Work with Vulnerable Children, Outreach Efforts Applauded

Grace F. Maguire, MD, a pediatrician with the Thomas H. Pinkstaff Medical Home Clinic in Lexington, has been named Childhood Immunization Champion in Kentucky by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for her outstanding efforts to promote childhood immunization in central Kentucky.

Throughout her work as a pediatrician, Maguire has seen patients with almost every vaccine-preventable disease and she has long been a vaccine information resource for her medical colleagues. For many years, she was the primary immunization educator for trainees at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Pediatrics. She led the immunization programs for the university's outpatient clinics and helped develop the state's immunization registry. Currently, she is medical director of a clinic that serves a unique population of children—those in foster care and those with complex medical needs.

Maguire also ensures that children with birth defects, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and other special health care needs receive all appropriate vaccines, including those indicated for high-risk populations.

“Dr. Maguire's leadership and dedication to protecting vulnerable children against disease is not only admirable, but vital to public health’s work in preventing the spread of communicable disease,” said Stephanie Mayfield, MD, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We are thrilled the CDC has selected her as a 2014 Award Winner and commend her for her work and dedication to protecting the health of the Commonwealth.” 

Each year, the CDC Foundation and the CDC honor health professionals and community leaders around the country with the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion awards. These awards acknowledge exemplary individuals who go above and beyond to promote immunization among children in their communities.

“CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases is committed to protecting infants and young children from vaccine-preventable diseases. We work with and rely on many dedicated individuals at the state and local levels to ensure that children are fully protected from 14 serious and sometimes deadly diseases before their second birthday by vaccinating them,” said Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general for the United States Public Health Service and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “The Childhood Immunization Champion award is a way for CDC to recognize and honor the work of immunization leaders for their tremendous efforts surrounding childhood immunizations.” 




The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.

CDC Childhood Immunization Champions were selected from a pool of healthcare professionals, coalition members, community advocates, and other immunization leaders. State Immunization Programs coordinated the nomination process and notified CDC of their recommendations. One winner was selected in each of the 30 participating states and one from the District of Columbia.  For more information about other CDC Childhood Immunization Champion award winners, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/champions.




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