The Community Immunity Spring Luncheon is TIP’s largest fundraising event and occurs every year in April. This year it will be held on April 12th at 11:30 a.m. at the Junior League of Houston. While this event is a time for stakeholders and friends to support The Immunization Partnership, it is also a time for us to honor the people and organizations that have made significant strides in immunization advocacy and education.
Each year TIP presents two awards at the luncheon. The Ralph D. Feigin M.D. Award for Excellence and the John R. Boettiger Jr. Award for Community Partnership. Both are named for individuals whose legacy mirrors the purpose of the award.
The Ralph D. Feigin M.D. Award for Excellence is presented to an individual who has committed his or her time and efforts towards immunization advocacy and education. It is named for the late Dr. Ralph Feigin of Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Feigin worked as the hospital’s Physician-in-Chief and as the President of Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Feigin’s specialty was infectious diseases and he worked tirelessly to promote and advocate for the vaccines that he knew could save lives.
This year’s honoree is also a leader in the immunization world. Dr. Peter J. Hotez serves as President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, an organization that works in partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. The Sabin Vaccine Institute’s mission to “reduce needless human suffering from vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases through innovative vaccine research and development” is closely related to the work of the late Dr. Feigin. It is for that reason that The Immunization Partnership believes that Dr. Hotez truly exemplifies Dr. Feigin’s spirit and dedication to promoting vaccinations.
New this year, the Community Partnership Award has been officially renamed the John R. Boettiger Jr. Award for Community Partnership. It is given to an organization that works directly with the community to increase immunization rates. The award has been renamed in memory of John Boettiger Jr. ASA, CFA, CMC a former member of TIP’s Board of Directors who, through his work with TIP and other organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, embodied the spirit of community partnership.
TIP President and CEO, Anna Dragsbaek, worked closely with John as he served in several leadership positions within the organization.
“John was an outstanding board member, holding many different positions on both TIP’s board and advisory council,” said Dragsbaek. “He had a special talent for connecting people and resources to community organizations and played a pivotal role in creating the strong board of directors that supports the work of TIP today.”
John’s dedication to his community represents the type of service that TIP is looking to acknowledge with the award.
“Our organization would not be the same today if he had not shared his time and talents with TIP,” said Dragsbaek. “He truly embodies the spirit of community that TIP wants to honor in the Community Partnership Award.”
This year’s recipient is Houston Community College’s Coleman College. They have been an instrumental partner in TIP’s Immunization Champions project by supplying eager students willing to venture into doctor’s offices for the chance raise their immunization rates, instill vaccination best practices and to make a difference in the healthcare community.
The Community Immunity Luncheon will be a momentous occasion as we honor those who have worked side by side with us in our efforts to increase vaccination rates and ultimately to create a safer and healthier community.