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Black History Month Celebration

By Mirna Chamorro

February 11, 2015

February 10, 2015

Contact: Mirna Chamorro


SANFORD - The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) recognizes February as National Black History Month and invites the community to join their celebration in paying tribute to Seminole County’s Community Pioneers in Public Health. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 12 at 1p.m. at the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County located at 400 West Airport Blvd. in Sanford.

This ceremony will be a tribute to African-Americans who are actively engaged in the community and support public health efforts. The celebration provides the opportunity to honor our community leaders: Rev. Vernon McQueen, Marva Hawkins, Elaine Cauthen, Regenia S. Miller, Dr. Barbara Kirby-Bentley, Norton N. Bonaparte Jr. and Chief Cecil E. Smith for their contributions in Seminole County. They have dedicated their lives serving others in the community through providing improved access to health care, healthier environments, education and compassion. Their contributions will continue to positively impact generations to come.

“It is an honor to celebrate these pioneers for their dedication and efforts in the community. We will continue to collaborate to address health equity and population health needs of our community,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, health officer of the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

In 1976 as part of the United States Bicentennial, the informal expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government. President Gerald Ford spoke in regards to this, urging Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." Many African American have enriched public health in Florida and in Seminole County.

Health equity is one the main priorities of our health department. The Department of Health in Seminole County works in the community to help eliminate barriers that can prevent individuals from obtaining quality health care. As many African American pioneers have worked to improve the health of Americans in the past, DOH-Seminole currently continues the efforts to improve upon their legacy and work towards an equitable community.

For more information about the Black history month celebration please call (407) 665-3201.