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Grateful for Team Vaccine

It’s hard to believe another year of promoting health and preventing disease at Immunize Nevada is about to come to a close.

This #GivingTuesday, I hope you enjoy reading what inspires our team of superheroes, their perspectives on our life-saving work, and a few favorite moments; as much as I enjoy being their fearless leader.

Nevada, thank you for continuing to give us the opportunity to do what we love; and love what we do:

Lily Davalos, MPH, Outreach Manager: One of my favorite events to participate in is Northern Nevada Pride, which has always been so much fun! As our group walks through the parade, it is exciting to hear spectators expressing their support for vaccines and for our organization. We hand out “vaccinated and proud” rainbow stickers at our booth, and it is great to see the positive response from the attendees. It is a great opportunity to interact with other organizations, speak with members of our community about the benefits of vaccines, expand our outreach efforts, and demonstrate that we are first and foremost, community oriented.

America Davis, Project Coordinator: I am so blessed to help Immunize Nevada promote and advocate for a healthy Nevada. As a member of the communications team, I help get the word out to communities around the state about the importance of preventative health as well as be a resource for families who want to a trustworthy source for information. I am also privileged to work with the most passionate, intelligent, and hardworking team I have ever had the pleasure to call my coworkers. Day in and day out, every one of our staff is there furthering our mission and inspiring change.

Lisa Feller, MPH, CHES, Education Manager: Working at Immunize Nevada gives me the opportunity to be part of the solution. I am inspired that I get the honor of working with interns and students every day that understand science, research, and evidence-based information and have the ability to create sustainable change in our communities. Our greatest ability to create change is strength in numbers and educating anyone we possibly can who will listen. By working with younger populations, it is my desire to see a culture shift around vaccines and a commitment to promote health and prevent disease for a lifetime. And that, my friends, is inspiring!

David Perez, Project Coordinator: What inspires me to come to work every day is being able to work in a field that I am passionate about, communications, and know that what I’m doing is helping an organization that allows people in my community have access to vaccines and health. We get to help people stay healthy and bring our communities together while sharing the goal of keeping people healthy from preventable diseases. Also, all my team members are really cool and it’s awesome to see what we get done when we all work together with a common goal.

Emily Ruzzine, Events Director: Our staff is truly dedicated to, not only their individual job/tasks, but to the organization as a whole and in helping one another succeed. Each staff person possesses exceptional strength in their positions, which translates to great support for the different programs Immunize Nevada manages and executes. We are more resourceful, we are more collaborative, we are more efficient, and we are more determined than ever. We are resilient. I’ve been with this organization for more than seven years and I truly believe this is the best our team has ever been.

Leah Sussman, Healthy Futures Coordinator: I am constantly inspired by our coalition! Our state has many health-related challenges, but we also have amazing resources and partners working together to overcome these challenges. Vaccines are at their most effective when an entire community is protected through the power of individual actions, and this way of thinking about health on a community level informs every action we make. Immunize Nevada promotes health by drawing on the strengths of our community, bringing people together to prevent disease!

Tara Wong, MPH, Project Coordinator: I truly admire the amount of dedication and passion our team has to helping people stay healthy and prevent disease through vaccines. I am inspired everyday by the amount of people we are able to work with, including our partners and volunteers, who are just as passionate about vaccines as we are. Working at Immunize Nevada has taught me the value of educating and empowering the community to help them feel like they can take charge of their own health to protect not only themselves, but everyone around them as well. I am grateful to work with and be surrounded by people who believe in the same goal as I do; we are all working together to make Nevada a healthier place to live.    

Now that you’ve met our team of superhero changemakers, you can understand why I love coming to work every day. They make me smile, their passion is contagious (in a good way!), and they’re dedicated to building a healthier Nevada for all. We don’t wear masks or capes (some of us might wear tights.) There’s no spotlight in the sky telling us where to show up to dramatically save a crowd. But at the end of each day, our work helps people live longer, healthier lives by protecting them through vaccination.

As we head into the season of giving, I encourage you to reach out and see for yourself what makes them, and the life-saving work we do, so amazing. We can’t promise cool gadgets, but I can promise they share the same commitment to making a difference for Nevada's communities that you do.

You can donate today to bring vital health resources to all Nevadans. This simple action can help save lives. Visit to learn more.

Heidi Parker, MA

Heidi Parker, MA

As executive director of Immunize Nevada, Heidi Parker, MA leads and engages a diverse coalition of staff, volunteers, member organizations and funders so they are passionate about vaccines and access to preventive health care across Nevada’s rural, urban and frontier communities. Bringing over two decades of experience in nonprofit program management, fundraising and marketing, she has dedicated her career to being able to affect her community in a positive way, whether working with Head Start families, victims of violence, college students or Nevadans needing immunizations.