VNA annual meeting tonight

University of Colorado pediatrician to speak

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Agenda

2009 VNA Annual Meeting agenda:

• 4 p.m: Business meeting and acknowledgment of employees with five, 10 and 15 years of service.

• 5 p.m.: Dr. Robert Brayden, professor of pediatrics at University of Colorado School of Medicine, will speak about the importance of an immunized community.

The event is open to the public.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will honor and celebrate those who have contributed to the health center tonight at its annual meeting.

Employees who have reached milestones in years of service will be recognized at 4 p.m. at the VNA, 745 Russell St.

"It's a chance for us to show appreciation for the board members who participated in 2008, and the employees, and really celebrate ourselves as an organization," said Suzi Mariano, VNA public information coordinator.

Vicki Green and Diane Letson will be honored for their 15 years of service, Kathy Simpson for 10 years and Karen Burley for five years.

A guest speaker, Dr. Robert Brayden, will follow the meeting.

Each year, Mariano said, the VNA has a different theme for its annual meeting keynote speaker.

"This year, we wanted to bring in someone who would really be of interest to the community at large," she said. "Dr. Brayden can answer some questions about immunizations, myths and benefits of having an immunized community."

Brayden is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and president of the Colorado Children's Immunization Coalition.

He will speak at 5 p.m. about the subject of immunizations throughout the health care spectrum.

"With flu season approaching and the start of a new school year upon us, there is no better time to educate our communities about the importance of immunizations for all ages," VNA executive director Sue Birch said.

Copies of the VNA's 2008 Annual Report also will be available so community members can see the growth and changes that occurred throughout the year.

One of the most significant achievements last year was the designation of the VNA as a Federally Qualified Health Center, Mariano said.

With its new community health center status, the VNA has been able to provide better access to care for the underserved, uninsured and undocumented in the community.

Mariano also said the Aging Well program, which includes Wellness Wednesday activities, has made significant strides, increasing its number of participants from 300 in 2007 to more than 700 in 2008.

"I think the whole mission behind Aging Well is to keep people active and in social settings, to keep them healthy and living longer," Mariano said.

At tonight's event, refreshments will be served, and tours of the facility will be offered to those interested.

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or ninglis@craigdailypress.com

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