Government and Health Care

County health department garners top honors

August 1, 2017
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The Kent County Health Department says it promotes "a healthy community for all." Photo via

Kent County’s is one of just three health departments in the country to receive multiple honors for excellence in public health.

Kent County Health Department was honored at the 2017 Annual Conference of the National Association for County and City Health Officials, taking home two Model Practice Awards. KCHD’s Sexual Assault Prevention Action Team and the Academic Health Department each received model practice awards.

“Any local health department would be proud to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award,” said Adam London, KCHD administrative health officer. “Being awarded two is evidence that the commitment to developing innovative and responsive programs extends to the core of our culture.”

The SAPAT program is a coalition comprising local public health professionals, social service, education and sexual assault services, counseling, advocacy and law enforcement. The group meets on a monthly basis to advance a multi-level intervention program that tackles prevention and policy change strategies to prevent sexual violence among youths between the ages of 12 and 24. Additionally, the group distributes an annual newsletter each April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

KCHD’s Academic Health Department is an internship program launched in 2015 that allows local students interested in a career in public health the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of how departments work while providing a service to their community. The program is put on via a partnership between KCHD and local institutions. Students are permitted to choose projects that best reflect their interests and it is promoted as a beneficial learning experience for both the students and KCHD staff.

NACCHO’s Model Practice Awards have been given out since 2003, honoring programs, resources and tools that “demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health challenges.” Each project is peer-reviewed and selected from a group of more than 100 applicants.

“This award puts the Kent County Health Department in special company with a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward-thinking, proactive approach toward protecting and promoting the health of communities nationwide,” said Laura Hanen, NACCHO interim executive director and chief of government affairs.

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