Promoting Cervical Health Awareness at St. Jude

HPV blocks

HPV vaccination protects against cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers in men and women.

As the Living Well Coordinator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, my role is to promote a culture of health and well-being for St. Jude employees. The mission of the Living Well program is to foster dynamic holistic wellness for employees. Our offerings are designed to help employees feel their best so they can be their best for our patients, their families and achieve the hospital’s mission.

In October 2020, the Living Well program added an onsite health clinic and pharmacy as an additional benefit for St. Jude employees. The clinic offers HPV vaccinations as one of many preventive services. This allowed the Living Well program to work with the new St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program team to improve HPV vaccination coverage among employees and their families.

The Living Well program reaches people who are at different ages and stages in life. There are employees who may be eligible for vaccination or children, grandchildren or loved one who are eligible. For this reason, we are strategic about reaching the right people with the right messages about HPV vaccination as a cancer prevention tool.

Collaboratively, Living Well and the HPV Cancer Prevention Program have designed and implemented measurable and impactful interventions. This has been done primarily through building relationships, capacity and awareness. These actions are not accomplished in a certain order and sometimes occur simultaneously as the result of one action.

One strategy has been to build relationships, capacity and awareness of HPV cancer prevention among health care providers who provide services through the Living Well Health & Wellness Center and Pharmacy. In addition to offering HPV vaccinations, the wellness center offers preventive health services such as Pap tests, HPV testing and other preventive resources related to HPV and HPV cancers.

During wellness exams, our providers ensure vaccinations are current and provide recommendations for the HPV vaccination as appropriate. The convenience of having HPV vaccinations available on campus has been widely appreciated among employees. To increase awareness, Living Well and the HPV Cancer Prevention Program created digital signs that rotate in the wellness center’s lobby and exam rooms.

A supportive strategy has been to build awareness among those who are eligible for HPV vaccinations. In March 2021, we teamed with the HPV Cancer Prevention Program to mail letters to employees’ homes announcing the St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program and promoting HPV vaccination. Educational sessions were also coordinated and promoted by Living Well and delivered by Tim Folse, MD, a St. Jude staff physician. Importantly, a second letter was sent to those insured through the hospital’s plan to discuss the availability and accessibility of the vaccine.

Our collaboration will continue to create and launch innovative interventions that serve as models for other employers to replicate and improve HPV vaccination coverage.

To learn more, visit the St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program webpage or email PREVENTHPV@stjude.org.

About the author

Brittney Becton, MPH, is the coordinator of the Living Well Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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