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Dr. Laura Williams Receives National Recognition for Contributions to Preventing HPV Cancers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, and Association of American Cancer Institutes Recognize Dr. Laura Williams with HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award
Little Rock, Ark. – Dr. Laura Williams, pediatrician with River City Pediatrics in Little Rock, has been named HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award for outstanding efforts to protect adolescents from cancers caused by HPV in Arkansas. Nominated by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and ImmunizeAR, Dr. Williams is recognized for her efforts to achieve high HPV vaccination rates in her practice.
Led in partnership by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Association of American Cancer Institutes, and the American Cancer Society, the HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award Program recognizes clinicians, clinics, practices, groups, and health systems that are going above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination in their community. This year, the award program is honoring champions from 25 states.
Dr. Laura Williams has one of the highest rates of HPV vaccination in Arkansas and considers HPV vaccination a priority for the health of adolescents, as well as an essential cancer prevention strategy. She is a founding member of the Arkansas Immunization Action Coalition (now ImmunizeAR) and currently serves as medical director on its executive board. Dr. Williams advocates a provider-patient approach, stressing cancer prevention and equating HPV vaccination with all other ‘routine’ vaccines. This approach has been highly successful.
HPV vaccine is important because it protects against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a very common virus; nearly 79 million people are currently infected in the United States. Every year in the United States, nearly 35,000 women and men are estimated to be diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of these cancers—more than 32,000 cases every year—from ever developing. Both boys and girls should get two doses of the HPV vaccine series when they are 11 or 12 years old. The HPV vaccine series can be started as early as age 9.
Every year, the award honors up to one champion from all 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, and the District of Columbia. Immunization programs submit nominations for the HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Champion in their state or territory. Nominees must be a clinician, clinic, practice, group, or health system that treats adolescents as part of their overall patient population and must have an HPV vaccine series completion rate at 60% or higher for their adolescent patient population.
To read Dr. Williams’ profile on the CDC’s website, and to learn more about HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award program, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/champions/winner-spotlights.html.