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Congratulations 2015 Board of Health Award Recipients!

At its monthly meeting on April 27th, the Chatham County Board of HealthBOH Award winners with prize recognized individuals who work daily to improve the health of Chatham County residents. The awards, which were presented by Board of Health Chair John Kessler, are given annually to an employee, supervisor, and community partner who embody the mission of the health department.

The recipient of the 2015 Community Health Partnership Award was Lyn Smith, who is the Department Chair for the Healthful Living and Physical Education Department at Northwood High School. “Ms. Smith has collaborated with the health department for over six years to bring evidence-based sexual and reproductive health resources into her classroom,” said Health Promotion Coordinator Anna Stormzand. “Ms. Smith’s work with the health department is an excellent example of a community partnership between the school district and the public health department.”

The second award of the evening went to Roxana Lopez, who was named the 2015 Employee of the Year. Ms. Lopez, Office Assistant in the Environmental Health Division, is well-regarded by all of her colleagues at the health department and always willing to lend a hand. According to Environmental Health Director Anne Lowry, “Roxana does her job as well as looks at the overall goals of the health department to determine if there is more she can do to help meet our goals. She never shies away from extra duties.”

Dr. Kessler presented the final award to Animal Services Director Leigh Anne Garrard, who is the 2015 Supervisor of the Year. Since joining the agency in 2012, Ms. Garrard has earned the respect of colleagues and community partners alike for her dedication to animal welfare and improving the health of Chatham County residents and their pets. “Leigh Anne has a very difficult job, but handles every situation professionally and consistently puts others first. She is very deserving of this honor,” said Health Director Layton Long.

The Chatham County Public Health Department would like to congratulate Ms. Smith, Ms. Lopez, and Ms. Garrard and thank them for their service to Chatham County.

2015 BOH Awards in order L to R Smith Lopez Garrard

From Left to Right: Lyn Smith, Roxana Lopez, Leigh Anne Garrard

 

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Back to School Health Initiatives

The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) and Chatham County Schools (CCS) have been preparing for some exciting school health activities this upcoming school year.  Take a look at what’s in store for our schools, students, and school staff!

Healthy Habits Campaign

New ClassroomThis year marks the pilot of the Healthy Habits Campaign, a project that the CCPHD and CCS have collaborated on to help teachers and schools promote health.  The Healthy Habits Campaign has assigned each month a healthy habit theme (for example, September’s theme is healthy eating) and will provide teachers and schools with resources for promoting each month’s theme.

This approach has been inspired by CCS’ existing Character Education program, general social marketing principles, and the CDC’s Coordinated School Health Model. Giving each topic a month or in some cases two months of focus will hopefully be an effective way of helping each health message to sink in and lead to students making healthier choices. Keep an eye on the Chatham County Public Health Department’s Healthy Habits Campaign website for updates and more information.

School Wellness Constitution

The Chatham County Public Health Department and Chatham County’s Team Fit have created a new tool to help schools plan for and institutionalize healthy changes.  Those schools that complete the school wellness constitution planning tool will receive a copy of their school’s wellness constitution to post in their school.  This document will be a fun way to demonstrate and remind community members of the school’s commitment to promoting health during the school day. To learn more about the school wellness constitution planning tool or start the process at your school, contact Ellie Morris, School Health Liaison with the Chatham County Public Health Department at 919-545-8514 or elizabeth.morris@chathamnc.org.

Health Presentations

The Chatham County Public Health Department will continue its popular health presentations program in the county’s classrooms this schools year.  Public Health Educators and other staff from the CCPHD offer presentations for K-12 classes on nutrition, physical activity, reproductive health, and many other topics.  CCPHD staff are also available to present workshops for school staff and parent groups. Last year, we gave 136 presentations, reaching students in all grades, and this year we hope to do even more.  Download our updated list of presentations at www.chathamnc.org/schoolhealth.

Just Push Play

The Chatham County Public Health Department worked with Bonlee, Moncure and Horton Middle School this past spring to secure an Eat Smart Move More Community grant to help increase students’ physical activity at these schools.  To work toward this goal, this year, these schools will begin implementing Be Active NC’s Just Push Play program.  They worked over the summer to start pulling together school wellness teams, and this fall these teams will begin meeting and planning for healthy changes for their schools.  Between the work of these schools and other projects happening all over the county, there will be a lot of exciting school health news this year, so stay tuned!

If you have questions about or are interested in learning more about any of the initiatives included in this post, please contact Ellie Morris, School Health Liaison with the Chatham County Public Health Department at 919-545-8514 or elizabeth.morris@chathamnc.org.

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