The Immunize Nevada Staff. From left to right: Heather Press, Kara Housby, Emily Ruzzine, Heidi Parker, Betsy VanDeusen, Lynnette Bellin, Ashley McHugh, Peggy Franklin, Rhonda Baskins


Heidi Parker, MA
Executive Director

As executive director of Immunize Nevada, Heidi Parker leads and engages a diverse coalition of staff, volunteers, member organizations and funders so they are passionate about vaccines and access to preventive health care across Nevada’s rural, urban and frontier communities. Bringing 19 years of experience in nonprofit program management, fundraising and marketing, she has dedicated her career to being able to affect her community in a positive way, whether working with Head Start families, victims of violence, college students or Nevadans needing immunizations.

Under her leadership, Immunize Nevada is deeply involved in community outreach, collaborative projects and fundraising efforts aimed at helping close the vaccination gap that Nevada faces. Heidi lost her best friend to Hepatitis when she was in elementary school and her great-grandfather died in the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. These personal and family losses drive her motivation to ensure that no one suffers from a vaccine-preventable disease, and that vaccines continue to have an influential voice.

Heidi has earned numerous awards for her commitment to community involvement, including the Reno Gazette Journal’s Twenty under 40 award and has presented at a variety of regional and national conferences, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Immunization Conference. Heidi is a 2nd generation DePaul Blue Demon and received her Master of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She is also a recent graduate of Duke University’s Executive Nonprofit Leadership program.

Contact Heidi:
(775) 624-7114


Ashley McHugh, MPH

Immunization Project Coordinator

Ashley currently serves as the Immunization Project Coordinator at Immunize Nevada. She plans, coordinates, and evaluates multiple statewide education and awareness projects, focusing primarily on the HPV vaccine. She also performs community outreach, stakeholder management, and builds community relationships. Ashley obtained her B.S. in Community Health Sciences from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. During her undergraduate studies, she volunteered at the American Red Cross, where she worked on the Measles Initiative, a project aimed to globally eradicate measles.

Ashley is passionate about philanthropy and community service. She has served two Americorps terms. First, she served as a Youth Programs Coordinator for the American Red Cross in Incline Village. Her following term was served in Las Vegas, at UNLV’s TRIO Center for Academic Enrichment & Outreach. There she performed adult education services, assisting marginalized populations in obtaining their GED and fulfilling higher education.

Following her Americorps service, Ashley pursued her Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Health. Ashley received her Masters of Public Health in May 2015 from UNR. Throughout her studies, vaccinations has been a focal point of her interests and is a topic she is dedicated to within public health. Her enthusiasm surrounding immunization practices motivates her to play an influential role in the community by positively impacting local immunization efforts.

Contact Ashley:
(775) 624-7117


Betsy VanDeusen, MA
Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships

Betsy is the Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships of Immunize Nevada, overseeing community engagement and driving fundraising initiatives. As Immunize Nevada expands its reach to statewide impact, Betsy is excited to build connections, engage new partners and develop a network of support to help meet Nevada's health priorities. A big believer in giving back to the community, Betsy has a long history of community engagement from serving as an AmeriCorps Volunteer with City Year Boston, class of 2000 and as a founding member of the Red Rock Rotary Club. With over ten years as a non-profit professional, Betsy has experience in fundraising, direct service to youth, administration, special events and volunteer management. Prior to her current position, Betsy has worked with many Las Vegas area nonprofit organizations including The Animal Foundation, United Way of Southern Nevada, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas and Teach For America – Las Vegas Valley.

In addition to her professional activities, Betsy is a founding leader of Young Non Profit Professionals Network of Southern Nevada, and has served on the Boards of “Directors of Volunteers in Agencies” and Family Promise and was a founding member of the Sin City Roller Girls – Flat Track Roller Derby League. Betsy holds a BA of Sociology from Colorado College and an MA in Public Service – Non Profit Management from Marquette University.

Contact Betsy:
(702) 235-6230


Heather Press

Billing Program Coordinator

Heather Press coordinates all contracting, billing and coding for the Immunize Nevada School Located Vaccination Clinic project. She also oversees all office administration for the organization. Heather graduated from the Canterbury Career School in Sacramento California with credentials as a medical assistant and phlebotomist.

Over the past 20 years, Heather has worked in several positions focused on credentialing, contracting and supervising billing departments and clinics. Her billing background includes everything from creating the super bill to appealing claims and everything in between. In addition, Heather excels at staff training and managing bookkeeping duties.

Contact Heather:
(775) 624-7112


Emily Ruzzine
Director, Community Outreach

As Immunize Nevada’s outreach director, Emily Ruzzine is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating Immunize Nevada’s health education and promotion events. She ensures the success of various community projects, outreach efforts, and educational trainings for healthcare partners. Emily also assists in identifying and engaging new prospective community supporters and partners.

Emily brings a wide array of marketing, public relations and writing experience to Immunize Nevada, and was previously an account executive at RKPR Inc. in Reno, where she led projects for the City of Sparks rebranding, the Northern Nevada Development Authority, and Grubb & Ellis | NCG among others. A versed writer, Emily created and edited web copy, blogs and collateral material for a number of clients across varied industries to create and maintain brand identity.

Emily received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, with an emphasis in Public Relations, and a minor in Communications from the University of Nevada, Reno. While earning her degree, she was employed with the university’s athletic department. Emily is the current programming chair for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Sierra Nevada Chapter and serves as a professional PRSA partner for public relations students at the University of Nevada Reno.

Contact Emily:
(775) 624-7115

Kara Housby
Project Assistant

As Immunize Nevada’s Project Assistant, Kara Housby manages and assists with a number of projects for the organization including the School Located Vaccination project, community clinics and events, office administration, and the annual Nevada Health Conference and Silver Syringe Awards.

Kara received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013. She began work with Immunize Nevada while pursuing her undergraduate degree. Kara is passionate about public health and how she can positively impact the community she lives and works in.

Contact Kara:

(775) 624-7117

Lynnette Bellin, MBA
Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing

As Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing for Immunize Nevada, Lynnette organizes and mobilizes individuals, organizations, and groups to engage with Immunize Nevada in ways that further our mission of promoting health and preventing disease. Lynnette is responsible for the planning and execution of the organization’s integrated communications strategy, media relations and online engagement in support of Immunize Nevada’s programs and budget goals.  

Lynnette specializes in marketing communications, developing and executing strategy, and collaborating across all lines of business. With her unique background in digital marketing communications and operational program management, Lynnette is skilled at both defining marketing strategies and executing projects with operational excellence. Lynnette's experience includes Fortune 500 companies such as General Motors and Microsoft, as well as the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, where she managed She is also the owner of Reno Moms Blog and is on the board of Think Kindness. Lynnette was inducted into the Reno Gazette Journal’s 2012 class of Twenty under 40.

Lynnette received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing from New Mexico State University, and her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems Management from Wayne State University.

Contact Lynnette:
(775) 624-7116

Peggy Franklin, BSN
Adolescent Immunization Coordinator

Peggy Franklin is the Adolescent Immunization Coordinator for Immunize Nevada focusing on increasing immunization rates of the HPV vaccine. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada at Reno, Orvis School of Nursing. Peggy worked in Public Health and clinic nursing for over 30 years.

Before coming to Immunize Nevada, Peggy spent 15 years working for a private immunization clinic providing immunizations to infants through adults as well as travel consultations and travel vaccines.

Peggy is passionate about vaccines, providing education and resources for the community.

Contact Peggy:

(775) 624-7117


Rhonda Baskins, RN, BSN, PHN
Adult Immunization Coordinator

Rhonda is the Adult Immunization Coordinator for Immunize Nevada. Her role centers on public and provider education as well as collaborating with community partners to deliver immunizations.  She is passionate about the historical success of vaccines and strives to prevent disease in Nevada by increasing the state’s immunization rates.

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of California, Chico. As a native Nevadan, she relocated to Reno in 2013 from northern California with her husband, two sons and four basset hounds. She enjoys the beauty of Nevada’s mountains and desert as she travels throughout the state with her message.  

Contact Rhonda:

(775) 624-7118