Joseph BocchiniDr. Joseph Bocchini named state’s 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion.

CDC honors Pediatrics chair

Joseph BocchiniDr. Joseph Bocchini, professor and chairman of pediatrics at LSU Health Shreveport, has been named Louisiana’s 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion. This award, given jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC Foundation, honors individuals who are doing an exemplary job or going above and beyond to promote childhood immunizations in their communities. A champion from each state was honored during National Infant Immunization Week, April 22-29.

“The State of Louisiana Immunization Program and the Office of Public Health is proud to help recognize the achievements of a local physician who has dedicated his career to the protection of children and families,” said Dr. Frank Welch, immunization director for the state Department of Health.

Dr. Bocchini discovered his passion for pediatrics as a resident at the University of Connecticut, which was followed by a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at John Hopkins University. He joined the LSU Health Shreveport faculty in 1977 and was named chairman of pediatrics in 1992. As a father and specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, he experienced the importance of immunizations for infants and children firsthand and continues to advocate for improved vaccine policies and education in the state and across the nation.

As an early supporter of the Louisiana Shots for Tots program and advocate for the Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids, Dr. Bocchini added the pediatric clinic at LSU Health Shreveport to the registry. Dr. Bocchini promotes policies that increase vaccine rates, ensure that children receive the latest vaccine updates, and support new vaccines to protect more children against disease. As a leader in childhood immunizations, he mentors other pediatricians on vaccine updates during Louisiana’s continuing education meetings.

Dr. Bocchini holds numerous positions to advance the development and use of infant and pediatric vaccines, increase rates, and address hesitancy. He works closely with the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on legislative and policy issues and has served as their immunization representative to the national office for several years. As a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Dr. Bocchini also serves as the chair for two ACIP workgroups. He is also president-elect at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.