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Twenty-Four Local Health Departments Honored for Excellence and Innovation


Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558

Twenty-Four Local Health Departments Honored for Excellence and Innovation

Washington, DC (July 16, 2010)—
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) honored 24 health departments across the country last night at its 2010 annual conference for implementing programs that demonstrate exemplary and replicable outcomes. 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 93 applications.

“The model practices chosen reflect the wide range of work performed by local health departments nationwide, and each is an example of locally-driven innovation,” said NACCHO Executive Director Robert Pestronk. “These ground-breaking programs can be replicated by other local health departments or adapted to their own practice.”

Among this year’s Model Practice award winners were the following programs:
  • The Boston Public Health Commission developed a Comprehensive H1N1 Flu Response Plan for the city of Boston, aimed at addressing what could have been the first flu pandemic in 40 years. The commission held an H1N1 Flu Summit at Harvard Medical School in August 2009, which brought together many different sectors of the community that would be affected by a pandemic, including clinicians, business owners, and civic and community leaders. The summit, which was hosted by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, spurred city health officials to develop a pandemic response plan involving ten community sectors.
  • Columbus Public Health, in Columbus, OH, addressed their county’s high adult obesity rate by encouraging developers to consider the impacts of the built environment when constructing new projects. The Healthy Places Community Design Review program aims to create places that foster physical activity as a part of everyday life, by doing things like ensuring that wide sidewalks and sidewalk connections from the sidewalk at the street to the front door of a building are easily accessible for would-be bikers. A Columbus Public Health staff member now reviews all re-zoning applications in the city and ensures that walking and biking infrastructure that promote physical activity are incorporated. 

Since 2003, NACCHO’s Model Practice program has honored these local initiatives. 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 local health department users to benefit from colleagues’ experiences, to learn what works, and to ensure that resources are used wisely. 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

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.