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April 27, 2017

Immunization Champions and Rate Awards

The Idaho Immunization Program has standardized its rate achievement award criteria; this is separate from the rate improvement award criteria. Beginning in 2014, rate awards are awarded to providers who meet or exceed the Healthy People 2020 immunization goals for the 4th dose of DTaP (90%), the 2nd dose of Hep A (85%), and the 4:3:1:3:3:1 series (80%), where Hib is either 2 or 3 doses depending on brand.

The Immunization Champion Award is an annual award given by the Idaho Immunization Program to recognize individuals or teams that go above and beyond to promote childhood immunizations in their communities. The last set of award recipients were announced during Shot Smarts, April 25-29, 2016. The Immunization Champions are an inspiration to everyone who cares about children's health. The Idaho Immunization Panel is pleased to recognize the recipients of the award for the special contributions they have made through their work in childhood immunization.

2016 Idaho Immunization Champions:

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Employer: St. Mary’s Cottonwood Clinic

Champion Description: Char helps provide easily accessible immunization services to rural populations in Idaho by maintaining Vaccines for Children programs at five separate rural locations. Char works with each clinic within her organization to train staff on proper immunization storage and handling, best practices for vaccine administration, and strategies for raising immunization rates. Char’s efforts ensure that residents in rural Idaho receive safe, viable vaccine from knowledgeable staff at all clinic locations.
Employer: Kaniksu Health Services

Champion Description: Mary is continually finding ways to provide better vaccination services to patients by ensuring data quality and providing accurate records to patients. Mary also works with the four clinics within her organization to ensure proper storage and safety of vaccines and that all staff are well educated about immunizations. Mary continually works with staff to ensure each member is educated about immunizations and the best strategies to communicate with patients and parents. She also works with other staff to make sure all vaccines are entered properly and accounted for so patients receive the correct immunizations. Mary has ensured that the vaccines provided to all Idahoans has stored properly and will provide the best protection possible. Her staff are well educated on how to work alongside their patients to improve immunization rates in Idaho.

Employer: Madison Memorial Rexburg Medical Clinic

Champion Description: Chris is a seasoned RN who has worked in the clinic for over 18 years. She takes every opportunity to learn more about the immunization process from obtaining previous records and determining what vaccines are needed to answering questions from parents and recording immunizations accurately in IRIS. Chris takes every opportunity for education and shares her knowledge with others. Chris cares. She cares about doing every detail right. She cares about each sweet child who comes in for vaccines. She cares about children who don't know they need vaccines and looks up what they need and offers it to them. She cares about children's tears and changes them to smiles with a lolly pop , a cute band aid, a new pencil for a preschooler, and a caring smile from her. She cares about accuracy in every detail like lot numbers, inventory, reports, fridge temps, etc. She does her job with love. She has helped our clinic through several changes that have come about, including new ownership of the clinic and changes involved with that transition. We have started doing more regular immunization reminders sent out on post cards to invite children back for vaccines. Good results have come! Chris's caring personality influences people and places for the better. We appreciate her.

Employer: Central District Health Department

Champion Description: In her 23 years at the Central District Health Department, Sharon has immunized tens of thousands of adults, children and adolescents. For many years she partnered with other community agencies in a program called Baby Steps, a non-profit education and incentive program for limited income pregnant women and families. She developed curriculum and taught Baby Steps families the importance of immunizing their children. In addition, Sharon designed an 'Immunization Made Simple' class for daycare providers; utilizing curriculum she created titled "A Tool Kit for Childcare Providers." In 2011, Sharon became part of CDHD's Communicable Disease Control Department as the Medical Provider Liaison. With this transition, she became the back-up educator to the St. Alphonsus Medical Group for educating their new employees. Sharon also became the voice of 'Shot Line'. She has answered thousands of telephone calls on 'Shot Line' from medical providers, schools, childcare centers and immunization coordinators regarding vaccines and safe immunization practices. For years she participated in off-site flu clinics at private businesses, senior centers, schools and with other state agencies and was given a title of endearment: ‘Flu Queen’. Her tireless commitment to the community was evident during the 1993-1995 Hepatitis A outbreak, the 1994 Meningitis outbreak and the 2009-2010 H1N1 campaign. Sharon visits approximately 70 childcare providers every year to review the immunization records of their children to ensure they meet Idaho’s Childcare Immunization Requirements. She was asked to speak at the Early Childhood Coordinating Counsel regarding a general immunization update and she was asked to serve as a board member of the Idaho Immunization Coalition. Through these years of transition in public health, she has become an “Immunization Educator” extraordinaire and an Idaho Immunization Champion.
Employer: Kootenai Health

Champion Description: Angela consistently focuses on increasing the number of our patients who get vaccinated by providing accurate and updated information to them. She provides our staff with updated education on the importance of vaccinations. Angela goes above and beyond her duties to assure all vaccine information is accurate and provides safety education to other medical assistants in the office . Angela formally and informally taught other clinic staff in our organization information on vaccination safety. She helped our clinic staff stay updated on vaccination information by holding in-services on this topic. She is always available to answer questions on an impromptu basis. Angela attends the Shot Smarts Immunization Conference every year and brings updates back to the staff at the Kootenai Clinics, so that our staff have the most current information available. Angela and the staff she has educated provide important information to patients and their families on vaccines. Since Angela has become a vaccine coordinator at our clinic, immunization rates have increased and mistakes have greatly decreased.
Employer: Pocatello Children's Clinic

Champion Description: Tysie has been the Immunization Coordinator at our clinic for 10 years, and she is the resident expert for vaccines at our clinic. Tysie oversees our entire vaccine program which includes 9 physicians, 11 nurses and about 20 other staff members. Our providers have entrusted her with our program and include her as a colleague in their vaccine education and decisions. She keeps everyone up-to-date on vaccine policies and procedures and works tirelessly to promote vaccination rates within our clinic. She works extremely hard to educate our staff and patients on the importance of immunizations and the value of the State Immunization Program. She keeps our inventory spot on and helps promote new vaccine practices with our physicians. In 2015, she worked with administration to improve our DTaP and HPV immunization rates. She also worked to educate our staff on the Meningococcal B vaccine and worked to get it implemented in our workflow. Tysie works diligently to educate our staff on current information about vaccines. She is a champion for our clinic because she believes in and promotes the vaccine program in Idaho. She helps our staff understand the importance of vaccines, schedules and keeping our families healthy. Under Tysie's direction, our staff provided over 31,000 vaccinations at our clinic in 2015. Our patients should be proud to have her working for them!
Employer: Valley Family Health Care (Emmett)

Champion Description: Shawna is a certified medical assistant. She has helped improve clinic immunization rates by tracking and following up with needed immunizations. She developed an immunization tracking system for our clinic, and she monitors provider schedules and IRIS for needed immunizations prior to each appointment. Shawna updates our EHR from old paper charts or outside records and notifies the clinic coordinator to update IRIS. She has assisted in updating records and contacting patients in preparation for AFIX site visits. Shawna has improved vaccination rates by contacting families and offering appointment times that work with their schedules.
Employer: St. Luke's Clinic Jerome Family Medicine

Champion Description: Meghan is an incredible CMA in our Rural Health Clinic, leading the way in best practices for children's health and preventative health care. She can always be counted on to have the most current information and best practices regarding immunization standards. Meghan has worked diligently over the past year to increase our clinic vaccination rates. With passion, she took on organizing and providing the vaccines at our Sports Physical Night. Meghan is passionate about all aspects of vaccine management: making sure our clinic has enough vaccine on hand, educating our clinical staff on any updates, keeping IRIS current, overseeing inventory, ordering and reconciliation. She is passionate about vaccine recall as a preventative measure for our children and proactively catches children up on vaccines, even during acute child visits. Meghan is willing to speak with any provider, clinical support staff, parent or child on the importance of vaccination and the impact it can have on the individual child as well as the community. Meghan believes that each vaccination a child receives is one step closer to eradicating unnecessary diseases.
Employer: St. Luke's Travel Medicine and Immunization Clinic

Champion Description: April is a kind, honest and hardworking Nurse Practitioner and Clinic Manager. She is devoted to giving her all no matter how difficult the task. April has not only provided many adults and children with travel vaccinations, but she has also made certain to update all adult routine boosters and has made sure to refer pediatric patients back to their primary physicians to update their needed boosters. She has provided much needed information to other physicians regarding immune-compromised patients, as well as travel knowledge to make sure that each patient has the proper vaccinations for their individual needs. She has contributed greatly to helping immunize many people with different forms of immune-compromised systems, while also helping with immunizations for refugees and immigration criteria. Many clinics have stopped carrying adult immunizations and April has been the one to step up. She is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to travel information and all travel vaccinations.