NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Northampton Public Nurse is being honored for her efforts in getting vaccines to her community.

Kate Kelly joined the City’s Department of Health and Human Services a year and a half ago now being recognized for her continued work to get COVID shots into arms. This award is jointly presented by the CDC and the Association of Immunization managers. It recognizes a person from each state.

According to the City’s Health Commissioner Merridith O’Leary, Kelly has been a leader in coming up with creative ways to start up vaccination clinics here in Northampton and across Hampshire County. She also created specific programs helping people with disabilities get the vaccine and created another program designed for people who have a fear of needles.

Commissioner O’Leary said, “Kate takes pride in establishing creative clinic locations and collaborations that reach disenfranchised and marginalized populations. Her goal has been to reach people from all walks of life, races, ethnicities, gender identities, and ages with the COVID vaccine. We are very proud that one of our own was selected by the state to receive this honor and know that this award is well deserved. It has been my personal privilege to work with such a tremendous and considerate leader as Kate Kelly.”

“On the one hand, it’s really exciting and it feels like a whole bunch of pieces of my background came together to make this a success but I really can’t say enough about our team.” said Kate Kelly, Public Health Nurse, Northampton Department of Health and Human Services

Kelly said her work is still not done when it comes to getting the vaccine out. Weekly vaccination clinics are held at Pulaski park.

2022 Immunization Champion Award in each state

According to the Association of Immunization Managers, “Award recipients are considered to be individuals who have made a significant impact and contribution toward improving public health in their community, through their work in adult and childhood immunizations, and the Immunization Champion Award recognizes individuals who are working at the local levels. It honors those doing an exemplary job or going above and beyond to promote or foster adult and childhood immunizations in their communities.”

Mayor Sciarra added, “Kate Kelly is a force of nature. I hope everyone in Northampton will join me in profound gratitude for her tireless work to make our community safer for everyone. We are fortunate to have Kate on our team.”