Childhood immunization rates for Maine have declined since the mid-90's. One theory for the decline is that public awareness education was halted. The Maine Immunization Program (MIP) currently has two regional health educators and wishes to expand health education services to four regions. Further, both the MIP and the Maine CDC desire to understand from parents and caregivers the incentives and barriers to having their children age appropriately immunizated. Muskie staff will work collaboratively with the MIP on several fronts: <li>assist with preparing and managing an RFP process to expand health education services to two additional regions of Maine <li>plan and carry out survey(s) with parents of preschool children to identify both barriers to and incentives for getting children immunized <li>provide technical assistance to plan and implement additional evidence-based practices to improve age-appropriate immunization rates.</li><p></p> Data collected from the surveys will be used to help identify public health practices that are most likely to result in children who have age-appropriate immunizations, and to inform ongoing program planning priorities.
Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy
Maine Immunization Program Survey and Technical Assistance
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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center
David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.
A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.