Background: Immunization coalitions engage communities to positively impact immunization rates. Secondary goals include identifying immunization rates and barriers for communities served. University partners may share these goals, and also seek service learning and scholarly activity opportunities. The Immunization Task Force - Metro Omaha collaborates with Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions in community engagement activities such as Health Fairs and immunization conferences. The partners document impact of these activities and concurrently assess immunization status for engaged populations.
Setting: Public health locations, such as health fairs, health professional education programs, and immunization clinics.
Population: Adult populations from a broad range of socioeconomic, educational, and cultural backgrounds were screened. These included immunization professionals; parents of school children receiving free school physicals and screenings; university employees and students; Latino, Caucasian, and Afro-American groups attending Health Fairs. Language barriers were addressed for some populations.
Project Description: A survey screening form, developed through an independent student project, was used. The form was completed by the survey respondent directly, or by trained health professional and student volunteers in a screening encounter. A marked vaccine schedule was provided to the interviewee, to identify vaccines received, potential vaccine needs, and to promote follow-up with a vaccine provider. The completed screening form was retained to document the encounter and provide descriptive research data.
Results/Lessons Learned: Several community engagement activities are documented for this report. Demographic and vaccination data for targeted groups are presented. This descriptive research allows some comparison of immunization rates and characteristics of the populations served by these activities. Goals of both coalition and university partners were met in documenting engagement activities, providing experiential education opportunities, and gaining a “snap shot” of served populations.