COLUMBUS — Immunization providers, researchers and supporters gathered Tuesday at the state capitol to meet with elected officials and discuss the value of vaccines for all Ohioans.
The event was organized by the Immunization Advocacy Network of Ohio (IANO). IANO is a statewide organization that educates lawmakers, policy makers, media and the public about the critical role immunizations serve in maintaining healthy communities, schools, workplaces and institutions in the state.
The Dayton region took center stage at the event with a keynote presentation from Sherman J. Alter, M.D., the Jerome B. Wiles Infectious Disease Endowed Chair at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Dr. Alter’s remarks focused on the issue of vaccine hesitation from a provider’s perspective. Following Dr. Alter, attendees were pleased to hear remarks from Joan Hlinomaz, MS, RN, NCSN, LSN, President-Elect, Ohio Association of School Nurses, and who serves a school nurse with Kettering City School District. Hlinomaz’s remarks focused on barriers to student vaccine compliance and best practices to improve Ohio’s vaccination rates.
In addition, several healthcare providers from Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County attended the event and met with local legislators to discuss the value of vaccines, including: Donna Youtz, RN, BSN, Immunization Coordinator for the department; Beth Carnes, RN; and Linda Betts, RN.
In addition to providing private briefings with legislators, more than 85 vaccine advocates and legislators gathered for a breakfast program. In addition to Hlinomaz and Alter, attendees heard remarks from State Senator Dave Burke, (R-Marysville), and Melissa Wervey Arnold, Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics-Ohio Chapter.
“Immunization for all ages is a critical part of our healthcare system in Ohio. Events like today’s Immunization Advocacy Day creates a forum to share ideas and information on curbing Ohio’s falling vaccination rates,” said Melissa Wervey Arnold, Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics-Ohio Chapter. “Advocates and health care providers are here to help educate Ohio’s legislators and policy makers about the importance of vaccines. Just as we encourage parents and caregivers to speak with healthcare providers and make educated decisions when it comes to immunizations, the Immunization Advocacy Day provides our policymakers with the same opportunity.”
About Immunization Advocacy Network of Ohio
The Immunization Advocacy Network of Ohio (IANO) advocates for the value of vaccines and educates about the critical role of immunization to maintain healthy communities, schools, workplaces and institutions of Ohio. IANO is a network of medical professional associations, public health advocates and officials and business organizations, including the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.