Edited from a Press Release

HURRICANE _ On Thursday, June 21, 2019, Elaine Darling will be recognized as West Virginia’s 2018 Childhood Immunization Champion by the West Virginia Immunization Network and West Virginia Bureau for Public Health’s (WVBPH’s) Immunization Program.

Ms. Darling is the Senior Program Manager for the Center for Rural Health Development and in this role has directly managed the West Virginia Immunization Network (WIN). This recognition was bestowed on Ms. Darling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ms. Darling has led the efforts of the 300-member West Virginia Immunization Network (WIN) to promote childhood immunization, to educate and adopt evidence-based best practices, and advocate for strong immunization laws for schools and child care centers for the past six years in West Virginia. Ms. Darling works actively on the national level with the Immunization Action Coalition and Every Child By Two for the betterment of immunization in West Virginia and across the nation.

 

Sharon Lansdale, President/CEO, of the Center for Rural Health Development, said, that “through Elaine’s leadership, West Virginia has maintained strong immunization policies that protect children from the devastating impact of vaccine-preventable diseases.” She also works with the West Virginia Department of Education to facilitate a two-day annual immunization summit in conjunction with the state’s school nurse conference, Kid’s Strong, that attracts over 150 participants to Charleston each year.

 

This year’s Annual West Virginia Immunization Summit will be held at the Charleston Civic Center on June 21 and 22, 2018. Ms. Darling will be recognized during the Opening Session.

Ms. Darling has been instrumental in developing regional WIN coalitions across the state to strategically implement outreach and disseminate resources across the state. Regional coalitions have been established in Morgantown, Lewisburg, and Martinsburg with more being planned. As the WIN Program Manager, she has overseen administration of the “Take Your Best Shot” program which provides resources to local immunization providers to raise immunization rates and awareness for adolescents and other children in communities throughout our state.

 

These local programs have been overwhelmingly effective in raising rates at the provider level by 100% or higher. Ms. Darling worked diligently with the WVBPH’s Immunization Program, the American Cancer Society, and the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Program to develop the “We Are the Key to Cancer Prevention” program to strengthen recommendations of providers to parents for HPV vaccination.

 

Additionally, Ms. Darling worked with the West Virginia University School of Nursing to host the “Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic” video on the WVU online course shell with free CEUs for nurses. Hundreds of people have viewed the video through the course and evaluation responses have been very positive, including this one: “As a parent, I had previously chosen NOT to vaccinate my children with HPV vaccine. After watching this video, I am making an informed decision to vaccinate my children with HPV vaccine and promoting other parents to do so as well.”

 

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About West Virginia Immunization Network (WIN). The West Virginia Immunization Network (WIN) is a public/private partnership of over 100 individuals and organizations committed to protecting all West Virginians from the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases. For more information about WIN or to join, visit WIN’s Website at www.immunizenow.org.

 

About the Center for Rural Health Development, Inc. The Center for Rural Health Development (Center) is a private, non-profit organization that has been operating in West Virginia since 1994 to create a healthy future for our state by strengthening West Virginia’s rural health infrastructure and improving the health of all West Virginians. For more information about the Center, visit www.wvruralhealth.org

 

2018 West Virginia Childhood Immunization Champion. To be presented following the Opening Session of the 2018 West Virginia Immunization Summit. Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 1045am Charleston Civic Center, Little Theater. Interviews available after the presentation