Part of federal initiative to stem COVID-19-related declines in routine childhood vaccinations and care
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced that the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing’s Wellness 360 Pediatrics practice was among 20 winners of the “Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention (P4) Challenge,” a nationwide competition to increase pediatric vaccination rates and well-child visits.
Final winners represent the diversity of the country and include mobile vaccination projects, Head Start partnerships, primary care texting strategies and targeted support for children supported by resource families. Challenge projects generated more than 52,000 pediatric well-child visits and nearly 23,000 immunizations.
“Among the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a decline in routine pediatric immunizations and well-child visits, which threatens to undermine the significant progress we’ve made in children’s health,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Our HRSA Challenge initiative focused on generating creative approaches and meaningful results in helping to get children vaccinated, see their provider, and stay healthy.”
The Wellness 360 Pediatrics team under the direction of Karen Schwab, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing, worked together to improve vaccination rates and well-child visits. They did so by expanding clinic hours, partnering with organizations for community outreach events, improving use of clinical technology, and achieving improved vaccine and health care coverage with the primary health insurance carrier for children in foster care.
Dr. Schwab and colleague Brittany Lents, MSN, CPNP-PC, were instrumental in obtaining the designation of Foster Care Center of Excellence for the practice, which continues to expand services to off-campus locations.
“At UT Health San Antonio Wellness 360, our pediatric team is deeply committed to providing primary care for children in foster care throughout Bexar and surrounding counties,” Dr. Schwab said. “We do everything it takes to provide holistic care to the children and families we serve in our community.”
With the P4 Challenge, 50 teams received an initial award of $10,000 and six months to develop their proposed concept. The 20 winning teams received a final $25,000 prize. Winners include health centers, pediatric clinics, children’s hospitals and community organizations.
Applications were reviewed by a panel of expert judges and were evaluated based on their approach to increasing well-child visits, increasing vaccinations, and reducing disparities among populations.
For a list of additional P4 Challenge winners, visit: https://mchb.hrsa.gov/funding/challenge-competitions/p4challenge/our-20-final-winners
To learn more about the P4 Challenge, visit: https://mchb.hrsa.gov/funding/challenge-competitions/p4challenge