22538 A Congress That Gets Things Started!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall
Ruth Gubernick, MPH , Program Consultant, AAP, NJ Chapter
Jane Sarwin, MPH , Director, Gateway NW Maternal & Child Health Network and Coordin, Gateway NW Maternal & Child Health Network

Background: According to the National Immunization Survey (NIS), New Jersey ranks 43rd in delivering timely immunizations. There are multiple causes for NJ’s lower than acceptable immunization rates: inadequate funding, low rates of NJIIS participation, need for the underinsured to leave their medical home, increasing vaccine hesitancy and lack of a statewide immunization coalition.

Setting: The Congress was held at Princeton University in September 2009.

Population: Engaged key stakeholders from multiple disciplines to discuss challenges and identify solutions to improve New Jersey’s vaccine delivery and financing systems. 

Project Description: To close identified gaps and boost NJ’s NIS ranking, the American Academy of Pediatrics, New Jersey Chapter (AAPNJ), received grant-funding from AAP to work creatively to mobilize the invited participants.  Included were private and public primary care providers, medical directors/finance/billing experts from third party payers, representatives from vaccine manufacturers, parent advocates and NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, Vaccine Preventable Disease Program leadership.

Results/Lessons Learned: An action plan outlining solutions was prioritized and is being implemented. Strategies identified include:

  • Launching a multi-part education campaign targeting legislators.
  • Implementing a sustained social media campaign.
  • Improving the functionality of and participation in NJIIS.
  • Investigating how VFC providers could vaccinate their underinsured pediatric patients, participate in vaccine purchasing groups, and receive timely and equitable payments for immunization services.
AAPNJ’s Immunization Action Group (IAG) will prioritize these strategies into three workgroups with identified short- (6 month) and long-term (12 month) measurable outcomes and engage members under the umbrella of a statewide immunization coalition. The Congress provided a forum for brainstorming and consensus building which will form the basis of a plan to enhance NJ’s vaccine delivery system and address issues concerning vaccine finance.
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