One of the most significant healthcare projects that Lenore Cooney, associate at Baird’s CMC, has worked on involved helping to change US policy on meningococcal disease. Lenore and her colleagues worked tirelessly to create awareness about the disease’s shifting epidemiology among members of the infectious disease community and public health policy makers.
“There were more cases in the US than people thought and, at that point, college students were at particular risk. However, the meningococcal vaccine at that time was pretty much only used by the Military and travelers to Africa,” explains Lenore. The team adopted a comprehensive approach – collecting and analyzing data, holding symposiums with eminent thought leaders, finding stories of patients who wished they had known about the vaccine and getting them to high-level decision-makers….and it paid off. Says Lenore, “They finally passed a national policy that encouraged all college students to be vaccinated for the disease. It’s made a big difference, and helped prepare the way for vaccination of all adolescents.”