The Immunization Task Force - Metro Omaha is a non-profit coalition dedicated to educating the public & healthcare providers about immunizations.

About ITF

The Immunization Task Force aims to:

  • Promote current national immunization recommendations and raise immunization rates in the community in order to meet national goals.
  • Facilitate partnerships among community groups, health care providers and other agencies throughout the Metro Omaha area.
  • Encourage and support local and statewide development of immunization information systems
  • Increase public education on immunization and advocate policy and legislative issues relating to immunizations in the Metro Omaha area
  • Promote accurate assessment of the immunization status of the Metro Omaha area.

Immunization Task Force Metro Omaha Chairs, Officers & Consultants

ITF Chair:  Andrew Raduechel, PharmD, Boys Town

ITF Chair-Elect:  Susan Weston, RN, Children’s Nebraska Hospital & Clinics

ITF Immediate Past Chair:  Carol LaCroix, MD, Retired

Treasurer: Gretchen Jones, RN, CHI Health

Committee Chairs:

Professional Liaison Committee: Meera Varman, MD, Professor, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Creighton University

Community Affairs Committee:  Linda Ohri, PharmD, MPH; Pat O’Hanlon, OneWorld Community Health Center

Legislative/Advocacy Committee: Retired Carol LaCroix, MD, Retired

Public Relations Committee: Jeanne M. Burke, MLIS, M.Ed., Creighton University Libraries

Website Committee: Jeanne M. Burke, MLIS, M.Ed. Creighton University; Laura Polk, ITF Liaison, Metro Omaha Medical

Infectious Disease Consultants:

Meera Varman, MD, Professor, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Creighton University

Rudolf J. Kotula, MD, FACP, Methodist Physicians Clinic Regency Infectious Disease/Travel Clinic

History of the Immunization Task Force

The Immunization Task Force Metro Omaha is a coalition of volunteer health care providers, insurance providers, community groups, and other agencies throughout Metro Omaha which includes the counties of Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Dodge and Washington in Nebraska, and Pottawattamie in Iowa.

The beginning of this group was sparked in December 1991 when Dr. Donald Glow, then Vice President for Medical Affairs at Children’s Hospital in Omaha, sent a letter out to various agencies, organizations and corporations in the Metro Omaha area.  This letter noted early signs of re-emerging vaccine preventable disease – primarily measles epidemics – that had occurred in Omaha, as well as other sites around the U.S.  The letter mentioned early evidence from school-based vaccine compliance studies that showed low rates of immunization for young children.  The letter called for a gathering of concerned parties to address the problems of inadequate immunization of these young children.

Early meetings of these groups eventually led to a more formal affiliation as the Immunization Task Force – Metro Omaha which formally began in 1992 under the management of Children’s Hospital.

Through the years, the task force has been involved with a number of community service events and spear-headed a number of projects as listed below. The Task Force also helped spearhead and continues to plan and support the Annual Immunize Nebraska Conference. This conference is a one day conference that provides continuing education to a number of health care professionals aimed to keep everyone up-to-date with the ever changing and evolving topics and schedules regarding immunizations.

Highlighted Events and Accomplishments

  • Numerous health fairs
  • Physician and nurse education
  • Advocacy efforts
  • Early support of the Douglas county health department registry system
  • Grants for activity support
  • Governor’s proclamations
  • Development of a task force website
  • Speaker’s bureau
  • Flu Season Promotion including signs on buses, electronic signs, public services announcements, and daycare mailings
  • Daycare campaigns to immunize workers with influenza and Tdap
  • Presentations on efforts at national conference
  • Promotion and assessment efforts of Hepatitis B birth dose legislation
  • Media presence for immunization discussions
  • Promotion of adult immunization access

Immunization Task Force member meetings are held quarterly. Please contact us for more information regarding location, time, etc.

Immunizations save lives! Get vaccinated for yourself, for your family and for your community!