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Regional Coordinator Information

Mara Lipschutz
Southeast Pennsylvania AHEC
(215) 405-0900
District of Columbia
Jennifer Berkman, Continuing Education Coordinator
Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center
(410) 221-2600
Lynne Williams, MD PhD
Southwest PA AHEC
(412) 408-3485
Aileen Harris
Capital Area Health Education Center
(804) 859-2808
West Virginia
Amber Crist, MS, CHES
Central West Virginia AHEC
(304) 734-2040, ext. 106
New Jersey

Success Stories

AHEC West gets creative in sharing HPV education

Project Specialist Joy Taylor (standing) leads a Plinko game with HPV trivia to staff, community and board members, at the AHEC West annual dinner.

AHEC West in Maryland, home to Project Specialist Joy Taylor, thinks outside the box when it comes to HPV education and programming.

Each year, AHEC West hosts an annual dinner event to highlight the work of their staff, community members, board members and many more. At this year's event, staff members were asked to provide booths, highlighting the different grants, projects and AHEC areas they work on.

Heavily involved in the HPV project, Taylor's booth included a Plinko game in which HPV education was shared trivia style with attendees. As part of the game, two interprofessional teams answered questions about HPV, winning points and ultimately the game. She also shared HPV handouts to attendees.

"The teams were highly engaged in answering the questions correctly, there was tons of dialogue and conversation, and many attendees felt better equipped with HPV knowledge to be an HPV Champion," Taylor said.

AHEC West also gets creative when it comes to providing the standard "You Are the Key" HPV education training to health professionals.

At a continuing education event in western Maryland, Taylor presented the 30-minute "You Are the Key" and added an additional speaker — a survivor who shared her story about navigating HPV-related cancer.

HPV was a topic at the same conference two years ago, but conference organizers felt that HPV was still a relevant topic. Attendees shared that the inclusion of a survivor speaker made the information more impactful and insightful.

"They were eager to take the clinical information and be able to take and apply it to their practice, while remembering the survivor's story when strongly recommending the HPV vaccine," Taylor said.

West Virginia Sees Success with HPV Oral Health Presentation

West Virginia Immunization Network, in conjunction with West Virginia Counties Central AHEC, has found repeated success with their CE Course for Oral Health Professionals. An original presentation was conducted in October by three outstanding dental and medical providers to an audience of dentists, dental hygienists, dental office staff, and nurses. Attendees represented many geographically different practice locations with 30 from urban-non-underserved, 19 from urban-underserved, and 32 attendees were from rural areas!

This was the first HPV presentation by these agencies that was requested and designed specifically for oral health providers. By focusing on the interprofessional aspect of oral and physical health, the presenters were able to convey the importance of oral HPV screenings and asking about immunizations at dental check ups. The attendees were very interested to learn more about HPV and HPV vaccination and since the training, many have reported that they are now speaking about the HPV vaccine more often with their patients, and in some cases, recommending it!

Based on such positive response to this training, these agencies are now planning a second HPV educational event for oral and health professionals in the northern part of the state! Great work to the WV Immunization Network and the WV Counties Central AHEC team for their success on a HPV presentation for oral health professionals.

New Jersey hosts school nurse education as part of HPV project

Participants in a recent HPV training in New Jersey indicated they came away with more confidence in speaking with parents and students on HPV vaccination. Garden AHEC, hosted by Inspira Health Network, held the live training program of “You are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention” Sept. 27, 2016 at Auletto Caterers in Deptford, NJ. Cindy Nevara, APN, of Vineland Gynecology Associates delivered the presentation to 34 participants, many of them school nurses in the South Jersey region. Eighty-seven percent of them responded that they plan to increase their discussions on HPV awareness and immunization with more of their patients and students now that they have participated in this continuing education program.

Established in 1982, Garden AHEC is part of the Education Department at Inspira Health Network which provides innovative quality educational services including classes, support groups, workshops, courses and professional journals to patients, healthcare providers, employees and the community. Garden AHEC is an approved provider of continuing education for nurses by the New Jersey State Nurses Association and an approved provider of professional development by the New Jersey Department of Education. Garden AHEC is also a partner of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, where Garden AHEC places first and third-year medical students in underserved community based sites within South Jersey. Program Director Rosie London, along with Program Coordinators Matt McCafferty and Alexia Clarke, are very excited to have joined the National AHEC Organization HPV Immunization Project six months ago and are enthusiastically intent on supporting the efforts to increase vaccination rates in their state.

Along with putting on the live training program, Garden AHEC was also a vendor at the Inspira Health Network Cancer Symposium on Sept. 29, 2016. There were a total of 96 participants, which included physicians, allied health members, and residents. Garden AHEC promoted the HPV Project through fliers and an e-mail sign-up sheet.

Garden AHEC is quickly gaining traction for its efforts with more than 1,500 people reached on its HPV Facebook page in the month of September. You can follow them on Facebook at: Garden AHEC HPV Facebook Page. For more information on Garden AHEC and their HPV Project updates, you can also visit their HPV website at: www.inspirahealthnetwork.org/HPV.

Funding for this presentation was made possible by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the National AHEC Organization.

Building relationships key to HPV project success

With no federally-funded AHEC program in Delaware, neighboring Southeast Pennsylvania AHEC relied on building relationships and forming partnerships to launch HPV education in that state as part of the National AHEC Organization’s HPV Immunization Project. During the first four months, Mara Lipschutz, director at the Southeast Pennsylvania AHEC, and Joy Taylor, Region B Coordinator, connected with immunization advocates in the state including the Delaware Medical Society, Delaware Academy of Medicine, Delaware Public Health Association, Delaware American Academy of Pediatrics and the Immunization Coalition of Delaware and laid the foundation for partnerships that will support strong dissemination of education and materials.

These introductory meetings transformed into immediate opportunities to offer HPV Cancer Prevention Education in partnership with immunization advocates. In May 2016, SE PA AHEC presented “You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention” live accredited continuing education to 30 community pharmacists at the Delaware Pharmacists Society 130th Annual Convention. In July 2016, SE PA AHEC leveraged its partner relationships and presented "You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention" as part of the Mid-Atlantic Training Collaborative for Health and Human Services' Hot Topics in Public Health webinar series coordinated by Robert McKenna, PhD at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Regional Operations- Region III. Jill Roark, MPH, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented to a diverse group of 127 learners including physicians , nurse practitioners, dental professionals, nurses (shot givers), immunization coalition representatives, public health educators and administrators, care coordinators, social workers and health advocates. The session ended with an engaging discussion and chat box comments included thanks, calling the presentation useful, information and valuable. The Delaware Medical Society accredited the archived webinar for enduring credits for participant completion and evaluation for 30 days post-session. Mara will follow-up with 175 registrants who were unable to participate in the live session to invite them to take advantage of the time limited opportunity to access to the archived session and earn continuing education credits.

At the National AHEC Organization Conference in Washington DC in June, Mara along with Maryland AHEC West staff went to Capitol Hill to educate legislative staff about the value and importance of AHEC programming and services including the HPV Immunization Project. Looking ahead, SE PA AHEC will further develop and leverage partnerships to increase opportunities to disseminate training and educational materials to increase HPV vaccination rates in Delaware.

Joy Taylor, HPV Immunization Project Region B Coordinator, Mara Lipschutz, Southeast AHEC Executive Director and Delaware HPV State Entity, and Susan Stewart, Maryland AHEC West Executive Director, discuss the HPV Project prior to Capitol Hill visits during the recent NAO Conference in Washington, DC.

Virginia HPV Immunization Education Utilizes Distance Learning

It is often challenging for rural area health practitioners to travel and attend live continuing education events. Oftentimes the trainings are held in more centralized locations where commute times for rural providers are both lengthy and hectic. The HPV Immunization Project State Entity for Virginia, Piedmont Access to Health Services (PATHS), Inc. AHEC, has solved this problem using technology and distance learning options.

Anjanette Farmer, Director at PATHS AHEC, is committed to making training programs as convenient as possible by coordinating satellite locations to several remote areas within the state to transmit and broadcast her CE events. She recently organized a presentation by Iain Morgan, PhD entitled “HPV: A Growing Public Health Concern – It’s Relationship to Oral and Other Cancers & It’s Vaccine” for a variety of healthcare professionals including dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental students and nursing students. This pilot model of blended distance learning had 60attendees present at the host site with 15 additional attendees joining the training at a venue located 50 minutes away. The particular satellite location was chosen because it offered the necessary Internet connectivity required for successful transmission, which is often problematic in rural areas. This model of blended distance learning gave the attendees at the satellite location both the value of participating in the live event in real time, along with the social dimension of joining a group of interested professionals to both view the broadcast as well as have the opportunity to engage and network with one another. This creative method of distance learning reduces the barrier of isolation often reported by webinar participants.

The feedback received was very positive and included appreciation for the satellite broadcasting opportunity to participate in the training. As a result, PATHS AHEC is now increasing the capacity of distance learning options with an upcoming Women’s Health Conference scheduled in September 2016 that will be broadcast from the host site to six other remote locations. She intends to maximize the possibilities for her area health care providers and clinical education preceptors to participate. A 90- minute session titled, “The Link Between HPV and the Big C” presented by Barb Bancroft, RN, MSN, PNP, will be included in the conference schedule.

For more information regarding this event or the NAO HPV Immunization Project, please contact Joy Taylor, Regional Coordinator jtaylor@ntc.nationalahec.org.

AHEC West Partners with What’s New in Western Maryland Conference to Present “You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention” session on March 16, 2016

AHEC West recently partnered with several agencies to bring the “What’s New in Western Maryland Update” to 130 health professionals representing a variety of disciplines on March 16. Partnerships included AHEC West; Allegany College of Maryland; Western Maryland Health System; Johns Hopkins STD/HIV Prevention Training Center; Pennsylvania/Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education and Training Center; Rutgers Global Tuberculosis Institute, New Jersey Medical School; Central East Addiction Technology Transfer Center-The Danya Institute; and Access Matters-Transforming Access to Sexual & Reproductive Health. The conference was held at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center Auditorium in Cumberland, Maryland and topics included updates in Addictions and Mental Health, HIV and Hepatitis C, Pre-Conception Counseling and Contraception, Tuberculosis, You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention and STI.

Bea Himmelwright-Lamm, EdD, RN, presented the 30-minute “You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention” session using the CDC prepared slide set and provided additional CDC-prepared handouts. Evaluation remarks included:

“Great presentation & info”
“Very good presentation – concise and clear”
“Remind parents of importance of HPV vaccine”
“Reinforced presenting adolescent immunizations in a bundle”
“Great Power Point! I appreciate the print-out and in color! Wow!”
“Enjoyed – thank you very much”

Attendees included physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, professional counselors, social workers, public health workers and addictions specialists. All practicing professionals agreed that as a result of this training, they would plan to implement at least one change to improve their practice or patient care to increase HPV vaccinations. Both CME and CE credits were available to all attendees.

Partnering planners, left to right Abby Plusen, AETC (AIDS Education and Training Center); Cindy Bridges, WMHS (Western Maryland Health System); Joy Taylor, AHEC West; Kathy Condor, ACM (Allegany College of Maryland); Dorcas Baker, AETC (AIDS Education and Training Center); Jeanne Hoover, Johns Hopkins STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.

Speakers: Renata Henry, MEd; Hazel Jones Parker, DNP, CRNP, AACRN; Randall Culpepper, MD; Ebony C. Parker, DNP, MSN, RNC-OB; Bea Himmelwright-Lamm, EdD, RN; (missing from phota: Seema Nayak, MD)

Making connections for HPV

The Southwest Pennsylvania AHEC office is managed by two staff members: Lynne Williams, MD, PhD, AHEC Executive Director and Kristy Muschick, AHEC Office Manager. Last May, they were selected to serve as the State Entity for the state of Pennsylvania for the contract with the National AHEC Organization (NAO), who received an HPV Immunization grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The goals of this nationwide initiative include providing clinician outreach and training relating to HPV, disseminating educational materials, increasing and forming strong partnerships and pushing prioritization of HPV vaccination efforts to promote cancer prevention and to bolster the number of HPV vaccinations administered in each region. The Southwest PA AHEC made great progress in connecting with new partners, distributing materials and coordinating training programs. Efforts include a new partnership with a local nurse practitioner, Brenda Cassidy from East Side Pediatrics, to present the “You Are the Key” slide set; an ongoing partnership with Shelba Schessner and Elizabeth Shaffer at the East Central AHEC to provide trainings to Community Health Workers; a training for physician assistant students at Chatham University in January; encouraging and supporting the addition of the HPV Project graphic on the Pennsylvania AHEC websites and multiple email blasts announcing and promoting webinars and the HPV Project Self Study course.

Currently, Southwest AHEC is beginning to plan training in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry. Dr. Williams is also a member of the Allegheny County Immunization Coalition and participates with the HPV Task Force.

For more information, contact Lynne Williams at lwilliams@southwestahec.org, or Joy Taylor at jtaylor@ntc.nationalahec.org.

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