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April 2022 Monthly Update


Monthly Update

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April 2022 in Review

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Executive Director's Update

Greetings,

April was a busy month that included a several exciting conferences. We were thrilled to hold the AIRA 2022 National Meeting, virtual edition, on April 26 and 27. Thank you to everyone who attended! This was the first fully virtual National Meeting in AIRA’s history, and we are proud to report that there were a record-breaking 660 attendees! The engagement amongst attendees was incredible, and the overall positive atmosphere made it a truly memorable event. We were honored to have Dr. David Ross, chief executive officer and president of The Task Force for Global Health, as our keynote speaker. Dr. Ross kicked off the meeting and spoke about the history of immunizations and immunization information systems (IIS) in our country and looked toward the future at how the IIS community and especially AIRA can play a role in shaping that future. We thank Dr. Ross for always being a champion of IIS and AIRA and for sharing his wisdom and insights with us at the National Meeting.

 

We were also fortunate to hear from a panel of experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Immunization Services Division. Dr. Georgina Peacock, Nathan Crawford, and Lynn Gibbs-Scharf gave updates on what’s happening with immunizations and IIS at the federal level. This year’s meeting also provided some fun networking sessions, and three breakout sessions over two days that included stellar content from jurisdictions and our partners from across the country on subjects ranging from understanding the health IT multiverse, to pandemic response, to data use and insights.

 

In true National Meeting fashion and in the spirit of fun, we also built in some levity into the agenda. Since the meeting was virtual this year, we didn’t have a game show, but did offer special programming on day two that was both educational and fun. AIRA board members Dave McCormick and Sammy Chao, and AIRA’s own Eric Larson, competed in a trivia contest against attendees. Attendees used Menti to answer questions, take polls, and fill in the blanks to sentences, such as the Albert Einstein quote, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to _____.” You can see some of the creative word choices entered by attendees in the image below.

Day two opened with a plenary session on data modernization and featured a panel of speakers from CDC and the Office of the National Coordinator. The panelists spoke about their visions of modern data systems, how CDC is architecting data modernization, and what role immunization has in its Data Modernization Initiative. You can find more information on this CDC initiative online.

 

The final plenary session was all about vaccine credentialing. Dr. Chris Longhurst, representing VCI, moderated the session and kicked it off with information on SMART Health Cards. Attendees then heard from a panel of speakers from California, Oregon, Washington, and Louisiana about their states’ experiences implementing vaccine credentialing systems.
Thank you again to everyone who attended the National Meeting this year. Stay tuned for information about the next National Meeting, which we plan to hold in person in April 2023.

 

I also want to share some updates from the World Vaccine Congress, which was held April 18–21 in Washington, DC. The World Vaccine Congress is a meeting dedicated to vaccines. From basic research to commercial manufacturing, this meeting covers the entire vaccine chain. I was fortunate to share some of our lessons learned and information from our new guidance document, Clinical Trial Data | A Pathway to Immunization Information Systems (IIS). I also joined colleagues from the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, Avalere Health, GSK, Merck, and LaTreace Harris from CDC during a panel presentation titled Data Driven Health Advocacy to Inform Vaccine Policy Reforms. It was an opportunity to connect with colleagues involved in the development and manufacturing of vaccines and highlight how their work impacts the downstream implementation.

 

May looks to be another busy month and I look forward to connecting with some of you during the Public Health Informatics Institute-hosted IIS Leadership Workshop on May 17–19, 2022.

 

Rebecca Coyle, MSEd

Executive Director

 

 
 
 
 

#AIRA2022 National Meeting Award Winners!

Congratulations to the #AIRA2022 National Meeting award winners! We awarded winners in the following seven categories this year:

 

Leadership

  • Angela De La Cruz, Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Christy Gray, Virginia Department of Health
  • Karen Meranda, Washington State Department of Health
  • Marie Hartel, Tennessee Department of Health

Superstar

  • Jennifer Green, Utah Department of Health
  • John Reid, Utah Department of Health
  • Michael Powell, California Department of Public Health
  • Tiffany Tate, Multi-State Partnership for Prevention

Consider It Done

  • Abhinav Nalla, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
  • Annette Hobson, Virgin Islands Department of Health
  • Megan Deming, Washington State Department of Health
  • Olenka Aguilar, North Dakota Department of Health

IIS Data Genius

  • Denise Kall, Vermont Department of Health
  • Mary Woinarowicz, North Dakota Department of Health

DARS Star

  • Arkansas Department of Health
  • Connecticut State Department of Public Health
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health

Dream Team

  • California Department of Public Health
  • Connecticut WiZ Team
  • District of Columbia Department of Health
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
  • New Mexico Department of Health
  • Puerto Rico Department of Health

Exiting Excellence

Amy Metroka from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Stuart Weinberg from Vanderbilt University Medical Center have worked tirelessly throughout their careers. We thank you for all your incredibly valuable contributions!


 

Don't Wait to Participate in AIRA's Epi Shared Services!

AIRA is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Epidemiology Shared Services (ESS) initiative to support new-hire onboarding, training, and advancement of data analysis skills among immunization information system (IIS) data analysts and epidemiologists. ESS is a resource for those who extract, analyze, interpret, visualize, report out, or interact with IIS data.

 

ESS has five initiatives coming in 2022:

  1. A crowd-sourced code library
  2. Data visualization, technical, and other relevant trainings
  3. A miniseries designed to increase community sharing and learning for IIS data analyst topics
  4. An informal network of IIS data analyst peers to provide support to one another
  5. Tailored technical assistance for IIS

These initiatives are designed to increase support and skills for data analysts in the IIS community. All levels of experience are encouraged to participate! To participate in one or more of the ESS initiatives, fill out the AIRA Epi Shared Services interest form or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the name of the offering(s) in the subject line. For example, “ESS: Epi Connect and Code Library.” We hope to see you and your data analyst colleagues at a future ESS event!


 

Need Data Visualization or Epi Support?

Could your jurisdiction benefit from additional epidemiological or data visualization support? AIRA offers several ways to get the support you need, including data visualization trainings, user groups, and office hours!

 

Trainings

AIRA offers live, instructor-led, immunization data-driven training programs for Tableau and Power BI data visualization tools. Below are links to some upcoming trainings:

AIRA will continue to offer future trainings related to the advancement of data analysis and technical skills. Trainings will be posted to the AIRA events calendar, shared with relevant user groups, and emailed to the IIS community.

 

User groups
AIRA offers data visualization user groups to encourage peer-to-peer relationships between jurisdictions and create a community in which members can share their successes and challenges. Learn more about the two data visualization user groups below:

Office hours
If your jurisdiction could benefit from one-on-one support, AIRA’s Epidemiologist/Data Analyst, Taylor Boomsma, is available to help! Taylor started at AIRA in November 2020. She has experience with IIS coverage rate analysis, creating data quality reports, and visualizing data in Tableau. She also ran the Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers program in Tennessee. Taylor is offering office hours twice a week and is also available by appointment.

 

Office Hours:

  • Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to noon ET
  • Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. ET

 

IIP and Helios Collaboration on Bulk Query

You’ve likely heard about work intersecting on two fronts on the topic of bulk query from IIS systems. In spring 2021, several members of the IIS community voiced a need for a consistent bulk query approach. They were interested in a process to respond to high-volume data requests that could be more efficiently met outside of the HL7 single message response. AIRA set up two meetings with key community representatives to discuss current activities and priorities regarding this topic.

 

In summer 2021, the Immunization Integration Program (IIP), a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AIRA, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), began prioritizing topics for the upcoming year. Out of 42 topics discussed, bulk query was prioritized in the top 4, and in early 2022, a workgroup was pulled together to begin discussing potential guidance for this topic.

 

This winter, the Helios FHIR Accelerator for Public Health (an initiative of HL7 jointly supported by CDC and the Office of the National Coordinator) requested input on use cases under consideration for its next FHIR Accelerator topics. There were 29 use cases evaluated, and bulk query was prioritized within the top 3. AIRA was asked to participate in the Helios Interim Steering Committee to assist with prioritization and scoping.

 

These two teams (IIP and Helios) are now collaborating to determine how to synergize and leverage work across both projects. The IIP developed a landscape analysis and formed a workgroup to define best practices, while the Helios project is currently scoping its work. Both projects welcome input on and broad involvement with these efforts. If you would like to get involved, please send an email referencing bulk query to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

Measurement and Improvement Updates

Despite many challenges that the IIS community faced over the last year, we still continue to see improvements in IIS alignment with those content areas currently in Validation. The four content areas include Transport, Submission/Acknowledgment, Query/Response, and Clinical Decision Support (CDS). Just in the last two quarters of 2021, three IIS achieved Validation in at least one content area.

 

We appreciate all your hard work over the last year and the improvements across the IIS community are commendable and astounding!  This work continues to move our community forward in advancing public health and IIS through improvements in interoperability, data quality, and clinical decision support.




Updated reports
The 2022 first-quarter individual IIS Assessment and Validation reports are available and can be found by logging in to AART. Updated aggregate Assessment and 2022 first quarter Validation reports are also available in the AIRA repository.

 

Have questions or need help?
AIRA’s technical assistance team is ready to help you understand your AART dashboard and results, prioritize your work, and support your movement toward better alignment with standards. Don’t hesitate to contact us for technical assistance. We can quickly answer a question or dive deeper into topics, such as helping you and your IIS technical team better understand issues and make plans to align more fully with standards. Fill out a Technical Assistance Request or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

 

Committee and Workgroup Updates: April Recap

Measurement for Assessment and Certification Advisory Workgroup (MACAW)

  • MACAW met on April 14.
  • The workgroup received updates on current MACAW projects and discussed testing limitations.
  • MACAW also reviewed its current charter and possible updates for the coming year.
  • The next MACAW meeting is May 12, 2022, from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW)

Power BI User Group (PUG)

  • PUG met on April 19.
  • PUG welcomed American Samoa Public Health, the Florida Department of Health, University of Michigan, the New Mexico Department of Health, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to the Power BI User Group! PUG has also welcomed eight new users from existing jurisdictions.
  • PUG approved its charter.
  • Miriam Muscoplat, AIRA board member, and Penny Nguyen, both from the Minnesota Department of Health, presented on the topic of creating an interactive dashboard for decision makers and the public.
  • If you’re interested in joining PUG, email Amber Buckland.
  • The next user group meeting is June 28, 2022, from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee (SISC)

  • The SISC met on April 13.
  • Paloma Hawry, speaking on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave an update on code sets.
  • The committee received an update on the HL7 Immunization User Group and SISC small groups from Nathan Bunker.
  • Craig Newman from Altarum gave an update on the Helios HL7 FHIR Accelerator for Public Health.
  • CDC began a discussion on 2D barcodes that will be continued at the next SISC meeting in May.
  • The next committee meeting is May 11, 2022, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.

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.

  • There are no opportunities at this time.

Opportunities for independent contractors

Sign up to get notifications of future contracting opportunities.

  • There are no opportunities at this time.
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