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WellStar Pediatrician Honored by CDC

May 22, 2017

Wellstar DoctorsWellStar Health System’s physicians are tireless advocates for the health of our children. Because of a focus on saving lives through pediatric immunizations, a WellStar physician is being recognized by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Sam Gold, M.D. has been named Georgia’s 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for his work to create immunization policies.

Team members and physicians with pediatric training have focused on saving kids’ lives through immunizations at WellStar Health System. Thanks in large part to WellStar pediatrician Sam Gold, M.D., the health system created immunization policies to screen children for vaccinations at every well visit. As a result of the program’s success, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) named Dr. Gold Georgia’s 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion.

“Children are our future and our focus is to make sure they are happy, healthy and protected from harm,” said Avril Beckford, M.D., chief pediatrics officer of WellStar Health System. “Dr. Gold is an incredible pediatrician and has made it his mission to make sure families know the importance of keeping up with vaccinations as children grow.”

As the 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for the state of Georgia, Gold has shown action-driven leadership for advocating child immunizations by implementing critical immunization guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Our Champions’ dedication is crucial to creating community partnerships, working towards policy advancements, finding creative solutions to immunization challenges, counseling parents and educating and raising awareness of the importance of childhood immunization,” said Nancy Messonnier, M.D., the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a letter notifying the Health System of the honor.

This isn’t the first time WellStar and Dr. Gold have been recognized for this work. The System was also awarded the Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Award for its Standards for Child Adolescent and Adult Immunization Practices award in 2015 by the Georgia Department of Public Health for demonstrating Standards for Child Adolescent and Adult Immunization Practices.

WellStar utilizes all clinical encounters to screen and immunize patients when appropriate and follows immunization guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics to protect America’s children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

About WellStar Health System
WellStar Health System, the largest health system in Georgia, is known nationally for its innovative care models, focused on improving quality and access to healthcare. WellStar consists of WellStar Medical Group, 240 medical office locations, outpatient centers, health parks, a pediatric center, nursing centers, hospice, homecare, as well as 11 hospitals: WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center (anchored by WellStar Kennestone Hospital), WellStar West Georgia Medical Center, and WellStar Cobb, Douglas, North Fulton, Paulding, Spalding Regional, Sylvan Grove and Windy Hill hospitals. As a not-for-profit, WellStar continues to reinvest in the health of the communities it serves with new technologies and treatments.  For more information, visit

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