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NACCHO Honors 41 Local Health Departments for Innovation and Excellence


 

Contact:
Becky Wexler
301-652-1558
bwexler@burnesscommunications.com

 
NACCHO Honors 41 Local Health Departments for Innovation and Excellence

Washington, DC (July 22, 2011)—As part of its 2011 annual conference, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) last night honored 41 local health departments across the country for implementing programs that demonstrate exemplary and replicable outcomes in response to an identified public health need. Each project receiving a Model Practice award was reviewed by a committee of peers (other local health department professionals) and selected from a group of 130 applications (up by more than a third from last year).

“The surge in interest this year is a testament to all the great work being done by local health departments nationwide, especially when we know resources are constrained and everyone is doing more with less,” said NACCHO Executive Director Robert Pestronk. “The beauty of these innovative programs is that they can be replicated or adapted by other local health departments.”

Among this year’s Model Practice award winners were the following programs:

  • The Springfield-Green County Health Department’s Southwest Missouri Child Care Provider Health Conference is an annual health fair event where child care providers in the southwest part of the state can obtain vaccines, health screenings and other services—all while earning continuing education credits.  The child care providers targeted are women who work long hours of each day, generally do not have health insurance, and are paid minimum wage—all factors that limit access to health care. The vaccines provided at the fair are specifically recommended for care givers of young children and the health screenings offered are diverse, ranging from blood pressure to depression and anxiety. Anyone who has an abnormal test result is referred to a health care provider for follow up.

  • The El Paso County Health Department in Colorado Springs, CO combined a communicable disease investigation with social media outreach to quickly locate and subsequently save the lives of two young people who had been exposed to rabies. By leveraging the help of partner agencies, including traditional news media and their contacts through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the health department used digital photos and surveillance videos to reach the target demographic, publicly identify the people, bring them in for a thorough evaluation, determine their level of exposure and take action to protect them from getting sick and prevent a public health emergency. Typically, communicable disease investigations are kept private and confidential, but because of the urgency, the health department made their investigation public—a tactic that proved worthwhile.

Since 2003, NACCHO’s Model Practice program has honored local initiatives like these. All model practices are catalogued in an online, searchable database in areas ranging from immunization and maternal and child health to infectious diseases and emergency preparedness.  The NACCHO Model Practice database allows users to benefit from colleagues' experiences, to learn what works, and to ensure that resources are used wisely on effective programs that have been implemented with good results. It also enables NACCHO to share information with key stakeholders and media about the good work being done by local health departments across the country. It also enables NACCHO to share information with key stakeholders and media about the good work being done by local health departments across the country.  Read more about these award-winning programs at http://naccho.org/topics/modelpractices/database/index.cfm.

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.

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