North Georgia Health District wins immunization award for community outreach

December 5, 2018

North Georgia Health District 1-2 is the recipient of the 2018 Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Award. The district, based in Dalton, received this prestigious recognition at the 25th Annual Immunize Georgia Conference. This recognition honors individuals, agencies or coalitions that demonstrate excellence in providing immunization care. 

District immunization staff members received the award due to a high level of commitment to reducing immunization barriers through no- or low-cost vaccinations, community outreach events and flexible clinic hours to meet each community’s needs.

“We are committed to making it possible for everyone to have access to immunizations with quality care,” said Ashley Deverell, RN, BSN, district immunization coordinator.

Extended clinic hours and a variety of community partnerships for hosting vaccine clinics (such as work-site, back-to-school and drive-through flu-shot clinics) have contributed greatly to easier access to immunizations.  

There are additional efforts to reduce barriers to immunization in the North Georgia Health District.

For example, the Gilmer County Health Department’s International Travel Clinic in Ellijay, Georgia provides vaccines for many diseases travelers may encounter such as polio, measles, typhoid and yellow fever. Residents take advantage of these travel clinic services because of quality care and prompt appointments.

Also, the health district partners with OB/GYN offices to offer low-cost prenatal care, and they routinely administer vaccines as part of those services.  The Whitfield County Health Department offers many primary care services through their Medical Access Clinic, Women’s Clinic and Children’s Access Clinic to ensure those without easy access to care can receive health services, including all recommended vaccinations.

Furthermore, the district utilizes social media, along with community partners and stakeholders, to ensure North Georgia residents are aware of how, when and where to maintain their immunizations.

“Our team understands the critical role immunizations play in preventing disease, and we are proud that they make immunizations more accessible to everyone,” said Sherry Gregory, RN, district infectious disease supervisor.

Learn more about the 2018 Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Awards and award recipients.

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