Upcoming Webinar Series on 2021-2021 Influenza Season

The COVID-19 pandemic added an unexpected complexity that drastically altered the last flu season, but also provided lessons for responding to unusual public health circumstances. The first of these two upcoming influenza webinars will explore global and national influenza trends and preparations for the upcoming flu season. The second webinar will provide detailed WV-specific information about influenza prevention, control, and surveillance.

Webinar 1: Will Influenza be Back? A Global Update and Strategies for Avoiding the Twindemic.  Thursday, September 9, 2021 • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM 

Featured National Presenter: Dr. Litjen Tan

Join nationally renowned immunization expert Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD to hear the most up-to-date information about the upcoming flu season and flu vaccination, global and national influenza trends, and strategies for helping people address both COVID-19 and influenza in their communities.

Seasonal flu vaccines remain the best way to prevent the spread of influenza. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused healthcare providers to change how they operate to continue to provide essential services to patients. Maintaining immunization services is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks and reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season. With overlapping vulnerable populations, how can health care providers and public health experts prevent a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and influenza?


By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Review and discuss the epidemiology and burden of disease of influenza;
  • Discuss any updates to influenza vaccination recommendations;
  • Discuss the impact of co-circulating influenza and COVID-19 disease during the upcoming influenza vaccination season; and
  • Summarize innovative approaches to improving influenza immunization access during COVID-19. 

Featured Presenter:

Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD

Dr. Tan is the Chief Strategy Officer of the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and Co-Chair of the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit. Prior to joining the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), Dr. Tan was the Director of Medicine and Public Health at the American Medical Association (AMA), a position he held since 2008. From 1997 to 2008, he was the AMA’s Director of Infectious Disease, Immunology, and Molecular Medicine. Dr. Tan was a voting member of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2013, where he served on the adult immunization, vaccine safety, and healthcare worker immunization working groups, and chaired the immunization infrastructure working group. He also served for more than ten years as the AMA’s liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, where he served on the influenza, pneumococcal, zoster, and adult immunization working groups. 


Click here to register for this free webinar. Registration is limited to the first 100 registrants.

*The registration page is best accessed with Google Chrome or Firefox.


Webinar 2: The 2021-2022 Influenza Season in West Virginia: A Focus on Respiratory Disease Prevention

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 • 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM 

The COVID-19 epidemic continues to impact West Virginians in every facet of their lives. This presentation aims to prepare public health practitioners for the upcoming 2021-2022 influenza season in West Virginia and the impacts that the pandemic had on traditional influenza prevention, control, and surveillance.


By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Review influenza as etiologic agent and signs/symptoms;
  • Discuss specific treatment and prevention efforts for high-risk populations;
  • Summarize previous influenza season(s) in West Virginia;
  • Describe importance of influenza surveillance;
  • Review influenza vaccine recommendations;
  • Highlight influenza prevention practices; and
  • Discuss lab specimen procedures for respiratory pathogens.


Margret Watkins, MPH, CHES

Margret Watkins is the Influenza Surveillance Coordinator and Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist in the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DIDE). She has been an Epidemiologist with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) since 2019. She graduated with her Master’s in Public Health from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2014, and her Bachelor’s in Biology Science from West Virginia University in 2012.

Lisa M. Costello, MD, MPH, FAAP

Lisa M. Costello, MD, MPH, FAAP, is an Assistant Professor in the Department Pediatrics at West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown, WV and a Pediatric Hospitalist at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital. Dr. Costello currently serves as the President of the West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Vice-President of the West Virginia State Medical Association, Vice-Chair of WESPAC, and serves on the Board of Directors for the WV Children’s Health Insurance Program. Dr. Costello also serves as an advisor to the WV Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health during the COVID-19 pandemic response, Assistant Public Information Officer for Information Products, Joint Information Center, West Virginia Joint Interagency Task Force For COVID-19 Vaccines. At a national level, she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on State Government Affairs.

Jeff Neccuzi, BS

Jeff Neccuzi is the Vaccine Manager/VFC Coordinator, Division of Immunization Services, WV Bureau for Public Health. He was West Virginia’s first Vaccines for Children (VFC) Coordinator at its inception on October 1, 1994 and became the VFC Coordinator again in 2019 after serving 18 years as the Program Manager. Jeff manages vaccine procurement, provider ordering, VFC enrollment and provider participation. Jeff has 27 years of experience in Immunization Services which he has used to participate in various workgroups and committees.

Valerie Jividen, MSN, MHA, RN

Valerie Jividen, MSN, MHA, RN is the Director of Infection Prevention for the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, in the West Bureau for Public Health. Valerie graduated from University of Phoenix with a Master of Science in Nursing and Masters in Science in Health Administration. She previously served as the Quality Improvement Manager at the West Virginia Hospital Association, leading the state’s member hospitals in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Engagement Network; a national project aimed at reducing hospital-acquired infections and harm.

Alexxia Snyder, BS

Alexxia is the Program Coordinator for Project Firstline for Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, in the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health West Virginia. Alexxia has a Bachelor of Science from West Virginia State University in Communications.

Debbie Ellison, BS

Debbie Ellison is the National Health and Safety Network Epidemiologist for WV Bureau of Public Health. Debbie has a Bachelor of Science degree from Marshall University and previously served as an Infection Preventionist at Raleigh General Hospital.

Lindsay Barr, BS

Lindsay Barr is the Molecular Laboratory Scientist Supervisor in the WV Office of Laboratory Services. She has over a decade of experience in the lab and is a graduate from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.


Click here to register for this free webinar. Registration is limited to the first 100 registrants.

*The registration page is best accessed with Google Chrome or Firefox.

Additional Information:


Continuing Education for both webinars:  

Continuing Education Units for Physicians, Pharmacists, and Nurses have been applied for these live webinars and for those who complete the archived webinars. CEUs will be available for a month after live webinar date for those who view the live or archived webinar and complete the evaluation.

The Office of Laboratory Services will issue certificates to laboratorians who participate in these webinars. OLS is not a certified continuing education provider. The certificates are only valid for the WV Laboratory Practitioners License CEU requirement. Participates will have a month from the live webinar dates to review the webinar recording for the certificates to laboratorians.

Marshall University School of Medicine Department of Dentistry & Oral Surgery is an ADA CERP recognized provider. 

This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education

Recognition Program (ADA CERP). ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at www.ada.org/goto/cerp.


If you have questions about these webinars, please contact the WIN Program Manager.

About the WV Immunization Network

The WV Immunization Network (WIN) is a statewide immunization coalition of over 400 members from the public and private sectors who are focused on improving immunization rates and protecting West Virginians from vaccine-preventable diseases. The Center for Rural Health Development serves as the lead agency for WIN.