Nurse Patrols Frontlines of Preventive Care

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , February 22, 2011

Kay Renny, RN,is on the frontlines of the preventive care battlefield. As manager of corporate health services and immunization for the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan, she has spent the last 13 years touting the importance of immunizations as the first line in defensive care.

Renny has developed a vaccination program that has delivered more than 325,000 immunizations, including influenza, pneumonia, and meningitis, at community and corporate sites. She has formed a travel immunization service to provide consultations and vaccines for international travelers, and even provides vaccinations in the home for patients who cannot get out easily.

For her efforts, Renny was presented with the Immunity Award by the American Nurses Association in January, as part of ANA's Bringing Immunity to Every Community project. ANA has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to maximize nurses' roles in boosting vaccination rates and reducing vaccine-preventable diseases. The project positions nurses as the leading advocates for immunization in the general population and among healthcare peers. It also encourages all nurses to be vaccinated.

To promote vaccination, Renny has gotten creative. Young people heading to college are notoriously ambivalent about their healthcare and it can be tricky to ensure they receive the CDC's recommended meningitis vaccine before their new life in their dorms.

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