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LA BioMed Vice President named champion of immunization

LOS ANGELES (May 19, 2009) The California Immunization Coalition recently bestowed the Natalie J. Smith, MD, MPH Immunization Champion Award upon Steve Baranov, vice president for community health at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) and executive director of South Los Angeles Health Projects.

The coalition presents the award annually to a community member who works to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases. It honored Mr. Baranov for his leadership in establishing immunization services in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program and for promoting the adoption of evidence-based strategies to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in immunization coverage levels.

The coalition also praised him for establishing LA BioMed's WIC program as "an immunization leader," saying its integration of immunization screening, education and referral activities into WIC operations "have led to significant improvements in immunization coverage levels in South LA."

"Undoubtedly, the success and the lessons learned from LA BioMed WIC interventions have influenced the immunization efforts of the WIC programs across California," said Julia Heinzerling, president of the California Immunization Coalition. "In addition, your vision and leadership in the Immunize LA Kids and Immunize LA Families Coalitions have been instrumental in bringing diverse partners together to collaboratively implement strategies that have improved coverage levels across the lifespan for diverse and underserved communities in South LA."

A long-standing board member of the California Coalition for Childhood Immunization (C3I), Mr. Baranov was instrumental in guiding the merger of the California Adult Immunization Coalition and C3I into the California Immunization Coalition.

"Congratulations to Steve on this wonderful honor," said LA BioMed President and CEO Carole Wagner-Vallianos, Esq. "He is a dedicated professional who has championed programs and services that are making a difference in our community, and he serves as an outstanding example of the many contributions LA BioMed staff and researchers make every day to advancing and improving human health."


Contact: Laura Mecoy
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed)

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