Ann Andreoni, RN, DNP, PNP-BC, a pediatric nurse practitioner and faculty member at the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, earned the American Nurses Associations Immunity Award for her initiative to raise immunization rates and educate the public about the benefits of protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.
The national award is part of the Bringing Immunity to Every Community project, a partnership between ANA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maximize nurses roles in increasing vaccination rates and reducing incidence of diseases, according to a news release. The project seeks to increase nurses knowledge and competency in immunization, encourage nurses to be vaccinated and position nurses as leading advocates for immunization.
According to the release, Andreoni has served as a role model for nursing students by demonstrating how advocacy and planning can result in a successful community intervention. While working in her clinical practice at a health center based at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill., Andreoni designed, implemented and evaluated a pilot program to provide a free seasonal influenza vaccine to children and a low-cost vaccine for staff in three elementary schools in communities near the high school.
With assistance from school-based health clerks, Andreoni and her nursing students met with parents during parent-teacher conferences and arranged individual meetings to help them learn about the immunization program, answer questions and concerns about the safety of vaccinations and seek written consent for their children to be immunized. Educational materials were developed in English and Spanish. According to the release, more than 350 students received the seasonal influenza vaccination.