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Florida Department of Health in Seminole County Honored for Innovation in Public Health

By Mirna Chamorro

June 15, 2021

Sanford, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) was honored with the 2021 Gold Innovative Practice Award by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The award celebrates local health departments for developing innovative programs to meet the needs of their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The designation as a Gold Innovative Practice demonstrates the highest level of program innovation and reflects the collaboration, adaptability, and program resilience.

This Community Integrated Mobile Health Services was one of eight local health department programs to receive NACCHO’s Gold Innovative Practice Award.

Per CDC guidelines, racial and minority groups, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities are among populations considered “Other People who Need Extra Precautions.” Early COVID-19 early data showed a disproportionate number of Seminole County Hispanic individuals were dying from COVID-19. To address this disparity, DOH-Seminole Community Integrated Mobile Health Services mobilized to improve the COVID-19 testing response among underserved and Hispanic Seminole County residents. Targeted community pop up testing sites were coordinated in collaboration with multiple community partners, including Hispanic leaders and faith-based organizations. Due to this initiative, the percentage of deaths due to COVID-19 in Seminole County’s Hispanic population dropped.

“We are proud to receive NACCHO’s Gold Innovative Practice Award for the Community Integrated Mobile Health Services. The award is evidence of our commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of local residents and help reduce health disparities in the community,” said Donna Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

NACCHO’s Diamond Affiliate Partner, Contakt World is sponsoring the 2021 Innovative Practice Award. As the 2021 award sponsor, Contakt World will award the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County a $7,000 in-kind contribution of their public health services. In addition, the health department will receive a complementary registration to NACCHO’s annual conference, NACCHO 360.

Innovative Practices are exciting approaches and strategies to local public health issues that were developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and were creatively adapted to meet the circumstances of the pandemic. Community Integrated Mobile Health Services is one of many successful public health practices in areas that range from health equity and face mask distribution programs to contactless delivery methods and drive through testing. Read more about these award-winning practices at the Innovative Practices Database.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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