by Cason Benton, MD, FAAP

Preventing illness through vaccinations is foundational to pediatric care. During the pandemic, either because of decreased patient visits or through caregiver concerns about vaccines, vaccination rates protecting young teens from tetanus, pertussis, meningococcus, and cancers decreased. The Alabama Department of Public Health’s ImmPRINT registry indicates that for 11- to 13-year-olds, only 17 percent of patients were up to date on the vaccines for this age group: tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap), 60 percent; human papillomavirus (HPV), 17 percent, and meningococcal (MenACWY), 51 percent (data as of July 13, 2021). 

Check out the Winter 2023 edition of the ACHIA Newsletter to find out about our newest collaborative.The ACHIA Newsletter provides information about current quality improvement initiatives, collaborative outcomes and more.
Check out our latest publication!ACHIA News 2023

The Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) is excited to kick off our new learning collaborative this fall. SEEN: A Teen Mental Wellness QI Collaborative will focus on the teen mental health crisis that our state is facing; recent studies have shown that up to 20% of teens have a mental health disorder, and suicide rates are rising. Pediatricians are uniquely suited to support families in the medical home. The AAP Bright Futures Guidelines recommend universal screening for depression and suicide, while the AAP Policy Statement, Mental Health Competencies for Pediatric Practice, sets expectations that practitioners develop the skills to address the screen results.

by Cason Benton, MD, FAAP

Teen Mental Health

Before the pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people with one in five adolescents having a mental health disorder. Moreover, Alabama youth, when compared to national samples, are more likely to have attempted suicide in the last 12 months and to have been treated medically as a result. Early data from emergency room usage and hospitalizations point to an alarming increase in adolescent mental health concerns during the pandemic.

Check out the Spring 2021 edition of the ACHIA Newsletter to find out how the April 5th Cures Act will impact teen confidentiality. The ACHIA Newsletters provide information about current quality improvement initiatives, collaborative outcomes and more. Check out our latest publication!