SRHD Honored for Excellence in Public Health
District’s working subgroup, STD Medical Coalition, receives NACCHO Model Practice award for demonstrating exemplary and replicable qualities in response to local need
SPOKANE, Wash. – July 15, 2011 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced today that one of its working subgroups, the STD Medical Coalition (STDMC), is being honored at the 2011 annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), for developing and implementing a program that demonstrates exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a local public health need. STDMC was one of only 41 public health programs selected from across the nation to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award.
The award recognizes the collaborative efforts of SRHD and the medical and educational community in addressing local public health concerns. The coalition is being commended for maintaining an active registry of local health providers and community partners—to date totaling 37 member organizations. Consistent attendance and participation over the past four years demonstrates members’ dedication to peer-to-peer outreach in improving reproductive health and reducing sexually transmitted diseases in Spokane County.
The goal of the NACCHO model practice program is twofold. First, to nationally honor and recognize outstanding local public health practice, and secondly, to promote the sharing of these outstanding practices among local health departments. This award puts Spokane Regional Health District into special company—a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward thinking, proactive attitude toward protecting and promoting the health of communities across the nation.
SRHD health officer Dr. Joel McCullough commented, “We are proud to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award. The award is evidence of our commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of local residents.”
Each project receiving the award was peer-reviewed and selected from a group of 130 applications. In addition to this prestigious award, the STD Medical Coalition has been instrumental in myriad activities over the years; supporting the Healthy Youth Act in schools to promote delivery of comprehensive sexuality education in compliance with state regulations; promotion of clinical practice recommendations for routine chlamydia screening; promotion of expedited partner therapy as a method for controlling the spread of disease, contributing to the development of a comprehensive adolescent sexual health Web site and to the STD Toolkit for providers in Spokane County. Currently, several STDMC members are significant players in the establishment of Spokane County’s first school-based health center coming to Sunset Elementary in Airway Heights in the fall. Without the dedication of its members, none of these accomplishments would have come to fruition.
Unfortunately, the current economic crisis threatens these resources and, therefore, these programs and Spokane’s citizens’ overall health and well-being. Local and state funding for public health is rapidly eroding, resulting in the loss of trained public health professional staff and compromising SRHD’s ability to respond to critical health issues. A long-term strategy for predictable and appropriate levels of funding is essential for continuation of these award-winning services.
Since 2003, NACCHO’s Model Practice Awards program has honored initiatives—including programs, resources, and tools—that demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health concerns. The STD Medical Coalition is now part of an online, searchable database of successful public health practices. 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.
For more information about the NACCHO Model Practice Awards and to view a list of other award winners, go to www.naccho.org. More information about the STD Medical Coalition and SRHD can be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.