Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pee Dee AHEC Completes Year One of NAO Grant for HPV Immunization Education

Pee Dee AHEC recently completed year one as a recipient of a National AHEC Organization (NAO) grant to conduct HPV (Human Papillomavirus) immunization education. This is the first of a potential five-year grant supporting this education.  The purpose of the grant is to disseminate education to providers on the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for immunization practices in the prevention of HPV.

The CDC has broadened its recommendations from 11- and 12-year-old girls to the addition of males in this age group, as well as males and females ages 13-26 who did not receive the immunizations at a younger age or did not complete the three dose series. In addition, they have added recommendations for any male through age 26 who engages in sex with other men and for men with compromised immune systems (including HIV) through age 26 if they did not receive the HPV vaccine when they were younger.

During the first year of the grant, health professions students from Pee Dee, Low Country, and Mid Carolina AHECs completed the training, as did a large group from the Pee Dee Pharmacy Association.  In addition, Benjamin Elder, M.D., faculty with McLeod Family Practice Residency Program, provided an HPV vaccine update at the November advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) monthly meeting. This update was recorded and is available as an on-demand CE program for APRNs, nurses and students through the South Carolina Health Occupations Outreach Learning System (SCHOOLS). Register by visiting the SC AHEC SCHOOLS website at www.scahec.net/schools.

Plans for year two of the HPV grant include collaborations with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the American Cancer Society, and the South Carolina Association of School Nurses in a state-wide effort to disseminate information to providers of the vaccine and/or correlating information regarding the vaccine.

Anyone interested in arranging HPV immunization education for other health care provider groups are encouraged to contact Pee Dee AHEC Continuing Education Coordinator Cheryl Neuner at cneuner@mcleodhealth.org or 843-777-5347. 

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