36703 Strenghtening Collaborations to Increase Immunization Rates in the Health Care Field

Karin Szymanski, M.Ed., BA, TAPI, The Arizona Partnership for Immunization, Phoenix, AZ

Background:  The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI) is a state-wide non-profit coalition with a mission to foster a comprehensive, sustained community program for the immunization of Arizonans against vaccine preventable diseases. This collaborative partnership brings stakeholders to the table to develop a sustainable community response to the problem of under immunization. 

Program background:  The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI) has been a trusted member of the Arizona health community for over two decades.  Paramount to TAPI’s success is collaboration with existing networks who share common values.  We rely on our networks to assist with development appropriate immunization messaging, disseminate health messaging, providing insight into community strengths and needs, and leveraging scarce resources creating efficient and effective workflows. One example is our recent Arizona Partners Against Pertussis (APAP) collaboration in response to rising rates of pertussis.  TAPI’s website served as the “home” to APAP’s fifteen agency network to reduce pertussis with a challenge to achieve 100% Tdap vaccination in healthcare workers across Arizona.  Pertussis prevention “Tool-kits” were available via TAPI’s website including promotional materials that agencies could customize to fit with their workflow. With each partner spreading both the “word” and the challenge the network grew to include childcare agencies, public schools, university professors and non-clinician support staff in both hospital and clinic settings.  The shared value of “protecting vulnerable infants” was powerful and effective in promoting collective action against pertussis.  

Evaluation Methods and Results:  The 2012-2013 APAP collaboration resulted in 2,000 healthcare workers pledging to be immunized against pertussis. 2,255 healthcare workers were educated about pertussis prevention via grand rounds.  This collaboration fulfilled The National Prevention Strategy call by empowering people to take action through clinical and community preventive services of immunization, reduced health disparities related to pertussis and improved the health and safety of the environment through reduction of pertussis transmission. 

Conclusions:  The Arizona Partnership for Immunization has developed a robust immunization coalition engaging partners around the state to develop well-defined marketing campaigns and quick response messaging with success. Our messaging consistently includes support by a variety of data and partnership feedback and often grows into much more than what it began as. This project has expanded to Flu messaging for health care workers through another committee in ADHS, HAI (Healthcare Associated Infections). 

Implications for research and/or practice:  The need to educate and mobilize other Health Care Workers and develop messaging that resonates specifically with this particular population is essential.