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Cooperative Extension Service Immunization Education Project: Vaccinate with Confidence Health Promotion Specialist

 Cooperative Extension Service Immunization Education Project

Vaccinate with Confidence Health Promotion Specialist Position Description

This project is a collaborative effort among the Extension Committee on Policy (ECOP),  eXtension, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It grew out of efforts undertaken by the ECOP Health Innovation Task Force. eXtension anticipates receiving funding for Immunization Education efforts.  Key Extension leaders on this project are Dr. Roger Rennekamp, Dr. Michelle Rodgers, Dr. Caroline Henney, Ms. Ali Mitchell Dunigan and Dr. Chris Geith.  This project will allow CDC and the Cooperative Extension System to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities by facilitating discussions at the community level to address barriers and concerns about COVID-19, flu and other adult vaccinations.  It is designed to help increase connections and communication between the community and health care practices, as well as increase accessibility and acceptability of local vaccination clinics and opportunities with the goal to and mobilize communities to implement public health programs to reduce health disparities, especially in rural areas. The four broad areas of emphasis for this project are:

  • A National Assessment
    • Create a landscape report through a national assessment of current activities, locations and delivery of extension immunization education, community dialogue, and the cooperative delivery of immunization clinics.  Timeline:   April-July 2021 
  • Vaccinate with Confidence National Campaign
    • Work with all 111 LGUs who are eligible to apply for funding to support their customization and deployment of the Vaccinate with Confidence Campaign. The package includes materials from the CDC, professional development offerings by the Vaccinate with Confidence technical assistance team available to all LGU’s and funding. LGU’s will complete a standardized and simple online application organized around a rubric to ensure funding priorities, such as serving underserved audiences and collecting standard data.  This information will be built into an application form briefly requiring a description of their planned implementation and their planned budget.  
  • An Impact Collaborative Summit
    • Work with eXtension Foundation to offer an Impact Collaborative Summit to develop opportunities for immunization education and clinics utilizing Extension resources, staff and locations as well as their partnerships with local health education resources, staff and immunization locations.  This Summit will help potential pilot recipients incubate and plan to accelerate opportunities for immunization education in rural and underserved communities.     Timeline:  April 2021.
  • Implement immunization education and clinic pilots, community dialogues, and the cooperative delivery of immunization clinics. Timeline:  May 2021-March 2022.
    • Pilots will test out immunization education programs, community dialogue frameworks, and clinic models in rural and underserved communities that will include data collection and use of common metrics for reporting.
    • A non-research report of what is learned will be created and shared with the Cooperative Extension System and collaborative leaders of this project. This report is to be a brief report and summary of the pilots from the pilot leaders. 

This project is seeking a health promotion specialist (a full-time buyout from a Land Grant University (LGU) or a service contract) to provide expertise and coordination working LGUs to successfully deploy the Vaccinate with Confidence Health Promotion in a local context through the Cooperative Extension Service.  eXtension will serve as the principal investigator for the project and eXtension will serve as a backbone for the project efforts.  This position will work collaboratively with the Project Director, Assistant Project Director and the Operations Manager to lead this project. This position will report to the Project Director, Dr. Michelle Rodgers. The Health Promotion Specialist for this project will:

  • Provide expertise and coordination working with LGUs to encourage, recruit and assist them in the customization and deployment of the Vaccinate with Confidence campaign.
  • Work with the LGUs as they implement the Vaccinate with Confidence campaign to ensure local success and impact and provide a communications/promotion toolkit for LGUs’ use. 
  • Offer different forms of professional development and other resources as needed throughout the project to support the Vaccinate with Confidence campaign package available to the 111 LGU’s and the selected pilot projects (approximately 20). 
  • Assist LGUs to best utilize the Vaccinate with Confidence Campaign Packaging funding.
  • Connect and coordinate successful LGU pilot applicants with the Vaccinate with the  Confidence Technical Assistance (Market Research Firm) service provider.
  • Work with the pilot projects in the design of their projects and in the deployment of their work.
  • Serve with the eXtension Foundation Team to deliver and serve teams and participants attending the Impact Collaborative for Immunization Education to expand the Vaccinate with Confidence campaign.
  • Work with the Evaluation team/firm to help insure the success of campaign and pilot efforts to achieve impact and provide consultation as appropriate.
  • Participate and learn about the Impact Collaborative and possibly serve on the Impact Collaborative Design Team.
  • Provide feedback and reports (quarterly and final).  
  • Serve on the project advisory and planning team committees.
  • Work collaboratively with the 1890 and 1994 Engagement Coordinators.
  • Work collaboratively with the Evaluation Team.
  • Work collaboratively with the Immunization Education Fellow. 
  • Participate and engage in the Connect Extension group.

The projected timeline for this position is  April 1, 2021 through March 30, 2022: (dependent upon project funding)

February 12 until position is filled: Accept letters of interest and resumes
April 1, 2021:  Start date for Health Promotion Specialist
April 1, 2021: Official start for the Project

If there are questions, please contact Project Director Dr. Michelle Rodgers, PhD, Associate Dean and Director, University of Delaware, Mobile 302-635-4306.

Persons interested in this position should send a letter of interest and a resume to Brenna Kotar, eXtension Foundation at by February 19, 2021.

Food Systems i-Three Corps

i-Three Issue Corps – Clark County Kentucky Seafood Nutrition Partnership


Each year Americans consume an average of about 14 pounds of seafood per person but nearly 140 pounds of sugar.

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends at least two servings of seafood each week, but most Americans are not coming close.  About 80-90 percent of U.S. consumers do not meet the recommendations. One-third of the population eats seafood once a week; about one-half occasionally includes seafood in their diets, while some never do. Low-income individuals tend to have the lowest seafood intake.

Seafood 4Price, access, dislike for seafood, and lack of knowledge of how to prepare seafood are often as deterrents for use.  Seafood contains high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and other chronic conditions. Eating seafood may also improve memory and prevent the onset of dementia.

The Team

As a result of these benefits, the Clark County Cooperative Extension collaborated with Clark County Community Services, Clark Regional Hospital and the Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) to implement Eating Heart Healthy;  an interactive four-week, cooking and nutrition workshop designed for low income audiences in Clark County who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease .

What We Did

Community Services advertised and registered participants from their family enrollments.  Clark Regional Hospital tested the Omega-3 index level measurements before the program began so participants could track their progress.  Clark Regional provided a dietitian to teach about heart health and nutrition and the Clark County Extension Agent implemented the 4-week hands on cooking segment.

Hands On

Seafood Consumption- USDARecipes from SNP and the University of Kentucky were adapted to be easy to read and to incorporate available, affordable ingredients.  Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Gluten Free Grilled Tilapia Tacos, Apple Harvest Salad with Popcorn Shrimp, and Salmon Burgers were prepared. The tuna salad was well accepted but the grilled tilapia tacos and popcorn shrimp salad stretched participants to try different combinations of food that were not familiar to them. Participants received a cooking incentive (canned foods) at the end of each session to encourage them to try the recipes at home.


The Final Cook-off

Participants were divided into three kitchens and given a box of supplies for salmon burgers for a “cook-off”.  Kitchen 1 used a gas stove, minimal amount of cooking oil, canned salmon with liquid, bones, and skin.  Kitchen 2 used an electric range, cooking spray, drained canned salmon, with bones and skin removed.  Kitchen 3 used an electric range, cooking oil, drained canned salmon, skin and bones removed, with added shredded cheese, minced onion and garlic, and a cookie cutter to cut their salmon uniformly. Upon completion, each kitchen’s dish was judged on appearance and taste.  All participants sampled each dish and comments were made on how much easier it was to eat something good for you when you could make different recipes with it. Kitchen 3 was given the award for “best taste.”

Clark County- 1Clark County -2Clark County-3

Source of photos above: Jennifer Austin, Clark County FCS Agent


What’s Next?

To complete the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy program, a reunion will be held in approximately 3 months to determine whether the increased awareness about the nutritional benefits of seafood consumption improved health.  Participants’ Omega-3 index will be reassessed to determine if intake of seafood increased after the intervention. Additionally,  low income groups generally lack the time needed to commit to long interventions. As such, we also plan to test the use of a one-session format in increasing the consumption of seafood among a low-income population in Lexington, Kentucky. Can low income audiences obtain the same health benefits with shorter educational sessions? This will be the main focus of our next intervention. It is likely that shorter sessions, if effective, will result in a cost savings that can be used for marketing or to cover other program costs for low income audiences. We look forward to sharing best practice guidelines.