Home > Get Involved > The Super Bowl and the CDC on What Makes A Champion

The Super Bowl and the CDC on What Makes A Champion

My husband and I both grew up as fans of the NY Giants.  Over the years, as we’ve moved from state to state, we’ve discovered that there are a lot of people out there that just love to hate New York teams. Despite the criticism and abuse we’ve received, we’ve always remained loyal to our team.  So last night, as we celebrated the NY Giants, I took a few moments to consider what a champion really is.  In addition to being somebody who competes in and wins a competition or tournament, I found these other definitions quite fitting.

DEFENDER:  As in defender, supporter, or promoter of somebody or something (such as a “champion” of human rights)

REMARKABLE PERSON:  As in a personal example of excellence or achievement

There are plenty of critics who have said that the NY Giants did not even deserve to compete in the Super Bowl since they didn’t have the best record in the league.  But the reality is that they have won it all.    Their perseverance, skill and determination in the face of adversity is what ultimately elevated them to championship status.

As I sat down at my computer this morning, still giddy from last night’s big game, I began to realize that true champions come in many forms.  Day in and day out, whether it’s baseball season or football season, I’m faced with vaccine critics on this blog and on our Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page who are often relentless in their attacks.  However, we’re fortunate to have the support of many loyal champions who participate in this forum, tirelessly defending and supporting childhood immunizations.    Some are health care workers, physicians, nurses and medical assistants.  Some are scientists, researchers or public health workers.  Many are parents.  And all are concerned citizens.

These champions remain engaged on this issue because they know that immunizations protect children and communities from dangerous and sometimes deadly vaccine preventable diseases.  While they deserve the equivalent of a Super Bowl trophy and championship ring, their hard work rarely gets any recognition.

This is why I would like to call upon you to nominate these special champions for a new award from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) entitled the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award.  Individuals from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, who make a significant contribution toward improving public health in their communities through their work in childhood immunization will be honored with an award during National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 21–28, 2012.

To learn more about the award, review eligibility criteria, and see deadlines associated with award, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/champions.  Nominations are due to State Immunization Programs by February 10, 2012 so please consider nominating friends and colleagues from across the country before the end of the week.  We want these immunization champions to know just how much we appreciate them and all their efforts to support childhood immunizations.

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