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AIM Member Spotlight: Molly Howell

Wednesday, October 11, 2017  
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October’s AIM Spotlight shines on Molly Howell, North Dakota’s Immunization Program Manager since 2006. Prior to this position, she was one of two staff and served as the program’s surveillance coordinator. Molly now leads a staff of seven, including a PHA. Molly says she likes the challenging and ever-changing world of immunization program management and loves the passionate people she works with every day.

One of the greatest accomplishments of the North Dakota’s immunization program has been the significant increase in HPV dose one coverage from 56.5% in 2013 to 68.3% for girls in 2016 and from 35.6% om 2013 to 66.9% in boys for 2016. HPV vaccine completion rates are at an all-time high at 60.2% for girls and 45.5% for boys in 2016. In 2014, Molly traveled to Ireland, visiting the immunization program there as part of an International Association of Immunization Managers initiative. There she learned strategies used to achieve high HPV vaccine coverage rates. One key to Ireland’s success was conducting school vaccination clinics, so she returned to North Dakota to include school site clinics as part of efforts to improve HPV vaccine coverage rates. Along with multiple other activities, including reminder/recall, social media, collaborating with health systems, and AFIX, North Dakota’s HPV vaccine coverage rates soared.

Molly’s favorite memory as a child is playing in tennis tournaments throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. An avid sports fan, she participates in a curling league and plays sand volleyball. And she manages to find time to attend professional tennis matches and University of North Dakota hockey games.
Molly and her husband, Brian, enjoy traveling especially to Europe - her favorite destination is Paris. When not working, traveling or participating in sports, they enjoy spending time with their pug, Winston.

An active participant in AIM, Molly has served 5 years on the Executive Committee and in 2014, as AIM Chair. She has been a mentor to several new program managers over the past 11 years. About AIM, she says, “The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The more committees you participate in, the more up to date you are and the more you know other program managers, the more you know about activities in other programs.”

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