Ironton medical center wins award

Published 9:26 am Monday, March 21, 2011

The St. Mary’s/CAO Ironton Family Medical Center has received an award from the Ohio Department of Health.

The center will be the recipient of an  AFIX Improvement Award for 2011 for exhibiting great improvement in its immunization coverage rates for the recommended vaccine series for children under 2 years .

As part of its Immunization Action Plan grant through ODH, the Lawrence County Health Department conducts AFIX programs for local medical practices, providing a free and confidential statistical analysis of their immunization rates for children under two years, called an AFIX (Assessment, Feedback, Incentive, eXchange).

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The information from this process is utilized by the practice to develop strategies to increase immunization rates, striving for the national goal of having 90 percent of children up-to-date on recommended immunizations by age 2, because they are the most vulnerable population for vaccine-preventable illnesses.

“This is a great forward step for this county,” said Mary Jon Holtzapfel, RN, immunization Coordinator at the Lawrence County Health Department and county AFIX facilitator. “Ironton Family Medical Center has been a long-standing participant in the AFIX program, and has truly taken the identified strategies to heart in their own practice.

“Dr. Kim Oxley and her staff are to be congratulated for their commitment to protecting our youngest citizens.”

The ceremony honoring high-achieving practices will be held during the 2011 Consortia for Immunized and Healthy Communities (CHIC) conference on Friday May 13 at Windows on the River in Cleveland, where plaques will be awarded.

Through its IAP grant the Health Department also offers the MOBI (Maximizing Office-Based Immunization) educational program to practices, providing a one-hour continuing education program on immunization strategies, schedules, and best practice standards. It is co-sponsored by the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians, Ohio Department of Health, and participating county health departments.

For more information on both the AFIX and MOBI programs contact the Lawrence County Health Department at 740-532-3962.