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Award Recipients


2015 Excellence In Immunization Award

  • Mary Depew, LPN
    LPN, Infection Preventionist, Employee Health Nurse
    North Star Behavioral Health
    For her dedication to establishing her organization's immunization program, her work ensures all children receiving inpatient treatment are able to receive vaccine in order to meet State school-entry vaccination requirements. Due to Mary's efforts, North Star Behavioral Health provides all school-entry required vaccines, as well as HPV, meningococcal and seasonal flu vaccine to children in the behavioral health setting. Mary's "passion and dedication to vaccine promotion is contagious."

2014 Excellence In Immunization Award 

  • Association of Village Council Presidents Head Start Program
    Association of Village Council Presidents, Bethel
    For demonstrating effective collaboration with multiple Yukon-Kuskokwim partners, leading to a system of comprehensive childhood screening and improved immunization coverage. These partnerships helped to maintain childhood health screening and follow up services at a high level. As a result, the Association of Village Council Presidents Head Start Program’s childhood immunization compliance rate for their students improved from 68% in 2002, to above 93% in 2014.

2013 Excellence In Immunization Award

  • Summer Mack, CHA III  
    Community Health Aide III   

    King Cove Community Health Center 
    For her demonstration of innovation in patient reminder/recall and for being the force behind improved immunization coverage in her community. Her vision and practice transcends expectations.

2013 Laurel H. Wood Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Shelly Foint Anderson, RN   
    Public Health Nurse III   
    Fairbanks Public Health Center   
    For setting an inspiring example of using collaboration and community partnership to improve vaccine access to the residents of Fairbanks and surrounding area. She has been a steadfast influential voice of immunization promotion for over 15 years.

2012 Excellence In Immunization Award Recipients   

  • Christina Kilby, RN
    Public Health Nurse III  
    Nome Public Health Center

    For her tremendous vision, exceptional creativity, and effective efforts to educate and promote vaccine delivery.  She inspires and motivates others to strive for excellence in immunization practices. 
  • Katrina Mailloux, LPN   
    Immunization Nurse   
    Chief Andrew Isaac Center   
    For innovative efforts to standardize care and minimize administration errors by assisting in the development of an electronic health record "go-to" reference tab, providing access to clear guidance on vaccine delivery, as well as implementing a more "patient-friendly" walk-in immunization environment. 
  • Kara McCoy, RN   
    Public Health Nurse II   
    Craig Public Health Center   
    For her passion and dedication to overcome challenges in access to immunization.  She tirelessly collaborated with local health care providers to explore solutions to assure that all children have access to immunization on the rural island of Prince of Wales.

2012 Laurel H. Wood Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Gina Carpenter, RN  
    Public Health Nurse III  
    Dillingham Public Health Center  

    For over 3 decades of setting an inspiring example of commitment to the health of the residents of the Bristol Bay region. Gina is the eyes and ears of immunization in Bristol Bay.

2011 Excellence in Immunization Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievment award recipient

Recipient of the first Vaccinate Alaska Coalition Laurel H. Wood Lifetime Achievement Award is Yvonne Young RN (left) Vaccinate Juneau's Kids Coalition and Juneau Public Health Center standing with award namesake Laurel Wood, Alaska Immunization Program Manager from 1995 to 2011. 

2011 vac award recipients

2011 VAC Excellence in Immunization Award Recipients (l to r) Barry Skelton RN, Immunization Coordinator, Case Manager, Southcentral Foundation; Yvonne Young RN, Vaccinate Juneau's Kids Coalition and Juneau Public Health Center; Debbie Standefer & Kathy Archer Cottonwood Health Center-Medical, Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska.

Barry Skelton RN, Immunization Coordinator, Case Manager, Southcentral Foundation for tireless, “above and beyond” efforts to educate staff on best practices and to make sure that immunization stays a high priority for keeping Alaskans healthy and free of life threatening, vaccine-preventable diseases.

Cottonwood Health Center—Medical, Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska, for extraordinary commitment and dedication to increase childhood immunization rates through Quality Improvement measures that monitor immunization at every visit resulting in decreased missed opportunities to vaccinate.

Laurel H. Wood Lifetime Passion Award 2011 Inaugural
Yvonne Young RN, Vaccinate Juneau’s Kids Coalition and Juneau Public Health Center for her tireless energy, abundant enthusiasm, and effective leadership that inspires others to take an active part in the vital effort to make sure that as many people as possible are protected against life threatening, vaccine-preventable diseases.

All 2011 Awards were presented at the 2011 Alaska Immunization Conference, Recognition Luncheon.

2010 Excellence in Immunization Award Recipient

Anna Buterbaugh RN, CMC, CPUR Immunization Coordinator Eastern Aleutian Tribes for relentless and contagious efforts to eliminate barriers, assure data quality, and enhance partnerships that have resulted in significantly improved vaccination coverage in all of the communities served by the Eastern Aleutian Tribes. The 2010 Excellence in Immunization Award was presented at the 2010 Vaccinate Alaska Annual Meeting held during the 2010 Maternal Child Health & Immunization Conference.

2009 Excellence in Immunization Award Recipient

Charleen Pitta RN, Mat-Su Public Health Center Team Leader, for Excellence in Vaccine Accountability and Handling by reducing vaccine lost; Excellence in Partnering for reactivating the Mat-Su Vaccine Coalition; Excellence in Practice by setting a high standard in her commitment to the importance of immunization by dedicating herself and her staff to evaluation of all client’s immunization status. The 2009 Excellence in Immunization Award was presented at the Recognition Luncheon of the 2009 Alaska Health Summit.

2008 Excellence in Immunization Award Recipients

Dr. Rosalyn Singleton is ANTHC Immunization Consultant, CDC Arctic Investigations Researcher, and ANMC pediatrician. Dr. Singleton’s Award certificate states, “for exemplary commitment to protecting Alaskans from vaccine-preventable disease. Through a network of partnerships, her work has guided immunization practice not only in Alaska but also worldwide.”

Three Kenai Peninsula Rotary Clubs receive 2008 Excellence in Immunization Community Partnership Awards. The award was accepted by Wilma Manual PHN Bethel, Cliff Baker, Sarah Riley, Marcy Custer Nurse Consultant Child Health, Gina Carpenter RN Vaccinate Alaska Coalition (VAC) President, Ellen Farrell RN VAC Secretary.  Each club, Kenai River, Kenai, and Soldotna, received certificates that state, “for their collaboration in providing resources to rural Alaskan clinics so that vaccines can be stored properly allowing local access, and for preparing communities for mass dispensing of vaccines

2007 Excellence in Immunization Award Recipient

Jennifer KalmakoffJennifer Kalmakoff CHP is the recipient of the 2007 Vaccinate Alaska Coalition Excellence in Immunization Award. Jennifer is a Community Health Practitioner (CHP) with Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC) practicing in Chignik Lake, Alaska. Jennifer exemplifies how immunization rates can be improved and maintained at a village level. Jennifer has created her own tickler file with a separate card for every person who lives in the village where she works. Her tickler system is set up to remind her for all infant doses at two, 4, 6, 12 and 15 months 2 years, etc. She knows the day an infant turns one year old and calls them in to be vaccinated. Almost all the children in her village receive kindergarten doses at age 4. She keeps a list of all elders who need their flu vaccine. When 10 years is up for someone’s tetanus booster she knows, and contacts them to come in for an update.

Jennifer Kalmakoff is a vaccine champion. She represents what the Vaccinate Alaska Coalition states as their mission: All Alaskans are protected from vaccine preventable disease. Her communities sure are!

2006 Excellence in Immunization Award Recipients

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children's Hospital of Providence received the Private Provider Vaccinate Alaska Coalition 2006 Excellence in Immunization Award for a quality improvement effort to improve immunization rates of the 450-500 ill neonates admitted to the NICU annually. The goal of the initiative is to have all babies immunized with hepatitis B vaccine prior to discharge and to have 2-month immunizations completed on any child hospitalized longer than 60 days. The NICU at Providence has been successful in consistently having greater than 90 percent of babies immunized prior to discharge.

The 2006 Vaccinate Alaska Coalition's Public Provider Excellence in Immunization Award was presented to Jennifer Meyer RN Bethel State Public Health and Christine Desnoyers of Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation of Bethel. They brought YKHC and the State Division of Public Health together in partnership in Bethel in developing an ambitious influenza vaccine initiative. Chris and Jennifer have a commitment to immunization and a desire to make sure that residents are healthy and protected from vaccine preventable disease. It is truly the grassroots partnerships, as demonstrated here, that lead to improvement of health for many and one that Vaccinate Alaska Coalition is proud to recognize.

2006 VAC Award Recipients
Children's Hospital of Providence Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Jack Jacobs and Juanita Stram, NICU Clinical Manager, accept the 2006 Private Provider Excellence in Immunization Award from VP/President-elect Gina Carpenter RN at the Alaska Immunization Conference Recognition Luncheon on November 16, 2006.
Photo by John Callahan, PH&SA

2005 Inaugural Excellence in Immunization Award Recipient

In 2005 the first Award recipient was Amy Dressel, MD, Juneau pediatrician and life-span immunization advocate extraordinaire. Dr. Dressel has been an active member of the Vaccinate Juneau's Kids Coalition (VJK) for many years. She volunteers at nearly all VJK immunization events, Super Shot Saturdays, and Health Fairs. She did not hesitate to promote adult immunization during 2005 "Year of the Booster" by donning the campaign mascot costume to become the "Booster Rooster" and strut her stuff on the runway at the 2005 Juneau Wearable Art Show urging the audience to check their immunization status and head to their health care provider if need be. She has written editorial letters, published in the Juneau Empire, and has been on numerous radio shows to promote the necessity of timely and appropriate immunization for children and adults.