CSU Extension awarded EXCITE grant to support health education and outreach

Colorado State University Extension was awarded grant funding through the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching & Engagement (EXCITE) program to support health education and outreach in rural and underserved communities.

EXCITE Logo. Extension COllaborative on Immunization Teaching & Engagement
Logo courtesy of the Extension Foundation.

For over 100 years, CSU Extension has served Colorado communities as a trusted resource and partner. CSU Extension helps people in Colorado find the answers they need for a healthy home life, successful business and thriving community. Now, Extension’s role as a trusted community partner will play an important part in vaccine education and outreach.

“Supporting the health and well-being of Colorado communities is a core part of our mission,” said Vice President for Engagement and Extension Blake Naughton.

“CSU Extension empowers Coloradans to address important and emerging community issues using dynamic, science-based educational resources. The EXCITE funding will enable our Extension team to expand existing programming to encompass COVID vaccine education through an integrated approach.”

Colorado State University Extension

Vaccine communication and education

The EXCITE grant, funded through Extension Foundation in cooperation with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), serves all land-grant universities. The program aims to address health disparities in rural and underserved communities nationwide through two activities:

  1. The CDC’s Vaccinate with Confidence communication campaign
  2. Adult immunization education pilot projects

Partnerships serving Colorado communities

To deliver on this grant, CSU Extension will work with CSU’s One Health Institute (OHI), using the one health framework which takes a transdisciplinary approach to advance the health for humans, animals, and the environment. The partnership combines OHI’s expertise in human/animal health connections and Extension’s statewide reach through established 4-H programming.

One Health Institute unit identifier.

“This project will direct resources to expand our existing 4-H veterinary science curriculum to include an introduction and application of a one health framework to immunization. The curriculum will highlight the safety, efficacy and importance of vaccination in animal health, linking this to the importance of vaccination for individual and community health,” said Libby Christensen, Ph.D., Extension Family & Consumer Science and 4-H agent in Routt County.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for OHI to work with CSU Extension on an innovative and vital education campaign,” added Susan VandeWoude, D.V.M., director of the One Health Institute at CSU. “The project devised by Dr. Christensen is a perfect embodiment of the One Health concept and will set the stage for future partnerships linking to important priorities for Colorado communities.”

A nationwide effort

CSU Extension is not alone in this work. Extension programs across the country are making an impact in communities with immunization education efforts. Activities include mobile vaccination clinics in partnership with local health organizations, social media campaigns, the development of online toolkits promoting research-based immunization information, and more.

Read the original announcement from the Extension Foundation.

About CSU Extension

CSU Extension empowers Coloradans to address important and emerging community needs using dynamic, science-based educational resources. For over 100 years, CSU Extension has helped people in Colorado find the answers they need for a healthy home life, successful business and thriving community. We bring the University’s research-based resources to local communities across the state.

About the One Health Institute

CSU’s One Health Institute takes a transdisciplinary approach to advance health for humans, animals, and the environment, and works to solve complex problems at this intersection through research, training, outreach, and advocacy. CSU OHI began in 2015 and is housed within the Office of the Vice President for Research.

About Colorado 4-H

Colorado 4-H reaches over 110,000 youth in Colorado annually, helping them to become confident, independent, resilient and compassionate leaders. 4-H is delivered by Colorado State University Extension. CSU Extension is part of a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provide experiences where young people learn by doing in hands-on projects in areas including health, science, agriculture and citizenship. Colorado 4-H’s network of over 10,000 volunteers and almost 100 4-H professionals and staff members, provides caring and supportive mentorship to all 4-H’ers, helping them to grow into true leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries.