Posts Tagged ‘immunization advocacy’

The Continued Legacy of Every Child By Two Co-Founder Betty Bumpers

October 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame 082715No15

Every Child By Two co-founder Betty Bumpers has dedicated her life to advocating for children’s health and has inspired others in her state and throughout the nation to continue her legacy.

Today, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) celebrated 40 years of working to improve the lives of Arkansas children and families.  In doing so, they honored a very special co-founder; Betty Bumpers.  

As a prominent Arkansan who co-founded the AACF back in 1977, Betty Bumpers served along other notable co-founders, to include the late Dr. Bettye Caldwell, The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Mary Sue Jacobs, Pat Lile, the late Dr. Betty Lowe, Jim Miles, the late Sharon Pallone, Dorothy Nayles, and Judge Olly Neal.  Each of these individuals saw the need for an independent force to provide information and education to parents and citizens about Arkansas state’s health policies toward children and families.

PD_0029 (2)To help address problems she saw in Arkansas, Mrs. Bumpers also spearhead a statewide immunization program for childhood vaccinations that brought together the Arkansas League for Nursing, the State Health Department, the Arkansas National Guard, the State Nurses Association, the State Medical Society, the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas, faith-based organizations, and other volunteers.  Her leadership and initiative helped make this project model so successful that eventually the state achieved one of the highest immunization rates in the country, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began using her model for immunization programs across America.

But Betty didn’t just set her sights on improving children’s health in Arkansas. 

With the progress made in Arkansas, Mrs. Bumpers decided it was time to work on other states throughout the nation.  So, when Jimmy Carter became President, Mrs. Bumpers reached out to First Lady Rosalynn Carter (a fellow former governor’s spouse) who helped articulate to the President the deficits in the country’s immunization program, urging him to work to improve the situation. At that time, only 17 states in the country required immunizations by school age and Betty realized there was a need for a federal initiative in comprehensive childhood immunization.

That’s when, in 1991, this Former First Lady of Arkansas joined forces with Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and together the two formed a national non-profit named Every Child By Two (ECBT). 


Since then, ECBT has made great strides in addressing a multi-faceted mission which includes:

  • protecting families and individuals from vaccine-preventable diseases by raising awareness of the critical need for timely immunizations for people of all ages,
  • increasing the public’s understanding of the benefits of vaccines,
  • increasing confidence in the safety of vaccines,
  • ensuring that all families have access to life-saving vaccines,
  • and advocating for policies that support timely vaccination.

Every Child By Two Co-founders Rosalynn Carter (right) and Betty Bumpers (left).

Four decades later...


The mission in Arkansas and across the nation hasn’t changed much.  Today, both the AACF and ECBT still work to ensure that children and families have the resources and opportunities to lead healthy and productive lives.  That’s why Every Child By Two Executive Director, Amy Pisani, traveled to the Arkansas Immunization Action Coalition Conference this week to help inform partners about resources that can help to improve immunization rates in Arkansas.

As Every Child By Two continues to work towards our mission of timely vaccinations for all children, speaking engagements such as this help to honor and preserve the great accomplishments of our co-founder Betty Bumpers.


ECBT co-founder Betty Bumpers pictured with Executive Director, Amy Pisani.

At Every Child By Two, we will continue to work towards our mission of timely vaccinations for all children through our Vaccinate Your Family program so that we may preserve the great accomplishments of our co-founder Betty Bumpers.  Her leadership and achievements continue to serve as an inspiration to us each and every day.


Betty Bumpers: A Lifetime of Service and Volunteerism

September 13, 2012 53 comments

Earlier this week the stories and images of September 11, 2001 not only reminded me of how fragile life can be, but also how resilient people are in the face of adversity.    These impressions reinforced my lifelong desire to always try my best to help others.  As I continue to identify admirable causes and spend my time volunteering within my community, I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with all my commitments.  These are the moments when I gain reassurance from the many women who have shown me the way.  Those women that I consider to be important mentors and role models.

Betty Bumpers (second from left) campaigned with First Lady Rosalynn Carter (second from right) to change state immunization laws.

This summer, I was privileged to hear one of these women inspire a room full of immunization advocates.  After just a few moments of listening to Betty Bumpers, it became obvious that her success was determined by her compassion and  committment to others.  This is why it comes as no surprise that at the age of 87 she has been selected for a lifetime achievement award based on her service and volunteerism. Back in April, Betty Bumpers was honored by the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Community Service and Non-profit Support with the Billie Ann Myers Paragon Award for her promotion of volunteerism and childhood vaccinations.Sherry Middleton, the DCSNS director, presented the award during a Summit conference in Little Rock and explained,

“Betty Bumpers embodies what the Paragon Award stands for.  Through her volunteerism and leadership, she has caused significant improvement in the quality of life for all Arkansans.”

While this award recognized her service in the state of Arkansas, Betty has helped improve the quality of lives all across this country.  In an interview published in Arkansas Business, Betty details how she became involved with childhood immunization issues.  She explains how, as a governor’s wife, she was asked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help educate people about vaccines.  While she agreed to the challenge, she admits that she was left  “figuring out how we could do it”. Read more…

Immunization Awareness, Initiative and Action

August 1, 2011 9 comments


While immunization awareness is important all throughout the year, August is typically designated as National Immunization Awareness Month.  This is the time of year when parents prepare for their children’s return to school, students are heading off to college, and healthcare workers turn their attention to the upcoming flu season.  Therefore, it’s a critical time to ensure we are up-to-date with our recommended immunizations.


While we often discuss immunization recommendations here on Shot of Prevention, we will also be commemorating National Immunization Awareness Month by highlighting several new initiatives: Read more…