FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 21, 2014
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5221
LEAWOOD, Kan. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older. With that in mind, the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014–15 Senior Immunization Grant Awards.
Funding for Senior Immunization Grant Awards is provided by the WellPoint Foundation, and Pfizer, Inc. In addition to receiving a grant to implement a quality improvement and/or community-based project, the winners will receive a travel scholarship to present the findings at the AAFP’s 2015 National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, Aug. 7-9.
“We are proud to recognize these 16 programs, which have made it their mission to raise awareness and protect their communities from infectious diseases,” said Craig M. Doane, AAFP Foundation executive director. “These programs share our vision of improving health for everyone, and we hope they will serve as examples of best practices for others who look to increase vaccination rates in their communities.”
The Foundation presented 16 Senior Immunization Grant Awards to Family Medicine residency programs across the country:
The grants provide support to Family Medicine residency programs to implement quality improvement and community-based projects that will improve influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates in patients age 65 and older during the 2014–15 flu season.
“We know that members of our senior community are among the most vulnerable population during flu season, accounting for 90 percent of flu-related deaths,” said Richard Frank, medical director of Medicare programs at WellPoint. “So we’re honored to be able to support the AAFP Foundation in this unique program that will help keep seniors healthy.”
The AAFP Foundation Immunization Awards selection committee chose this year’s winners based on their ability to implement best practices and identify high-impact, team-based solutions to increase influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates in seniors.
“Pfizer is pleased to support, along with WellPoint and the AAFP Foundation, this important public health outreach and recognition,” said Jack Watters, vice president, Pfizer External Medical Affairs. “To achieve healthy and active aging, it’s important for the AAFP Foundation to recognize and support creative Family Medicine residency programs which are improving the health and well-being of older people in their communities.”
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 115,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is nearly 214 million office visits each year — nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).
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Family Medicine Residency Programs Receive Support to Improve Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunization Rates in Seniors during the 2014–15 Flu Season