Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children's Hospital recognized for collaborative approach to increasing immunization rates

The Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children's Hospital received the Community Partnership Award from The Immunization Partnership for the center's ongoing dedication and programs targeted toward increasing immunization rates. The award was presented to Dr. Carol J. Baker, the executive director of the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research, and the center's three directors: Drs. Julie A. Boom, director of infant and childhood immunization; C. Mary Healy, director of vaccinology and maternal immunization; and Amy B. Middleman, director of adolescent and young adult immunization.

Baker accepted the award on behalf of Texas Children's at a recent luncheon that raised $137,000 for The Immunization Partnership, a non-profit organization aimed at eradicating vaccine-preventable diseases by coordinating community resources through partnerships.

"We are honored to receive the Community Partnership Award for our ongoing efforts to educate and raise awareness about the consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of immunizations," said Baker who is also a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "Each of the directors at the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research recognizes that it takes an innovative and collaborative approach to improve vaccination rates among children. Our relationship with organizations such as The Immunization Partnership ensures that our programming extends far and wide throughout our community and beyond."

The four directors of the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children's Hospital received the Community Partnership Award from The Immunization Partnership for the center's collaborative approach to increasing immunization rates. Pictured from left: Anna C. Dragsbaek, president and CEO of The Immunization Partnership; Dr. Amy B. Middleman, director of adolescent and young adult immunization; Dr. C. Mary Healy, director of vaccinology and maternal immunization; Dr. Julie A. Boom, director of infant and childhood immunization; and Dr. Carol J. Baker, executive director. (Photo Credit: Sopheavy Photography)

The Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research is dedicated to providing parents and health care professionals with the latest information and recommendations on vaccines for infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women and adults. Two examples of the center's programs and initiatives are the family immunization program that protects newborns against pertussis and the book, "Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story."

One of the largest and first to be implemented in the nation, the Cocoon Strategy Vaccination Program was initiated by the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Ben Taub General Hospital under the direction of Healy. The program's purpose is to vaccinate the immediate family members of newborns against pertussis, ensuring that the infant, who is too young to be vaccinated, is surrounded with a "cocoon" of people who cannot spread the highly contagious infection. To date, more than 17,000 mothers and immediate family members have been immunized through the program.

Coauthored by Baker, Boom and their colleague, Rachel M. Cunningham, "Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story," features 20 families who have been impacted by a vaccine-preventable disease. The book tells the true stories behind the statistics and reminds parents that harmful diseases still exist, and that vaccines are the best way to protect children. Now in its second edition and available in Spanish, more than 100,000 copies of the book have been distributed to parents, physicians, school nurses and others in the medical community.

For more information about the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children's Hospital or to purchase the book, "Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story," visit www.vaccine.texaschildrens.org.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.