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ACOG is proud to acknowledge the below Obstetrician–Gynecologist Immunization Champions. These Immunization Champions are considered leaders in maternal and adult immunization. They have demonstrated exceptional progress in increasing immunization rates among adults and pregnant women in their communities through leadership, innovation, collaboration, and educational activities aimed at following ACOG and CDC guidance to increase immunization rates among women.

Congratulations to ACOG's 2022 Immunization Champion Award Winners!

This year, ACOG recognized six Immunization Champions. The ACOG Immunization Champion Award recognizes members who have demonstrated ongoing efforts to promote routine immunizations to pregnant and non-pregnant patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and have done an exemplary job of educating its patients and other women's health care practitioners.

Headshot of ACOG member Jenna Beckham, MD, MSPH.

Jenna Beckham, MD, MSPH, is a board certified obstetrician–gynecologist at WakeMed Health and Hospitals in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is passionate about immunizations and has led various COVID-19 vaccine efforts in recent years. Dr. Beckham was a physician champion for inpatient COVID-19 vaccine administration, and under her leadership, the Obstetrics and Gynecology Service was recognized for having the highest number of vaccine administrations in the entire hospital system. She also served as the physician lead in establishing the outpatient obstetrics and gynecology clinic as a COVID-19 vaccine administration site and has led a department-wide initiative to ensure COVID-19 vaccine education and counseling is a part of all patients' obstetrics and gynecology care. Throughout the pandemic, she has provided education and resources to her colleagues regarding COVID-19 vaccines and has also worked to create educational resources for patients.

Headshot of ACOG member Libby Crockett, MD, MPH.

Libby Crockett, MD, MPH, is a full time obstetrician–gynecologist at the Grand Island Clinic, a private multi-specialty clinic in Grand Island, Nebraska, located in central Nebraska. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Crockett has worked to build communication and education among physicians in her community as well as the general public regarding COVID-19. Through building trust and providing accurate information about the science of COVID-19 illness and the safety of vaccines, she succeeded in encouraging more than 70% of her pregnant patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is a higher vaccination rate than local rates within the general adult public.

Headshot of ACOG member Neeraj Desai, MD.

Neeraj Desai, MD, is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, practicing at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies since 2012. Starting in 2017, Dr. Desai served as the physician champion of a multidisciplinary team that launched initiatives to enhance immunization rates among patients at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital. They initially focused on Tdap and Influenza vaccination using visual aids, dedicated weekly rounds, and lunch and learn meetings with hospital staff. Recently the team's efforts expanded to include COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the pregnant population. Due to these initiatives, over a two-year period there was an increase of 180% and 550% Influenza and Tdap vaccination administered to admitted patients on their Antepartum unit.

Headshot of ACOG member Jessica Hott, DO.

Jessica Hott, DO, is the ambulatory medical director for West Virginia University (WVU) Medicine's EAST Campus in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Dr. Hott is a board certified obstetrician–gynecologist and has a passion for providing the highest level of care for our obstetric population. She has continued to enthusiastically recommend and offer the COVID-19 vaccine to her patients, emphasizing the data supporting the safety and effectiveness of vaccination in pregnancy. She is passionate about helping her patients understand the facts which can help them to make a confident and informed decision to choose vaccination. She believes educating patients about the COVID-19 vaccine makes a meaningful difference for many pregnant people and is the best chance there is to save lives, decrease morbidity in the pregnant population, and help end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Headshot of ACOG member Johanna Ovideo, MD, MPH.

Johana Oviedo, MD, MPH, is a clinical assistant professor at New York University. Dr. Oviedo prioritized vaccination advocacy by ensuring that trainees incorporate COVID-19 vaccination into their counseling and preventive care protocols. She helped develop an outreach program to educate pregnant patients about the COVID-19 vaccine and schedule their vaccine appointments on the same day as their prenatal care visits. She was also engaged in media outreach, particularly Spanish-language media, while she was herself pregnant, in effort to drive home the importance of vaccinations during pregnancy.

Headshot of ACOG member Florencia Polite, MD.

Florencia Polite, MD, is a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology who serves as Chief of the Division of General OBGYN at Penn Medicine and Vice Chair of Clinical Operations. Dr. Polite practices both obstetrics and gynecology at Penn OBGYN Associates practice at Penn Medicine. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Polite created and operationalized Operation-CAVEAT: COVID-19 Acceptance: Vaccine Education and Adoption Taskforce, an intervention designed to address vaccine hesitancy among staff at Penn Medicine. For this effort, she was named one of Philadelphia's citizens of the year. She has been a front-line health care worker during the pandemic and has provided over 100 hours of vaccine education on podcasts, Instagram and virtual forums.


Past Award Winners