September 30, 2008

The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Announces 2008 AAFP/F Wyeth Immunization Award Winners

LEAWOOD, Kan., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Family Physicians/Foundation (AAFP/F) today applauds the residency program winners of the 2008 AAFP/F Wyeth Immunization Awards. Eleven monetary awards, along with educational scholarships, were presented to winning family medicine residency programs for creating

programs that identified and overcame immunization barriers in their communities preventing children from receiving important vaccines against childhood diseases. The winning programs included the following:

   --  Grand Forks Family Medicine Residency, Grand Forks, N.D.   --  Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies,       Kalamazoo, Mich.   --  Munson Family Practice Residency Program, Traverse City, Mich.   --  Waco Family Medicine Residency Program, Waco, Texas   --  North Oakland Medical Centers Family Medicine Residency Program,       Pontiac, Mich.   --  Toledo Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, Toledo, Ohio   --  Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Department of Family, Community and       Preventive Medicine, Brooklyn, N.Y.   --  University of Alabama at Birmingham Family Medicine Residency,       Huntsville, Ala.   --  Sacred Heart Hospital Sacred Heart Family Medicine Residency,       Allentown, Pa.   --  University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Family Medicine       Residency Program, San Antonio, Texas   --  York Hospital Family Practice Residency, York, Pa.    
The 2008 AAFP/F Wyeth Immunization Award winners were chosen for their ability to develop creative solutions to increase immunization rates. Some of the systems put into place included: participating in the state immunization registry, developing an immunization tracking system, raising awareness of the importance of timely vaccinations among staffers and parents, offering additional immunization clinics, implementing reminder cards and phone calls, placing educational posters in child health care areas and conducting recurring staff meetings to plan for improving childcare immunization rates.

"As timely immunizations have been proven to protect children and adults, it is imperative that physicians have protocols in place to improve immunization rates in their practices," said Mark Belfer, D.O., FAAFP and President of the AAFP Foundation. "I would like to congratulate the winners of these awards for their efforts in providing several examples of 'best practices' they have utilized to increase the immunization rates in their residency programs and communities. We hope their examples will demonstrate to others that there are many different ways to improve vaccine compliance."

The 2008 award winners were chosen for three award categories: Best Practices -- overall achievement with existing systems to overcome immunization barriers and achieve high immunization rates in a certain time parameter; Most Improved -- overcoming barriers and other

challenges to enhance immunization rates; and Implementing New System -- executing a new system to help increase immunization rates in underserved populations.

"We at the AAFP Foundation applaud these program winners for their commitment to protecting children from childhood infectious diseases and to raising awareness of the importance of immunizations in a community's health and well-being," said Craig M. Doane, Executive Director of the AAFP/F. "We are proud to recognize programs that share our vision to improve the health of all people."

For more details about the AAFP/F Wyeth Immunization Awards Program, visit:

About the AAFP/F Wyeth Immunization Awards Program

The AAFP/F Wyeth Immunization Awards Program recognizes family medicine residency programs for identifying and developing creative solutions to overcoming barriers to childhood immunizations, thus increasing immunization rates, and to share the best practices that have

benefited the communities in which they live. Each application is reviewed and scored by a panel appointed by the AAFP Foundation. The program is sponsored through a grant provided by Wyeth Vaccines.

About the AAFP Foundation

The AAFP Foundation (AAFP/F) serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Its mission is to advance the values of Family Medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational, and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people.

The American Academy of Family Physicians/Foundation (AAFP/F)

CONTACT: Kerry Kalinski, Porter Novelli, +1-212-601-8128, for TheAmerican Academy of Family Physicians/Foundation (AAFP/F)

Web Site: