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Immunizations pay off for Ellinwood family
new deh health department immunize pic
Heidi Freeman and her children Cody and Harleey were recently picked as a $300 Immunize and Win a Prize program winner by the Barton County Health Department. The money will be applied to a utility bill. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Immunization Program is continuing its Immunize and Win a Prize program, and this year there was a winner from Ellinwood, the Barton County Health Department announced. 

The winners were Heidi and Chester Freeman who have two children, Cody and Harleey. They received a $300 prize.

This statewide campaign provides prizes to families who have their children timely immunized, said Melissa Hagerman, a nurse for the BCHD. All Kansas children are eligible, but to qualify, the children must receive their immunizations from a Vaccines For Children provider, such as the Health Department.

The goal of the program is to help protect Kansas children from vaccine preventable diseases by successfully immunizing them by age 2, Hagerman said. 

According to the latest 2010 survey conduct by the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, immunization rates for Health Connect Kansas, Healthwave-19 and Healthwave-21 children have increased 78 percent since the project began in 2003.

Here’s how it works:

A. The family receives a prize each time they bring their child in to be immunized between ages of birth to 2 years of age. Currently, the prizes include bandage dispensers, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, stickers and sippy cups with BeeWise Immunize logo.

B. Once the child completes his/her primary infant immunization series (should be by age 2), the family is entered into a drawing for a $300 payment to be applied to a family’s utility bill. One family is drawn for each participating medical provider each year.

All Kansas children are eligible, Hagerman said. 

Also, Hagerman said, officials with the KDHE immunization program noted they could use help with keeping the program going if anyone wants to sponsor it. Sponsors will get recognition by being listed with their logos on websites and social media.

For more information, contact the Health Department at 620-793-1902.