July 29, 2020

Congratulations to Our Immunization Champions, Seattle Public Schools Nurses and Stewart Lyman!

The School Nurses at Seattle Public Schools (left) with the 2020 IACW Collaborator Award and Stewart Lyman (right) with the 2020 IACW Advocate Award

The Immunization Action Coalition of Washington (IACW) Awards recognize people and groups who strive to improve immunization rates in their community. We honor those who are doing an exemplary job and go above and beyond to promote or foster childhood immunizations. This year we recognize The School Nurses at Seattle Public Schools with our 2020 IACW Collaborator Award, and Stewart Lyman with our 2020 IACW Advocate Award.

The School Nurses at Seattle Public Schools have shown that they are passionate advocates for the health and well-being of all students in Seattle Public Schools.

In their ongoing efforts to promote health and prevent disease, The School Nurses at Seattle Public Schools created a robust campaign that collaborated with local clinics, Seattle Public Schools Administrators and families to bring thousands of under and unimmunized students into compliance. Innovative measures such as organizing in-school community vaccine clinics during vacation times were used to increase the availability of immunization access to families.

As a result of these efforts, over half of the more than 2,200 students who were out of compliance with their needed vaccines, or 1,237 students, were brought into compliance between December 2019 and January 2020 – bringing the immunization compliance rate to an astounding 97 percent.

IACW Advocate Stewart Lyman’s passion for immunizations comes from a personal conviction that communities are healthier and safer when protected from diseases that vaccines prevent. Stewart became a passionate advocate for vaccines after he was diagnosed with HPV 16 that caused tonsil cancer in 2016. After recovering from treatment, he wanted to give back to his community by sharing his story about the dangers of HPV and how the cancers caused by HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccine. Stewart took it upon himself to develop, a comprehensive website dedicated to HPV information.

Stewart is a positive voice for vaccines and always engages in a gentle and educated manner by first listening and understanding before responding to those who may question the safety of vaccines. Upon receiving the news of the award Stewart shared, “As we all hope that a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 will be available in the next year, it’s already clear that forces are hard at work opposing it … I’m up for taking on this challenge as well.”

Thank you to The School Nurses at Seattle Public Schools for going above and beyond to ensure that our school communities are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, and to Stewart Lyman for truly demonstrating what it means to be a vaccine advocate! WithinReach and the IACW appreciate all you do to keep our communities protected and healthy in Washington!