August 19, 2022

Joplin’s Michelle Yarnall receives national recognition for contributions to immunization efforts

The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) recognizes Yarnall with the Immunization Champion Award

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Michelle Yarnall, administrator of Pediatric Associates of Southwest Missouri in Joplin has been named Missouri’s Immunization Champion for her outstanding efforts to promote immunizations.

Nominated by the Bureau of Immunizations within the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Yarnall is recognized for initiating an innovative plan to continue serving patients during the pandemic. Yarnall optimized the clinic flow to ensure patients could receive immunizations without having to physically enter the clinic, avoiding unnecessary and potential exposure. Parents and the patient would stay inside the vehicle in the parking lot in front of the clinic and the medical staff would take out all of the items needed to complete the well-child visit, including routine immunizations. “This groundbreaking and inventive approach offered parents and their children the opportunity to stay healthy and well during a very difficult time,” the nomination read.

Immunization Champion selections come from a pool of health professionals, coalition members, community advocates and other immunization leaders. These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of individuals who go above and beyond ensuring immunization access in their communities.  The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), an organization dedicated to providing support to immunization programs nationwide, awards one winner in each state and the District of Columbia.

“Through the Immunization Champion awards, AIM and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services proudly acknowledge Ms. Yarnall’s passion, hard work and commitment to immunization,” said Lynelle Paro, DHSS Bureau of Immunizations chief. “It is so important to keep our children’s routine vaccinations up-to-date and she was able to ensure this happened safely for their patients during a very uncertain time for families throughout the pandemic.”

For more information about routine childhood vaccines, visit

Program background:
Before the pandemic, each year during National Infant Immunization Week, the CDC and AIM honored health professionals and community leaders from around the country with the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion awards. This year AIM has taken over the award and expanded the program to include opportunities to recognize Immunization Champions in multiple areas of immunization.

Photo of Michelle Yarnall


About Association of Immunization Managers:
The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) is a non-profit membership association comprised of representatives from 64 federally funded state, territorial and local National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases awardees. AIM is dedicated to working with its partners nationwide to reduce, eliminate, or eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases. AIM also works to ensure the success of its members by providing support in their programming interests. Since 1999, AIM has enabled collaboration among immunization managers to effectively control vaccine-preventable diseases and improve immunization coverage in the United States. For more information on AIM, please visit

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at, or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.