Pinal County Public Health Recognized for Immunization Efforts -

Pinal County Public Health Recognized for Immunization Efforts

Pinal County Public Health Employees join the Board of Supervisors in Wednesday's meeting.
Pinal County Public Health Recognized for Immunization Efforts

Pinal County Public Health took home seven awards from The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI) Annual Awards Dinner.

TAPI is an organization that began in 1993 in response to a statewide immunization rate below 50 percent. Currently, the non-profit organization, boasts of over 400 members statewide from both the public and private sector.

The "Big Shots for Arizona" recognition event is part of the Arizona Department of Health Services statewide immunization conference that brings providers from across Arizona to celebrate National Immunization Week.

Four Pinal County Public Health Clinics took home the Daniel T. Cloud Award: Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Coolidge and Mammoth clinics.

"The Daniel T Cloud Awards are very significant because the clinic has to maintain a 90 percent immunization rate of those children who are 2 years old to earn this recognition," said Public Health Director Tom Schryer. "In 2007 when the public health district was established we had a dismal 43 percent rate, we set a goal to bring those rates to 80 percent and we have exceeded that each year since 2009. Since 2011 the district has earned at least one Daniel T. Cloud award each year, this year we earned four which is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the families we serve to ensure that our children are protected from vaccine preventable diseases."

Two Pinal County Public Health employees took home the Hot Shot Award: Becky Strand and Rachel Zenuk.

"Both Becky Strand and Rachel Zenuk really deserve these awards," Schryer said. "The Hot Shots Award recognizes their hard work toward always looking to improve immunization rates in the county."

The county was also recognized with Snap Shot Award for their efforts for holding a county employee flu shot clinic.

"The county employee flu shot clinic was truly a team effort which includes the financial commitment from the Board of Supervisors to Public Health and the Employee Wellness Coalition." Additionally Schryer said: "Employee flu shots are a great way to reduce healthcare costs and improve employee productivity, there are studies that show workplace flu clinics save between $15 and $84 per employee so providing these shots is good business."

Regarding childhood vaccination, Schryer added:

"There is a study that examines 78.6 million children born between the years 1994-2013. This study estimates that routine childhood immunization will prevent 322 million illnesses and 21 million hospitalizations over the course of their lifetimes and avert 732,000 premature deaths from vaccine-preventable illnesses. I think that study speaks for itself and demonstrates how childhood immunization has saved and will continue to save lives."