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ANTHC’s Smallenberg recognized as Alaska’s Childhood Immunization Champion


ANCHORAGE ─ Tania Smallenberg, immunization nurse coordinator with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Immunization Program, was named the 2013 Alaska Childhood Immunization Champion in recognition of her outstanding efforts to promote childhood immunization throughout Alaska.

Each year, in connection with National Infant Immunization Week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) honors health professionals and community leaders from around the country with the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion awards. These awards acknowledge exemplary individuals who go above and beyond to promote or foster immunizations among children 0-2 years old in their communities.

“Immunization plays a key role in protecting the health of America’s children,” said Dr. Melinda Wharton, Acting Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “Ensuring that all children are immunized requires a cadre of dedicated health professionals and community leaders nationwide. The Champion awards give us the opportunity to salute these individuals for their service to our children.”

Smallenberg is recognized for her work building and refining the structure of the ANTHC Immunization Coordinators Program. Her collaboration with Alaska Public Health Nursing, rural and urban immunization providers, and health care policy makers, combined with her appreciation of and attention to Alaska’s diverse cultural identities, have improved access to vaccination across the state.

“Immunization is a top priority for me, so I am honored to receive this award,” said Smallenberg. “We have made great strides as a community but there is still work to be done. It feels really nice to be recognized and I want to thank all those whom I have worked with over the years. We have a great team of people in Alaska who strive to protect children against vaccine preventable disease. It is often said, and I believe it is true, that the best success is achieved through teamwork!”

CDC Childhood Immunization Champions were selected from a pool of health care professionals, coalition members, community advocates and other immunization leaders. State and Territorial Immunization Programs coordinated the nomination process and notified CDC of their recommendations. No more than one winner was selected in each state or territory.

For more information about other CDC Childhood Immunization Champion award winners, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/champions/index.html.

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