Pines Pediatrics Recognized for Childhood Immunization

(2009) Pines Pediatrics in Caribou has been recognized for its success in childhood vaccination. The Maine Immunization Program within the Maine Centers for Disease Control presented an award to Pines Pediatrics at a meeting of the Immunization Program's Advisory Committee held in Brunswick, Maine. Pines rate of 97% of recommended immunizations for 2-year old children was the highest in the State of Maine. Larry Losey, M.D., Pediatrician and chairman of the Immunization Advisory Committee said that such a high rate of success is remarkable. “They are doing something very special up there in Caribou”, said Dr. Losey who practices in the Brunswick area. “They should be very proud of their success and we need to learn more about how they are doing it, it is just so impressive”. Losey said that they will be looking to Pines to share ‘best practice' ideas with other physician practices around the state.

Jim Davis, Chief Executive at Pines Health Services, said that the immunization success rate at Pines Pediatrics is made possible thanks to the dedication and commitment of staff in the practice and particularly Marlene Jandreau, who coordinates the vaccine program at Pines Pediatrics.

“Our physicians must be aware and promote the critical importance of childhood vaccines and they do a superb job of educating parents. In addition to the physician's role, we need to manage the vaccine program, make sure we have adequate supplies, and work with parents to schedule necessary visits. This is a lot of work and it takes someone with a true passion and belief in the importance of childhood immunizations to make it happen. Marlene Jandreau performs this role in an outstanding manner.”

Jandreau, who has been with Pines for nearly two years, coordinates the immunization program and manages patient referrals. Starting as a Medical Assistant, she then moved into the immunization role and has found a true passion for the work.

“Working full time in a Pediatric practice really drives home the idea of how important it is to have children immunized against major disease. Working with the Maine Immunization Program, I have access to excellent tools to track our immunization records and to identify patients who have missed appointments. I work hard to connect with parents, remind them of the importance of the immunizations, and get them into the office for follow-up. Parents are very busy and there's a lot to learn about immunizations. If I can help by reminding them about vaccination schedules, I'm happy to do so.”

Jandreau also mentioned that the State Immunization Program now has a new tool that they use to improve vaccination rates. “We have been working with Immpact II, an immunization registry that can be accessed by computer and provides a lifetime immunization record. We use the system to track our patients' immunization schedules. The system also has the ability to produce a post card reminder that we send to patients or a letter that specifically identifies the vaccine due or not completed. This system makes our work so much easier.”

Pines' 97% vaccination rate compares to an overall State immunization rate of around 80%. Presenting the award to Pines at the Immunization Advisory meeting were Larry Losey, M.D., Chairman of the Immunization Advisory Committee, and Peter Smith, M.D., Director of the Division of Infectious Disease at the Maine CDC.

Pines Health Services is a multi-specialty physician practice management organization designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Pines has five primary care health centers and three specialty offices serving central and northern Aroostook County. As part of its mission to provide access to health care for the entire community, Pines serves all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Questions regarding our Access to Care program can be directed to any office or by dialing 498-2356 x2057.