Family Medicine Residencies Aim to Improve Immunization Rates in Seniors This Flu Season

Monday, Oct. 24, 2016

Stephanie A. Wilken
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 6053

Seven Programs Receive Senior Immunization Awards from the AAFP Foundation

LEAWOOD, Kansas -- Flu season can be deadly for those most vulnerable in the United States, but the best and the brightest family medicine residents across the country are working to change that with the help of grants from the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation. The National Center for Health Statistics ranked flu and pneumonia and as the eighth leading causes of death in the United States. Seniors are at greater risk of life-threatening complications from the flu and pneumonia, with more than  90 percent of all deaths from pneumonia occurring in people age 65 and older. Today, winners of the AAFP Foundation’s Senior Immunization Awards are in a position to improve senior immunization rates in their communities – and help keep seniors healthy.

The awards provide grant support to family medicine residency programs to execute quality improvement and community-based projects to improve influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates in patients age 65 and older during the 2016-2017 flu season. Funding for the awards is provided by Pfizer Inc.

Seven family medicine residencies received a Senior Immunization Award:
• Marshall University Family Medicine Residency Program, Huntington, West Virginia

• Methodist Family Medicine Residency Program, Dallas

• North Mississippi Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, Tupelo, Mississippi

• Sioux Falls Family Medicine Residency Program, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

• University of Arizona, Phoenix Family Medicine Residency, Phoenix

• University of Nevada, Las Vegas Family Medicine Residency Program, Las Vegas

• University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency Program at Cheyenne, Cheyenne, Wyoming

“We are proud to recognize these innovative programs, whose residents 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 exemplify our vision of improving health for everyone, and we hope they will serve as examples for others working to increase local vaccination rates.” 

Winners of this award were chosen based on their ability to design programs that reflect best practices and find creative, team-based solutions to raise influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates. 

“We at Pfizer congratulate this year’s winners and know that their experiences will pave the way to higher rates of immunization in a highly vulnerable population,” said Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, chief medical officer and executive vice president. “It’s important to support creative family medicine residency programs, especially those focused on prevention and avoidance of sickness and misery.” 


About the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
The AAFP Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians and advances the values of Family Medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational, and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people. To learn more about the Foundation and the programs we support visit

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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