2019 HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Award Winner Spotlights
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center— St. Margaret Bloomfield Garfield Family Health Center
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) St. Margaret Bloomfield Garfield Family Health Center was established in 1984, in a disadvantaged urban neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The health center serves predominantly low income and African American patients, registering 10,000 patient visits per year. It also serves as headquarters for the school health partnership with five East End Pittsburgh schools.
Over the past few years, the health center pursued two successive quality improvement projects to increase HPV vaccination rates for their patients. These projects have been successful due to strong leadership and enthusiastic participation of the entire staff. Serving as the health center’s vaccine champion, Dr. Donald Middleton teaches residents and faculty to make an effective recommendation using presumptive language. In addition to being a champion for the health center, Dr. Middleton also shares his expertise on how to make effective vaccine recommendations at local, UPMC system, county, regional, and national meetings.
Staff at the health center take prevention seriously, while addressing it in fun, engaging ways. Creativity and perseverance are the hallmarks of their HPV vaccination improvement project. One of the health center’s pharmacists interviewed students at a local high school; the students recommended posters containing facts about HPV consequences, an immediate reward for vaccine receipt, and text messaged vaccination reminders. The health center also sponsors an HPV poster contest in the local community; the winning posters are included in their fifth-grade puberty classes and educational materials.
These efforts led the health center to an impressive 77% completion rate for both male and female patients. For their innovative approach to improving vaccination rates in their community, the UPMC St. Margaret Bloomfield Garfield Family Health Center is Pennsylvania’s 2019 HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion!