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Local Health Department of the Year Award

In the Spotlight
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NACCHO congratulates the 2014 Winners. Winners were awarded on July 9 during the Grand Award Ceremony at NACCHO Annual.

Local health departments are the local stewards of public health--known for helping to ensure the safety of the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe.  This award recognizes and honors outstanding accomplishment of Local Health Departments across the country for their innovation, creativity, and impact on communities.
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2014 Local Health Department of the Year Award Winners

NACCHO received an overwhelming number of applications and after review selected a winner in each of the three size categories (small, medium, large). Each of the three finalists in the small, medium, and large category showed creativity, innovation, sufficient evidence of outcomes and impact on the community, and collaboration with partners, community and key stakeholders.

The 2014 winners:
Small: Macon County Public Health Department, Franklin, North Carolina
Medium: Whatcom County Health Department, Bellingham, Washington
Large: Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, Illinois

The 2013 winners:
Small: Crook County Public Health Department, Prineville Oregon
Medium: Gaston County Health Department, Gastonia, North Carolina
Large: Denver Public Health Department, Denver, Colorado

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2014 Application Criteria

 lhdaward-fornaccho-lowresThe Local Health Department of the Year Award annually recognizes and honors local health departments that employ innovation and creativity to accomplish the goal of health and equity. Local health department practice is entering a new era that is changing traditional roles and core functions in dynamic new ways.

This year, NACCHO will recognize local health department that have adopted outstanding policies that are internally or externally-focused.
A) An internal policy focuses on the operations of the health department or its staff, adopted by either the health department or its governing entity (e.g., a personnel policy designed to promote health or equity). 

B) An external policy focuses on the geopolitical jurisdiction for which the department has responsibility or a larger geopolitical area within which the health department’s jurisdiction resides (e.g., a region, state, or the nation). These policies are designed to improve community health by making personal choices leading to health easier or by making changes in the systemic or structural context in which individuals live (e.g., housing, employment, or the environment). This might also be accomplished through establishing and enforcing regulation or laws or by using community coalitions to educate, support, motivate, and engage the public. Local health departments should provide evidence of how the policy was responsible for local, regional, statewide, or national change

Applicants are asked to provide a detailed yet concise description (2,500 words maximum) of how their department implemented an innovative policy that prepared their department or community for a new era in public health.

Your application must describe the following:
Issue: Summarize the issue or challenge facing the LHD.
Goals/ Objectives: Summarize the LHD’s initial goal(s) and any measurable objectives to achieve the goal(s).
Implementation: Summarize how the LHD implemented the policy, including resources used (e.g., staff time, materials, budget); activities undertaken; and, if applicable, collaboration with partners or the community.
Outcomes: Summarize the results of implementing the policy and how the LHD measured or evaluated results.
Advice: What advice would you give other LHDs who might wish to replicate and sustain such a policy?

Documentation of the formal adoption of the internal and external policy must be included as part of the application.

Application Overview

Application Process
Applications will be accepted January 1 through March 31, 2014. Applicants must log in to MyNACCHO and select NACCHO Applications (no paper copies will be considered). A select number of recipients are chosen for the Local Health Department of the Year Award. Recipients are recognized based on the size of the LHD, which is determined by the population served. Small (<25,000-49,999), Medium (50,000-499,999), Large (500,000 and above), and quality of the application. LHDs will be recognized at various levels—gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mentions.

All applicants are required to pay an application fee (per application) to cover the administrative costs and overall maintenance of the program. The fees are based on the size of the LHD—small ($25), medium ($55), large ($75) and must be paid during the submission process.


In order to qualify for this award, LHDs must be active (dues paying) members of NACCHO. If you are unsure of your LHDs membership status, please contact NACCHO’s Membership Department at membership@naccho.org or call (877) 533-1320.

Judging and Evaluation

Applications are judged on the contribution/impact to the community, health improvement, originality, creativity, uniqueness, and overall contribution to promoting public health.  Applications are reviewed by NACCHOs Awards Committee in collaboration with subject matter experts. Applicants are reviewed to ensure that their membership is in good standing with NACCHO. 

A select number of recipients will be chosen (based on size of the population served and quality of the application) for the Local Health Department of the Year Award. Up to three awardees (gold, silver, and bronze) will be selected for each LHD size category.  Award recipients will be notified in the spring, and will be recognized at the NACCHO Annual Conference at the Grand Award Ceremony in Atlanta on July 9, 2014.