Health District Names Public Health Heroes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 24, 2012

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 23 Southern Nevada District Board of Health meeting.

The 2012 Public Health Heroes are:

Collaborative Software Initiative/CSI
The Portland, Ore.-based CSI has worked with the health district’s office of epidemiology since 2010 on a project to modernize the electronic systems used for disease investigation and epidemiologic analysis. CSI developed an open-source system, named TriSano, which was developed for the Utah Department of Health. An open-source system means that the software is owned and developed by a user community rather than a software vendor. CSI’s TriSano system has made a large contribution to public health nationwide. The TriSano system allows health district staff to quickly investigate and understand infectious disease problems and patterns in our community. The long-term goal of the health district includes adapting the system so it can also be used with the HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB programs.

Jeff Hahn
Investigations Manager/Boyd Gaming

Jeff Hahn has worked with the health district to meet the needs of the community in the event of a public health emergency. Hahn developed Boyd Gaming’s plans to operate points of dispensing (PODs) sites for its employees and guests for each of the company’s four gaming properties in Southern Nevada. The PODs are part of the health district’s emergency response plans to ensure it has the ability to provide life-saving medications to everyone in Clark County. Boyd Gaming is the first local resort company with such a dispensing plan for its properties. In May 2011, Boyd Gaming participated in a full-scale exercise with the health district to put its dispensing plan into action. Hahn worked with health district staff for several months to plan the exercise. His efforts offered the health district and Boyd Gaming the opportunity to review and update their plans to ensure Clark County is well prepared for a public health emergency.

UNLV Athletic Department
In 2007, the office of chronic disease prevention and health promotion initiated a program called The Coach’s Challenge with UNLV’s then-basketball coach, Lon Kruger, to encourage elementary school children to make healthy meal choices and become more physically active. The program was a success. In spring 2011, Coach Lon Kruger left UNLV to pursue another opportunity. UNLV’s athletic department stepped into the breach as its head coaches and the health district relaunched the program as the UNLV Coaches’ Challenge. Head coaches Bobby Hauck, Jennifer Klein, Kathy Olivier and Dave Rice make personal visits and videotape personal messages about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. In 2011, the athletic department increased its investment in the program by providing more tickets to additional events (more than 1,000 tickets in all) and incentives for teachers and students. In 2011, more than 17,000 elementary school kids from 696 classrooms in 146 schools signed up to participate in the UNLV Coaches’ Challenge . . . it was the program’s best year ever.

Judge William O. Voy
Clark County 8th Judicial District

Family Court Judge William O. Voy has presided over three cases brought by the health district regarding tuberculosis patients who were not in compliance with their medication regimen, which is required by law. Judge Voy ensures that patients and their families are adequately informed regarding the issue of noncompliance without delaying the cases and has taken many steps to better educate himself about the disease. His commitment to public health also includes his participation in the planning, development, and the forthcoming implementation of the Bench Book. This educational project provides Clark County judges with pertinent information about public health statutes and issues so they can be responsive in the event of a public health emergency.

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 health services, assure the provision of healthcare when unavailable.
  8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal & 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 The health district is now available in Spanish on Twitter www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the health district on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404.

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.