Nurse named 'immunization champion' by CDC
A Hillsboro nurse is being recognized for her work to keep Washington County residents healthy.
Kathy Tompkins, a licensed practical nurse at Hillsboro Pediatric Clinic has been nominated as Oregon's CDC Childhood Immunization Champion by the Oregon Health Authority.
Hillsboro Pediatric Clinic operates two locations in downtown Hillsboro and in Orenco. Tompkins has managed the clinic's immunization program for more than 30 years, according to OHA spokeswoman Delia Hernández.
"I'm the tip of the iceberg of how many people are giving vaccinations," Tompkins said. "I feel honored. It keeps me centered on how important vaccinations are to everyone. It keeps us all healthy and safe. It keeps kids safe. That's the key."
Since 1994, the award has recognized people who make "significant contributions" toward improving public health and highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases, Hernández said.
"The recent measles outbreaks across the United States have demonstrated the importance of ensuring all children are fully protected from vaccine-
preventable diseases," said Aaron Dunn, manager of the Oregon Immunization Program at OHA. "The work that people like Kathy do helps create healthier communities every day."
According to the CDC, vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. Among children born during 1994-2018, vaccination will prevent an estimated 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
In a statement, the CDC said Tompkins conducts monthly updates for staff at Hillsboro Pediatric about vaccines, and conducts extensive training with all new staff to ensure they are well educated on vaccines.
"Ms. Tompkins is unwavering in her monitoring, measuring, and training of vaccine administration, storage, and handling," the CDC said.
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