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Meet our Big Shots Nominees!

Each December, Immunize Nevada celebrates our coalition accomplishments and recognizes the immunization heroes and influencers among us. As part of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), Immunize Nevada is proud to recognize everyday heroes across Nevada in three categories: Outstanding Clinician, Community Partner, and Champion; along with our Outstanding Volunteers.

Outstanding Champion

Washoe County Health District Immunization Team
With COVID-19 negatively affecting immunization rates, WCHD stepped up to the plate to ensure that all kids were vaccinated for back to school and everyone was vaccinated with flu shots. They have truly gone above and beyond to vaccinate as many people as possible, and their tireless efforts are helping to protect Washoe County.

Carson City Health and Human Services     
Carson City Health and Human Services works tirelessly to vaccinate the community during flu season Currently, Carson City county has the highest vaccination rate in NV - 32% of its population has received a flu shot. 

Danielle Koltz, Prominence Health Plan        
Dani knows that a flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting or spreading the flu and she is a wellness champion devoted to connecting with community partners and resources to ensure that access to flu shots isn’t a barrier for our members. 

Dini-Townsend Hospital/Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services            
Every year Dini-Townsend Hospital runs a Point Of Dispensing (POD) exercise to begin the flu season called "Kick Off the Flu", helping vaccinate our whole community. Vaccines were then provided to employees, their families, uninsured, children and the homeless 4 days a week, 2 hours each time, for the whole month of October.

Renee Brocker, Nevada State Immunization Program                      
Since joining the NSIP’s team as a CDC Public Health Advisor, Renee has been tasked with a herculean task: leading flu vaccination efforts in Nevada, the lowest ranking state for flu vaccine coverage. She has played a key role this season in convening key stakeholders in the state to increase Nevada’s flu immunization rates.

Christina Madison and Roseman Pharmacy Students               
Dr. Madison and her students hosted weekly clinics at various Las Vegas locations to provide flu vaccines to help close the access barrier gap. The amount of time and effort Dr. Madison and her students are putting into this flu season should not go unnoticed!

Angela Quinn, FirstMed Health and Wellness     
Angela is a strong proponent of vaccines and believes that vaccines could be both life-saving and life-sustaining. Overall, she has been and empowering and compassionate CEO, and all of FirstMed staff appreciates and is very grateful for her genuine care and concern to all of us!  She truly epitomized what a great and dependable leader must be during pandemic. 

Luis and Rebecca Aceves, R.E.A.C.H. Ventanilla de Salud          
Each year R.E.A.C.H. partners with a community health business or organization to provide free flu shots to the community. This year they have partnered with Walgreens to provide the vaccinations to the Latino community regardless of the health coverage.

Gail Lindsay, Moapa Food Pantry                       
Gail was amazing at Immunize Nevada’s Moapa clinic in partnership with their food pantry. She helped and convinced many skeptical people to get their flu shot , and the clinic’s success was due to Gail’s hard work and passion for health.

Southern Nevada Health District Outreach Team                    
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit Southern Nevada, the SNHD team was a crucial part of organizing and conducting COVID testing for the community, despite having just worked tirelessly on the Hepatitis A outbreak.  From the Clark County Detention Center to older adult living sites, this team tirelessly provided testing while keeping their staff and clients safe. Their contribution has been outstanding in keeping our community safe from vaccine preventable diseases. 

Bernadett Sena and Shannin Pierce, White Pine County Community Health
Shannin and Bernadett were able to serve 843 patients during their 6 hour flu POD. They not only did a drive through POD they also had rovers serving the jail, schools, health care providers and their homebound residents ensuring no one in White Pine County went without access.

Rodd Fernandes, Nye County Emergency Management            
Nye Emergency Management was instrumental in making sure the flu pods throughout Nye County were successful and making sure the residents of Rural Nevada had access to vaccines.

Outstanding Clinician

Jennifer Wheeler, Community Health Alliance
Jennifer Wheeler, Community Health Alliance's Director of Pharmacy, managed and conducted our first ever drive-through flu POD event for our staff and family members. This event allowed Community Health Alliance to perfect the drive-through process so the organization will be ready to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to our frontline workers in a safe and efficient manner. Jennifer Wheeler is a tireless supporter of immunizations, and we thank her for fighting the good fight and protecting our community members.

Tanya DeMichele, Walgreens           
Tanya has volunteered for numerous flu vaccination clinics across Northern Nevada. When plans changed and clinics were sooner than planned, Tanya graciously offered to vaccinate, no matter the time place or date! She is a wealth of information and often sways those on the fence to get their flu vaccine with her knowledge and charisma.

Nazanin Kazeminy, CVS Pharmacy   
Nazanin has been an amazing partner and a strong flu advocate during this current 2020-2021 season! She has assisted with multiple Immunize Nevada flu vaccine clinics, and has vaccinated over 300 people just at Immunize Nevada's outreach clinics ALONE. She loves being out in the community and vaccinating as many people as possible.

Yurico Avila, Renown Health                        
Yurico works tirelessly to ensure vaccine is available for many of the Renown clinics.  She is also willing to take short dated vaccine to ensure limited vaccine is never wasted.  She is approachable and easy to work with all the time.

Ashley Blackwood and Dena Merrell, Carson Medical Group - Peds Minden and Carson City          
Ashley and Dena had been working closely with the VFC Program and had long been advocates in providing immunizations to their patients. As one of the largest pediatric practice in the Tri-County area, they had gone far and beyond in ensuring that our children are up to date or caught up with the recommended vaccinations.

John Lepore, Kidfixers Pediatrics      
Dr. John Lepore has worked non-stop during the COVID-19 national pandemic.  He has continued to see patients and has worked hard to ensure that his patients are vaccinated in a timely manner.  Dr. Lepore deserves to be recognized for his outstanding service to the community!

Melissa Janos, Albertsons Pharmacy                  
Melissa Janos is a Pharmacist at Albertsons and she has been an amazing partner at Immunize Nevada flu clinics! She not only attends outreach events in the Las Vegas area, but she has also traveled to Mount Charleston and other rural communities to provide the flu vaccines to be sure that everyone is vaccinated. Her dedication to vaccinating is contagious!

Heather Shropshire, St. Rose Pediatrics       
As the nursing manager of St. Rose pediatrics, Heather goes above and beyond to make sure all patients are immunized. All staff is well trained by her vaccine education, and it shows in St. Rose’s commitment to vaccination.

Dr. Rebecca Edgeworth, Touro University   
Dr. Edgeworth is an assistant professional at Touro University and is a great community partner. Despite it being a holiday, she ensured the ability to host a clinic on Veteran's day, and also picked up and dropped off the vaccines when our clinic was done. She continues to connect Immunize Nevada with new partners, helping expand community outreach and access to flu vaccines.

Mayra Jones Betancourt, MD UNLV School of Medicine         
During this pandemic, there has been a significant drop in childhood vaccinations in Las Vegas. Dr. Jones-Betancourt has worked hard with our community to be proactive in getting children immunized, and has prioritized those that are underserved including free immunization events with the UNLV School of Medicine.

Outstanding Community Partner

Patrick Turner, The Discovery           
Every year, The Discovery hosts a very large, successful flu vaccine clinic for the community with Immunize Nevada, while also providing access to the museum and a fun experience for community members. With COVID-19 challenges, The Discovery’s dedication was not going to stop them from setting up another very successful flu clinic. We are grateful for The Discovery and their efforts to increase flu vaccination rates while making it fun for everyone!

Karla Reyes, Community Health Alliance      
Karla is always willing to take short dated vaccines.  She works to ensure all CHA clinics have vaccines and are up to date regarding vaccines, storage and handling.  She is always willing to learn new things regarding vaccines and is a stupendous liaison for CHA and WCHD.  

Jennifer Farfan, Lupe Anguiano and Pricilla Mendea, Northern Nevada HOPES   
The vaccine coordinators at Northern Nevada HOPES work tirelessly to ensure all their patients get any and all vaccines that are recommended.  They are easy to work with, responsive, and willing to learn.  It is an honor to work with such motivated and supportive persons.

UNR School of Medicine Student Outreach Clinic
UNR Student Outreach Clinic graciously offered to order vaccines from the state and administer them for free to the public at various Northern Nevada Flu Clinics. The students were enthusiastic and able to provide vaccines to high risk and underserved Nevadans who otherwise would not have had the opportunity for free flu vaccines. 

High Sierra AHEC
High Sierra AHEC hosted their first flu clinic for our community this fall via drive thru. Most attendees said they would have otherwise not had access to free flu vaccine and were so grateful. Their continued partnership is valued and are ALWAYS willing to share immunization resources and information.

Kristy Zigenis, Nevada State Immunization Program
Both in her previous role as Adult Immunization Coordinator and in her current role as the NSIP’s Immunization Projects Manager, Kristy is always willing to lend support for immunization improvement initiatives across the state. Her extensive expertise regarding Nevada WebIZ and evidence-based quality improvement strategies has helped move the needle for immunization rates across the lifespan in Nevada.

Weiss Solano & Thalia Cajo, Asian Community Development Council (ACDC)
Every year, the ACDC hosts a family day where they provide resources and flu shots to the Asian American community. This year, because of COVID-19, they held successful drive through flu shot clinics combined with a food distribution. The success of these events poses an amazing opportunity for future years to continue providing these valuable resources and protecting the Asian-American community.

Shelley Williams, Dignity Health
Dignity Health has been a wonderful partner this flu season in Las Vegas, and is dedicated to providing essential health resources to the community, including flu shots. Because of their efforts, all participants- vaccinators, volunteers, and community members experienced a safe, drive-through environment. Their dedication to the safety and health of the community shows.

United Way of Southern Nevada
The United Way of Southern Nevada team has been so gracious to the community and nonprofits during this pandemic. UWSN provided free reusable face coverings, disposable face coverings, and hand sanitizer that Immunize Nevada and it’s partners were able to use to help protect staff, volunteers, and vaccinators, and the community members attending the clinics.

Vision y Compromiso
Vision y Compromiso have been long partners with SNHD and help with reaching the Latinx community. In the REACH project, SNHD has contracted 10 promotoras to help locate places to set mobile flu clinics by leveraging their existing relationship in the community. The work they do for the community is appreciate and a tremendous help in ensuring successful flu clinics.

REACH at Southern Nevada Health District
Maria, Nicole, Carlos, and Amineh are amazing team members with the REACH project with SNHD. They work to target African American and Hispanic populations and bring access to health resources/education and flu shots to these communities. Their hard work is helping close the gap of health disparities, and protect residents across Las Vegas.

Fire Chief Garry Judd, Indian Springs Volunteer Fire Department
Garry went above and beyond to try and make sure the residents of Indian Springs had access to the flu shot this year. He made sure he got the word out and encouraged residents of Indian Springs to participate in this event.

Fire Chief Jorge Gonzalez, Mt. Charleston Fire Protection District
Jorge was a great community partner. He made sure he got the word out about the flu clinic and even delivered flyers to houses of the residents in Mt. Charleston.

Outstanding Volunteer

Intern Heidi                                        
Heidi recently completed her internship with Immunize Nevada. She is hard-working, driven, and passionate about helping the community. We are excited for her to be a professional in the Public Health community.

Volunteer Noor                                 
Noor has been volunteering with Immunize Nevada since July 2020, and she was a huge help during the back to school season and now with flu season. Noor is very communicative and passionate about vaccines and preventative health, and currently majoring in biological sciences with an emphasis in pre-professional studies and a minor in neuroscience

Volunteer Deandra                          
Deandra has been volunteering with Immunize Nevada and Healthy Young NV since January 2020. Deandra has been very active in the HYNV Youth Advisory Council and creating social media content for various platforms. She also assisted our team with helping us to apply for a small grant, so we can disseminate outreach kits to Las Vegas youth in need.

Volunteer Michael                            
Michael has been volunteering with Immunize Nevada since September 2020 and has been a very active volunteer for that short amount of time. He is willing to assist at any community clinic he is available for, has already attended multiple flu clinics,  and given over 20 hours of his time. Michael is passionate about ensuring people have access to vaccines and intends on going to medical school after he graduates. 

Volunteer Jia                                     
Jia has been consistently been one of the most reliable, friendly, and passionate volunteers at Immunize Nevada. Jia has contributed a whopping 190 hours to our organization since she began volunteering in 2017 -everything from assisting at community clinics, delivering outreach materials, helping organize materials in the office, looking up WebIZ records, watching webinars, and more. Jia is pursuing a biochemistry and molecular biology degree with a minor in Spanish language, literature, and culture!

Volunteer Brynn
Brynn has really hit the ground running and is always looking for flu clinics she can volunteer at and asking about the next ones while we are at events. She is billingual and has been extremely helpful in clinic settings to ensure all in attendance receive information and resources. She is passionate about providing vaccines to the community and is always asking about the organizations we partner with to know more about what they do in the community as well!