine providers and community programs are committed to reaching excellent standards of care and seeing that New Hampshire residents are immunized,” said Bobinsky. “We are confident this good work will continue and we will see our immunization numbers continue to improve.”
Certificates of Appreciation were also given to the New Hampshire Medical Society, the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioners Association, and the New Hampshire Nurses’ Association for their co-sponsorship of “Start the Conversation…,” NHIP’s awareness campaign to increase adult immunizations.
For more information about the New Hampshire Immunization Program visit the DHHS website at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/immunization/index.htm.