Health District Names Public Health Heroes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 22, 2010

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District announced its annual Public Health Heroes, recognition given to individuals or organizations whose efforts positively affect the health and well-being of the community. This year’s winners were honored at the April 22 Southern Nevada District Board of Health meeting.

The 2010 Public Health Heroes are:

Diana Taylor, Director of Health Services
Clark County School District

Diana Taylor is honored as a Public Health Hero for her many years of public health service. She has worked closely with the Southern Nevada Health District on many projects. In 2009, Taylor worked directly with the health district in response to the newly identified 2009 H1N1 influenza virus and subsequent outbreak in the community. During the spring and summer, she assisted the health district in the development of guidelines to assist with the response to identified cases in schoolchildren and outbreaks in schools across the district, especially an outbreak at a local elementary school. She attended press conferences along with health district staff in response to reported illnesses. In addition, she worked closely with the health district when she lead a project to report school absenteeism data as part of the health district’s response to identify clusters of 2009 H1N1 influenza within the county’s school-age population.

She continues to work with the health district in response to many public health issues. In the past several years she has assisted with the development of training programs regarding MRSA, she served as the point of contact in several gastrointestinal outbreaks as well as a chickenpox outbreak, and coordinated the reporting of child height and weight data to allow the health district to begin to evaluate childhood obesity in Clark County.

Kim Amato/Baby’s Bounty

Baby’s Bounty is a nearly two-year-old agency that provides essential clothing and gear to babies born into at-risk families. Recipients include teen mothers, the homeless and people living in poverty. Each newborn receives a collection of new and gently used baby clothing, receiving blankets, bottles and other items such as strollers, portacribs and car seats. Founded by Kim Amato, the non-profit Baby’s Bounty has assisted more than 375 families.

Through collaboration with social service agencies, hospitals, homeless shelters, safe havens, schools and family court, new mothers at-risk are identified to receive assistance. Baby’s Bounty works with more than 50 social service providers in the Clark County area including, the Department of Welfare and Supportive Services, UMC, Nevada Partnership for the Homeless, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), Catholic Charities and Shade Tree, among others.

Recently, Amato and Baby’s Bounty began a program with the Clark County Coroner’s office to address Clark County infant mortality rates. A new program called “Good Night, Sleep Tight” allows the organization to collect new or gently used ‘pack and plays’ and distributed them to families to ensure newborns have a safe sleep environment.

This year’s awardees have shown tremendous initiative to ensure the conditions necessary to protect the health of Southern Nevada residents and visitors. All are well-deserving recipients of the Public Health Hero Awards.

Public Health Heroes are nominated by health district staff members for their efforts in supporting one or more of the 10 Essential Public Health Services:

  1. Monitor the health status to identify and solve community health problems.
  2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community
  3. Inform, educate and empower people about health issues.
  4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
  7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
  8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  10. Research for new insights and innovative solution to health problems.

Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict or Twitter : www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo.

Visit the Media Contacts webpage for media related inquiries.

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Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.