School-Based Health Centers Win Outstanding Achievement Award

Due in part to their impressive immunization rates, the Child and Adolescent Health Center providers at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan have received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Alliance for Immunization in Michigan (AIM) Coalition. The award specifically honors the Hornet Health Center in Pellston and the Ironmen Health Center in Mancelona for their efforts in the field of vaccination.

For the past two years, both the Hornet Health Center and the Ironmen Health Center have achieved immunization rates of 97 percent or higher, a remarkable feat. Additionally, they voluntarily participated in a project aimed at increasing HPV immunization completion rates, which resulted in statistically significant findings.

The AIM Outstanding Achievement Award is an annual award that recognizes those that have consistently contributed to increasing and improving immunizations, provided outstanding and recognizable improvement in the immunization process, or promoted the cause of immunizations by involving providers and communities in immunization programming.

“It’s fantastic that the Ironmen Health Center and the Hornet Health Center are being recognized for their hard work in raising awareness and protecting our clients and communities from vaccine preventable diseases,”  said Joshua Meyerson, M.D., Medical Director for the Health Department. “Children and youth served by school-based and school-linked health centers show increased immunization rates, which contributes to improved rates of school attendance and less absenteeism due to illness.”

Awards will be presented at the 2015 Fall Regional Immunization Conferences and the November AIM meeting.

Every year, the AIM Coalition receives many well-qualified nominations for candidates from across all regions of Michigan. AIM is a partnership of public and private sector organizations, formed in 1994 to focus on a broad spectrum of immunization issues in Michigan. Its mission is to promote immunizations across the lifespan through a coalition of health care professionals and agencies.

In addition to offering immunizations, the Health Department’s school-based health centers provide a wide range of physical and mental health services to area youth. Medicaid and other health insurance policies are accepted, and services are provided at no charge, as they are based on a sliding fee scale of the youth’s income. Staff can also help families enroll in Medicaid/Healthy Kids, MIChild, or the Healthy Michigan Plan.

Health Department of Northwest Michigan's Erika Van Damn Speaking at Advocacy Day last April

Health Deparment of Norwest Michigan’s Erika Van Damn Speaking at Advocacy Day in 2015

For more information about Health Department services, visit or call (800) 432-4121. The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties.

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