Celebrating Excellence in Immunization Program Management

AIM recognizes that immunization program managers are central to the success of our nation’s immunization efforts. AIM members ensure vaccines reach the thousands of providers who provide COVID-19 vaccination and the 44,000+ providers and physicians enrolled in the Vaccines for Children program. Members do the hard and necessary work to lead the nation’s network of immunization programs—supporting information systems that track vaccinations, monitoring vaccination progress, containing outbreaks, and informing and educating consumers. They work year-round to develop and implement strategies to ensure that immunization coverage rates remain high, and that babies, adolescents, and adults are protected from vaccine-preventable disease.

AIM is proud to celebrate the hard work, innovation, and commitment to excellence shown by program managers throughout the nation.

Natalie Smith, MD

The Natalie J. Smith, MD Award is presented in memory of AIM member Natalie J. Smith’s outstanding management and leadership skills. It was established to recognize the contributions of an immunization program manager who has demonstrated the high ideals, innovation, and commitment to excellence in immunization practices that characterized Dr. Smith’s career. The award recognizes accomplishments and visionary leadership that have had a significant impact on achieving city, state, territory, and/or national vaccine-preventable disease goals and is the highest form of recognition for immunization program managers.

2022 Award Overview

Recognition: The Natalie J. Smith, MD Award is presented in recognition of former program manager and AIM member Natalie J. Smith’s outstanding management and leadership skills in the area of state and national vaccine-preventable disease programs. This award is the highest form of recognition for immunization program managers.

Criteria: To be eligible for the Natalie J. Smith Award, nominees must:

  • Be a current or recently retired immunization program manager (must have retired January 2018 or later).
  • Have made a significant impact on the immunization field, such as through scientific publication, contributions to AIM, service in national organizations or advisory committees, or achievement of innovative or successful strategies to improve immunization coverage rates and/or reduce vaccine-preventable disease.

Nomination: Open nomination process. Awardees are eligible to nominate themselves or others for the Natalie J. Smith, MD Award.

Selection: AIM Natalie Smith Award Selection Committee, comprised of current and former Immunization Program Managers (Natalie J. Smith Award winners) and one representative from CDC/NCIRD and ASTHO respectively.

To view and download the process and submission forms, you must be logged into the AIM website. If you are unable to access the forms, please email us with ‘AIM Awards Nomination Request’ in the subject line, and identify the award.

2019 Winner: Christine Finley (VT)

Winner Christine Finley

The AIM Rising Star Award recognizes a new program manager who demonstrates effective leadership and potential for growth within AIM. Awardees are engaged with peers and partners across the country and demonstrate a desire to impact the broader immunization community.

2022 Award Overview

Recognition: The AIM Rising Star Award recognizes a new program manager who demonstrates effective leadership and potential for growth within AIM.

Criteria: To be eligible for a Rising Star Award, nominees must be an AIM member who:

  • Was appointed to the program manager position between January 2020 and the present.
  • Has engaged with peers and partners across the country and demonstrated a desire to impact the broader immunization community.
  • Has been instrumental in advancing the effectiveness of AIM, either through contributions to AIM leadership, AIM committees, AIM governance, or through the representation of AIM in national policymaking initiatives.
  • Is active in peer-to-peer activities, demonstrates a willingness to try new things or take on a unique challenge, and shows potential to transform vision into results.

Nomination: Open nomination process.

Selection: Executive Committee selects the winner.

To view and download the process and submission forms, you must be logged into the AIM website. If you are unable to access the forms, please email us with ‘AIM Awards Nomination Request’ in the subject line, and identify the award.

2019 Winner: Tom McCleaf (PA)

Winner Tom McLeaf

The AIM Partnership Award recognizes an AIM partner who has worked with AIM to address an issue important to AIM members. Award winners’ work must involve collaboration and shared responsibility with AIM to implement a project that delivers a valuable resource or service to AIM members. Past award winners have been from academic institutions, nonprofits, government, academic institutions, the public health community, and the private sector.

2022 Award Overview

Recognition: The AIM Partnership Award recognizes partners from the private sector, the public health community, nonprofits, government (including legislators), academic institutions, and community groups (including coalitions) that have implemented a program, project, or service that delivers a valuable benefit, service, or resource that positively impacts all AIM members.

Criteria: The AIM Partnership Award winner will be an AIM partner who has worked together with AIM to address an issue important to AIM’s membership. The partnership must involve collaboration and shared responsibility between AIM and the partner.

Nomination: AIM Executive Committee.

Selection: AIM leadership team (Chair, Chair-Elect, Treasurer, Past Chair) selects the winner.

2019 Winner: Laurel Wood of the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)

Winner Laurel Wood

The Bull’s-Eye Award for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization recognizes programs whose immunization strategies have “hit their mark,” achieving goals and increasing awareness by encouraging replication in other programs.

2022 Award Overview

Recognition: The AIM Bull’s-Eye Award for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization is presented to state, territorial, or local (NCIRD awardees) immunization programs to recognize outstanding immunization initiatives.

Criteria: The award recognizes immunization strategies that “hit their mark,” achieving goals and increasing awareness by encouraging replication in other programs.

  • Only ongoing initiatives or those that concluded January 2020 – present are eligible for the Bull’s-Eye Award.
  • Submissions must demonstrate the initiative’s effectiveness (either with evaluation data— including preliminary results—or by showing other means of assessing and interpreting effectiveness, such as observations or estimations).
  • Initiatives should show a high level of innovation.

Nomination: Open nomination process. Awardees are eligible to nominate themselves or others for a Bull’s-Eye Award. Programs may submit more than one initiative for consideration.

Selection: Three Bull’s-Eye Awards will be selected. A review committee comprised of AIM members will make the selection.

To view and download the process and submission forms, you must be logged into the AIM website. If you are unable to access the forms, please email us with ‘AIM Awards Nomination Request’ in the subject line, and identify the award.

2019 Winners: Colorado, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Wisconsin immunization programs

Learn more about 2019 award winners:

The AIM Impact Award recognizes a program manager who has dedicated significant time, expertise, and experience toward achieving AIM’s organizational goals—such as fostering member connection and contributing to sound immunization policy.

2022 Award Overview

Recognition: The AIM Impact Award recognizes an AIM member who dedicates a significant amount of time, expertise, and experience toward achieving the organizational goals of AIM.

Criteria: To be eligible for an AIM Impact Award, nominees must be an AIM member or alumni (who departed between January 2020 and December 2021) who:

  • Has demonstrated a willingness to work with AIM staff and AIM members and to assist staff and members whenever possible.
  • Shows passion, creativity, and commitment to further AIM goals.

Nomination: AIM leadership team (Chair, Chair-Elect, Treasurer, Past Chair).

Selection: AIM leadership team (Chair, Chair-Elect, Treasurer, Past Chair) selects the winner.

2019 Winner: Molly Howell (ND)

Winner Molly Howell

The AIM Leading Through Adversity Award recognizes program managers who have shown fearlessness and perseverance under pressure and have risen to the challenge of managing an immunization program through difficult circumstances.

2019 Winners: Elizabeth Rausch-Phung (NY), Michele Roberts (WA), Jane Zucker (NYC)

2019 Winners: Elizabeth Rausch-Phung (NY), Michele Roberts (WA), Jane Zucker (NYC)

2022 will mark the inaugural reinstatement of the previously titled CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award. Now hosted by AIM, the newly expanded and streamlined Immunization Champion Award will honor up to one Champion from each of the 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia.

The 2022 Immunization Champion Award Nomination packet includes important information regarding the nomination process, award criteria, and submitting nominations. Access the packet here.

View the 2022 FAQs here.

You must be logged in to view all 2022 Immunization Champion materials. View the 2022 Champion Awards page here.

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