Font Size: A A A
Amidst Deadly Flu Season, Nationally Recognized Flu Advocate to Speak at Nevada Fundraiser


Amidst Deadly Flu Season, Nationally Recognized Flu Advocate to Speak at Nevada Fundraiser
21st Annual Silver Syringe Awards Welcomes Serese Marotta from Families Fighting Flu to Nevada

(April 15, 2019)— The Silver Syringe Awards  highlights one of public health’s greatest accomplishments – immunizations. Individuals and organizations who go above and beyond in preventative health efforts are honored at the two ceremonies for their life-saving work as healthcare champions throughout Nevada. Immunize Nevada and their partners toast these trailblazers and dedicates this exceptional night to them.

“Silver Syringe is a prestigious award and the only award that celebrates immunization champions in Nevada,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director, Heidi Parker. “Both events give us the opportunity to recognize passionate individuals and organizations that are committed to making Nevada a healthier state.”

Welcoming the southern Nevada winners and attendees on Thursday, May 2 at 6 p.m. at the SLS Las Vegas is Serese Marotta. Marotta will be recounting her story about the loss of her son, Joseph, to influenza in 2009 and her work to save lives from the flu. Marotta joined the national nonprofit, Families Fighting Flu, in 2010 following the loss of her son. Families Fighting Flu is dedicated to saving lives and reducing hospitalization rates caused by influenza.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain that flu season in the United States peaks between December and February, but activity can be seen year-round, usually lasting until May. As Las Vegas currently experiences an active flu season, Marotta reminds us the dangers of the influenza virus and the loss it can cause.

In addition to Silver Syringe winners being recognized at the annual dinner event, a number of provider offices, hospitals, tribal health centers and post-acute care facilities from throughout Nevada will be recognized for meeting Healthy People 2020 goals of high immunization rates. A complete list of the awardees can be found at Healthy People 2020 Statewide Winners.

• Outstanding Childhood Immunization Program: FirstMed Health + Wellness Centers
• Outstanding Adolescent Immunization Program: Nevada Pediatric Specialists
• Outstanding Adult Immunization Program: Luis Bobbys, Red Rock Medical Group
• Outstanding Influenza Immunization Program: 99th Medical Group, Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center
• Outstanding Rural Immunization Program: Pahrump CHN Program - Nevada Department of Public and Behavioral Health
• Outstanding Pharmacy Immunization Program: Melissa Shake, Pharm.D., Walgreens
• Outstanding Media Partner: Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations
• Outstanding Community Partner: Laura K. Culley MD, MPH, Associate Dean, Community Engagement, UNLV School of Medicine
• Outstanding Corporate Partner: COX Communications
• Outstanding Volunteer: Crystal Oden, UNLV Student & Immunize Nevada Volunteer
• Outstanding Medical Assistant: Margaret Copas, NCMA, Wee Care Pediatrics
• Outstanding Immunization Nurse: Mee Kee Chong-Dao, RN, BSN, Southern Nevada Health District
• Outstanding Physician Champion: Terry Zagala, MD, L. Mead Pediatric Center\
• Outstanding Immunization Champion: Dan Heller, Pharm.D., Smith's Food & Drug Company

Silver Syringe began in 1998 to celebrate Nevada’s immunization successes and champions. Today, the event has become a statewide tradition for Nevada’s immunization and healthcare partners. This year’s event is generously supported by: AVMS, Anthem, Boyd Gaming, Carson Medical Group, Carson Tahoe Health, Community Health Alliance, The Eyecare Center, Health Plan of Nevada, Hometown Health, Nevada Health Link, Nevada State Immunization Program, PhRMA, Renown Health, St. Mary’s Health Network, Silver Sage Center for Family Medicine, SilverSummit Healthplan, UnitedHealthcare, The Valley Health System, Washoe County Health District.

Immunize Nevada is widely recognized as Nevada’s trusted resource for immunizations and community health for all ages by fostering education and statewide collaboration. Immunize Nevada’s vision is healthy communities across Nevada protected from vaccine-preventable disease. For more information, visit