Health District names 2012 Public Health Heroes

 The Southern Nevada Health District announced its annual Public Health Heroes last week at its board meeting.

The 2012 Public Health Heroes , and a synapsis from the Southern Nevada Health District on why they were honored:
“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. The TriSano system allows health district staff to quickly investigate and understand infectious disease problems and patterns in our community. The long-term goals of the health district include adapting the system so it can also be used the HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB programs as well.”
“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 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.”
“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, 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.”
“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.”
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