Concord, NH – For several years New Hampshire’s childhood immunization rates have been ranked among the top in the nation. At the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Immunization Program’s (NHIP) third annual statewide conference on March 23rd, eighteen individuals and organizations were praised for their 2010 efforts to positively impact New Hampshire’s high immunization rates. The event was held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester and attended by 400 professionals.

“New Hampshire vaccine providers and community programs are committed to reaching excellent standards of care and seeing that New Hampshire children are immunized on time,” said Marcella Bobinsky, New Hampshire Immunization Program Section Chief. “This group of individuals and organizations reached the highest standards.”

DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas and Public Health Director Dr. José Montero presented the Excellence in Immunization awards in three categories: (1) Adult Immunization, (2) Vaccines for Children – Pediatric and/or Adolescent Initiatives, and (3) Immunization Partnerships.

Appreciation Awards were presented to members of a workgroup representing some of New Hampshire’s larger hospitals and provider networks. The workgroup has been developing tools to help practices meet immunization standards and increase vaccination rates.

Excellence in Adult Immunizations awards were given to: Coos County Family Health Services (Berlin and Gorham), and Greater Hampstead Family Medicine. In 2010 these practices gave important vaccines to more than 2,000 New Hampshire adults who did not otherwise have access, protecting them against shingles, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and the flu.

NHIP identified the following medical practices for Excellence in Vaccines for Children (VFC): Ammonoosuc Community Health Services of Franconia, Medicine-Pediatrics of Nashua, and Winnipesaukee Family Medicine (Wolfeboro). In 2010 these practices maintained a childhood immunization rate of at least 90% and excelled in a number of quality standards identified by the federal VFC program.

The Excellence in Immunization Partnership awards were given to six individuals and programs that developed local support for school-based flu shot clinics in the fall of 2010 where they vaccinated nearly 3,000 children in 115 schools. “The awardees worked diligently and tirelessly with their school communities to plan and manage the process,” said Bobinsky. Awardees were: Elaine Belanger of the North Country Health Consortium (Littleton), Maren Bicknell of Health First Family Care Center (Franklin), Jeanie Holt of the Manchester Health Department, Edward Ihejirika and Alice Ely of the Mascoma Valley Health Initiative (Canaan), Michelle Whitenack of Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, and Monica Raymond of Mid-State Health Center (Plymouth).

Members of the NHIP workgroup receiving Appreciation Awards included:
Kim Burd of Elliot Physician Network, Karen Davis of Lakes Region General
Hospital, Christine Dodier of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Karen Donoghue
of NHIP, Leslie Manning of Concord Hospital, Rebecca Patat of Portsmouth
Regional Hospital, and Susan Sanfacon of Foundation Medical Partners.

These individuals were commended for working to reduce medical errors, reduce vaccine wastage, and increase vaccination rates for all New Hampshire residents.