Current Projects​
Vaccine Education & Assistance (2021-2024) ​

CIRE is working with the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) to expand the state’s vaccination program. This three-year project is funded by NDDoH and totals $5,755,820. ​A number of initiatives are being implemented across the state, including: ​

Vaccine Education

  • Provide education to future healthcare professionals on vaccine-related topics throughout the state of North Dakota. 
    • Impact: During the 2022-2023 academic year, CIRE reached:
      • 51 pharmacy students at one school of pharmacy
      • 67 medical students at one medical school
      • 558 nursing students at 11 different nursing programs across the state. 
  • Host a national, quarterly webinar series titled: Bringing the Experts to You: A Webinar Series on Vaccines. This series has included nationally recognized speakers in the field of vaccination, such as Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Peter Hotez. Access our previous webinars on CIRE’s YouTube page.
    • Impact
      • Five webinars to date, reaching approximately 1,300 live attendees from 44 states and 11 countries
      • Over 1,500 people have signed up to receive CIRE event notifications

Clinician-to-Clinician Education ​- “The VaxChamp Program”

  • Coordinate and train “VaxChamp” physicians to deliver vaccine education and communication strategies to healthcare providers and public health units throughout the state. 
    • Impact
      • Total facilities reached: 124
      • Total presentations: 114
      • Total individuals reached: 1,538
      • Advanced practice providers reached (MD, DO, NP, PA): 356
      • Non-physicians reached: 1,125
      • Estimated CEU/CME credit hours awarded: 660
  • Create VaxChamp training and educational materials to reflect the latest vaccine information and emerging topics. 
    • Impact: Three trainings are currently available, including:
      • COVID-19 Update: Where Are We At with Variants, Vaccines, and Long-COVID?
      • "No Thanks, Doc": Tools to Improve Difficult Conversations in the Medical Encounter
      • Vaccines Under the Microscope: How Can We Know They Are Safe? 

Vaccine Communication 

  • Leverage multi-media channels to create and disseminate educational messages to increase vaccine confidence and address misinformation.
    • Impact: 
      • Over 900 social media followers, reaching approximately 8,000 accounts per month through paid and organic distribution of content
      • Authored four blog posts for NDHHS’ Knowtify blog
      • Captured over 650 viewers for a special screening of Virulent: The Vaccine War 
  • Research evidence-based strategies and use them to develop, implement, and evaluate communication campaigns to increase vaccine confidence and address misinformation.

Analysis and Evaluation 

  • 2021-2022: Evaluated ND school immunization and exemption rate trends and engaged stakeholders to strategize policy changes.
    • Impact: Authored a report for NDHHS summarizing immunization and exemption rate trends and stakeholder recommendations for improving school-reported immunization rates. NDHHS uses this report to inform its immunization program activities. 
  • 2022-2023: Analyzed ND pediatric influenza vaccination data from historical influenza seasons. 
    • Impact: CIRE submitted a report to NDHHS detailing how pediatric influenza immunization rates have changed throughout the state over the past five years. The report identified immunization disparities among racial and ethnic groups and geographical areas. NDHHS uses this report to plan for future pediatric influenza vaccination campaigns.
  • 2023-Present: Collaborate with NDHHS to better understand school-based immunization clinics in North Dakota. 
  • 2023-2024: Analyze HPV vaccination data for adolescents in North Dakota, focusing on determining predictors of on-time series completion.

Pharmacies and Pharmacists as Immunizers and Educators​: Partner with the Center for Collaboration and Advancement in Pharmacy (CAP Center) to educate pharmacists and expand immunization programs across the state. 

Approaches in Tribal Communities:Partner with the American Indian Public Health Resourcer Center (AIPHC) to increase vaccine confidence, access, and uptake in our state's tribal communities.

Past Projects​
Building Vaccine Confidence in North Dakota (2020-2021)​

CIRE is addressed vaccine hesitancy in North Dakota by providing proactive infrastructure to healthcare facilities throughout the state. Project deliverables included: ​

  • Curriculum content for healthcare provider training programs​
  • Reliable immunization information to pregnant mothers and expectant fathers​
  • Identification of immunization champions at Vaccines for Children enrolled clinics in high-risk counties

This project was funded by NDDoH and totals $149,003.​

​Read our published study, in partnership with NDSU Center for Collaboration and Advancement in Pharmacy (CAP Center): Assessment of a Virtual Educational Program on Health Professional Students’ Vaccine Knowledge, Attitudes, and Confidence Managing Patient Hesitancy.

Technical Assistance for the Sanford Health Immunization Program (2017-2021)​

CIRE provided technical assistance for Sanford Health’s VaxChamp program with vaccination protocol development and data report building. The project was funded by Sanford Health and totaled $77,985. ​

Immunization Disparities in North Dakota (2017-2020)​

CIRE studied immunization disparities in North Dakota focusing on racial, regional, rural and urban inequities. Staff conducted interviews and focus groups with healthcare and immunization stakeholders, collected and analyzed immunization data, and reviewed current literature. ​
Data from this project is being used to direct outreach and educational immunization activities. ​This multi-year project was funded by the NDDoH and totaled $378,012. ​

North Dakota Immunization Study (2015-2016)​

NDDoH engaged CIRE to study immunization policies, practices, beliefs, and opinions in North Dakota. CIRE conducted focus groups and interviews with nearly 200 immunization stakeholders from across the state, collected and analyzed state and national data, and reviewed other states' immunization policies and practices. In June 2016, CIRE presented a report to the NDDoH with study findings and recommendations to improve immunization rates. View the study.   ​
This project was funded by the NDDoH and totaled $91,935. ​

Provider-Parent Communication Techniques (2016-2017)​

CIRE partnered with a local pediatric clinic for a pilot project that used enhanced communication techniques to address vaccine-hesitancy from parents at the medical encounter. The project measured provider satisfaction with and perceived efficacy of the communication techniques. In the future, CIRE hopes to expand this project by testing the communication strategies in multiple clinics to determine if such strategies are associated with increased vaccine acceptance. ​
This pilot project was funded by the Otto Bremer Foundation ($50,000) and the Dakota Medical Foundation ($50,000). View the published study.​

​HPV Vaccine Clinician-to-Clinician Education (2016-2019)​

CIRE educated North Dakota's healthcare providers on how to effectively promote HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination to parents and patients at the medical encounter. CIRE staff and HPV subject experts provided clinician-to-clinician education to pediatric and family medicine providers using AFIX (assessment, feedback, incentives, eXchange) methodologies. ​
This project was funded by the Prevent Cancer Foundation ($25,000) and through a subcontracted NDDoH grant from the CDC ($401,519). ​

Future Projects​

CIRE is seeking support for several research projects, including: ​

  1. Communication and education strategies at the medical encounter to improve parental understanding and acceptance of vaccination​
  2. The impact of earlier maternal vaccine education, such as at pre-natal medical encounters and in the hospital setting post-delivery ​
  3. Partnerships with pharmacies and pharmacists, particularly in rural settings, to increase adult immunization opportunities ​
  4. Working with regional healthcare systems to identify strategies to hardwire best practices regarding immunizations into standard workflow and electronic medical records.
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