Richardson Named ‘Champion of Immunization’

Vernedia Richardson

Nurse Vernedia Richardson immunizes a young visitor to the Health Department. (Photo: VOPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Park Forest Health Department’s Vernedia Richardson is a “Champion of Immunization” according to the Chicago Area Immunization Campaign. Richardson, a nurse with the Park Forest Health Department, received the award at a recent Chicago Area Immunization Campaign meeting at the University of Illinois.

According to their Web site, the Chicago Area Immunization Campaign is a community-focused coalition of public and private partners whose goal is to improve adults and children’s health by increasing immunization rates in the Chicagoland area, with a particular focus on completion of the primary series by age two.

Richardson is one of three nurses in Cook County to be nominated by Madhu Nappi, State Program Specialist & Regional Coordinator for the Illinois Department of Public Health. “I have a lot of respect for Madhu and I feel honored that she nominated me,” Richardson says.

The Chicago Area Immunization Coalition, a project of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, receives nominations from its members and partners of individuals and programs that effectively educate and promote the importance of timely immunizations to their communities in the Chicagoland area.

Last year, 99% of infants seen at the Park Forest Health Department received all required immunizations by age two—a statistic Richardson attributes to the great partnership of parents and Park Forest Health Department staff.

“I educate parents on the necessity of ensuring their children complete recommended immunizations. It’s important because a lot of these diseases are back. Mumps are back. Measles are back and vaccines save lives,” Richardson says.

The Park Forest Health Department offers low-cost immunization to both children and adults from various Chicagoland areas.

“I get people from as far as Berwyn coming to get adult immunizations. Vaccines for adults are hard to find in the Chicagoland area, and if you can find them they usually are very expensive."

Richardson, a nurse for 13 years, graduated with her Bachelors degree in Nursing from Chicago State University in 1995.

For more information on immunizations through the Park Forest Health Department, please call 708-748-1118.

Source: VOPF