PIKEVILLE, Ky. (May 24, 2018) – Seema Sachdeva, M.D., FAAP, vice chair of the Division of Pediatrics at the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been named the 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Childhood Immunization Champion by the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). The distinct honor recognizes Sachdeva’s significant contributions to public health through her work in childhood immunization.
“The tremendous success of CDC’s immunization programs to protect the nation’s children from vaccine-preventable diseases is the direct result of the efforts of childhood immunization champions,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of NCIRD. “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.”
Sachdeva’s pediatric practice in Pikeville began following CDC immunization guidelines before vaccines were mandated in the Commonwealth. Her practice maintains immunization rates above 95 percent.
She has mentored and educated future pediatricians about immunization through her involvement with KYCOM and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. For the past 19 years, Sachdeva has organized an annual pediatric symposium for medical students and community physicians during which she invites faculty with immunization expertise to present as keynote speakers.
Sachdeva grew up in New Delhi, India, and witnessed the devastating consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as polio and measles. The lifelong effects on families around her inspired her work as a pediatrician and volunteer efforts to help children obtain vaccines. Sachdeva, who has held leadership roles in the Pikeville Rotary Club and Rotary International, raises awareness and funds for global polio eradication through Rotary.
During KYCOM’s annual graduation banquet on May 18, Boyd R. Buser, D.O., FACOFP, dist., vice president for health affairs and dean of KYCOM, presented Sachdeva an award for being named CDC Childhood Immunization Champion. During her career, Sachdeva has also been honored for her achievements as a clinical medical educator and an advocate for child abuse prevention.
Sachdeva completed her pediatric residency at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., and a subsequent pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Bellevue Hospital, NYU School of Medicine, in New York. She has been practicing pediatrics alongside her husband, Rakesh Sachdeva, M.D., for nearly 25 years.