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Chatham County Public Health Department Receives Statewide Awards
At the North Carolina Public Health Association’s Fall Education Conference last week, the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation recognized the Chatham County Public Health Department and staff member Dorothy Rawleigh with two prestigious awards. Ms. Rawleigh, Child Care Health Consultant, was honored with the Public Health Staff Award, which recognizes one public health professional from North Carolina for excellence and innovation in child health care. The award came with a $1,000 prize.
“Dorothy has always been one to go above and beyond,” said Genevieve Megginson, Executive Director for the Chatham County Partnership for Children. The Partnership is responsible for Smart Start programming in Chatham County, which includes Ms. Rawleigh’s work at the public health department. “I am very pleased to see her good work recognized in this way. Smart Start and the Chatham County Partnership for Children appreciate Dorothy!”
In announcing the award, the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation noted that Ms. Rawleigh is “viewed as a model public health professional and an inspiration to all who work with her,” adding that her colleagues “consider her the best Child Care Health Consultant in the state.”
The Chatham County Public Health Department was also one of three health departments in the state to receive a Local Health Department Recognition Award for its efforts to increase immunization rates for young children, which are consistently among the highest in the state. These efforts are led by Ms. Rawleigh and Immunization Tracking Coordinator Marsha Andrews, who work diligently to protect the health of Chatham’s youngest residents. Chatham County regularly ranks first in the state in immunizations rates for children zero to three years old. In addition, all children were up-to-date on vaccinations in 96% of child care facilities in the county this year. The Local Health Department Recognition Award included a $5,000 prize.
“Marsha and Dorothy are shining examples of what dedicated public health workers can accomplish,” said Health Director Layton Long. “Protecting children from preventable disease through immunizations is core public health work and we are grateful for the hard work that Dorothy and Marsha accomplish every day toward this effort. Chatham’s high immunization rates can only be accomplished through the dedication of staff like Dorothy and Marsha combined with the support of our partners like the Chatham County Partnership for Children and our local childcare center operators.”
The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation presents Child Health Recognition Awards annually. Health Promotion and Policy Division Director Mike Zelek was also elected Vice President of the North Carolina Public Health Association at the conference.
From left to right: Health Promotion and Policy Division Director Mike Zelek, Health Director Layton Long, and Child Care Health Consultant Dorothy Rawleigh accept awards from North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Executive Director Marilyn E. Foote-Hudson.