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GlaxoSmithKline Applauds Compassion, Competence, Passion and Perseverance in North Carolina's Child Advocates

Individuals, Health Departments Across the State Honored

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- North Carolina public health professionals today were honored with GlaxoSmithKline Child Health Recognition Awards for their successes in children's health programs. All nominees were recognized and winners announced at an awards ceremony in Asheville during the North Carolina Public Health Association's annual meeting.

The awards showcase innovative programs that improve the lives of North Carolina's children. This year's awards focus on outstanding collaborative programs that affect the health of children in all nomination categories.

The awards, which include monetary grants, were presented in these categories:

  • The Lifetime Achievement Award, given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improving children's health services through a series of achievements, went to Sue Lynn Ledford, RN, BSN, MPA, NCSN, director of Safe Schools/Healthy Students in Cherokee County.
  • The Individual Recognition Awards, given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improving children's health services, went to Marian Earls, MD, FAAP, president of the N.C. Pediatric Society and medical director of Guilford Child Health, Inc., and the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic at Women's Hospital, both in Greensboro, and to Alice Elio, RN, CCHC, Child Care Health Consultant at the Buncombe County Health Center in Asheville.
  • Public Health Staff Recognition Awards are given to full-time or part-time employees or retirees of local health departments in recognition of outstanding service in preventive health activities in their local communities. This year, they were presented to Jennifer Garrett, RN, BSN, CPN, CSN, school nurse supervisor in the Macon County Public Health Center, Franklin; Lee Lichtenwalter, MPH, RD, LDN, public health nutrition specialist in the Durham County Health Department, Durham; and Deborah Massenburg, BSDH, RDH, public health dental hygienist with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Winston-Salem.
  • Local Health Department Recognition Awards are made to departments that have developed innovative programs producing measurable, sustainable outcomes. They were awarded to the Cleveland County Health Department for its Making Vaccination a Family Affair program; to the Dare County Department of Public Health for its Childhood Obesity Prevention Program, and to Wake County Human Services for its Child Health & Development Program.

The GlaxoSmithKline Child Health Recognition Awards were established to honor health departments, public health staff and individual citizens for their dedication to improving child health. A committee of healthcare professionals established by the North Carolina Public Health Association chose the award recipients. The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation provides monetary grants for educational and other purposes these the awards. More information about the award recipients follows.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Sue Lynn Ledford, RN, BSN, MPA, NCSN

Cherokee County Schools, Murphy

Wake County Human Services, Raleigh

"Pioneer" is the best way to describe Sue Lynn Ledford. Her 27-year nursing career has taken her from North Carolina to Georgia to Tennessee and back to North Carolina, where she has spent the last 12 years fighting for better health care for Cherokee County students. As school health coordinator in Cherokee County, she pioneered the School Health Program, starting programs such as school health fairs, pandemic flu planning, drug free schools and teen pregnancy prevention. She also implemented mental health support services for students, and helped found the School Health Advisory Council. Ms. Ledford was nominated for this award in spring 2009; in August, she became the Community Health Director for Wake County Human Services.

Individual Achievement Award Recipients

Marian Earls, MD, FAAP

President, NC Pediatric Society

Medical Director, Guilford Child Health, Inc., Greensboro

Medical Director, Neonatal Follow-up Clinic, Women's Hospital, Greensboro

Dr. Marian Earls has used determination, experience and passion to help change the landscape of children's health services in North Carolina. She is medical director at both Guilford Child Health, Inc., a nonprofit pediatric practice in Greensboro, and the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic for the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Women's Hospital in Greensboro. She also serves as president of the North Carolina Pediatric Society. This dynamic leader has produced measurable results in communities throughout North Carolina and in other states for better health care for medically underserved children, particularly through her work with the ABCD Project (Assuring Better Child Health & Development).

Alice Elio, RN, CCHC

Child Care Health Consultant

Buncombe County Health Center, Asheville

As a child care health consultant, Alice Elio has made her mark implementing a Smart Start team and programs such as SHAPES (Screenings Help Active Preschoolers Embrace Success), Parents as Teachers, and ABCD (Assuring Better Child Health & Development) in Buncombe County. She has served as president of the N.C. Child Care Health Consultants Association for four years, helping to develop a comprehensive tool called the N.C. Child Care Health and Safety Assessment, which will be used to improve quality of childcare facilities that will ultimately benefit children statewide. While her vision for better child health care is as big as the state, no child is too small for her to help.

Public Health Staff Recognition Award Recipients

Jennifer Garrett, RN, BSN, CPN, CSN

School Nurse Supervisor

Macon County Public Health Center, Franklin

School health nurse supervisor Jennifer Garrett has been known to take on the persona of Princess Leah and effect a Yoda voice for the "Tar Wars" tobacco prevention program - anything to get a student's attention so she can deliver her "don't smoke" message. She has organized health fairs to screen students for vision, weight and other issues, and encouraged annual body mass index measurements for all students to address childhood obesity issues. This resulted in programs like low-fat milk campaigns, parent nutrition surveys and healthy rewards snack initiatives.

Lee Lichtenwalter, MPH, RD, LDN

Public Health Nutrition Specialist

Durham County Health Department, Durham

For more than 20 years, Lee Lichtenwalter has promoted good nutrition as the key to healthy children and families, teaching them how to bring overweight children down to a healthier weight and creating nutrition plans for premature babies who need to add weight. Her fellow public health professionals in Durham County and around the state rely on her expertise in pediatric nutrition, as she provides professional continuing education training to staff and shares best practices for infant and early childhood feeding.

Deborah Massenburg, BSDH, RDH

Public Health Dental Hygienist

Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Winston-Salem

Deborah Massenburg knows that dental disease, the number one illness among children ages 5-17, can make life miserable for students, so she kicked into preventive mode, providing extensive follow-up services based on the 5,400 oral health assessments made as part of Forsyth County's Preschool Dental Health Program. With the close attention to follow-up services, 97 percent of the children who were referred for dental treatment received it. She collaborates with other community programs and agencies, along with private dentists, to reach families who otherwise would not be able to receive direct services.

Local Health Department Recognition Award Recipients

Cleveland County Health Department

Making Vaccination a Family Affair

Children need vaccinations before they head back to school. Pets need them to stay healthy and free of rabies. What would happen if you set up drive-through clinics for families to get both at the same time? The answer is that cars would line up for blocks, and at the end of the day, about 1,000 animals and more than 260 people would be vaccinated. In Cleveland County, the Health Department made vaccinations a family affair by setting up a combination free rabies clinic that also offered the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccination. The second year was even more successful than the first, making public health truly a family affair in Cleveland County!

Dare County Department of Public Health

Childhood Obesity Prevention Program

Alarmed by high rates of childhood obesity in Dare County, the Public Health Department made the issue a top priority and formed key partnerships in the community to obtain a state grant to implement the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program. The program included television and radio commercials promoting physical activity and healthy food choices and training teens as health educators in the Peer Power Program. The Parks and Recreation Department got in on the act, getting rid of junk food in vending machines and hosting a "Leave the Lights On" program at facilities to promote physical activities after work. Staff collaborated with many organizations creating opportunities to build awareness of childhood obesity problems and provided simple, sustainable interventions.

Wake County Human Services

Child Health & Development Program

Children who are poor, in foster homes or homeless are particularly at risk for a wide range of medical and developmental problems. Yet children in these groups often do not receive basic health care, much less the specialized needs resulting from developmental delays or emotional and behavioral conditions. The Wake County Child Health and Development Program (CHDP) zeroes in on these children to assess their physical and behavioral health, and create individual plans of care to address specific needs in health, development, behavior, mental health, parenting and other available services. The assessments are shared with all who are responsible for working with the child. Providing appropriate services earlier and more consistently helps children in foster care receive help before more serious problems arise.

GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies, and is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer. We are dedicated to preventing and fighting disease by bringing innovative medicines and services to patients and health care providers who serve them.

SOURCE NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation

SOURCE NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation
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