National Infant Immunization Week: Celebrate Vaccine Success

niiw-logo-color-englishBy Lisa McKeown, MPH, Senior Program Analyst, NACCHO

April 18–25 is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), a part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Immunization Week initiative. During this week, health organizations from all six WHO regions will promote immunization and advance equity in the use of and access to vaccines. Next week, while continuing to effectively vaccinate infants and children, increase vaccination rates, and ensure healthy futures for infants, NACCHO encourages local health departments (LHDs) to celebrate their success and continue to strive for increased disease prevention through vaccination.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing infectious disease and death. Vaccines protect not only individuals but entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. From infants to adults, timely immunization and vaccinating according to the recommended schedule from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is the best way to protect individuals and communities from serious disease and infection. Since 1994, local and state health departments, national partners, parents, and providers have collaborated to continue to ensure that infants and children are immunized during NIIW and throughout the year.

Routine childhood immunization in infants within one year of their birth prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths. It also saves about $13.5 billion in direct healthcare costs.1 It’s easy to think that vaccine preventable diseases no longer exist; however, most vaccine preventable diseases still exist somewhere in the world and are just a plane ride away from the United States. For instance, in 2014, the United States experienced the highest number of measles cases, 644 cases in 27 states since measles was eliminated in 2000.2 Recent increases in unvaccinated people and international travelers has resulted in a resurgence of measles domestically.

To promote NIIW in your community, visit CDC’s website for resources and use these sample messages:

  • Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They help protect not only vaccinated individuals but also entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Among children born during 1994–2013, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
  • Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community.
  • Healthcare professionals remain parents’ most trusted source of information about vaccines for their children. They play a critical role in supporting parents in understanding and choosing vaccinations.

For additional key messages visit CDC’s NIIW key messages website. The CDC also tracks 2015 local and state activities for NIIW. If you are conducting a NIIW 2015 activity, be sure to share with the public health community through submitting a NACCHO story from the field and completing this form for CDC’s NIIW website.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). NIIW (National Infant Immunization Week). Retrieved on April 13, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/overview.html
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Measles Cases and Outbreaks. Retrieved on April 13, 2015, from http://cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html

Evaluating the Efficacy of your CHIP Coalition: An Interview with Eileen Eisen-Cohen, PhD, MSW

eileen-eisen-cohen

Dr. Eileen Eisen-Cohen

The following post is part of a series of interviews with local health department (LHD) staff who will present at the NACCHO Annual 2015 conference. Eileen Eisen-Cohen, PhD, MSW, Performance Improvement Manager, Maricopa County (AZ) Department of Public Health, previews her session “Evaluating a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Partnership by Using PARTNER, a Social Network Analysis Tool—Maricopa County, AZ.” In the session, Eisen-Cohen will co-present with J. Mac McCullough, PhD, MPH, Health Economist, Assistant Professor, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Arizona State University. Their session will discuss how to effectively evaluate CHIP coalitions.

  • Thanks for taking the time to speak with NACCHO Voice about your session at NACCHO Annual 2015. To start, why are CHIPs so important to local health departments (LHDs) and to the health of communities in general?

CHIPs are designed to bring together as many of the partners, in a public health system, to create an action plan to impact the leading public health priority areas identified in the community health assessment (CHA). The CHIP identifies areas where we can have the largest impact on improving the quality of life for all residents, particularly the most vulnerable. This is especially important because within communities there are organizations with similar and different missions that can impact public health when working together. With expertise in evidence-based approaches, population health data, surveillance, evaluation, and community development, LHDs can serve as a neutral convener and backbone support organization for this work. Continue reading

National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Tools for Local Health Departments

angerphoto_violenceBy Alyssa Banks, Senior Program Analyst, Injury and Violence Prevention, NACCHO

In April 2014, President Obama announced that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As public health practitioners, we are reminded that millions of children and adolescents are exposed to violence and experience maltreatment early in life. Exposure to violence and maltreatment is a significant problem, as it can cause serious physical, mental, and emotional health problems and lead to injuries and death. Continue reading

National Youth Violence Prevention Week: How Planning and Partnerships Can Help LHDs Address the Problem

cotton-sashaBy Sasha Cotton, Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator, City of Minneapolis Health Department

March 23–27 is National Youth Violence Prevention Awareness Week. The week offers an excellent opportunity for public health practitioners to think about the critical role we play in preventing youth violence. It challenges each of us to think about how our efforts are, or could be, impacting this important public health issue. Continue reading

Three Steps to Help Local Health Departments Prevent New Cases of Diabetes

By Camillia Easley, MPH, Program Analyst, Healthy Communities/Chronic Disease, NACCHO, and Brandie Adams-Piphus, MPH, Senior Program Analyst, NACCHO

March 24 is Diabetes Alert Day, an opportunity for local health departments (LHDs) to raise awareness about diabetes prevention. Nearly 29 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and nearly 86 million American adults have prediabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a one-year, community-based lifestyle improvement program for adults with pre-diabetes. Continue reading

Tabletop Exercises Shed Light on Radiation Preparedness Efforts

DuPageSmallBy Katie Regan, Communications Specialist, Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response, NACCHO

This post originally ran on NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief blog. For more preparedness news and information, visit http://www.nacchopreparedness.org.

Imagine thousands of people gathered at a popular park for an outdoor music festival: They are crowded together, distracted by the music, and unaware of their surroundings. Imagine the park is in a downtown urban area—one of the largest in the country—and bordered by skyscrapers filled with people working, shopping, and cooking dinner. The park is a major tourist attraction and holds baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and three museums within its borders. The park is packed with people even in the areas not fenced off for the concert.

Now imagine that a dirty bomb goes off in the park, without any warning.

The DuPage County Health Department in Illinois was asked to do just that recently when NACCHO staff conducted a tabletop exercise that tested the health department’s ability to provide public shelters in the face of a radiological incident. Continue reading

On-Road Use of ATVs Poses Substantial Safety Risks

atvBy Stephen Oesch

Hundreds die each year in all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crashes on public roads. Unfortunately, more states, counties, and cities are increasing the risk to public health by permitting on-the-road use.

ATVs are made for off-road use. Although many ATVs can reach highway speeds, their low-pressure tires are not designed for road use. The dangers of using ATVs on the road are communicated by warnings on the machines, from the vehicle manufacturers, and from the consumer and public health community. Nonetheless, large numbers of people take their ATVs on public roads, despite the dangers. Continue reading