VCHI receives grant to improve vaccination rates for HPV

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The Virginia Center for Health Innovation (VCHI) has received a $225,000 grant from Merck to improve vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) in western Virginia.

The HPV vaccine helps prevent cancers by HPV, one of the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted infections.

Each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV causes 33,700 cancers in the U.S. The vaccination can prevent most of those (about 31,200) from developing.

Due to a recent effort by the Virginia Department of Health, VCHI and other state partners, HPV vaccination rates have been improving. In 2016, Virginia Health Value Dashboard data showed 35 percent of girls and 22.5 percent for boys had received the HPV vaccine, well below a federal goal of an 80 percent vaccination rate. By 2017, Virginia’s HPV vaccination rate had improved to 53 percent.

Virginia Vaccinates is designed to build on that success by improving education for providers and sharing with them their own performance data. Under the program, VCHI is coordinating with 40 pediatric and family medicine sites from Ballad Health, Carilion Clinic and UVA Health System. 

Each site will have a kick-off event followed by a six-month virtual coaching and online education period. Participating clinicians will have access to the Virginia Health Innovation Network, which will house tools and resources and webinars. Participating practices will review reports from their own electronic health records to measure progress.

VCHI was formed in 2012 to accelerate value-driven models of health care and wellness in Virginia.

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