AcademyHealth and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) Announce New Community of Practice Focused on Immunization

Date: Monday, February 12, 2018

Feb 12 2018

Despite the availability of vaccines through Medicaid and the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program in the United States, immunization rates for children and pregnant women in Medicaid remain lower than those above the poverty line or with private insurance. In particular, disparities in vaccine coverage exist for black children and those living below the poverty level.[1] Pregnant women covered by Medicaid have some vaccination rates that are lower than rates among pregnant women with private insurance. AcademyHealth and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), with support from the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, invite you to apply for participation in a Community of Practice (CoP) for state Medicaid agencies interested in collaborating with their state public health and immunization information system partners to improve Medicaid policies and immunization outreach procedures that increase immunization rates among low-income children and pregnant women.

Funded through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cooperative agreement, Immunization Barriers in the United States: Targeting Medicaid Partnerships, AcademyHealth and NASHP seek four to six states, each comprised of multidisciplinary teams (i.e., Medicaid Medical or Policy Director, an Immunization State Program Manager, and a State Immunization Information System Coordinator), to form a Community of Practice (CoP). Through virtual and in-person engagement over the course of the project, AcademyHealth and NASHP will work with the CoP states to identify barriers to and share promising practices for increasing immunization rates for children and pregnant women with Medicaid.

Over the course of this two-to-three-year project, the Community of Practice will provide:

  • One-on-one consultation (e.g., calls every other month) to support state-identified needs.
  • Regular opportunities to interact with other CoP members to address challenges as well as share experiences and lessons learned.
  • Yearly in-person meetings of CoP teams to support state goals and provide in-person technical assistance.

Areas of focus for moderated calls, webinars, and light-touch technical assistance could include:

  • State Cross-Agency Collaboration
  • Population-Based Interventions
  • Healthcare Provider and Delivery Site Issues
  • Access
  • Data Sharing and Health Informatics
  • Financing and Sustainability

Join Us: If your Medicaid agency is interested in joining this Community of Practice (CoP), please send an email to Samantha Smith ( by Friday February 23, 2018 and attach your completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form. Four to six states will be chosen to participate in the CoP.

[1] Hill HA, Elam-Evans LD, Yankey D, Singleton JA, Kang Y. Vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months - United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66(43):1171-77.