February 20, 2019
A student receives an HPV vaccine at the 2018 Joint Admission Medical
Program health fair at Angelo State University.
Angelo State University (ASU) students will receive cancer-preventing vaccinations this spring, thanks to a grant from the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program. TMA recently awarded a $2,500 grant to physicians in San Angelo to help provide the free vaccinations.
“A vaccine prevents cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Our grant funding will help these San Angelo college students stay healthy now and in the future,” said TMA Foundation (TMAF) President Leslie H. Secrest, MD, of Dallas.
This is the second year the Concho Valley County Medical Society – the organized group of local physicians of all specialties – is providing HPV vaccinations to students, offered March 4 at the JAMP (Joint Admission Medical Program) health fair on the ASU campus. The grant will help students get the first of three vaccinations for full protection against cancers caused by HPV.
Celeste Caballero, MD, a San Angelo pediatrician who is spearheading the event, said: “We want to educate students – the future parents and opinion leaders in Texas – about the importance of HPV vaccination for them and, one day, their children. Ultimately we want to prevent the needless suffering of cancer and save lives because of our efforts vaccinating students.”
About eight in 10 people in the United States will get HPV. HPV is the world’s most common sexually transmitted infection, which also can spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. HPV can cause several types of cancer, including cervical and oropharyngeal (head and neck), so it potentially is deadly.
More than 30,000 people get cancer from HPV every year in the United States. People in their teens and 20s get most of the 14 million new HPV infections each year, which can show up years later as cancer.
That is why physicians say the HPV vaccine is so important, and worthwhile: The shots are 97- to 100-percent effective at preventing cancer-causing HPV infections.
The county medical society is teaming with other community groups for the shot clinic. Angelo State University, Esperanza Clinic, San Angelo Community Medical Center, Shannon Hospital, and the Texas Department of State Health Services will provide funding and vaccine for the event, as well as additional vaccine so students can get their second and third doses on campus. The ASU Student Government Association and ASU nursing students also will participate.
San Angelo pediatrician Celeste Caballero, MD, poses with ASU nursing
students at the 2018 Joint Admission Medical Program health fair.
The Be Wise – Immunize Local Impact Grants program funds the grants to enable members of TMA and the TMA Alliance (an organization of physician volunteers and their spouses) to help ensure their communities are healthy by offering childhood, adolescent, and adult vaccinations at special events and clinics. Members often partner with local organizations to reach residents in need.
Since 2012, TMA’s Local Impact Grants program has awarded 105 grants totaling more than $203,000 to provide more than 13,000 vaccinations across the state. Be Wise – Immunize and the Local Impact Grants are funded by TMAF, TMA’s philanthropic arm.
TMA actively works to improve vaccination rates in Texas through its Be Wise – Immunize program. More than 360,000 shots have been given to Texas children, adolescents, and adults since the program began in 2004. TMAF funds the Be Wise program in 2019 through generous support from H-E-B, TMF Health Quality Institute, Pfizer Inc., and gifts from physicians and their families.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 53,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.
TMA Contacts: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
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