OHSU funds four projects across the state to increase HPV vaccination rates

Community partnerships
Community partnerships
two women wrapped in blankets, standing with arms around one another on a beach, seen from behind
HPV can cause six types of cancer, and the vaccine can prevent up to 90% of those cancers. This year's Community Partnership Program grants aim to increase vaccination rates across the state and protect Oregonians by utilizing a system of established community networks. (Getty Images)

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:

Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D.
Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D.

“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

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

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

Amanda Gibbs
Communications Manager, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute