Bibs for babies and a Web conference for local doctors’ offices about vaccination updates top the list of a month-long push to increase immunization rates in El Paso and Pueblo counties.

The bibs will be handed out free to WIC, Nurse-Family Partnership, immunization clinics and birth certificate clients in both health departments and have an “immunize me” message.

Because birth numbers in El Paso County are on the rise, health department officials are trying to offset the increase in preventable childhood diseases by helping more children get immunized.

“The ‘immunize me’ message is timeless and of increasing significance given our county’s annual birth numbers exceed 8,600 and over 25,000 children ages 0 to 2 are already represented in our population,” said Diane Ashton, community health planner for immunizations at the El Paso County health department.

The Web seminar is scheduled for April 26, and will be available to all local doctors’ offices. The departments will be providing immunization information at the health fairs on April 28.

The Pueblo health fair will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. at Mineral Palace Park. Call 549-3412 for information. The El Paso County fair will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Trinity United Methodist Church, 701 N. 20th St. Call 389-0759 for information.

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Parents are encouraged to check with their doctor to review their child’s immunization history. For more information about vaccines, call the El Paso County health department at 578-3199 or the Pueblo City-County Health Department at 583-4380.

Percentage of Children With Up-to-Date Immunizations at Child Care and Kindergarten School Entry, 2004-2005
Child Care
Year El Paso* Colo. El Paso* Colo.
2004-2005 58.5% 56.6% 73.2% 76.3%
Sources: Colorado 2005 Child Care Facility Survey and Colorado 2004-2005 School Immunization Survey.
*El Paso county data is preliminary survey data.

Peak Vista seeks volunteers

Peak Vista is seeking volunteers to help new mothers.

Peak Vista officials say that one-hour visits to a new mother’s home through the community health center’s First Visitor Services promote stronger families and healthier children.

The center will train volunteers to present “tried-and-true” child development information, as well as offer community resource information.

Monthly training sessions are available. Call 228-6639 for more information.

Reception honors volunteer physicians

The Community Health Partnership honored volunteer physicians at the annual Hearts of Gold reception last week at the Antlers Hotel.

Doctors who donate time to work with families and others with limited access to health care were recognized.

Small businesses also were provided information about insurance alternatives for their uninsured employees.

Colorado has a working population of 770,000 uninsured people, with 100,000 in El Paso County.

For more information — or to find out about advocacy efforts — visit the Colorado Medical Society’s Web page at

CMS offers free online training

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is offering free online training to doctor’s offices about how to implement health information technology.

CMS launched the Doctors’ Office Quality IT University with initial modules about office workflow design, culture change and communication for implementing health information technology. Other sections include information about how to implement care management in IT workflow and ways to incorporate patient self management into clinical care.

The department also plans sections about health information technology products and disease specific applications.

The online training is intended for small and midsize medical practices, and the sessions can be taken at any time. In the future, continuing medical education credits and continuing education credits will be available from the site.

For more information, visit

Memorial offers public education events

Two events are scheduled at Memorial Health System that will focus on families: a baby fair for new parents and a pet and child safety fair.

The Birth, Baby and Beyond Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5 at Memorial Hospital North on Briargate Parkway. Expectant parents can meet health experts, tour the hospital’s birth center and prepare for their new arrival. Call 365-8899 for information.

The Ruff and Ready Pet and Kid Safety Fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 12 at Palmer Park, on the corner of Maizeland Road and Academy Boulevard.

The free public event features demonstrations from police and military canine units, dog-training workshops, contests, pet adoption and supply resources.

The safety fair also includes dog-bite prevention and helmet safety information, as well as the Safe Kids home safety house and car seat checks.

The Memorial Star Transport helicopter is scheduled to land at the event at 10 a.m.

Call 268-1594 for more information.

Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.