FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Health experts will be answering questions from parents about childhood vaccinations on Wednesday night.

MDWise, an Indiana nonprofit organization that helps provide health benefits to Medicaid members, is hosting the forum on Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. The forum features a panel of Fort Wayne area healthcare professionals who will cover standard immunizations as well as the COVID-19 vaccines, which are currently available to kids 12 and up.

“We hope that families will gain education and information to make decisions for themselves and their families out of this webinar event,” said Torriaun Everett, Vice President of Health Plan Operation for MDWise. “Then as well as those families who are interested in getting their children back on track with their immunizations, and even potentially, as well receiving the COVID vaccine, that we’re providing awareness to them for increased access to the shots.”

The panel will feature:       

  • S. Maria Finnell, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA)
  • Tony GiaQuinta, MD, FAAP, Past-President, Indiana chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrician, Parkview Physicians Group
  • Christina Tatara, OD, Lutheran Health Network
  • Torriaun Everett, Vice President, Health Plan Operations, MDwise

Everett said they called the discussion “Back on Track” because 26% of children have fallen behind on their immunizations.

“Childhood immunizations that to prevent diseases such as measles and things like diseases like that,” said Everett. “With in-person schools resuming an even hybrid school, increasing that contact amongst children, it is very, very important to get children caught up with their childhood immunizations.”

Parkview Health pediatrician Dr. Tony GiaQuinta, who will be on the panel, says these discussions are more important now than ever because so many children have also missed out on annual checkups because of the pandemic. Plus, parents now have access to a large amount of conflicting information through the internet.

“There is a lot of information out there, we have access to information all over the place more information than we ever did before and a lot of that is really good when I want my family to feel autonomous and up to date but it can also be really confusing when misinformation is published to them,” said GiaQuinta. “We want that parent that has questions that has some hesitancy because they’re hearing so much information to hear from trusted doctors in the community. What’s really unique about this event is a lot of these doctors, we are Fort Wayne pediatricians and so these are the same doctors that you’re going to see in the grocery store, and down the hall. So these are just strangers from you, but we’re the doctors that are available to the community.”

To participate in the event, visit or call 888-788-0099 Webinar ID 980 7734 5510.