Hawai‘i DOH Doctor Receives CDC Immunization Award
Chunmei Wu, MD, has been announced by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s (DOH) Immunization Branch as the recipient of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award for Hawai‘i.
Dr. Wu was presented her award during the American Academy of Pediatrics Hawai‘i Chapter’s annual conference in recognition of her vaccination efforts.
According to CDC, only about half of Hawai‘i’s adolescents aged 13 to 17 years were up-to-date on their human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations in 2017. In comparison, 90% of Dr. Wu’s patients have completed the HPV vaccine series.
“Dr. Wu is regarded as a caring and trusted professional by her patients and her staff, and we are pleased she is being recognized for her high vaccination rate and ongoing efforts to promote the HPV vaccine,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. “She and her staff are committed to ensuring their patients are protected from HPV and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Alicia Diem, epidemiological specialist for DOH’s Immunization Branch, added, “Dr. Wu educates her staff as well as her patients and their families about the importance of HPV vaccine as cancer prevention. She enlists her staff as partners in championing all immunizations with equal importance, and together, they routinely and consistently utilize best practices in patient care.”
For 20 years, Dr. Wu has been a practicing pediatrician in Honolulu. She graduated from Wuhan University Medical School in 1985 and received a Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Hawai‘i in 1992. In 1995, she concluded a research year studying the effect of viral infection on the central nervous system at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her pediatrics residency at the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine and opened her private practice in 1999.
HPV is a common virus that has many different strains or types. HPV infection can cause six different types of cancers in addition to genital warts. The HPV vaccine series is recommended for all preteens at 11 or 12 years of age. “Catch-up” vaccination is recommended through age 26 years for unimmunized adolescents and young adults, and those who have not completed the vaccine series.
In partnership with the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), CDC established the award program to recognize leaders in healthcare who are going above and beyond to promote or foster HPV vaccination among adolescents in their communities. The HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award honors up to one champion from each of the 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, and the District of Columbia.
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