Atlantic Health Center Receives Pediatric Immunization Award
The Atlantic Health Center's pediatric clinic team of Debbie Davis,
Certified Nurse Practitioner, Fran Grafton, RN, and Julie Koenig, RN,
have been selected for a 2009 Childhood Immunization Excellence Award
from the Maryland Childhood Immunization Partnership (MCIP). They are
among only fifteen practices in the state to receive this award.
It’s been a goal in the U.S. to improve vaccine compliance. In the
past, vaccines were not provided free of charge to those who were unable
pay for them. Compliance was often financially linked to those children
who were insured or to those who could afford to pay. The cost of vaccines
was often times prohibitive to children who were the most vulnerable.
The MMR vaccine, for example, costs more than $100.
After review of vaccine administration records and with the effort of
many advocate groups, the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) was introduced.
The program, which has been in place for more than 10 years, provides
free vaccines to offices that have pediatric patients, helping get more
Even with the free vaccines, compliance is not always easy to achieve.
A mild cold resulting in a missed vaccine or missed well check appointment
often prevents children from receiving their immunizations on schedule.
Missed opportunities to correct this, such as when a child comes in later
for a mild illness, are often overlooked if the staff does not vigilantly
check the child's record.
At the Atlantic Health Center, the program is successful based largely
on the dedication of the pediatric team to administer the vaccines and
to keep and monitor records effectively. Registered nurse Fran Grafton,
a provider with fifteen years of experience, has taken the lead in ordering
the vaccines, monitoring the children's records and assisting in the
audits of the program. Registered nurse Julie Koenig, primary nurse to
pediatric nurse practitioner Debbie Davis, monitors the immunization records
of the children that present for appointments other than scheduled vaccines
At the Atlantic Health Center, every vaccine record is closely monitored,
even at sick visits, to try to catch up those who are behind. In addition,
every effort is made to get records from schools and prior providers if
the record is not available at the office.
“The pediatric team at the Atlantic Health Center works in a coordinated
effort to ensure effective and proactive treatment for the area’s
littlest and most vulnerable population,” said Deborah Wolf, the
center’s manager. “I congratulate them on a job well done."