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July 12, 2019

Salt Lake County Health Department Named “Health Department of the Year” by Leading National Public Health Association

Pam Davenport - Email

Nicholas Rupp - Email

(ORLANDO, Fla.)—This week, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the voice of the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments, honored the Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) as “Local Health Department of the Year.”  

SLCoHD received the award in the population-based “extra large local health department” category for the department’s:

  • response to the county’s hepatitis A outbreak from 2017–19;
  • innovative use of real-time public health data;
  • proactive regulation of scrap metal recycling; and its
  • new public health center in downtown Salt Lake City that features co-located clinical services provided by Community Health Centers, Inc.

Judges scored award applicants on their innovation and creativity, implementation, impact in the community and public health, and engagement of community and diverse partners.

“We appreciate this extraordinary recognition of the hard work our employees do every day to promote and protect community and environmental health in Salt Lake County,” said Gary Edwards, SLCoHD executive director. “It’s a reflection not just of our health department, but also of our many dedicated partners and the entire public health system in the State of Utah.”

“This year’s NACCHO awards theme focused on building public and private partnerships to meet the goals of public health,” said Dorothy Adams, SLCoHD deputy director. “Our highlighted efforts were successful, in part, because of the partnerships the department developed or strengthened.”

This award comes the same year that SLCoHD is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its current form as a combined city-county health department, its 120th anniversary as a county agency and its 170th anniversary of providing public health services to the Salt Lake Valley.

Brigham Young established the “Society of Health,” the precursor to the Salt Lake City Health Department, in 1849. Salt Lake County created the Salt Lake County Board of Health in 1899; and the Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County Health Departments merged into the department’s current organization in 1969.

The “extra large local health department” category includes health departments that serve 750,000 residents or more. In this category, NACCHO also recognized the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for its work in building health equity and embracing racial justice.