The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Community Partnership Program is advancing its goal to reduce cancer risk for all Oregonians by funding four human papilloma virus, or HPV, vaccination-focused projects statewide:
- In Multnomah County, APANO Community United Fund aims to conduct outreach and education among the Vietnamese immigrant community around cervical cancer and HPV vaccination.
- The Next Door, Inc. in Hood River and Wasco counties aims to increase HPV vaccinations for both Spanish and English speakers.
- The Crook County Health Department aims to advance awareness of the HPV vaccine among Crook County adolescents and parents.
- In Benton County, Oregon State University aims to reach college students, specifically, to promote the vaccine and prevent cancer.
“In 2018, the President’s Cancer Panel, a panel of advisors to the President on the National Cancer Program, urged a ‘renewed commitment’ to prioritize HPV vaccination for cancer prevention,” said Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., co-director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program. “We know that HPV can cause six types of cancer, and the vaccine can prevent up to 90% of those cancers, so the work these four projects are undertaking is of critical importance to the health of Oregonians.”
About the HPV vaccine
- Recommended for both males and females aged 11 or 12, and can be started as early as age 9.
- For those not previously vaccinated, vaccination also recommended for both males and females aged 13-26.
- Two doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for most people starting the series before their 15th birthday.
- Three doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for teens and young adults who start the series at ages 15 through 26 years, and for those who are immunocompromised.
The special funding for these projects is provided through a “Community Action Model,” or CAM. Shannon says the two-year CAM grants, each totaling up to $100,000, aim to build community capacity to address pressing cancer issues through a five-step process. A key component of the Community Action Model is engaging local community leaders to lead the efforts in addressing the identified issue.
“The CAM will provide communities with the framework to further develop the skills and resources needed to plan, implement and evaluate cancer-related actions and policies,” Shannon says. “The goal is that each program results in policy, systems and/or environmental changes, which can have a larger impact on improving public health than a single project and/or organization.”
One of the statewide collaborators, The Next Door, Inc., is a nonprofit organization serving the people in Hood River and Wasco counties who has created a program for both Spanish and English speakers titled, “Vacunas contra el VPH para mi, para mis hijos, para mi comunidad/HPV vaccinations for me, for my kids, for my community.”
"The Next Door is pleased to partner with OHSU to raise awareness and the acceptance of HPV treatment in rural Oregon,” said Nik Portela, program manager for The Next Door, Inc. “Our Nuestra Comunidad Sana community health workers have been involved in focus groups and research and are providing outreach and education to support this initiative. This will not only help better inform Latinxs in the gorge regarding HPV, but also help The Next Door improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve."
Oregon HPV vaccination rates
For adolescents aged 13 to 17, according to the Oregon Health Authority, 2018
- Percentage of those who are up to date (statewide): 46.4%
- By county:
- Multnomah County: 56.4%
- Hood River County: 46.6%
- Wasco County: 46.2%
- Crook County: 34.4%
- Benton County: 40%