"DR. JULIE DECESARE PRESENTED WITH THE CDC CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATION CHAMPION AWARD FOR FLORIDA"Last week, during National Infant Immunization Week, the Florida Department of Health presented Dr. Julie DeCesare with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Childhood Immunization Champion award. Dr. DeCesare has been named as a Champion for her outstanding efforts to promote the HPV vaccine in our state.

“We are thrilled that CDC has commended Dr. DeCesare for her commitment to ensuring that young people and their families understand the cancer prevention benefits of the HPV vaccine,” said Interim State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip. “Her work at the local level with schools, hospitals and local health departments to ensure that all adolescents are protected has resulted in positive changes in her community.”

Dr. DeCesare is the OB/GYN Residency Director and Associate Professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine Pensacola satellite campus. She has been instrumental in developing a toolkit to promote education of young women regarding the HPV vaccination. The toolkit is available for download and has been distributed to hundreds of OB/GYNs throughout the state. She is currently conducting research on the attitudes regarding the HPV vaccine before and after receiving education on its benefits. Preliminary data suggests positive change from the educational program.

“Ensuring that every child is vaccinated on schedule is critical to protecting our children, schools, and communities from outbreaks of serious diseases,” said Dr. Amanda Cohn, a pediatrician at CDC and the Executive Secretary of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “We could not achieve our goal of protecting children without those committed individuals who promote immunizations at the state and local levels.”

CDC Childhood Immunization Champions were selected from a pool of health professionals, coalition members, community advocates, and other immunization leaders. State Immunization Programs coordinated the nomination process and submitted nominees to CDC. One winner was selected in each of the participating states and the District of Columbia.

For profiles of other CDC Childhood Immunization Champion award winners, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/champions .

To learn more about Florida’s immunization efforts, visit our immunization section website .

About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board , works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.