Family medicine residency programs receive support to improve immunization rates in seniors during upcoming flu season
Atlanta — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older. With that in mind, the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation is pleased to announce that the Georgia Regents University Augusta Family Medicine Residency, Augusta, Ga .is the winner of a 2014–15 Senior Immunization Grant Award.
Funding for Senior Immunization Grant Awards is provided by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) Foundation and, is part of a $210,000 grant from BCBSGa’s parent company foundation. In addition to receiving a grant to implement a quality improvement and/or community-based project, the winners will receive a travel scholarship to present the findings at the AAFP’s 2015 National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students.
These grants provide support to family medicine residency programs to implement quality improvement and community-based projects that will improve influenza and pneumococcal vaccine rates in patients age 65 and older during the 2014–15 flu season.
The AAFP Foundation Immunization Award selection committee chose this year’s winners based on their ability to implement best practices and identify high-impact, team-based solutions to increase influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates in seniors.
“We are proud to recognize these programs, which have made it their mission to raise awareness and protect their communities from infectious diseases,” said Craig M. Doane, AAFP Foundation executive director. “These programs share our vision of improving health for everyone, and we hope they will serve as examples of best practices for others who look to increase vaccination rates in their communities.”
“We know that members of our senior community are among the most vulnerable population during flu season, accounting for 90 percent of flu-related deaths,” said Dr. Richard Frank, medical director of Medicare programs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. “So we’re honored to be able to support the AAFP in this unique program that will help keep seniors healthy. With this grant, family residency programs across the county will work to achieve higher immunization rates, making this flu season a little safer.”
About the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
The AAFP Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians and advances the values of Family Medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational, and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people.
About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 115,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.?Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.? To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions, and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.