Roosevelt University Professor and Student Team Lead UN Campaign for Worldwide Immunizations


CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–November 3, 2014.  A Roosevelt University professor and a student group are teaming up to fight the threat of contagious diseases like measles and polio by raising awareness and donations for increased immunization of children all over the world.

As the Chicago area’s representative for a global United Nations immunization campaign called [email protected], Roosevelt professor LaVonne Downey (pictured above at far right) and a team of students are leading the charge for children around the world to be immunized so that growing outbreaks of contagious diseases like measles and polio don’t rage out of control.

“We’re seeing an immunization gap occurring and we have to start minding that gap,” said Downey, an associate professor of public administration, an expert on health care policy for the underserved, a United Nations Association board member and the Chicago area’s representative for the new United Nations campaign.

According to Downey, there has been an uptick in 2014 in the number of cases of measles and polio being reported in the United States and Western Europe. At the same time, child immunizations against these contagious illnesses are on the decline in the Western world and are virtually non-existent in many developing countries.  That means increased likelihood of a measles and/or polio epidemic, she said.

“People are forgetting that vaccinations are an insurance policy against contagious disease,” said Downey, who outlined the problem and what should be done to solve it during a recent worldwide Google Hangout presentation which can be viewed at:

Downey and students in the Roosevelt chapter of the United Nations Association also have been raising awareness about and money for worldwide child immunizations at the University through a series of fundraisers, including a social-media-driven 60 Shots in 60 Days campaign that takes center stage on Wednesday, Nov. 5 when the Roosevelt Lakers men’s and women’s basketball teams play their first games of the season at the Goodman Center, 505 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago.  Raffle tickets will be sold at the 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. games for a chance to take free throws for the benefit of the 60 Shots in 60 Days campaign.  Those who make their shots will win a [email protected] t- shirt.

“We want to engage the Roosevelt community in this campaign so we can make a difference in people’s lives around the world,” said Mannis Wesley, a Master of Public Administration student and the vice president of Roosevelt’s United Nations chapter.

Mike Cassidy, assistant vice president for health and human wellness and director of athletics, recently joined with Downey and the student chapter, challenging members of the Roosevelt community to “take a shot to give a shot.” Cassidy’s challenge includes making a donation as well as a video for social media of making a shot at a basketball hoop, soccer goal, paper shot into a wastebasket, etc.  His challenge can be viewed at:

Downey’s own [email protected] video also can be viewed at:

To donate to the campaign, visit: