Congratulations to the 2017 Award Recipients!
Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 Annual Public Health Awards, click here to submit a nomination.
Award: Excellence in the Promotion of Health Equity (CPHA, COSOPHE, PHNAC)
Recipient: Olga Gonzalez
Org/Agency: LiveWell Colorado
Nominated By: Leslie Levine
Nomination: Olga always approaches her work as a community member first. She is very aware of the barriers faced by people of color and those living in poverty, and she draws on her own professional and personal lived experience in her relationships with communities and approaches to the work that LiveWell does. It is extremely important to her that community voices are integrated into all of our work to reduce barriers to healthy eating and active living. As such, Olga has traveled throughout the state to personally meet with community members in urban and rural settings, as well as to Native American reservations. She is mindful of including both grasstops and grassroots representatives to gain a broader understanding of each community that she visits.
Olga is very values-driven and is always mindful of ensuring that our work is directly tied to our stated mission and vision. She challenges our staff to consider whether or not community needs and voices were considered in our programs, communications, and policy work. Olga also helps us to identify other partners and voices that should be included in our work. She guides us to understand the possible intended and unintended impact of our work on the communities that we serve. Most importantly, Olga encourages a culture of collaboration with community residents and partners and helps to identify opportunities where our staff can be more present in community settings so that we can all benefit from meeting people in their own spaces.
Award: Sabin Award
Recipient: Julie George
Org/Agency: LiveWell Colorado
Nominated By: Leslie Levine
Nomination: Julie has distinct ability to create trusting, long-lasting relationships with elected officials and municipal staff, which is the basis of the success of LiveWell Colorado’s HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign. Although Julie hails from urban roots, she easily connects with and brings together leaders from all backgrounds. This was demonstrated at the 2016 Public Health in the Rockies Conference, where she brought the Mayor of Sheridan and the Mayor Pro Tem from Commerce City for a formal dialogue with public health professionals. This Q&A session offered attendees the opportunity to learn how best to communicate and work with elected officials in the realm of policy and systems change.
The fact that HEAL Cities & Towns is an initiative that truly reaches the four corners of the state with strong representation from rural, frontier, suburban, and urban communities is also attributable to Julie’s versatility. Julie’s focus while at CASB was working with rural education leaders, and she knows that sometimes extra effort is required to reach communities that often are overlooked. She has thus made it a priority to travel across the state, giving her a strong understanding of rural Colorado. Julie continues to seek out rural leaders and help them be the voice of the HEAL movement and showcase their expertise. When working with rural communities, Julie doesn’t push an urban/suburban approach. Rather, she learns about the needs and challenges of the community and how LiveWell, as a Denver-based statewide organization, can lift their voice and connect them to resources.
Award: Award for Technical Innovation in Public Health
Recipient: Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center
Nominated By: Alice White
Nomination: The Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center (RM-PHTC) is leading the way in the development of peer learning opportunities for the public health workforce. Using bi-directional video technology, the RM-PHTC connects people across Colorado, in tribal communities, and neighboring states in real time to learn from each other without leaving their communities. The RM-PHTC increases access while also reducing financial and personnel cost. Connecting professionals to experts and to each other is critical for reducing professional isolation and for maintaining a highly trained public health workforce.
Since January 2015, the RM-PHTC has trained 12,905 professionals from 49 counties across Colorado. on topics such as: Advocacy, Cancer Control, Behavioral Health Integration, Evidence-Based Public Health, Community Organizing, Health Equity, Grants Management, Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigation & Response, QI & Accreditation, Storytelling and Strategic Planning.
In the words of Colorado’s public health community:
“The RM-PHTC is the primary workforce development resource for public health in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region. We rely on them to train our staff as well as the public health workforce across Colorado.”
“The training center helps me stay current in my field. It is an affordable way to access training and keep learning so I can be sure that I’m evolving as a public health professional.”
Award: Roy Cleere Distinguished Service Award
Recipient: Stacy Weinberg
Nominated By: Laurie Schneider
Nomination: After finishing a Master’s degree in Health Communications from Stanford, this nominee made a road trip back to the East Coast. We are all fortunate that her route took her through Colorado where she decided to make her home, raise her daughters and commit her career to social justice and improving health.
Stacy Weinberg serves as the Director of Epidemiology, Planning and Communication at TCHD. She has played a key role in shepherding many large public health innovations over the past two decades. She oversaw the implementation of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant which revolutionized the way public health work is approached at TCHD. She served on the statewide Public Health Improvement Steering Committee which instituted the Public Health Improvement Act. Her team provides leadership for the Regional SIM grant, the Regional Infrastructure and Health Equity Work Groups. Stacy created a team which has led TCHD through Public Health Accreditation and develops and implements innovations in Informatics, Performance Management and QI, Community Health Assessment and the Public Health Improvement Plan. Stacy has collaborated on the Regional Sugar Sweetened Beverage Campaign and the Make it OK Mental Health Campaign. Stacy is a bold and innovative leader and does not shy away from the challenges presented by the ever changing landscape of public health practice.
Stacy, we are grateful that the road led you here. You have paved the way for innovative public health work in the state and continue to inspire others with your positive spirit, determination, and hope.
Award: Public Health CHAMP Award
Recipient: Brendan Doyle
Org/Agency: Denver Environmental Health
Nominated By: BOTH Donna Hite and Steven Chevalier
Nomination: Tri-County Health Department’s (TCHD) Industrial Hygienist retired in April 2017 and she was the only person certified to conduct home visits for children with elevated blood lead levels (EBLL). TCHD was concerned about a number of children in our jurisdiction with high BLLs needing a home visit to identify the source of lead poisoning. We reached out to Mr. Brendan Doyle from the City and County of Denver Public Health Inspections Division, Department of Environmental Health and asked if he could possibly find the time to conduct some home visits helping us to identify the source of lead poisoning so we could work with the families to mitigate the problem. Despite Mr. Doyle’s busy workload, and the fact that TCHD could not offer any reciprocal programmatic financial compensation for his time and efforts, he readily agreed. Mr. Doyle has offered to assist TCHD with 5 (and plans to do more) home visits, conducting interviews with the families, measuring potential sources for lead with the x-ray fluorescence device, conducting swab tests, and also collecting samples for laboratory analysis. This shows a strong public health commitment on his part to protecting and serving children and families even outside of his jurisdiction. Brendan Doyle is true public health servant. TCHD is proud to have him as a partner in our community and would like to recognize him for his efforts.
Brendan is an Environmental Health Analyst with the City and County of Denver and manages the City’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and is an Environmental Protection Agency-certified Lead Risk Assessor. Prior to his work at the City and County of Denver, he managed a Housing and Urban Development Lead Hazard Control grant through a local community-based organization. Brendan is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and has spent several years in Paraguay and Peru working to address environmental health challenges at local levels. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Environmental Management from the University of Colorado.
Award: Award for Excellence in Policy
Recipient: Rachel Arndt, Jeff Zayach, Susan Motika, Summer Laws, Tessa Hale, and Amelia Hulbert
Org/Agency: Boulder County Public Health
Nominated By: Jennifer Moreland
Nomination: Boulder County Public Health’s (BCPH) significant policy achievements of the second voter approved sugary drink tax in the US and the nation’s first non-acceptance of sugary drink funds is speaks loudly to their steadfast focus on advancing health equity. During the campaign they creatively problem solved to shift staff responsibilities and funding streams to ensure staff was legally allowed to work on the tax initiative. Post-passage they continued their support to retailers, the public, and ensured academic evaluation of the tax outcomes on health. Boulder is modeling effective policy strategy implementation to respond to their Public Health Improvement Plan goals of reducing childhood obesity. Their commitment to health equity, passion to serve, use of data to drive policy action and implementation of evidence-based strategies is a road map for all health agencies to follow. The entire agency is worthy of this effort, and I would like to specifically acknowledge the work of Jeff Zayach, Susan Motika, Summer Laws, Rachel Arndt, Tessa Hale, and Amelia Hulbert.
The CDC released Public Health 3.0: with the perspective that “increasingly, our job in PH is influencing without authority, working with organizations that we don’t control or fund, to align what they do with the health of the public.” BCPH under Jeff’s leadership with support from the individuals mentioned exemplified this in passing the SSB Tax.
Award: Emerging Leader in Public Health Award
Recipient: Gwendolyn West
Nominated By: Kim Boyd
Nomination: Gwendolyn is definitely one to watch in our public health community! Her contributions to the public health community through her service on the CPHA Board as the Communications Director have been nothing short of astounding. Our Colorado public health community has benefited greatly from her gifts in communications and marketing. As a result of her talents, CPHA members have been more informed this year on issues, opportunities, and the work of fellow public health professionals in Colorado. As the Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council of APHA, I have relied heavily on Gwendolyn as we have been more responsive to the rapidly changing national events and policy changes. Gwendolyn has spent late nights, early mornings, and weekends helping me and the rest of the Executive Board craft messages to send to the CPHA members regarding issues such as engagement for advocacy in opposition of the Affordable Care Act and preservation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and official public statements in response to changing immigration policy, racism and violence. Finally, Gwendolyn’s work as a Program Manager at Equitas Foundation is meeting a unique need in our Colorado public health community as she strives to untangle the messy intersection of health, mental health and the criminal justice system to better serve the most vulnerable among us. Gwendolyn is a tremendous asset to the Colorado public health community. If you don’t know her, you should!
Award: Lifetime Achievement Award
Recipient: Dr. Richard Vogt
Org/Agency: TCHD, Retired
Nominated By: Patty Boyd
Nomination: I first met Dr. Vogt in 2010 when he was Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. Although Dr. Vogt retired from Tri-County Health Department in 2013, he is not totally “retired” from public health. As with many successful retirees, he continues to share his expertise nationally and internationally as a short-term consultant for CDC.
Dr. Vogt trained in family practice at the University of Colorado and then as an epidemiologist. And as any good “bug Sherlock Holmes” – he discovered that Campylobacter disease could be transmitted via contaminated water and that Legionnaire’s Disease could be contracted from contaminated whirlpool spas.
His participation in the polio eradication effort in Egypt got him introduced to the Saudi Arabia Epidemiology Director by a support staff person announcing his arrival as “the one who spoke Egyptian” for two years. Everybody in the room cracked up and only later did he learn about the joke. Dialects even occur in Arabic countries.
He has held multiple leadership roles with national organizations and currently serves on the NACCHO Infectious Disease Prevention and Control workgroup and is a Board Trustee for the Foundation for the Public’s Health.
Thank you Dr. Vogt you have invested a lifetime in public health!
Award: John Muth Award
Recipient: Adam Anderson
Org/Agency: Tri-County Health Department
Nominated By: Meghan Prentiss, Alyson Shupe, and the CPHA Board
Nomination: Adam has made significant contributions while juggling a variety of projects all at once, like increasing the visibility of CPHA’s activities through the newsletter, Outside Events, collaborative events like the webinar and PHiR planning, all while maintaining a network of partners that extends into CPHA’s work.
In his contribution on the board in Membership, Communications and conference committees, we can see he has a bold and broad scope of the roles CPHA and his membership role play in the non-profit and public health landscapes. This has worked with the communications director to totally re-envision CPHA communications, from the newsletter and other email, to fliers, brochures, and forms, in a way that will be effective and has demonstrated increased engagement, buzz, and buy-in from members and prospective members. Specifically, Adam should be commended for both his ability to think about how to create a Colorado Public Health community with the association as a hub by expanding the way we share stories and updates on agencies, programs, and people in the state. By sharing his design sensibilities with CPHA, Adam has also raised the bar by bringing in his artistic prowess and design technique to our correspondence.
Overall, Adam has been enthusiastic, supportive, and has undoubtedly made a significant contribution to CPHA and the public health community.
Award: General Recognition Award
Recipient: Lisa Raville
Org/Agency: Harm Reduction Action Center
Nominated By: Whit Oyler
Nomination: Lisa is the rare person that effectively incorporates a burning passion for public health with an evidence based approach. Lisa also has a remarkable ability to build bridges with unlikely partners. She has worked with law enforcement to ensure police and sheriff deputies in in counties across the state know what naloxone is, how to use it, and carry it. She is a public health hero in Colorado.