243085 YAMMRS: A community-wide response to the H1N1 pandemic

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:15 PM

Kevin A. Alvarnaz, MBA , Community Health Improvement, WellSpan Health, York, PA
In fall 2009, many communities across the United States were faced with the unprecedented need to respond to the novel H1N1 influenza pandemic. Without an existing government-led public health infrastructure, health care institutions, community-based organizations, emergency management agencies, and school districts in two southcentral Pennsylvania counties realized the need to collaborate and coordinate their approach to vaccinating CDC-defined priority populations. As the York/Adams Metropolitan Medical Response System (YAMMRS) and with input from school administrators, two separate initiatives were implemented a school-based program for students and community clinics for preschool children, adults with chronic disease conditions, and other priority groups. YAMMRS organized into five committees, each with distinct responsibilities for the initiative. The responsibilities, logistical challenges and program adaptations that each group encountered will be discussed. More than 1100 clinical and non-clinical volunteers were recruited to assist with the campaign through a unique website and credentials were verified; 47% actively volunteered at one or more site. Easy-to-understand fact sheets, consent forms and other materials were distributed by all public, private and parochial schools across the two-county region. Approximately 52,500 H1N1 vaccine doses were administered during school hours in 142 school buildings and on 2 college campuses during the campaign. An additional 3100 doses were administered at a series of community clinics held in each county. The YAMMRS H1N1 vaccination initiative demonstrated the ability of diverse sectors to collaborate in addressing a significant community issue while also developing an excellent model that may easily be replicated for future public health needs.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the process by which community stakeholders, specifically school district administrators, were engaged in the coordination of an in-school vaccination campaign 2. Explain the logistical challenges encountered in managing vaccine, staffing, and associated paperwork for a two-county region and a multi-month campaign 3. Identify and share program successes and opportunity for replicating to meet future public health opportunities

Keywords: School Health, Community Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, I served as the vaccination coordinator for a multi-county agency (YAMMRS) and coordinated the distribution and administration of 55,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.