Category Archives: OPIC

Immunize Oregon: Improving community immunity


Immunize Oregon, OIP’s lifespan coalition,  is excited to announce we are restructuring the way we offer our FLU  (Free, Local, Underserved) Clinics. The coalition partners with area clinics, health systems, non-profits, and nursing and pharmacy schools to provide immunization clinics that offer no-cost vaccines to uninsured individuals. We work in conjunction with nursing or pharmacy students as vaccinators if necessary, and with partners who host the clinic and do outreach to people who need vaccines. 

If you are interested in hosting a FLU Clinic during the 2013-2014 season (September-April) please click here or contact 

 We are also elated to announce a notable expansion of our mini-grants–one of OAIC’s most popular programs.  This year we are able to offer $30,000 of grant funds, with a maximum award of $4,000!  These grants are for organizations looking to improve immunization rates in Oregon.  Last year, OAIC had $48,000 in requests for mini-grants with a budget of only $14,000. This year the coalition hopes to make a greater impact on the health of our communities by expanding this wildly successful program.

Immunization projects that focus on populations across the lifespan will be considered for grants, with special consideration to those that work to raise adult immunization rates (which are the lowest).

If you are interested in applying, please look at our website, for the request for proposals and application materials. If you have any questions, please contact

If you are interested in getting involved in Immunize Oregon, have any general questions about the coalition’s work or have an idea for a project, we would love to hear from you! Please email either Alison or Katherine at the addresses listed above.

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Two coalitions unite

Alison and Katherine

Oregon Immunization Program’s two coalitions— the Oregon Adult Immunization Coalition (OAIC) and the Oregon Partnership to Immunize Children (OPIC) —are merging into one. The new lifespan coalition, yet to be named, will continue to engage partners in meaningful projects to promote immunization in Oregon. Alison Alexander and Katherine McGuiness (coordinators for OAIC and OPIC respectively) will team up to lead the coalition.

“One lifespan coalition will be more efficient,” says Alison. “We won’t be duplicating work and members can be more meaningfully involved.” She believes the coalition will be able to do even more projects geared toward adults like Free, Local and Underserved (FLU) that works with nursing and pharmacy students to provide adult immunizations for those who can’t afford them.

Katherine is looking forward to involving a wide-range of members to the new coalition including people who may not be currently associated with the immunization world, such as representatives from non-profit organizations that work on health issues as well as the community-at-large. “Our new structure will allow people from different walks of life to be involved in different levels,” she says. “We will have subcommittees that people can join, depending on their interest. Anyone is welcome; we’re interested in hearing what coalition members would like to work on.”

The new lifespan coalition will continue with the more popular projects that OAIC and OPIC have sponsored in the past, such as the Round Tables and annual Flu Summit. Alison and Katherine think the entire coalition membership will meet three or four times a year, with a core executive committee meeting every two or three months. The first meeting of the merged coalition is January 29th

For more information, please contact Alison Alexander (971-673-0472 , or Katherine McGuiness (971-673-0285,

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Oregon Partnership to Immunize Children (OPIC) gets a new coordinator!

We would like to welcome Katherine McGuiness to the OIP family as the new OPIC Coordinator.

 Katherine has lived in Portland for five years, and just received her MPH and MSW from Portland State University (PSU).  Prior to joining OIP, she worked in the areas of reproductive and sexual health.  Her work at Planned Parenthood reduced barriers to reproductive healthcare for patients and reduced sexual health disparities. She has also participated in domestic violence counseling with mostly Spanish-speaking migrant women in Washington County.  Most recently, she helped teach undergraduate public health classes at PSU and also worked on HIV/AIDS projects that reduced homelessness in Portland’s HIV-positive population.  To complement her work experience, she has volunteered in many projects dealing with sexual assault advocacy and transit issues for low-income folks. 

  Katherine grew up in Latin America (she’s fluent in Spanish) and the East Coast of the United States, receiving her bachelor’s degree from Goucher College in psychology and women’s studies. She enjoys swimming in rivers, attempting the Friday and Saturday New York Times crossword puzzles, playing with her mini-dachshund Penelope and staying involved in social justice issues.

 Let’s all welcome Katherine to the team!!


Contact info:

 Katherine McGuiness, MPH, MSW
Coordinator, Oregon Partnership to Immunize Children (OPIC)
Oregon Immunization Program


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OPIC Roundtables

In this electronic age, it’s so refreshing for people to gather together, face-to-face, to share information. Every year in September and October, the Oregon Partnership to Immunize Children (OPIC) holds two roundtable training meetings at sites outside the Portland metropolitan area. In the spirit of OPIC’s mission, which is to facilitate the collaboration of public and private partners to protect Oregon’s youth against vaccine preventable disease, these annual roundtables encourage sharing resources and information between OPIC members across the state.

OPIC works with partners near the meetings’ locations to identify local needs and interests. This collaborative planning is one of the roundtables’ strengths and ensures that participants benefit from the subject matter.

Public and private health care professionals are invited to attend these no-cost meetings, including medical assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, instructors and students in the health professions, office managers, and staff from schools and correctional facilities. Typically, 150-175 health care professionals from as many as 20 counties participate in the roundtables.

The meetings provide information and updates on a range of immunization-related topics over the course of several sessions throughout the day. Subjects include current ACIP schedules, the new ALERT IIS, school law, achieving clinical competence in immunization practices, and vaccine storage and handling. One of the roundtables greatest benefits is the opportunity to learn from the collective expertise of highly skilled professionals from both the public and private sectors.

These roundtables are a valuable resource for the development of Oregon’s healthcare workforce because they provide needed skills and knowledge free of charge to attendees. At the end of the meeting, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance reflecting 6.25 hours of immunization education. They are also given a take-home packet that contains both fundamental and new science-based immunization facts. For additional information, contact the OPIC Coordinator, Karen R. Elliott, at


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Oregon Public Health’s new improved website: Topic-based and beautiful!

Visit Oregon Public Health’s new website:! This new topic-based website is easy to navigate and bursting with information. Check out the “Vaccines and Immunization” page, which will lead users to everything anyone needs to know about immunization in Oregon. In April 2011, the Oregon Partnership to Immunize Children (OPIC) will sponsor an advertising campaign designed to lead parents interested in vaccines to science-based information, as well as to compelling immunization stories told by real Oregonians.

There is also a vaccine safety page for providers that is steadily expanding to help those in the field answer patient questions.

Please visit:

We invite you to send any comments, questions or ideas about the website to

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