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State Leaders Recognize Oklahoma's Improvement in Immunization Rankings

TULSA, Okla., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It takes a team effort to make tangible improvements in the health of Oklahomans. That's the message of an event scheduled for 10 a.m. today in the State Capitol's Blue Room. The event celebrates a significant improvement in Oklahoma's rates of early childhood immunizations.

According to the most recent National Immunization Survey, based on data from 2005 and 2006, the state improved from 44th to 25th in the nation for rates of early childhood immunizations (age 19-35 months).

Scheduled to speak at today's event are Oklahoma First Lady Kim Henry, State Commissioner and Secretary of Health Dr. Mike Crutcher, Central Oklahoma Turning Point Co-chair and Oklahoma Publishing Company Vice President of Community Engagement Sue Hale and Dr. Don Wilber, chair of the State Immunization Advisory Committee and a Midwest City pediatrician.

"Childhood immunizations are a key indicator in the overall health of our state because so many devastating illnesses are completely preventable," Crutcher said. "This significant improvement in immunization rankings is due to the cumulative work of a broad coalition of immunization partners. This effort is a model for how we can come together to address other critical public health issues for a stronger and healthier Oklahoma."

As a part this broader immunization effort, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma's charitable foundation operates a free mobile immunization program for children that recently celebrated its 100,000th immunization. The Caring Van program is supported by private donations, including corporate sponsors such as Bank of Oklahoma.

"Providing immunizations to children and other Oklahomans is a critical service, and we're proud to be part of The Oklahoma Caring Foundation and its Caring Van program," said Leslie Paris, Bank of Oklahoma Senior Vice President. "Bringing services like this that are critical to the vitality of a community is part of BOK Financial's mission to give back every day.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma
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