WA-CHIP Working to Increase Vaccinations

Washington’s child health improvement partnership, WA-CHIP, which is led by WCAAP, is working on multiple fronts to improve child health. The First Year Families arm of the partnership focuses on early childhood. The “Champions for Youth” arm of the partnership focuses on school-age children and includes work on behavioral health issues as well as efforts to increase vaccination rates throughout the state. The updates below cover some of our recent vaccination initiatives, including learning collaboratives with clinics around the state, as well as school-facing work and collaborations with students – and even a little music!

Immunization Learning Collaborative Updates

COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Learning Collaborative Cohorts

January-March, WCAAP staff and project medical director, Dr. Sherri Zorn, supported six clinics across Washington state to improve their approach to COVID-19 vaccine communication. The intervention began with an individualized coaching meeting with each site to review a clinic needs assessment and discuss potential interventions. Clinic interventions included joining Power of Providers, utilizing vaccine counseling billing codes, targeted patient recall and outreach through the EHR, and staff training on vaccine communication strategies. Clinics completed weekly email check-ins to share updates on their intervention progress and request additional support. All practices attended a final project meeting to discuss barriers, successes, and sustainability.  WCAAP staff and project medical director, Dr. Sherri Zorn began the 2nd COVID-19 vaccine communication cohort with a kickoff on April 13th.  Ten clinics are enrolled in the cohort, spanning 7 Counties: Olympia Pediatrics, Seahurst Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, University Place Pediatrics, Polyclinic Pediatrics, Pediatric Associates of Whidbey, Pediatrics for You, Swedish Meadowcreek, Intergalactic Pediatrics, Swinomish Medical Clinic Tribal Health, and Swofford & Halma Clinic.  The cohort will run for 3 months and include all of the same elements as the first cohort did, but is expanded to include group learning sessions based on feedback from the first cohort clinics. This learning collaborative is led by WCAAP and funded by the Washington State Department of Health.

Editor’s note: Improving COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Workflows in Pediatric Primary Care Settings cohort is underway.  As part of the project, clinics can receive a variety of resources along with personalized coaching for their Clinic’s COVID-19 operations.  To assist clinics with having the most appropriate and useful resources available to them the WCAAP staff has compiled a robust list of the top resources to help clinics be successful on their COVID-19 vaccine journey.  This list is now available to all WCAAP members to utilize in their clinics. Download the list here.

WA-CHIP Childhood & Adolescent Immunization Learning Collaborative

Our fourth cohort of the WA-CHIP Immunization Learning Collaborative kicked off last week including 10 clinics: South Sound Pediatrics (Olympia), Palouse Pediatrics (Pullman) Pediatrics For You (Kennewick) Confluence Health (Wenatchee and East Wenatchee), Mt. Spokane Pediatrics (Spokane), Unibe Care Family Pediatrics (Tukwila), Mercer Island Pediatrics, Stepping Stone Pediatrics (Bellevue), UW Primary Care (Northgate), Confluence Health (East Wenatchee). Clinics learned their baseline rates of missed opportunities to vaccinate and received education in quality improvement fundamentals and leading change in their practices. Each clinic received coaching in breakout sessions to identify their interventions to reduce missed opportunities to vaccinate. Clinics will all also implement reminder-recall / outreach to patients due or overdue for childhood (4-6 year old) or adolescent vaccines. Our team collectively felt this was the strongest kick off we have had to date. This learning collaborative is co-led by WCAAP and Seattle Children’s and funded by generous support from the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health Seattle King County’s Best Starts for Kids. We will keep you apprised of the cohort clinics’ interventions and progress at our future meetings.

Working with Schools to Increase Family Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines

WCAAP has been working with partners to support school efforts to increase family confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, with funding from the American Academy of Pediatrics and additional support from Molina Healthcare, Regence, and Seattle Children’s. We connected with school leaders in counties identified as having low rates of youth vaccination but high populations of kids under 18: Yakima, Pierce, Skagit, and Spokane Counties. These leaders identified a need for a toolkit with easy-to-share FAQs and social media assets. We secured additional support from Molina Healthcare and Regence to create a toolkit with key messages informed by data from the Frameworks Institute and existing Washington State Department of Health and American Academy of Pediatrics resources. The toolkit includes sample social media text and graphics that schools can use, sample phone message/text message script in Spanish and English, an FAQ for families in Spanish and English, links to videos made by pediatricians encouraging families to talk with their providers if they have questions, and links to other external resources that may be helpful.  It is our hope and intention that the toolkit will be shared with school nurses and other school personnel to use in communicating with families.  We have shared it with our contacts in the identified counties, and in hopes of reaching a broader audience, the toolkit has also been disseminated statewide through OSPI to a list of 3000 people. So far response from our school district contacts has been positive, but we will continue to work with them through the school year to adjust as needed!

You can see the final toolkit here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Px4a8Zj5aIMbDXmWJ3E4pRzmTFjuAVzk/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=109959334624412001887&rtpof=true&sd=true

Working with Youth

In addition to producing the toolkit for schools, we have also been working with youth to promote COVID-19 vaccine confidence. WCAAP staff worked with students from Foss High School in Tacoma to learn about and share information about the vaccines. You can read more about that project in the words of the students themselves here.

We have also received support from Amerigroup to work with a 4-H group in Yakima on social media messages promoting COVID-19 vaccine confidence. More to come on that project!

Viral Music

One of the Foss High School students, Ben Bartoy, created a musical composition out of COVID-19 amino acids. How? Great question! Here’s what Ben told us:

“How did I turn COVID amino acids into piano music? Well first each one of the RNA bases needs to be turned into a note of the musical alphabet. This is relatively straightforward, Adenosine gets turned into an A tone, Guanine into a G tone and Cytosine into a C tone. I turned Uracil into a E tone because this way all the tones skip a note (A to C skips B, C to E skips D, and so on). After I had accomplished the thought process on this step, I then started writing the sheet music, which is easier than it sounds. First, I laid down all the notes in a row on the sheet music in a basic format. After that I then listened back to it and changed the rhythm of certain notes, making some shorter or longer. And finally, after that the last part is changing around notes on different octaves, to change how it sounds without changing the basic layout.

Once this process is done, I listen back to it to make sure it sounds good while still obeying the ‘rules’, and change what I need to finish it up. After the right hand ‘melody’ is done I go back with the left hand and add in an accompaniment half that is using the second helix and turns a C tone in the right hand into a G tone in the left, and vice versa, as well as a E tone in the right hand to a A tone in the left, and vice versa. Then I listen back and repeat the same steps that I did previously in the first section. 

I was inspired to do this by reading about it in the book, “The Violinist’s Thumb” by Sam Kean.  After I looked into it a while, I could not find any reference on how to repeat the process, so I made my own, which I just shared. It is not as complicated as it could be, due to me knowing only intermediate levels in both Biology and Music, but I hope to continually improve the process until it is undecipherable from true classical music, or maybe create an algorithm and share it so others can easily do the transcription on their own as well.”