Students study immunization access

After surveying health care practitioners and community members, student nurses presented their results in Washington, D.C., as part of the Appalachian Regional Commission's Appalachian Teaching Project.


Winter 2016: Nursing professors Dr. Lisa Fiorentino and Dr. Tammy Haley apply for a $4,500 grant from the Appalachian Teaching Project to study and report on immunization access in McKean County. Pitt-Bradford is one of 14 institutions chosen.

Spring 2016: Fiorentino and Haley enlist the support of the McKean County Collaborative Board as a community partner.

Sept. 8: Students in Introduction to Nursing Research and Community Health Nursing classes meet to make a plan of action.

Sept. 15: Students meet with librarians about resources, read about what data already exist and learn more about the role of immunizations in community health. They decide who they will need to interview and write their survey.

Sept. 22: Students meet with the university's Institutional Review Board, which governs any research involving humans.

Oct. 4: Students help with a flu shot clinic on campus and deliver immunizations to 230 people.

Oct. 6: Phew! The project gets approval from the review board.

Oct. 10: Data collection begins. Students pair up to interview subjects in health care and other service settings. These qualitative studies record demographic data as well as obstacles to immunization.

Oct. 25-Nov. 9: The group makes test presentations at the Zonta Club of Bradford, Penn-York Undergraduate Research Conference and McKean County Collaborative Board, refining the presentation after each one.

Dec. 2-3: Students travel to Washington, D.C., to present their findings to the Appalachian Regional Commission along with other universities.

March 9-12: Five students will travel to the Appalachian Studies Association conference at Virginia Tech to present plans for pilot programs that could be used to increase access to vaccinations.