News release: Officials announce Minnesota’s CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award recipient

News Release
April 25, 2017

Contact information

Officials announce Minnesota’s CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award recipient

Award presented to Mayo Clinic nurse as part of National Infant Immunization Week

Jennifer Brickley, a registered nurse from Rochester, Minn., has been named Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Childhood Immunization Champion for her outstanding efforts to promote childhood immunization in Minnesota.

Brickley has worked as a pediatric nurse for over 20 years. Caring for children in the intensive care unit suffering from vaccine-preventable diseases has fueled her passion for improving immunization practices within Mayo Clinic Health system and her surrounding community.

“We are extremely proud to recognize Jennifer as Minnesota’s champion,” said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious diseases for the Minnesota Department of Health. “Her dedication to promoting immunization in the community is vitally important to helping us protect the health of Minnesota children.”

For the past three years, Brickley has served as the immunization program coordinator for the primary care practices at Mayo Clinic. In this role, she:

  • Met with nurse leaders, advocates and other staff to problem solve ways to facilitate appropriate and on-time vaccination.
  • Implemented a set of comprehensive nurse protocols used in clinics throughout the Mayo Clinic Health System that allow for more timely vaccination so children stay up to date.
  • Ran a recall program to notify families when a child is due for vaccines, which has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the number of 24-month-old children who are not up to date.
  • Led an initiative to greatly expand online vaccine information support for clinicians and nurses to use when talking to patients as part of AskMayoExpert.

“Jennifer's drive and leadership have led to improvements in our vaccination rates as well as the reduction of errors,” said Dr. Robert M. Jacobson, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic. “She is an inspiration to everyone she works with and is a true immunization champion.”

Brickley’s work expands beyond the Mayo Clinic Health System. She is the chair-elect on the board of directors for the Southeast Minnesota Immunization Connection (SEMIC), the region’s coordinator of the state’s immunization registry. With collaborators from private practices, public health and schools, Brickley has led a school-immunization program for Olmsted county public and private schools, met with clinics to improve their immunization practices and became a go-to resource in the region for immunization questions.

Brickley will be presented with her award at the SEMIC 2017 Spring Immunization Conference on Thursday, April 27 in Rochester.

Each year during National Infant Immunization Week, CDC and the CDC Foundation honor health professionals and community leaders from around the country with the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Awards. These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of people who strive to ensure that children are fully immunized against 14 preventable diseases before the age of 2.

CDC Childhood Immunization Champions were selected from a pool of health professionals, coalition members, community advocates and other immunization leaders. State immunization programs coordinated the nomination process and submitted nominees to CDC. One winner was selected in each of the participating states and the District of Columbia.


Media inquiries:

Anne Hendrickson
MDH Communications