The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is proud to announce that Dr. Marny Dunlap has been selected as a Childhood Immunization Champion for Oklahoma by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The honor was announced during National Childhood Immunization Week (April 21-28).
Dunlap was nominated and selected from a pool of health professionals, community advocates, and other immunization leaders for making a significant contribution to public health in Oklahoma through her work in childhood immunization.
“Dr. Dunlap is a dedicated educator and pediatrician committed to improving childhood immunization rates throughout the state,” said OSDH Immunization Service Director Lori Linstead. “While providing patient education and awareness, she has brought knowledge and leadership while working on behalf of Oklahoma’s children.”
In 2017, as a leader of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Oklahoma Chapter, Dunlap led a 12-month quality improvement project focused on increasing childhood immunization rates for children ages 19-35 months of age. She consulted with pediatricians and clinicians in practices across Oklahoma, and led AAP’s first effort to improve immunization care in Oklahoma. She was also principal investigator for an AAP Community Pediatrics Training Initiative to improve care for underserved children, and she serves as medical director of the OU Children’s Physicians Latino Clinic.
Dunlap has built partnerships with immunization staff at the OSDH. To ensure vaccine improvements in her state, she met with Oklahoma pediatricians monthly to discuss immunization topics and facilitate immunization curriculum for practices. Thanks to her efforts, participating practices continually see increased vaccine rates and lower missed opportunities to vaccinate. She is also the Pediatric Advocacy Program director at the University of Oklahoma, where she oversees the curriculum on advocacy for children’s health. Her emphasis on childhood immunizations has had a strong influence on physicians in OU Children’s Physicians’ pediatric department.
National Infant Immunization Week is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of those individuals who strive to ensure that children in their communities are fully immunized against 14 preventable diseases before the age of two.