Press Release

April 24, 2012


Illinois’ First Childhood Immunization Champion Named

CDC award presented during National Infant Immunization Week

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is proud to announce that Rosalinda DeJesus, Health Technician at the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, has been selected as the first Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Childhood Immunization Champion for the state of Illinois. The CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award is a new annual award to honor individuals who make a significant contribution toward improving public health through their work in childhood immunization. One champion from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia will be announced each year during National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), this year running April 21-28, 2012.

“Rosalinda DeJesus is admired by her coworkers, physicians and patients at the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center where she works,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Acting Director Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck. “Rosalinda DeJesus is an inspiration to all of us who care passionately about children’s health in Illinois, and we are pleased and honored to congratulate her on this well-deserved award.”

After learning of the CDC annual award, James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Occupational Health Medicine Department Head Mark Lesko, identified DeJesus as a great candidate for the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award. DeJesus is often lauded for her ability to identify immunizations that have not been ordered for a child, to quickly recognize any adverse reactions to a vaccine, and for her kindness and caring attitude. Physicians admire her thoroughness and collaborative effort to go the extra mile to ensure the children are current on immunization schedules.

Dr. Jerald Cook, LT, Medical Corps, United States Navy nominated DeJesus and says she “adeptly and efficiently handles surges of school-aged children who need multiple pre-school vaccinations before entering multiple school districts within two states, keeping all parents informed and educated regarding vaccination benefits, and comforts those with “trepidation” or “fear” of vaccines with her seasoned professional knowledge and positive attitude.”

CDC Childhood Immunization Champions can include health care professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, etc.), coalition members, parents, and other immunization leaders as having made important contributions they have made to public health through their work in childhood immunization.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and elsewhere. Without the diligent efforts of our champions, these potentially deadly diseases would be an even greater threat to our nation’s children,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “Each of us has the potential to be a champion by protecting children’s health through immunization.”

National Infant Immunization Week is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States.

For more information about immunizations, childhood immunization schedules and school immunization requirements, log onto for a Parent’s Guide to Childhood Immunizations. There is also the Illinois Help Me Grow helpline at 1-800-323-GROW (voice and TTY) for additional immunization information.

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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