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Top Ten Reasons We’re Thankful!

In our coalition, a diverse, dedicated group of individuals, organizations, and institutions across the state work together to promote health and prevent disease; anytime, anyplace, anywhere. They unite their powers and leverage their strengths to save lives. We’re thankful for the commitment they make every day to keep Nevada healthy.

But we’re thankful for lots of other reasons too (in no particular order!)

1. Statewide Partners
By collaborating with our partners to achieve a common goal of increasing vaccination rates, we are able to maximize existing financial and human resources; allowing grant dollars and donations received to stretch farther. We appreciate all of Immunize Nevada's partners who help our coalition have a stronger impact across the state.

2. Healthcare Providers
Within Immunize Nevada’s world of public health, infectious germs and viruses don’t take breaks, hibernate or go on vacation. They can strike at any moment, and when a community isn’t fully protected – the risk of outbreak is high. We’re grateful for providers who ensure Nevadans stay healthy by recommending vaccines across the lifespan, participating in the Vaccines for Children program, enforcing school requirements, and leading by example.

3. Parents who Vaccinate
The plethora of misinformation can be overwhelming for parents, and we applaud those who trust the science, but more importantly, trust the recommendation of their healthcare provider. We are also grateful for parents who take the time to call, email, or message us their questions – helping us fulfill our mission as a trusted resource for Nevadans.

4. Community Immunization Clinics
Thanks to generous sponsors, we’re able to provide no-cost immunization clinics when and where they are needed most – including during back to school season so students can start the year healthy and on time, and influenza season when access to flu shots can be a challenge for many families.

5. Team Vaccine’s Passion
I’m privileged to work with a passionate team that values the importance of community, collaboration, and science-based communication about preventive health. They can be found tabling at events all over Nevada, attending meetings, posting flu shot selfies on social media, and speaking to organizations about our life-saving mission. Extra thanks to our friends and family members who give us the support to do what we love; and love what we do.

6. Volunteers
Our outreach across Nevada couldn’t happen without the dedication and time contributed by our volunteers – whether they are presenting to a community group, serving on our board of directors, or supporting our mission at outreach events.

7. Interns
The next generation of healthcare and public health professionals contribute hundreds of hours each semester to Immunize Nevada’s programs and community-based projects. Their enthusiasm is infectious (in a good way!) and creates an office environment of continual learning.

8. Social Media Followers
Those who like, tweet, or share our social media posts are helping amplify pro-vaccine messages across their social networks, and are increasing awareness of current news, outbreaks, and other important information. We're grateful for their voices!

9. Immunization Champions
Immunize Nevada is lucky to have local, regional, and national clinical experts and organizational leaders, along with survivors & families of those who have been touched by vaccine-preventable diseases present as part of our Nevada Immunization Learning Exchange (NILE) educational events. We count on their expertise, experience, and passion to help drive our efforts to protect and preserve the health of Nevadans.

10. Vaccines
Our top ten list wouldn’t be complete without expressing our thanks for vaccines and the scientists who’ve made them possible throughout the years. Millions of lives have been saved, making them one of public health’s greatest achievements.

Nevada hasn’t achieved our historically high immunization rates because one healthcare provider, one organization, or one agency made it happen – we got here because we collectively persevered, persisted in the face of challenges, looked beyond our local borders, and leveraged limited resources to affect the most change. It took time, passion, and unrelenting optimism – but most of all, it took doing it together, united with a common goal.

While we still have germs and viruses to fight, we have strength in numbers and are achieving more together than we each could alone. Our work helps Nevadans live longer, healthier lives by protecting them through vaccination – and for that, we’re the most thankful.

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.