Albany Area Primary Health Care Wins Advance Quality Improvement Award for 2019
American College of Physicians Highlights Program to Increase Vaccination Rates in Southwest Georgia
November 6, 2019 - The American College of Physicians recently awarded Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) the Advance Quality Improvement Award for 2019. This award highlights the work of AAPHC physicians, providers and team members within the organization to increase overall vaccinations for our Southwest Georgia patients.
"AAPHC is committed to ensuring that both our pediatric and adult patients receive the critical immunizations and vaccinations needed to protect their health now and well into the future," says Brandy Church, AAPHC spokesperson. Over the past year, the AAPHC team focused on vaccinations for two diseases - Pneumonia and the Human Papilloma Virus.
Patients who are 65 and older qualify for the pneumonia vaccine, which protects patients against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. When a patient develops pneumonia, the tiny air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and can fill with fluid, which can severely sicken the patient and cause breathing issues. Pneumonia can range from a mild to serious or life-threatening infection and can sometimes lead to death.
AAPHC also focused on improving the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination rates for patients between 11 and 26 years of age. The HPV vaccine prevents HPV types 16 and 18 — the 2 types that cause 80% of cervical cancer cases.
"AAPHC is consistently developing new programs that improve the quality of care for our patients," says Church. "By ensuring patients receive these timely vaccinations, our providers ensure that our patients have a lower chance of getting certain diseases and suffering from their complications."
"We are proud of this recognition from the American College of Physicians, which highlights the quality improvement work happening at Albany Area Primary Health Care," says Church. "Everything we do is centered on improving the health of our patients and their families.”
June 26, 2019 - Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) has an important update to our Immunization Policy for our AAPHC Pediatric Offices.
Effectively immediately, all new pediatric patients must receive their scheduled vaccines and immunizations in order to remain a patient with our medical group. Families who choose not to vaccinate their children will need to find a new pediatrician outside of the AAPHC physician group.
How Does This Affect New AAPHC Pediatric Patients?
Any new pediatric patients will need to receive their scheduled vaccines on time and in compliance with their provider. If families choose not to vaccinate, then you will need to find a new pediatrician outside of AAPHC. Additionally, parents will need to complete the Vaccine Refusal form for their child(ren) prior to leaving the practice.
How Does This Affect Current/Established Pediatric Patients?
At this time, current AAPHC pediatric patients will not be affected by the policy. It is important, however, to note that it’s up to the discretion of each Pediatrician and health care provider within AAPHC if they feel their office can support unvaccinated patients. Unvaccinated patients may be asked to leave the medical group if it becomes a threat to other patients in the medical office. Any family who declines vaccinations will need to complete the Vaccine Refusal form annually for AAPHC.
Why Is This Such A Critical Policy Change for Our Pediatric Offices?
More and more physician group across the United States are making similar changes to their policies regarding vaccinations and immunizations for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also supports such policy changes for pediatric offices and AAP is working with Legislators to ensure vaccines are available to children amidst this “vaccine hesitancy” health crisis.
We understand that some patients may be frustrated by this change, but this policy change is the right thing to do for our young patients and to protect their safety within our offices. Our role is to always protect and do our very best when it comes to serving and caring our patients!
AAPHC Will Work with Families to Explain the Importance of Immunizations
AAPHC is making this critical update to our policy to further protect the patients in our offices. We will be working with our families to explain the policy change and answering any questions parents may have regarding immunizations. Part of our role will be working to provide correct information to families and fight the amount of misinformation that is too readily available on web sites and social media.
Our AAPHC Physicians, Providers and Leaders feel it’s critical that all pediatric patients receive their scheduled immunizations. This policy change will ensure that our patients, and our community as a whole, remains safe and protected from illness and disease.
Thank you for your understanding.
Albany Area Primary Health Care
Physicians, Providers, & Executive Team