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  • Announcing Kentucky HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award Winner

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    January 08, 2019
    Kentucky Primary Care Association is proud to announce that Julia Richerson, MD, FAAP has been selected as the 2018 HPV Is Cancer Prevention Champion for Kentucky. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI), and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have partnered to create this award program to recognize clinicians, clinics, practices, groups, and health systems that are above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination among adolescents in their community. Every year, the program honors up to one Champion from all 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, and the District of Columbia. This year, the program is honoring champions from 32 states.

    Dr. Julia Richerson has been a pediatrician for 20 years, and is a leader in championing HPV vaccination in her practice in Kentucky, as well as nationwide. She has been practicing in Louisville for 15 years at the Family Health Centers Iroquois office, which specializes in serving immigrant and refugee populations. She has also spent several years as the Medical Director, leading the health planning for over 40,000 Louisville residents and supervising over 40 medical providers.

    Dr. Richerson employs several techniques to achieve high HPV vaccination rates in her practice. She begins the conversation about HPV vaccination at age 9, and encourages giving vaccinations during any visit. The office uses a remind/recall system for upcoming patient visits and recommends HPV vaccination the same way and same day as other adolescent vaccines. Nurses are also trained to make confident recommendations for HPV vaccination, which ensures a consistent message throughout the office.

    Dr. Richerson supports innovative collaboration within her practice as well as across Kentucky. She recently chaired the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative’s Performance Measure Alignment Pediatric Committee to determine critical pediatric priorities for the state, which now includes HPV vaccination for adolescents. This measure will keep HPV vaccination top of mind among clinicians and key stakeholders in Kentucky, as they work collaboratively to improve health outcomes in the state. Dr. Richerson serves as Chair of the Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as well as serves on several task forces and has various advisory roles for the AAP.

    HPV vaccine is important because it protects against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a very common virus; nearly 80 million people are currently infected in the United States. Every year in the United States, 33,700 women and men are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of these cancers—about 31,000—from occurring. Both boys and girls should start the HPV vaccine series when they are 11 or 12 years old and finish all recommended doses before they turn age 13.The HPV vaccine series can be started as early as age 9.

    Dr. Richerson is an inspiration to everyone who is committed to improving the health of our boys and girls in Kentucky. We are pleased and honored to congratulate Dr. Richerson on this well-deserved award.
    To read Dr. Richerson’s profile on the CDC’s website, and to learn more about HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award program, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/champions/index.html

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