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HPV Vaccination Summit

HPV Vaccination Summit Aimed to Eliminate Preventable Disease

CMA Foundation Summit Launches Cervical Cancer-Free Campaign During Summit
November 4, 2010

Nela Lee, Communications Director
916.779.6639, (916) 826-5107

Sacramento: Today, the California Medical Association Foundation (CMAF) held an HPV Vaccine Summit uniting physicians, public health leaders, payors, advocates and survivors to discuss ways to decrease cervical cancer rates and the spread of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer worldwide and causes 250,000 deaths a year; 4,000 of those in the United States. Each year, nearly 1,400 California women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 400 die from the disease.

It is a preventable disease and can be easily detected through an inexpensive Pap test and also prevented through vaccines for Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer.

“With proven prevention methods, including the HPV vaccines, regular screenings, and stronger public awareness, we have a tremendous opportunity to do even more to curb the devastating effects of cervical cancer and eliminate this disease entirely,” said Carol Lee, Esq., president and CEO of the CMA Foundation.

Today’s Summit also launched the California phase of a nationwide Cervical Cancer-Free campaign. CMAF is working with physicians, patients, and community organizations to encourage women to get screened for this preventable form of cancer.

While cervical cancer affects all races, Latina and African American women have the highest death rates. Mortality from cervical cancer is associated with later stage of diagnosis, and thus poorer access to preventive services, including infrequent or no Pap screening and lack of follow-up.

Latinas are diagnosed with cervical cancer twice as often as Caucasian women. Research shows that 10 percent of Latinas in California have never had a Pap test, and 30 percent haven’t had a test in three years.

Dr. Diana Ramos stated, “Today’s Summit emphasizes that NO woman should die from this preventable disease. Most women who have died of cervical cancer had never received a test for cervical cancer even though this test was developed in the 1950s and has long been considered a medical standard of care covered by insurance. Pap tests are also available free of charge for low‐income women through California’s federally funded “Every Woman Counts” program and HPV vaccines are covered by insurance and the Vaccines for Children program for young women and girls.

As the campaign progresses, CMAF will share with physicians and other health care workers a comprehensive resource guide that will help them reach out to their patients through office visits, phone calls, postcard reminders, and dissemination of educational information.

Key activities of the CMA Foundation’s California Cervical Cancer-Free Campaign in the next few months include:

Los Angeles Demonstration Project Stakeholder Meeting

The Cervical Cancer/HPV Project will conduct a cervical cancer prevention demonstration project targeting the Latina community in Los Angeles County. Latinas in California have the highest cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates; Los Angeles County specifically has the highest cervical cancer mortality rates for Latinas in the State. The demonstration project begins with the CMA Foundation and New America Media co-hosting a stakeholder meeting in December 2010, bringing together ethnic media, ethnic physicians and key partners in Los Angeles to discuss and identify strategies to address cervical cancer disparities within the Latina community.

Cervical Cancer & HPV Provider Toolkit

The CMA Foundation’s revised Cervical Cancer/HPV Provider Toolkit will be available in late 2010. The toolkit will include updated information about both vaccines currently available, the updated ACIP recommendations for who should receive the vaccines, new tips and resources for patient/provider communications and a revised list of provider and consumer education resources.


About the California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation

The CMA Foundation is a nonprofit organization that serves as a link between physicians and their communities. The Foundation improves individual and community health through a partnership of leaders in medicine, related health professions and the community. In 2006, the Foundation developed its Cervical Cancer & HPV Project, Screen Yourself & Vaccinate your Daughter with the goal of educating both patients and clinicians about the connection between the HPV virus and cervical cancer. An HPV Vaccine Summit held by the Foundation in 2008 focused on reducing disparities in vaccine usage as well as identifying action steps to reduce barriers impacting the rate of HPV vaccination in California.

Startup funding for the California Cervical Cancer Free Campaign is made possible by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline. Funds to support the Cervical Cancer and HPV Vaccine Summit were provided by both GlaxoSmithKline and Merck. For more information about the campaign, please contact Sara Cook, MPH, CHES, Cervical Cancer/HPV Project Director, CMA Foundation, at

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For more information please visit

About Merck

Merck is dedicated to the complex business of researching and producing vaccines. Their unique contributions include the prevention of now rare diseases, like measles and mumps, to diseases never thought preventable, like shingles and cervical cancer. For more information, please visit:

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