Southern Wisconsin Immunization Consortium
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Southern Wisconsin Immunization Consortium Update
The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative is committed to work with others in rural Wisconsin to improve the rate of childhood immunizations through the newly formed Southern Wisconsin Immunization Consortium. In cooperation with Dean Health Plan (DHP) and Unity Health Insurance, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative staff identified a particularly low childhood immunization rate for Dean and Unity enrollees in rural southern Wisconsin. Health plan data showed that for 2010 the combined Childhood Immunization Status rate for children age two in urban Dane County was 77% and the average in the rural counties studied was 66%. The national 90% and 85% HEDIS benchmarks for 2010, were, respectively, 89% and 85% (compared to85% and 80% in 2008). While the rural on time rate has risen in the past three years, the national benchmarks are significantly higher, leaving rural Wisconsin counties even further behind.
The formation of a multi-county consortium to work together across the multiple sectors to achieve higher immunization rates was suggested by local county public health directors. The collaboration is now known as the Southern Wisconsin Immunization Consortium (SWIC). Support to develop SWIC has been received for two years from the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute Fellowship Program through support for a 0.5 FTE Fellow as well as financial support from Dean and Unity Health Plans and support from the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.
The coalition is now in its 9th month and is moving forward with great strides. The coalition has grown to include seven counties in southwest Wisconsin and has drawn membership from local practitioners as well. The coalition has developed three committees to address three major goals for the first year: collecting a strong network of partners, developing a unified media message campaign, and collecting best practices. The committees have varied membership and have begun to meet regularly, brainstorming new initiatives for the coalition. Some current key initiatives include: creating and disseminating a monthly newsletter, collecting best practices surrounding the vaccination encounter, and brainstorming ways to get alternative practitioners, such as chiropractors involved in the coalition. The coalition plans to host a “Kick-Off Meeting” on April 24th, 2012. Members of the regional public health and medical community have been invited to Dodgeville for an evening to learn about the coalition and its goals. After the meeting, SWIC plans to coordinate and disseminate a large multi-media campaign to promote immunizations in the area. This will target practitioners as well as the general community. Finally, the coalition has gathered a collection of their own best practices and plans to identify areas to improve practices and ways to share these practices and improvement plans.
The coalition meets monthly at the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative. Members from seven counties (Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, Sauk and Columbia) are present, as well as representatives from Dean, Unity, the Office of Rural Health, and practitioners in the community. The coalition has productive discussions about the barriers that cause lowered immunization rates in the area and projects to tackle these issues. For example, the issue of covered individuals having to seek immunizations at public health because clinics are not offering immunizations was raised. The group discussed multi-sector approaches to solving this issue and others like it.
Dane County Immunization 2011 Update Materials:
"Dr. Conway's Presentation at the 2011 Dane County Immunization Update" (PPT)
"Vaccine Update from 2011 Dane County Immunization Update" (PPT)
"Video from 2011 Dane County Immunization Update" (Link to Video)