Annual Event Honors Nevada Big Shots

Reno, NV (May 2, 2016)— Immunize Nevada held two award ceremony dinners in April, in northern and southern Nevada, to identify outstanding individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to protect Nevadans from vaccine-preventable diseases. The 18th Annual Silver Syringe Awards were held in conjunction with National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), which brought more awareness to the work these winners strive to provide.  

The 13 Silver Syringe categories recognized healthcare providers and community partners, nominated by their peers, as exemplifying outstanding immunization practices in a specific category.

“The annual Silver Syringe Awards have become a prestigious award ceremony that celebrates immunization champions in Nevada,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker. “These annual events give us the opportunity to recognize passionate individuals and organizations that are committed to making Nevada a healthier state.”

Both dinner events opened with keynote speaker, Karen Crespo, a quadruple amputee, registered nurse and meningococcal meningitis survivor, who shared her story with the more than 500 dinner attendees. Many were brought to tears while listening to Crespo’s story of survival after undergoing multiple surgeries where she lost all four limbs, part of her hearing, her nose, upper lip and ear all due to this preventable bacterial disease. As someone who now needs full-time care and assistance, Crespo has dedicated her life to educating the public about the importance of immunizations and thanking healthcare providers who provide preventative immunization services to the community.


·         Outstanding Childhood Immunization Program: Marsha Foreman, RN, CHNII

·         Outstanding Adolescent Immunization Program: Sandy Wartgow, BSN, RN

·         Outstanding Adult Immunization Program: Jeanine Paul, RN

·         Outstanding Influenza Immunization Program: Banner Churchill Community Hospital

·         Outstanding Rural Immunization Program: Jennifer Archuleta, RN

·         Outstanding Pharmacy Immunization Program: Andy Bath, Pharm D.

·         Outstanding Immunization Nurse: Julie Dums, RN

·         Outstanding Community Partner: Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties

·         Outstanding Corporate Partner: Saint Mary’s Health Network

·         Outstanding Immunization Champion: Myrna Penaflor, BSN, RN

·         Outstanding Physician Champion: Andrew Pasternak, MD

·         Innovation in Immunization: Washoe Tribal Health Center

·         Outstanding Media Partner: Mornings on Fox


·         Outstanding Childhood Immunization Program: Nevada Pediatric Specialists

·         Outstanding Adolescent Immunization Program: Sean Rodgers, BSN-RN, MSN-Edu

·         Outstanding Adult Immunization Program: The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center)

·         Outstanding Influenza Immunization Program: MountainView Hospital Las Vegas

·         Outstanding Rural Immunization Program: Assemblyman James Oscarson and Bren McClean, CNA

·         Outstanding Pharmacy Immunization Program: Eric VanMeter, Pharm D.

·         Outstanding Immunization Nurse: Sarah Lugo, RN

·         Outstanding Community Partner: Junior League, Las Vegas

·         Outstanding Corporate Partner: UnitedHealthcare

·         Outstanding Immunization Champion: Rosaura Martinez

·         Outstanding Physician Champion: James Bakerink, MD

·         Innovation in Immunization: Turntable Health

·         Outstanding Media Partner: Cox Communications

Silver Syringe began in 1998 as a way to celebrate Nevada’s immunization successes and champions. Today, the event has become a statewide tradition for Nevada’s immunization and healthcare stakeholders. This annual ceremony is an opportunity to honor those immunization champions who provide excellent service, but may not otherwise be recognized.

This year’s events were generously supported by: Renown Health, Nevada State Immunization Program, Saint Mary’s Health Network, Community Health Alliance, UnitedHealthcare, Roseman University – College of Medicine, Silver Sage Family Medicine, Steinburg Diagnostic Medical Imaging, WGU Nevada, Carson Tahoe Health, Perry Foundation with the Nevada Health Care Association and Smith’s Food and Drug Company.

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