Battreall named a National Immunization Champion

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | January 03, 2018

Image with caption: Kim Battreall

Kim Battreall

At the end of the phone call, Kim Battreall said thank you, hung up, and then: "I literally dropped the phone, pushed myself away from my desk and started crying.

"My co-workers thought somebody died," she said.

Instead, she had been named an American Pharmacists Association 2018 National Immunization Champion, Friend of Pharmacy. She'll be honored in March in Nashville, at the pharmacists organization's national meeting.

But there's a reason the honor affected her so deeply.

"Operation Immunization" is a collaboration between the College of Pharmacy, student health and the UNMC chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), in which pharmacist interns -- College of Pharmacy students -- administer flu shots for their fellow students and some faculty on UNMC's Omaha campus.

It has been a rousing success. Over the last three years, it has significantly improved both student immunization rates and cost savings, while providing the pharmacy students with invaluable experience.

Battreall, a nurse with Nebraska Medicine and student health, and adjunct pharmacy faculty, said this work with students is what made the honor so humbling. "I feel very validated by it," she said, "in a sense that the students are what make me come in to work every day. I listen to their stories and it inspires me to do better at my job."

"The students love her," said Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice.

She worked many unpaid hours with the students to help get the project off the ground. Now being "Operation Immunization" nurse is part of her official duties.

"The Pharmacist Intern Clinics have been a collaborative effort, but someone had to have the initial idea and someone had to do the legwork to make it all possible. Kim Battreall is that person," her nomination read.

Tere Batt, student health's coordinator, Cristin Kohlscheen, student health program associate, and Priscilla Debro, student health office assistant, also played key roles. Dr. Dering-Anderson, Charles Krobot, Pharm.D., Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., and John Ridgway supervised clinics. Dean Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., and the college, provided infrastructure and support.

"It all fell into place and I love how it worked out," Battreall said.

Though she officially works for Nebraska Medicine, Battreall said she appreciates how, at an academic medical center, education is part of the job.

"I've worked in different environments before where education wasn't at the forefront. I didn't like it," she said. "This feels more right."

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Julie Russell
January 05, 2018 at 12:30 PM

What an awesome honor for an awesome person! Great job my friend!

Kristi Brummels
January 03, 2018 at 8:16 AM

Very neat! Congratulations on this award!

Melanie Stewart
January 03, 2018 at 7:59 AM

Kim is clearly passionate about her work on campus, as well as the students. She is always striving to do more and the med center is lucky to have her! Congrats Kim, well deserved!!