TMA to Make Be Wise Vaccination Program Even More Effective
By Tammy Wishard

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Since it began in 2004, the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – ImmunizeSM vaccination education and outreach program has provided more than 360,000 shots to Texas children, adolescents, and adults.

Although TMA is proud of that accomplishment, we’re always looking for ways to improve the Be Wise program – particularly in light of a changing vaccination landscape that includes a rise in vaccine hesitancy and a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases.

So in late 2018, TMA’s Council on Health Promotion established a workgroup to find ways to make it easier for physicians to participate in Be Wise and to reach more communities.

The workgroup then sent two surveys – one to TMA members and TMA Alliance members who have participated in the program, and another to members who have not participated.

Based on member survey results, TMA is changing the program to provide more ways for members to become involved, including:

  • Expanding Local Impact Grants to provide funding for multiple, ongoing vaccination efforts, rather than just one-time shot clinics;
  • Working with local organizations – such as Meals on Wheels, and the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition assistance program – to host education and vaccination events; and
  • Collaborating with Title 1 schools to host education and vaccination events.

The surveys also found that although many members (55%) weren’t aware of the program, 86% of those who were aware of it believe the program is important for TMA’s overall goals and image. And vaccination tied with unplanned pregnancy, and just below environmental health, as the TMA public health priority areas of most interest for future outreach involvement.

TMA wants to support you in your efforts to promote vaccinations in your practice and community. For more information or to find out how you can get involved, visit the Be Wise webpage, email TMA’s outreach coordinator, or call (512) 370-1470. 

Be Wise – Immunize is a joint initiative led by TMA physicians and medical students, and the TMA Alliance. Funding for TMA’s Be Wise — Immunize is provided in 2019 by the Texas Medical Association Foundation thanks to H-E-B, TMF Health Quality Institute, Pfizer Inc., and gifts from physicians and their families.

Last Updated On

June 17, 2019

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Tammy Wishard

Outreach Coordinator, Division of Communication

(512) 370-1470
Tammy Wishard

Tammy Wishard is TMA’s outreach coordinator. She manages TMA's award-winning Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise — Immunize programs, and the Anson Jones, MD, Awards for excellence in health reporting. She has a 20-plus-year history with TMA, where she started as a writer/editor. Tammy, an Iowa native, is a graduate of Abilene Christian University.

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