Press Release: 41 Immunization Advocates Receive National Recognition for Contributions to Vaccine Access

August 28, 2023
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AIM Recognizes New Winners of the 2023 Immunization Champion Award

[ROCKVILLE, MD] – August 28, 2023 – Forty-one immunization advocates across the country have been named Immunization Champion for their outstanding efforts to promote immunization in their state, city, or territory. These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of individuals who go above and beyond ensuring vaccination access in their communities and increasing their community’s immunization rate coverage.

The 2023 Immunization Champion Award winners (read their full profiles here), organized by jurisdiction, include:

  • Alaska: Jo Miller, PA-C
  • Arizona: Amanda Aguirre, BS, MA, RD
  • Arkansas: Catherine Smith, MEd
  • California: Silvia Diego, MD
  • Colorado: Julissa Soto
  • Connecticut: Sasa Harriott, RN
  • Delaware: Jonathan Miller, MD
  • District of Columbia: Dorka Compusano, CMA
  • Illinois: Susan Latocha, BSN, MS
  • Indiana: Deb Robarge, BSN, RN
  • Kansas: Connie Satzler
  • Kentucky: Eva Stone, DNP, APRN
  • Louisiana: Ashley Politz, LMSW
  • Maine: Shila Hammond, CMA
  • Massachusetts: Kevin Myers, NP, MSN, ACRN
  • Michigan: Anita Butler, CPhT
  • Minnesota: Charmaine Branchaud, RN, BSN, PHN, CDE, LSN
  • Nevada: Tammy Crabtree, RN
  • New Hampshire: Jim Keady
  • New Jersey: Setu Patel, PharmD
  • New York City: Rasheed Ali, RN
  • North Carolina: Katherine A. Poehling, MD, MPH
  • North Dakota: Kelsey Nefzger, RN
  • Northern Mariana Islands: Laura Ogo, RN
  • Ohio: Scott Foley, PharmD
  • Oklahoma: Heather Moiser, APRN-CNP
  • Oregon: Betty Brown
  • Palau: Beketaut Lorraine, BSN
  • Pennsylvania: Crystal Perez, MSN, RN, CSN
  • Philadelphia: Charna Blake, BSN, RN
  • Puerto Rico: Olga Pérez Quiñones, BA
  • Rhode Island: Beata F. Nelken, MD
  • South Carolina: Jacqueline Talley, Ph.D
  • South Dakota: Tammy Baer, RN
  • Tennessee: Brandi Jack, M.Ed., BS
  • Texas: John Hellerstedt, MD
  • Utah: Allison Landis, BSN, RN
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: La’Tonya Nesbitt, BSN, RN
  • Virginia: Anna Peoples, PharmD
  • Washington: Mehr Grewal
  • Wisconsin: Noel Deep, MD, MACP, FRSPH

Immunization Champion award recipients are selected by their jurisdiction’s immunization program from a pool of health professionals, coalition members, community advocates, and other immunization leaders. Immunization programs across the U.S. and affiliated territories coordinated the nomination process and submitted their chosen awardee to AIM for final review. One winner is selected in participating states, cities, and territories.

“The Immunization Champion awards provide immunization programs an opportunity to thank community members who strive to keep us safe from vaccine-preventable diseases. AIM proudly acknowledges the passion, hard work, and commitment to immunization that these 41 winners have repeatedly demonstrated,” said AIM Executive Director Claire Hannan.


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. Last year AIM was given the opportunity to lead the Champion awards 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 nonprofit membership association comprised of the directors of the 64 federally funded state, territorial, and local public health immunization programs. 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

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