Recipients of Four National “Promising Practice Awards” in 2019
Mineola, NY – The Nassau County Department of Health was recently honored with four National Promising Practice Awards at the 2019 Annual Conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). These prestigious awards represent programs from across the nation that have demonstrated exemplary and replicable best practices in response to a local public health need.
“It is with great honor that I congratulate the staff at the Department of Health for being national leaders in the field of public health,” said County Executive Laura Curran. “These awards are evidence of the Department of Health’s commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs that improve, promote and protect the health and safety of the 1.3 million residents of Nassau County.”
“These awards are vital because each of them represents a service or program that we can bring to the residents of Nassau County,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein. “I am proud of the innovation and efficiency that each of these programs brings to the County.”
Nassau County Department of Health continues to be a national leader in public health, and since 2013 has earned 19 Model and Promising Practice Awards - by far the most awards in the entire State of New York.
The Department’s award for Using public health enforcement as an instrument of change: an integrated regulatory/non-regulatory approach, authored by Gerard Giuliano, JD, Angela Pettinelli, PE, and Pamela Smith, JD, MPH. This approach has effectively developed a unique enforcement strategy that integrates educational tools and the power of the law to increase compliance with public health laws and, by extension, safer practices within the regulated community through an evidence-based practice of combining our staff’s knowledge of public health laws; the regulated communities’ methods of operation and needs; and, best available research regarding public health priorities such as reducing/eliminating disease caused by foodborne disease, tobacco use, and other environmental health issues.
The Pharmacy Verification program authored by Public Health Nurse Holly Marrano from the office of Tuberculosis (TB) Control sought to create an innovative tool for tracking and monitoring contacts being treated for LTBI (Latent Tuberculosis Infection) who see private physicians. The goal was to monitor treatment adherence of contacts diagnosed with LTBI thereby mitigating TB transmission in the community. The Pharmacy Verification process is sustainable because it is simple, low-tech, cost-free, and an effective and efficient tool for monitoring contacts’ adherence to treatment. This innovative tool could be used in other areas of health, to mitigate the spread of other communicable diseases other than TB.
Public Health Accreditation: A Model Process for a Model Practice authored by Tavora Buchman, PhD from the Division of Epidemiology and Planning. Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) sought to achieve public health accreditation through PHAB (Public Health Accreditation Board). The goal was to achieve accreditation using the principles of the collective impact model framework: a common agenda, shared measurements, mutually reinforced activities, continuous communication and backbone support. By receiving accreditation, NCDOH proved that it could leverage its limited resources, improve its services, mobilize staff and reinforce its partnerships. The collective impact model and its creative and adapted implementation in NCDOH’s effort to become accredited is sustainable because it strengthened relationships within the department.
Licensing of Petroleum Bulk Storage Tank Contractors authored by Public Health Engineer Terence O’Shea and Public Health Sanitarian Michael Marrano from the Division of Environmental Health. In a continuing effort to protect Nassau County, NY’s sole-source aquifer system, NCDOH has developed requirements for contracting companies that install, remove and test petroleum bulk storage tanks. This practice was implemented in order to assure that all such projects are completed in a manner that will protect the public and environmental health by preventing the release of petroleum into soil and, subsequently, the ground water. The standards that have been established for such contractors include direct training by tank manufacturing and testing companies in installation, handling, inspection and testing of tank systems as well as the passage of a Department-issued examination comprised of questions derived from industry and legal standards.
To read more about these award-winning programs visit the NACCHO website at www.naccho.org/topics/modelpractices/.
About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.