The Vaccine Makers Project
The Vaccine Makers Project (VMP) is committed to public education about vaccine science via scientifically supported, historically accurate and emotionally compelling content. To this end, the VMP has developed a variety of school-based curricula to educate students about how the immune system works, how diseases develop and how vaccines work to prevent them. While the immediate goal is to provide teachers with the information and tools necessary to teach this scientific success story, the greater opportunity is not only to immunize our country’s next generation of parents against the misconceptions around vaccine safety, but also to equip them to critically evaluate the multitude of science-based topics central to how we live on and interact with this planet. Only when people understand and consider the scientific underpinnings of relevant topics can we expect that they will be equipped to make informed and logical decisions.
Originally produced by Medical History Pictures and sponsored by the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, VMP has evolved to become the classroom-based program of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Center’s team is composed of scientists, physicians, mothers and fathers who are devoted to the study and prevention of infectious diseases. The Center was launched in October 2000 to provide accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. Since that time, the Center has developed a variety of other programs and resources, including:
- Vaccine Update newsletter for Healthcare Professionals
- Current Issues in Vaccines webinar series for healthcare providers
- Parents PACK program for parents
- Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Know mobile app
- Vax Pack Hero game for children
- Talking about Vaccines with Dr. Paul Offit video series
Central to the original set of VMP goals, the Center and Medical History Pictures collaborated to produce the award-winning biographical documentary film, HILLEMAN – A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children. The film tells the inspiring story of Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, a man with a singular, unwavering focus: to eliminate the diseases of children. From his poverty-stricken youth on the plains of Montana, he came to prevent pandemic flu, develop the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, and invent the first-ever vaccine against human cancer. Through exclusive interviews with Dr. Hilleman and his peers, rare archival footage, and 3-D animation, the film puts a human face to vaccine science, revealing the character that drove this bold, complex, and heroic man.
The film was directed by Donald Rayne Mitchell and co-produced by Gloria Lewis:
Donald Rayne Mitchell
Donald Rayne Mitchell is founder and owner of Eyeline Pictures, Llc. He has directed television commercials, dramatic narrative and documentary-style films for the past 25 years. Known for his work with real people, he is adept at interviewing and weaving together a story in the editing room. His work in the medical realm is extensive, with a profound ability to grasp complex medical information and translate it to a lay audience. He is the winner of three Philadelphia Independent Film/Video Subsidy Grants as well as the recipient of two honors from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts: an Individual Artist Grant and a Media Arts Fellowship.
Gloria Lewis is a founding partner, president and executive producer at Cornerstone Pictures. Her more than two decades of experience in the field have included production of everything from commercials to full-length documentaries and television series, such as Cold Case. Filming all over the country, Gloria has worked for national and local clients, including KFC, StarKist, Conair, Ford, Comcast, Penn Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia among many others. Her work making long-format educational films for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia inspired her current efforts to establish Medical History Pictures and co-produce HILLEMAN – A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children.