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Vandenberg Civilian wins General Wilma Vaught Award

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Melissa Pellot, a family advocacy nurse and new parent support program manager, won the General Wilma Vaught Award for the period of Jan. 1, 2018- Dec. 31, 2018.

The award recognizes service members and civilians who have exhibited innovation, commitment and a selfless spirit of service to others while inspiring others and significantly improving the integration of and opportunities for women in the Air Force.

Pellot won the award for her efforts in many different programs, events, and initiatives.

              “I am part of the family advocacy program,” said Pellot. “I am in new parent support and I work with families from the time they’re pregnant until their kids are three. Our military families go through deployments and separations and we are here for support. However, new parent support is really just one component of family advocacy. We are a team of people who do a wide variety of things to support the health of military families.”

During her time with the new parent support program, Pellot transformed the program, marketed new curriculum, and reached 33 squadrons with an 8,100% referral boost.

“Her (Pellot’s) program is an initiative to get in the homes and provide preventive services in order to avoid potential maltreatment within the family,” said Maj. Vidalia Owens, family advocacy element chief. “It’s been extremely effective because prevention is quicker, easier, and more economical than intervention services.”

Outside of the new parent support program, Pellot has used her many certifications to make life safer for children.

“I am a certified car seat technician,” said Pellot. “I collaborated with the safety office and this last year we worked together to put on a car seat event on base.”

During the event, Pellot and the safety office ensured car seats were sized correctly and properly installed into vehicles.

In addition, Pellot has also remodeled TriCare MTF coverage, overhauled shaken baby and Sudden Infant Death Training, networked with Welcome Every Baby, and was the number one nurse selected to lead sexual assault exams, provide advanced medical care and advocate for safety.

Although Pellot has already made a large impact on the family advocacy program, she is furthering her certifications to broaden the duties she can perform.

“I am working toward an infant massage certification for teaching parents with infants how to perform infant massage,” said Pellot. “The impact is that it will improve bonding and attachment.”

While Pellot won the award, she gives credit to all who work in the office.

“I won this award, but it’s not a result of me,” said Pellot. “It’s a result of the team effort.”