SAHM Announces Adolescent Vaccine Project Grant Recipients

February 7, 2012

Deerfield, IL — The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) will award grants to fund ten innovative public health demonstration projects addressing barriers to vaccination among adolescents. The funding for the projects is supported by a grant to SAHM from Merck & Co. Inc.

“We were excited to review these incredibly important and pioneering programs,” said SAHM President Leslie R. Walker, MD, FSAHM, of Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington. “The projects planned by these ten grantees embody SAHM’s mission of promoting optimal health and well-being for adolescents and young adults and overcoming health disparities for young people across the country.”

Adolescent vaccination rates have improved, but remain low compared to pediatric vaccination rates; and vaccination coverage varies widely by region. Racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities persist in vaccination rates. SAHM will award grants of $150,000 to $160,000 for the ten projects designed to address the unique barriers associated with vaccination uptake in the adolescent population.

The grant recipients are:

  • Adolescent Vaccination Kiosk Project, University of Colorado, Denver, CO; Amanda Dempsey, MD, PhD, MPH
  • Harnessing Technology to Improve Adolescent Vaccination Compliance, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Tracy King, MD, MPH
  • Improving Adolescent Immunization: Applying Global Health Strategies Locally, Department of Public Health Seattle-King County, Seattle, WA; Jeff Duchin, MD
  • Innovative Registry-based Outreach Component (iROC), University of California, San Diego, CA; Mark Sawyer, MD
  • A Multilevel Approach to Increasing HPV Vaccine Initiation Among Adolescents, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Stephanie Staras, MSPH, PhD
  • Public Health to Improve Adolescent Vaccinations, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC; Emmanuel Walter, MD, MPH
  • Reaching Adolescents for HPV Immunization Using Facebook, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA; Caroline Johnson, MD
  • Text Reminders to Immunize in a Managed Care Organization (TRIO), University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; Cynthia Rand, MD
  • Using Electronic Health Record Technologies to Improve Adolescent Vaccination, The MetroHealth System, Cleveland, OH; David C. Kaelber, MD, PhD, MPH, MS
  • Vaccinating Adolescents Now at School (the VANS Project), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; Amy B. Middleman, MD, MSEd, MPH

A review committee of SAHM members evaluated the more than 80 proposals received and determined that these ten will best improve understanding of adolescent vaccination and ultimately lead to effective interventions to increase vaccination rates in the adolescent population.

SAHM committee chair and project principal investigator Jessica A. Kahn, MD, MPH, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, noted that, “Each of the proposals was outstanding in terms of its potential impact on public health, potential to affect vaccination rates, focus on improving health disparities, project design and innovation. In addition, the projects selected are diverse in terms of geographic location, approach (e.g. clinic-based, school-based, and population-based), vaccines targeted, and population to be impacted.”

Projects will begin this year and conclude by October 2013, when a summit meeting of grantees will be held in Cincinnati to evaluate project results.

To obtain more background information or to speak to a member of the SAHM Grant Review Committee contact Justin Dreyfuss at SAHM headquarters, +1-847-753-5226.


The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine is a multi-disciplinary organization of health professionals who are committed to advancing the health and well-being of adolescents. Through education, research, clinical services and advocacy activities, members of SAHM strive to enhance public and professional awareness of adolescent health issues among families, educators, policy makers, youth-serving organizations, students who are considering a health career, as well as other health professionals. Learn more at

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