NEW BERN, N.C., Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The North Carolina health departments in Guilford, Robeson and Transylvania counties, and two individuals, Sam Bowman-Fuhrmann and Jacqueline (Jackie) Quirk, were honored with the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Child Health Recognition Awards for their commitment to child health programs and advocacy. The Local Health Department Recognition Awards and Lifetime Recognition Awards were presented today during the North Carolina Public Health Association's (NCPHA) annual meeting.
"The 2012 Child Health Award winners make such a difference in our communities by improving the health of our greatest resource - our children," said Gayle Harris,North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA)President and Durham County Health Director. "The NCPHA is excited to be a part of this wonderful recognition program sponsored by the NC GSK Foundation."
Lifetime Recognition Awards
Sam Bowman-Fuhrmann, a child advocate from Mount Airy, has worked passionately for the last three decades to improve the lives of children, especially those with special needs. She has inspired her community by fighting for better health and living conditions for all children in North Carolina. Sam has been a resource at the local and state level, appearing at conferences, serving on boards and committees, talking about effective parenting of children with special healthcare needs, and pushing for legislation and actions that ensure children receive services to reach their optimum potential in life. Her nominator said "Sam is a hero to the children of our state."
Jacqueline (Jackie) Quirk, RN, BSN, CCHC, project coordinator for the North Carolina Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center in Raleigh was called "one of the very brightest and creative minds in public health," by her nominator. Jackie is known as a powerful guiding force in the world of child care and safety. She serves as leader, mentor and tireless advocate for her colleagues and for children around the state. As the project coordinator for the Resource Center for the past decade, she has made available a toll-free information line, call tracking and referral data base, informational data base, a resource library for child care health consultants, safety bulletins, developmentally based child care health and safety calendars, posters and resource materials.
Local Health Department Recognition Awards
The health departments were honored for providing better prenatal care for women in Guilford County, curbing youth violence in Robeson County, and the Healthy Smiles dental program for young children in Transylvania County. Two other health departments received special recognitions: Durham County, for improving and expanding its dental program and Gaston County for its Girls on the Run program.
Guilford County Department of Public Health
Coalition on Infant Mortality Adopt-A-Mom Program
Guilford County babies have a much better shot at being born healthy now that their moms are getting better prenatal care. Recently marking its 20th anniversary, the Guilford County Coalition on Infant Mortality's Adopt-A-Mom Program has had a profound effect on infant mortality in Guilford County. By convincing providers throughout the community to share the caseload of Medicaid-ineligible women for a nominal fee, the county collectively built a safety net to ensure that all women Guilford County had access to the medical care needed to support a healthy baby. The Coalition also connects women with resources beyond prenatal care, including shelter or food pantries, referral to safer housing, mental health counseling services, or classes focusing on parenting skills and the importance of education.
Robeson County Department of Public Health
Youth Violence Prevention Program
Youth violence affects individuals and families, and the community as a whole by increasing the cost of health care, reducing productivity and diminishing property values. It puts youth at risk of dropping out of school and being arrested. Because of Robeson County's high crime rate and risk to teens, the county is a site for the nation's first rurally focused Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) in Youth Violence Prevention, a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Positive Action program targets 13 middle schools, addressing school attendance, grades and problem behaviors such as substance use, violence, suspensions, disruptive behaviors, dropping out and sexual behavior. It also is designed to improve family cohesion and teach youth the life skills they need to deal with situations without resorting to violence.
Transylvania County Department of Public Health
Healthy Smiles Program
Many children in Transylvania County no longer show up at school with tooth decay and pain that keeps them from learning. Healthy smiles are the payoff from the Healthy Smiles Program, a collaborative program that provides education, dental screenings and access to dental care for uninsured children and Medicaid children ages birth to five years old. The basic components of the program include dental health education and dental screenings within local child care centers. Dentists volunteer their time and Medicaid revenues earned for these patients are dedicated back to the department to cover program costs and uninsured dental care.
Additionally,Local Health Department Special Recognition awards were given to:
Durham County Health Department
Dental Division Programming
Many more disadvantaged children in Durham are getting dental care now because of the efforts of the Durham County Health Department's Dental Division. By adding coverage from the University of North Carolina's School of Dentistry, the county can see more patients in its clinic as well as in its mobile dental unit. The Dental Division provides services to uninsured and low-income children from birth to 20 years in its clinic, and targets elementary schools in its mobile treatment unit, the Tooth Ferry. By eliminating barriers to dental care, both the clinic and the Tooth Ferry have significantly increased the number of clients they serve.
Gaston County Health Department
Girls on the Run Program
In Gaston County, girls are on the run (GOTC). They are running away from drug abuse, bullying, sexual activity and emotional issues that could lead them to drop out of school or become teen mothers, limiting their future educational and career opportunities. Instead, they are running toward improved grades, body image, self-esteem, and attitudes toward eating and healthy identity. They are adopting an active lifestyle and sense of purpose that will serve them well into adulthood. Since 2003, the Gaston County Health Department has offered this character development program for girls in grades 3-5.
About The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation
Based in Research Triangle Park, the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation supports programs that promote the sciences, health, and education. Since its creation in 1986, the Foundation has granted nearly $60 million to support North Carolina projects and programs that meet the educational needs of today's society and of future generations. Follow us on Twitter @NCGSKFound.
SOURCE North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation