NORWALK, Conn. -- In time for summer camp and back to school peak vaccination season, the American Cancer Society and Norwalk Community Health Center have been awarded a $5,000 grant to support ongoing education and prevention efforts to help decrease the onset of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in men and women across Fairfield County.
The grant is part of the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program. Funding for the CHANGE grants comes from Walgreens customers nationwide, who choose to donate to the American Cancer Society as they pay for their purchases at checkout. The CHANGE grants help promote health equity and ensure that communities with a higher burden of cancer have equal access to education and screening resources.
It is estimated that nearly 30,800 men and women are expected to be diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer in the United States this year. Being infected with HPV can increase the risk of getting cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile and mouth/throat cancers. HPV infections are very common, and most go away by themselves and don’t cause problems. But in some cases, they lead to abnormal cell changes and cancer.
This funding will enable the Norwalk Community Health Center to further enhance its Electronic Medical Records system to include reminders that inform its healthcare providers that patients are due for specific vaccinations such as the HPV vaccine. NCHC is developing immunization records that follow patients through the continuum of services they will receive, into adulthood.
“As a Patient Centered Medical Home that serves more than 4,000 boys and girls under age 18 each year, we are perfectly positioned to partner with American Cancer Society to reach and treat this vulnerable group,” said Craig Glover, Norwalk Community Health Center Chief Executive Officer.
The American Cancer Society will be supporting the Norwalk Community Health Center in their efforts to educate more parents and children regarding the importance of HPV vaccinations and the implementation of measures to ensure compliance with the vaccination cycle required to ensure protection against HPV cancers.
“The general public is only just now beginning to understand the dangers inherent in HPV. In years past, many people weren’t familiar with HPV and didn’t know about its connection to cancer. But today, we know that 80 percent of men and women in the U.S. will contract HPV in their lifetime and someone can have the virus and pass it on without even knowing it. That is why vaccinating boys and girls early on in their lives is so important”, said Lynn Basilio, senior manager, Primary Care Systems, American Cancer Society.
For more information on HPV, visit www.cancer.org or call the American Cancer Society at 1.800.227.2345. To schedule a HPV vaccination for your child at Norwalk Community Health Center, call NCHC at 203-899-1770.
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