ACOG's Immunization Champions
Congratulations 2021 Immunization Champion Award Winners
ACOG is proud to acknowledge the below Ob-Gyn 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 2021 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.
Aaron Elkin, MD, is an OB-GYN with Florida Woman Care and currently chairs its Educational Committee. Dr. Elkin is also affiliated with Unified Women’s Healthcare OB/GYN group, an established private practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Broward County, South Florida. Dr. Elkin created one of the first Covid-19 Drive through vaccinations in Florida and the United States in which Healthcare practitioners and those in contact with the essential healthcare workers got vaccinated while sitting in their cars. Over 500 vaccinations were administered in collaboration Broward County Medical Association and the Florida Department with the state, paramedics, fire rescue, other associated entities, and the national guard.
Abbey B. Berenson, MD PhD, a gynecologist, promotes vaccination, including uptake of the HPV vaccine, among patients at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. Dr. Berenson’s HPV vaccination projects have promoted collaborations among UTMB Health System, the Department of Ob/Gyn, the Department of Pediatrics, and 12 Regional Maternal Child Health clinics, as well as external partners, the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and a hospital in the Valley. The projects, funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, include provider education, patient navigators, and standing orders for the vaccine.
Anne Marie Reidy, MD, is a Board Certified OBGYN who has been practicing in Huntsville, Alabama for 17 years. She is the owner and founder of Women4Women OBGYN, a boutique group practice which offers OBGYN, midwifery and aesthetic/wellness services to the women of North Alabama. She and her practice have been active in educating and promoting COVID-19 vaccination for their patients and their staff from the beginning. Through the use of their blog, social media, reference material and patient counseling, Dr. Reidy's practice has had a high rate of vaccination among their patient population. Dr. Reidy has required all her staff to be vaccinated and the power of example in this regard cannot be understated.
Beatriz M. Folch-Hayek, MD, is Assistant Medical Director for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD). She has worked diligently to equip providers and support staff with the most evidence-based information regarding the risk of COVID-19 infection versus the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine(s) among pregnant individuals, so they could educate and counsel patients. She has also worked to secure early and easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine(s) for all pregnant individuals who desired vaccination.
Joseph M. Gobern, MD, MBA, currently serves as the System Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Main Line Health where he oversees women’s health services. He co-chaired the COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador Program to organize, train and educate members of the health system to share positive accurate information about the vaccine to vulnerable and hesitant populations. A retired Colonel in the U.S. Army, Dr. Gobern has also worked with community partners in the Philadelphia region, as well as local news sources to deliver addresses about vaccine efficacy and safety. As a result, the community and region continue to partner with Main Line Health System to advance health equity and the facts about COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and reproductive health.
Marta Perez, MD, is Assistant Professor of OB-GYN at WashU in St. Louis School of Medicine. She works as an academic laborist and is passionate about advocacy, teaching, and clinical research. She has a particular interest in using social media to educate patients, explaining evidenced-based topics on perinatal health on Instagram and YouTube. She confronts antivaxx online trolls and counters their harmful messaging so that patients are not misled and can make decisions about vaccination based on the right information. She is performing research on vaccine hesitancy and increasing access to COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant and postpartum patients.
Past Award Winners
2020 Immunization Champion Award Winners
- Rachel L. Wiley, MD, MPH is a current resident at University of Texas at Houston. She developed a module on HPV intended for improving vaccination rates at a first-year medical school level, which she still teaches every year and has been adopted by other medical schools in the state of Texas. She is passionate about improving uptake of vaccinations in Texas, and incorporates routine vaccination recommendations into her clinical practice.
- Carol L. Archie, MD, FACOG is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist practicing in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Archie has been a mentor to other ob-gyn practices looking to implement immunizations. Her experience with diverse populations, makes her an invaluable resource in addressing personal and cultural patient barriers to immunizations. She is extremely proud of the work that all ACOG members and staff have done to assure that all obstetrician-gynecologists have the knowledge, tools, and motivation to fulfill the vital mission to assure not only that every woman is vaccinated appropriately, but women will learn the value of vaccinating their children.
- Alisa B. Kachikis, MD, MSc is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She has participated in and coordinated international work groups for the Global Alignment of Immunization Safety Assessment in pregnancy (GAIA)/Brighton Collaboration, an effort to harmonize definitions for adverse events in obstetrics and neonatology for national and multi-national immunization trials. Her research interests include maternal immunizations and infectious diseases in pregnancy.
2019 Immunization Champion Award Winners
- Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman is an ob-gyn generalist practicing at Grady Memorial hospital as an Adjunct Faculty member for Emory University in Atlanta Georgia. For many years, she has promoted routine vaccination as part of well woman care and has advocated for the increased use of vaccines during the prenatal and postpartum period. She is passionate about preventing morbidity and mortality among women from infectious diseases.
- Dr. Denise Jean Jamieson is the James Robert McCord Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Emory and has been practicing general obstetrics and gynecology at Grady for 22 years. With her Emory and Morehouse colleagues, she launched an initiative to increase maternal immunization rates among pregnant patients at Grady.
- Dr. Mary Pell Abernathy is a Maternal-fetal Medicine specialist working at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is currently serving as the ACOG Indiana Section Chair. Dr. Abernathy is working with the Indiana State Department of Health and IU School of Public Health to improve access for HPV vaccination among college age students. She remains a strong advocate for immunizations for women and has presented at the statewide conference regarding the safety of Tdap and Flu vaccinations during pregnancy.
2018 Immunization Champion Award Winners
- Dr. Linda O’Neal Eckert maintains a clinical practice in obstetrics & gynecology at the University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, where she is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Adjunct Professor in the Global Health Department. She is on ACOG’s Immunization, Infectious Disease, & Public Health Preparedness Expert Work Group, and works as a consultant to WHO and to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in policy and implementation tool development for maternal immunization, and the HPV vaccine.
- Dr. Meryl Y. Grimaldi, Vice Chair of St. Barnabas Hospital ob-gyn is a generalist OB GYN. She works in a safety net Bronx Hospital that cares for a large multicultural medically underserved population. A comprehensive program of preconception, prenatal and postpartum vaccination is the standard of care in the department.
- Dr. Sangini S. Sheth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Sheth has been using dissemination and implementation science methods to successfully improve HPV vaccine utilization among patients of Yale New Haven Hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology clinic in outpatient and inpatient postpartum settings.
Immunization, Infectious Disease, and Public Health Preparedness Expert Work Group
In 2010, the College convened an Immunization Expert Work Group to further enhance the role of ob-gyns as vaccinators of adolescent and adult women. In 2017, the work group changed its name to the Immunization and Emerging Infections Expert Work Group, as they expanded their role beyond immunizations to address infectious diseases such as Anthrax, Ebola, and Zika virus.
- Laura Riley, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY)
- Kevin Ault, MD (University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS)
- Richard Beigi, MD (Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA)
- Linda O'Neal Eckert, MD (University of Washington, Seattle, WA)
- Barbara Fisher, MD, PhD (Providence Health & Services, Providence, OR)
- Brenna Hughes, MD (Duke Perinatal, Durham, NC)
- Denise Jamieson, MD, CAP, MC USPH (Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA)
- Howard Minkoff, MD (Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY)
- Flor Munoz, MD (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX)
- Lois Ramondetta, MD (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX)
- Neil Silverman, MD (Center for Fetal Medicine and Women's Ultrasound, Los Angeles, CA)
- Rhoda Sperling, MD (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY)
- Geeta Swamy, MD (Duke University, Durham, NC)
- J. Martin Tucker, MD (Jackson Healthcare for Women, Flowood, MS)
- Titilope Oduyebo, MD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA)
- Lisa S. Ipp, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY)
Increasing Immunization Rates through Obstetrician-Gynecologist Partnerships Champions
The Increasing Immunization Rates through Obstetrician-Gynecologist Partnerships project is a four-year, CDC-funded cooperative agreement aimed at reducing barriers and improving adult immunizations in pregnant and non-pregnant populations. In 2015, this project identified the below immunization champions to help ACOG create and improve resources that will benefit other ob-gyns as they improve their immunization programs and establish a culture of immunization.
- Laila Al-Marayati, MD (Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA)
- Carol Archie, MD (Linda Cowan, MD and Associates, Los Angeles, CA)
- Richard Bardowell, MD (Richard Bardowell, MD, Burbank, CA)
- Karla Iacampo, MD (Karla Iacampo, MD, Inc., Santa Monica, CA)
- Samuel Kassar, MD (Woodglen Ob-Gyn Medical Group, Glendora, CA)
- Deirdre Logan, MD (Watts Healthcare Corporation, Los Angeles, CA)
- Ranoo Sabnis, MD (UCLA Westlake OB/GYN, Westlake Village, CA)
- Laura Sirott, MD (Laura Sirott, MD, Pasadena, CA)
- Ayanna Walden, MD (Ayanna Walden, MD, Beverly Hills, CA)
- Jacqueline Trejo, MD (Santa Monica Gyn-ob, Santa Monica, CA)
- Laura Bookman, MD (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA)
- Khady Diouf, MD (Brigham and Women's Outpatient Obstetrics Practice, Boston, MA)
- Huma Farid, MD (Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton Ob/GYN, Milton, MA)
- Jennifer Kickham, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital Ob/Gyn, Boston, MA)
- Evelyn Marsh, MD (New England OB-GYN Associates, Chestnut Hill, MA)
- Katherine Marshall, MD (Brookline Women's Health, Allston, MA)
- Aaron Mendel, MD (Central Massachusetts OB/GYN Associates, Shrewsbury, MA)
- Julie Miner, MD (Brigham Faulkner Ob/Gyn Associates, Jamaica Plain, MA)
- Marcus Ortega Alves, MD (University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worchester, MA)