The 16th annual Silver Syringe Awards, held by Immunize Nevada, were presented at the Peppermill Reno March 1. Any healthcare provider in Nevada is eligible for recognition. Lincoln County Health Nurse Nicole Rowe received two Silver Syringe awards at the convention, marking the first time Lincoln County has been recognized as a Silver Syringe recipient, for what the website immunizenevada.org identifies as, “individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond to protect Nevadans from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
One award was for Outstanding Rural Immunization Program, for raising immunization rates in the community drastically. Rowe, who was named county nurse in the latter half of 2012, worked diligently in 2013, helping raise the school district’s percentage for immunized students from the 30s to almost 90 percent.
The second award was the Provider of Excellence award, for implementing exemplary immunization practices that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend. This includes improving the accuracy of immunization information on the state’s website, lowering the number of missed vaccination opportunities and improving the quality of serving immunizations. Rowe helped provide a free flu POD (Point of Distribution) for residents last year, and addressed the County Commissioners and School District Board about county immunization rates.
Rowe said she, “didn’t expect to receive the award,” and that she is, “glad the entire community is on board with keeping their children immunized and healthy.”
Serving toddlers to seniors, Rowe provides immunizations for pneumonia or the flu, as well as preventable diseases such as Pertussis, also termed “whooping cough,” where cases as close as in Ely have been found.