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For Release: June 28, 2011 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

Outstanding Public Health Employees and Programs Recognized

The Oklahoma State Board of Health and Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) recognized outstanding employees and programs at the 6th annual Employee Recognition and Appreciation Ceremony in June in Oklahoma City.

“The employees and programs were recognized for the outstanding services they provide in their communities. They are to be congratulated for their dedication to improving the health of all Oklahomans,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. “These employees pursue excellence in public health and they work tirelessly to help find ways to motivate Oklahomans to Shape Their Future.” 

Awards were provided to the following:

Central Office Employee of the Year: 

Sue Bordeaux, OSDH Vital Records Program Manager, was recognized for her work in issuing thousands of birth and death certificates each year. Her knowledge and expertise in the field of vital records helps make life easier during a time when people are often under stress and need these documents to apply for services.

County Health Department Employee of the Year:

Kara Von Manke Young, speech language pathologist covering Cleveland, McClain and Garvin county health departments, was recognized for her delivery of audiology and speech pathology services to Oklahoma families. She leads the way in using evidence-based services with clients and shares creative approaches to challenges, research, screenings and reports with other team members to help clients reach their goals.

Central Office Commendation of the Year:

Walter Jacques, director of Quality Assurance for Protective Health Services, was recognized for a process he developed to identify hospital anomalies, which has now been implemented in 40 other states. Jacques was also recognized for community service projects he has implemented in northeast Oklahoma City including improving sidewalks for safe school routes and neighborhood beautification and signage.

County Health Department Commendation of the Year:

Cleveland County Health Department Registered Nurse Michelle Grogg noticed one of her infant clients was turning blue around the mouth. The mother told her the child also did that when eating. She referred the mother and child to The Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the child was found to have cardiac problems. Grogg’s attentiveness and professionalism led to the family obtaining critical health care services.

Central Office Community Service Award:

Stephanie Natt, regional immunization consultant for the OSDH Immunization Service, has organized a drive-thru flu clinic for the last 10 years at a grocery store in northeast Oklahoma City. Hundreds of flu shots are provided to a community that would otherwise be underserved.

County Health Department Community Service Award:

Alexandria Hart-Smith is a health educator for Cleveland County and McClain County Health Departments.  She was recognized for her community work including events to promote smoke alarm awareness and assisting schools in developing and promoting their wellness activities.

Central Office Service/Program of the Year:

OSDH Building Management and Internal Services was recognized for its attention to detail in keeping the more than 35-year-old central office building at 1000 Northeast Tenth Street in Oklahoma City functional for visitors and staff.

County Health Department of the Year:

The Cleveland County Health Department, led by Dr. Shari Kinney, and the Comanche County Health Department, directed by Keith Reed, RN, were dually recognized for their commitment and leadership to improve public health in their respective communities.

Cleveland County Health Department has led the way in community assessments, strategic planning initiatives and performance management measures among its peer county health departments. Comanche County Health Department was one of 19 local health departments in the nation to be a test site for public health accreditation.

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