Ad Astra ECHO Series: Immunizations in Kansas

4 Min Read

Jan 31, 2024


Kansas Health Institute

Logo for Ad Astra ECHO Immunization Series

Immunizations have proven to be a powerful tool in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and safeguarding communities. However, misinformation, misconceptions and disparities in access have led to gaps in vaccination coverage, leaving populations vulnerable to preventable illnesses. Addressing these challenges and promoting informed decision-making about immunizations across all age groups and diverse communities is imperative.

Join us for a series of convenings designed to equip and empower health care professionals, educators and community leaders with accurate vaccine knowledge and practical communication skills to ensure that individuals of all ages and backgrounds can access accurate information and make informed decisions about their health.

The ECHO curriculum will provide a comprehensive and well-rounded approach to understanding different population groups’ unique needs, concerns and vaccination requirements. Health care professionals will receive continuing education unit (CEU) credits for their participation. 

Past Sessions

Immunizations for Healthy Aging

On Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, KHI held an educational event that focused on understanding vaccinations recommended for older adults. Participants learned how the immune system changes with age and the role vaccines can play in maintaining health. They also learned about critical vaccines recommended for older adults and how to address fears and concerns regarding immunizations. Participants heard from Dr. Joan Duwve, MD, MPH, State Health Officer, and Krissi O’Dell, BSN, Immunization Nurse Educator, from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Following a panel discussion. Representative John Eplee, MD, Kansas State Representative and family physician, provided wrap-up comments.

An Event Recap is available online.

Back-to-School Immunizations – Procedures and Policy

On Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, KHI held a panel discussion about immunizations for school-aged children in Kansas. Participants learned about how vaccinations for school entry are selected. They also heard from early childhood experts and school nurse staff about questions and concerns they receive from parents regarding vaccination requirements and how those issues are addressed. Participants learned the procedures the agency uses to gather and analyze data related to kindergarten vaccinations. A panel discussed how to keep Kansas families informed about vaccination requirements.

An Event Recap is available online.

Immunizations for Maternal Health

On Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, KHI held an event focused on understanding the importance of protecting both mother and baby through vaccination. Participants learned about vaccines recommended during pregnancy, how to address some common concerns about vaccine safety and how to engage in shared decision-making.

An Event Recap is available online.

Access to Immunizations for Uninsured Adults

On Friday, March 22, KHI held a session exploring ways to ensure that every adult, regardless of insurance status, can access essential vaccinations for a healthier future. The session also addressed uninsured adults’ challenges in accessing preventive health care and explored strategies to bridge the gap. It also aimed to empower health care professionals, community leaders and stakeholders with the knowledge and tools to promote immunization equity, ultimately contributing to the overall health and resilience of our communities.

An Event Recap is available online.

Immunizations for Adolescents and Young Adults

On May 3, 2024, KHI held a session to provide a comprehensive understanding of the recommended vaccine schedule for adolescents and young adults. Participants gained the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of vaccination in this age group. They also developed effective communication strategies, as well as explored innovative approaches for integrating immunization programs in various settings, focusing on fostering vaccine confidence among this group.

An Event Recap is available online.


KHI would like to thank the Immunization in Kansas ECHO Hub team members: Tracy Russell, Nurture KC; Randy Bowman, Kansas Association of Local Health Departments; Linda Redding, USD 497; Geovannie Gone, Immunize Kansas Coalition; Jamie Gabel, Kansas Department of Health and Environment; Jacob Teats, KU Medical Center Area Health Education Center; and Rep. John Eplee.

About Ad Astra ECHO

Project ECHO® is an innovative “hub and spoke” model designed to create communities of learners by connecting subject matter experts with the target population. It uses multi-point video-conferencing technology, case-based learning, evidence-based and promising practices, and outcomes monitoring.

KHI serves as an ECHO Hub – Ad Astra ECHO – that is committed to addressing the needs of targeted populations by equipping the workforce with the right knowledge, at the right place, at the right time.

Learn more.

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The Kansas Health Institute admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs and other school-administered programs and conferences. Please call (785) 233-5443 with any questions.

About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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