Askelson receives Associate Professor Advancement Award 

Published on April 18, 2023

Portrait of Natoshia Askelson, professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

University of Iowa College of Public Health faculty member Natoshia Askelson has been selected to receive a Carver Trust Associate Professor Advancement Award. The award is intended to support the advancement of associate professors to full professors. 

Askelson, an associate professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health, will use the award to continue her research on factors related to vaccine uptake at the individual, provider-patient, and organizational levels using state immunization data, surveys, and intervention development and testing. She will conduct two small studies that use data from the Iowa immunization registry.  

Study 1: Rural COVID-19 vaccination rates are lower than urban rates, despite rural Iowans dying at higher rates from COVID-19 than urban residents. Identifying how vaccine was provided and which entities (local public health, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.) provided the vaccine may aid us in understanding which entities are the optimal partners for administering vaccinations.  

Aim 1: To identify how the proportion of entities providing COVID-19 vaccination varied by place of residence (metropolitan, micropolitan, and noncore) of vaccine recipient and how these proportions varied over time between June 2020 and December 2022. 

Study 2: The American Cancer Society and other organizations are promoting beginning the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination series at age 9 after recent research demonstrates how earlier vaccination is associated with completion of the vaccination series. Using immunization registry data, we can determine vaccination rates for age 9 and ascertain what factors are currently associated with receipt of the vaccine at age 9. This will provide us with a baseline vaccination rate and provide information about how to better target vaccination efforts to increase vaccination at age 9. 

Additionally, this information is not available through other sources because the state of Iowa does not publish HPV vaccination rates for 9- and 10-year-olds.   

Aim 2: To determine the HPV vaccination rate for 9- and 10-year-olds in Iowa and identify factors associated with vaccination at age 9 or 10.  

Both studies will be conducted in collaboration with Grace Ryan (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Amanda Kahl (Iowa Cancer Registry), and the Bureau of Immunization and Tuberculosis at the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. 

The College of Public Health Associate Professor Advancement Award is co-funded by the CPH Research Office and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, one of the largest private philanthropic foundations in the state of Iowa. The Carver Trust supports biomedical and scientific research, scholarships, and programs addressing the educational and recreational needs of youth.