September 2022 Monthly Update

 


Monthly Update


September 2022 in Review


 

Executive Director's Update

With September marking the official start to fall (and everything pumpkin spice), I am not sure how this year is flying by so quickly. It feels like just yesterday was the start of summer, and now here we are, planning for the 2023 AIRA National Meeting. Since time flies, be sure to mark your calendar to join us for the National Meeting from May 2 to 4 in sunny San Diego, California. I hope to see you all there!

 

September saw the results of the 2023 board elections. Congratulations to our new board members: Nancy Sharova, Stephen White, Marie Hartel, and Tiffany Dent. Additionally, a huge thank you to our outgoing board members Christy Gray and Kathryn Cruz for their years of service. I’m so appreciative of all our board members who lend their time and talent for the betterment of our organization. 

We continue to work together to address ongoing challenges. As of October 4, 54 jurisdictions have reported 873,552 doses of monkeypox vaccine administered to the CDC. AIRA has hosted several meetings to discuss monkeypox challenges, best practices, and solutions with peers. We continue to update our AIRA monkeypox web page with relevant information as it becomes available.

 

The news of polio being found in wastewater prompted many of you to proactively assess polio coverage rates at the population level, as well as within populations with historically lower coverage levels. A pro tip shared by one jurisdiction: “Run coverage levels now!” It’s a good idea to have current coverage levels before the governor, legislature, or media starts asking. Please reach out to AIRA if we can support you in any way.

 

As the weather begins to cool and the leaves begin to change, I hope you can spend some time participating in all the fun fall activities. 

 

Rebecca Coyle, MSEd

Executive Director


 



AIRA 2022 Board Election Results

Congratulations and a warm welcome to four new AIRA board directors: 

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Marie Hartel 

from the Tennessee Department of Health was elected as an IIS member director.

Nancy Sharova

from the Connecticut Department of Public Health was elected as an IIS member director.

Stephen White

from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was elected as an IIS member director.

Tiffany Dent

from STChealth was elected as a non-IIS member director for a half-term vacancy and will serve from 2022 to 2023.

A huge thank you to our departing AIRA board directors! We will miss their leadership and friendly faces:

  • Christy Gray from the Virginia Department of Health, who was elected to the AIRA board in 2018 and most recently served as board president 2021-2022
  • Kathryn “Katie” Cruz from the New Mexico Department of Health, who was elected to the AIRA board in 2020

The new AIRA board terms began on October 1, 2022. Thanks to our voting members for participating in the election

 

AIRA 2023 National Meeting

It’s official: the AIRA 2023 National Meeting will be held May 2-4 in sunny San Diego, California! We hope you will join us as we advance IIS together. 

 

Welcome New Staff to AIRA

Meet our newest AIRA staff members:

Angela De La Cruz joined AIRA as an onboarding analyst in August 2022. Angela previously worked for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for 15 years as a customer service representative within the Texas Immunization Program. She has three years’ experience with the Texas HHSC as a policy advisor within the state’s medical and social service program. Angela has eight years’ experience within the Texas Immunization Information System (IIS), first as an interface analyst supporting data exchange and most recently as the interoperability coordinator. In this position, she served as a subject matter expert over policy, process, and IT project implementation for the IIS.

 


Franchesca Benjamin joined AIRA as program assistant for the Education and Outreach Team in September 2022. Prior to this role, Franchesca worked as a pediatric behavioral technician and later as a respite worker. Franchesca has experience providing support to health care professionals in both administrative and health care roles.

 

Sabrina Matlock joined AIRA in July 2022 as the project coordinator for IIP. Prior to joining AIRA, Sabrina held various roles in the retail and service industries overseeing daily operations and enterprise-wide software systems. Sabrina brings to AIRA knowledge and experience in lean process improvement, user training and adoption, communication strategy, and consumer experience.

 

Register for Epi Connect and Gain a New Epi Friend and Resource!

With the immunization world changing so quickly, sometimes you just need to phone a friend. The next time you encounter a tricky data question, you could have a peer waiting on the other end of the line!

 

AIRA invites all IIS epidemiologists (epis) and data analysts to register for Epi Connect, a program in which AIRA pairs IIS epis/data analysts across the community to provide professional peer support. This initiative is offered through AIRA’s Epi Shared Services (ESS) program.

 

Register for the program and then join us for the Epi Connect launch party on Tuesday, November 29 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. At this event, individuals will find out whom they are paired with and connect via virtual party games. And, because no party is complete without food, AIRA will provide a personalized Snack Magic treat box to early registrants.

 

To be paired with an epidemiologist/data analyst peer in the community, tell us more about you! The answers you provide when you register for the program will help us find your perfect match. Please indicate in the survey if you can attend the November 29 launch event. 

 

To stay in the know on all the important resources offered through the Epi Shared Services (ESS) program, fill out the ESS interest form today. Everyone who extracts, analyzes, interprets, visualizes, reports out, or interacts with IIS data is welcome.

 

We hope to see you at the November 29 event!

 

Measurement & Improvement Update: Data at Rest into Assessment

AIRA has prepared draft measures and tests to move 45 measures within the Data at Rest (DAR) content area into the Assessment stage of the Measurement and Improvement (M&I) Initiative. AIRA and the Measurement for Assessment and Certification Advisory Workgroup (MACAW) invite the IIS community to review and provide comments on the proposed measures and tests through October 17. Additionally, you can review the October 3 Discovery Session/Town Hall meeting on this topic in the repository

Aggregate Analysis Reporting Tool user interface survey
To meet the measurement and improvement needs of the IIS community, AIRA dedicates resources to develop, maintain, and improve the Aggregate Analysis Reporting Tool (AART). AIRA launched AART’s new user interface in February 2022. All AART users are invited to take a few minutes to share their feedback on their experience to date. Your input is invaluable, and we will use it to guide our development priorities. AART users will be prompted to complete the survey via a pop-up when logging in; you can also access it here. The survey will close October 28.

 

Questions, want to practice, or need help? 

AIRA’s technical assistance team is available to: 

  • Assist you in understanding your AART dashboard and results 
  • Help prioritize work 
  • Support your program/IIS movement toward alignment with standards

Submitting a request via our online TA Request form takes only a few moments. You can also email the Standards and Analytics team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get started.

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Immunization Integration Program (IIP) Participates in the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Connectathon 2022

IIP team members attended the 2022 IHE North American Connectathon in Atlanta, Georgia, September 13 to 16. IHE Connectathons are a cross-vendor, live, supervised, and structured testing event. Leading system developers and vendors test implementations of IHE profiles and other world-class standards to advance health IT interoperability. Tests at the Connectathon are evaluated on interoperability and conformance to specific IHE profiles found in IHE’s Technical Frameworks. The test floor is overseen by IHE’s technical project managers and testing monitors, providing a safe, neutral test environment, opportunity for cross-industry collaboration, and real-world problem resolution. Most, if not all, test projects move on to demonstrate successes in the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Interoperability Showcase.

 

In addition to the Connectathon testing experience, attendees participated in three days of interoperability education, discussions, and networking during IHE Experience Day and Standards Acceleration Days, a new addition to the IHE USA Connectathon experience! Damon Ferlazzo, IIP business analyst at AIRA, shared information about IIP’s Collaborative, Testing and Recognition and Technical Assistance programs with interoperability experts from CARIN Alliance, EHR and medical device market suppliers, emergency medical system market suppliers,InterOP.Community, HIMSS, HL7, HIEs, IHE, NEMSIS, ONC, RSNA, Sequoia Project, and more. 

 

Connectathon key takeaways include:

  • Connectathon provides a safe space to test new interoperability functionality with partners removing fear of failure.
  • It is unique among other events in that they are used to test existing interoperability solutions rather than piloting and building new standards.
  • Interoperability efforts from different domains can learn from one another’s experiences.
  • HIMSS released a report indicating that Public Health infrastructure needs $36.7 billion over the next 10 years to modernize state, territorial, local, and tribal public health infrastructure to ensure readiness for ongoing and emerging public health emergencies.
  • There is an increasing demand to support health IT (and especially public health IT) projects at the state, regional, and local level.
  • IHE hosts a Quality, Research and Public Health (QRPH) domain technical committee that addresses information exchange relevant to quality improvement in patient care, clinical research, and public health monitoring.

For more information, please email Damon Ferlazzo or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Information Requests

AIRA members have the ability to submit and review information requests—a circulation of questions to and answers from the community. The recent information requests regarding the topics below can be found by using the “Information Requests” filter in the AIRA repository

  • School Data
  • FDA's Vaccination and Safety Effectiveness Surveillance Program

Information requests are viewable only by individual members and individuals affiliated with member and partner organizations. Just log in to view these valuable resources! If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

Committee and Workgroup Updates: August Recap

HL7 Immunization User Group

  • The HL7 Immunization User Group met on September 8.
  • The HL7 Immunization User Group meeting received updates about the HL7 Immunizations Innovations Workgroup.
  • The committee received a presentation from Nathan Bunker on newborn reporting/unnamed children and the current standard.
  • The user group also received an update on emerging challenges with monkeypox from Mary Beth Kurilo from AIRA.
  • The next meeting is October 13, 2022, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, so add this to your calendar

Measurement for Assessment & Certification Advisory Workgroup (MACAW)

  • MACAW met on September 8.
  • The workgroup discussed the outcomes from the July in-person MACAW meeting.
  • The group discussed the ACIP’s expanded age-based recommendations for HepB.
  • MACAW also covered further information on DAR Assessment as well as the AART tool enhancements.
  • The next meeting is November 10, 2022, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, so add this to your calendar.

Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW)  

IIS Best Practices Community of Practice (CoP)

Power BI User Group (PUG)

Smarty User Group

Standards & Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC)

  • SISC met on September 14.
  • Paloma Hawry gave an update on code sets from the CDC.
  • Nathan Bunker gave an update on the HL7 User Group as well as the SISC Small Group.
  • The committee welcomed JP Pollack from Cornell Tech, who presented further information on Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI).
  • Monkeypox coding and eligibility funding source was discussed with the committee as well.
  • The next meeting is October 12, 2022, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET, so add this to your calendar.

Tableau User Group (TUG)

  • TUG has welcomed seven new users to the group since the last meeting!
  • TUG met on September 27.
  • Tavio Pirrochi from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment presented “Tableau Formulas & Advanced Calculations, Part 2.”
  • AIRA will be launching a new Slack channel to increase engagement and collaboration among TUG members and Tableau training participants.
  • The next meeting is November 22, 2022, noon to 1 p.m. ET, so add this to your calendar.

NOTE: Meeting minutes will capture only action items and decisions made. Recordings of the meetings can be obtained directly upon request by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

AIRA Job Opportunities

Are you interested in working for AIRA or in the IIS community? Find current job openings at AIRA and other states/jurisdictions on the Employment Opportunities and Requests for Proposals page on the AIRA website.

 

Opportunities for independent contractors

 

To be notified of future contracting opportunities, please sign up here.

 

Employment Opportunities in Other States and Organizations

 

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is seeking an immunization information system (IIS) manager to work within the Public Health and Safety Division. The IIS manager will be responsible for interpreting program needs and ensuring IIS requirements are met. This position oversees the design, development, and implementation of IIS enhancements; analyzes HL7 data communication and produces narrative, quantitative, and visual reports; serves as a liaison between bureaus, vendor teams, health care providers and support staff, and system testing plans, including testing teams and initiatives; and administers the security for all assigned applications.

 

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (NYC DOHMH) Division of Disease Control is seeking a medical epidemiologist to serve as the assistant commissioner for its Bureau of Immunization (BOI). This role is responsible for overseeing, managing, and providing leadership. The primary duties of the position are as follows: lead multidisciplinary teams; develop and implement public health policies, strategies, and programs to increase vaccine coverage; provide oversight for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program; manage and give strategic direction to the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR); coordinate the implementation of evidence-based strategies and improved reporting of immunizations with health providers; oversee expansion of a Vaccines for Adults Program; and more.

 


Connect with Us:

American Immunization Registry Association 1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1025, Washington, District of Columbia 20006, United States 202.522.0208
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