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The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) Recognizes New Winners of the Immunization Champion Award

Industry: Healthcare

28 Immunization Advocates Receive National Recognition for Contributions to Vaccine Access in 2022

Rockville, MD (PRUnderground) August 22nd, 2022

Twenty-eight immunization advocates across the country have been named Immunization Champion for their outstanding efforts to promote immunization. The 2022 winners include:

  • Arizona: Sean Elliott, MD
  • California: Alex McDonald, MD
  • Connecticut: Gregory McKenna
  • District of Columbia: Elizabeth McDermott
  • Georgia: Jane Wilkov, MD
  • Hawai’i: Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, MD
  • Idaho: Patrice Burgess, MD
  • Illinois: Douglas Carlson, MD
  • Kentucky: Jill Keys
  • Maine: Sara Noel
  • Maryland: Gregory Branch
  • Massachusetts: Katherine Kelly
  • Michigan: Christine Plummer
  • Minnesota: Kelly Robinson
  • Missouri: Michelle Yarnall
  • Nevada: Teresa Praus
  • North Dakota: Sonia Takacs
  • New York City: Zhao Wang, MD
  • Ohio: Tara Dahal
  • Oklahoma: Jennifer Gilley-Brooks
  • Oregon: Sandy Le
  • Pennsylvania: Lauren Grantz
  • Puerto Rico: Johanna Cruz
  • Rhode Island: Eugenio Fernandez
  • South Carolina: Youlanda Gibbs
  • Texas: Mary Healy, MD
  • Washington: Ahmed Ali
  • Wisconsin: Mohammed Anwar

Immunization Champion selections come from a pool of health professionals, coalition members, community advocates, and other immunization leaders. These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of individuals who go above and beyond ensuring immunization access in their communities. State immunization programs coordinated the nomination process and submitted nominees to AIM. One winner is selected in participating states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

“Through the Immunization Champion awards, AIM proudly acknowledges the passion, hard work, and commitment to immunization that these 28 winners have repeatedly demonstrated,” said AIM Executive Director Claire Hannan.

For profiles of all the 2022 Immunization Champion award winners, please visit the AIM website.


Before the pandemic, each year during National Infant Immunization Week, the CDC and AIM honored health professionals and community leaders from around the country with the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion awards. This year AIM has taken over the award and expanded the program to include opportunities to recognize Immunization Champions in multiple areas of immunization.

About Association of Immunization Managers:

The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) is a non-profit membership association comprised of representatives from 64 federally funded state, territorial and local National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases awardees. AIM is dedicated to working with its partners nationwide to reduce, eliminate, or eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases. AIM also works to ensure the success of its members by providing support in their programming interests. Since 1999, AIM has enabled collaboration among immunization managers to effectively control vaccine-preventable diseases and improve immunization coverage in the United States. For more information on AIM, please visit

About Association of Immunization Managers

The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association, is dedicated
to establishing a nation free of vaccine-preventable disease. AIM members are the leaders of
state, local, and territorial immunization programs—directing the public health efforts designed to
keep children and adults vaccinated and protected against disease. Since 1999, AIM has
provided a national voice for immunization programs and a forum for program managers to learn
from each other, confront challenges, and achieve success. Since its inception, AIM has gathered
and shared information with its members on policy implementation, legislative issues,
programmatic successes, and more. For more information on AIM, please

Note: The inside story of the race to save lives and end a pandemic is featured in a new book
entitled Vaccinating America, available now from the American Public Health Association Press.
Brent Ewig, AIM’s Chief Policy and Government Relations Officer, is a co-author.

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