Community Immunity

NAME OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Buncombe County Department of Health

PROJECT TITLE: Community Immunity

Sue Ellen Morrison

Project Overview


Project Aim:
By November 2012, we will conduct a focus group to begin identifying effective vaccine messaging to parents who are unsure of vaccinating their child.

Project timeframe:
January 2012 - ongoing


How was the need for the project determined?
Topic became a priority due to feedback from the Immunization Branch reflecting our growing exemption rate, which is the highest in the state.


Does this quality improvement project link to accreditation?
Yes. This incorporates how we work with community partmers to find solutions to health issues.  (Accreditation Benchmark 12.1)

Areas for Improvement and Change Ideas Implemented


Improvement 1
Made modifications to survey over time. Continued to change survey to not show bias or sway survey answers in any particular direction.

Improvement 2
Reworded immunization messages presented in focus group to not show bias as well.

Improvement 3
Had difficult time finding responsive and reliable focus group participants.

Improvement 4
Changed our target population for surveys from against vaccines " prenatal on the fence " new parents on the fence " any parent of young children.


Overall Improvements

  • Focus group participant said “I learned a lot from being here!”; “I didn’t know where to go for this type of information before, ”
  • Enjoyed working with staff across the agency   

Lessons Learned

  • Find a happy medium for the complexity of your project. We went from too broad to too narrow. 
  • Timing is key to putting together a focus group. Locate participants and be ready to move quickly to schedule and hold your group. (Within a week).



Programs supported by:

BlueCross BlueShield of NC FoundatoinThe Duke Endowment

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