By Gretchen Homan, MD, FAAP
This year IKC celebrates lots of accomplishments. IKC had a successful legislative event in Topeka and launched HPV vaccine videos. We participated in the Our Tomorrows project with KU and collected hundreds of stories about vaccines from around the state. Out of all of these huge endeavors, my favorite was the successful effort to improve immunization requirements for school attendance starting this school year. I had the opportunity to speak at the public hearing in Topeka and I am so proud of all the people who worked together toward this important achievement. At the Advisory Council for Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting in June, they strengthened their support for vaccination against hepatits A. Our state chose to take steps to help ensure our school children are protected from hepatits A and from meningococcal disease. Data consistently shows that school requirements improve vaccination rates. As we hear about outbreaks of disease in other states we must stay vigilant and involved. Be proud of Kansas and the Immunize Kansas Coalition. There are a lot of hard working, smart, caring people making a difference for preventive healthcare in Kansas.
I am happy to continue to be actively involved with IKC. As my sister who went to Europe this summer said (she was 8 hours ahead of us) the future is bright! IKC is working with Sharon Humiston, MD, to develop short apps with CMEs for physicians and provider office staff that will be released in the next several months. The apps will focus on vaccine specific topics such as recommending the HPV vaccine.