The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Child Health Recognition Awards program honors local health departments, public health staff and individuals for innovative, collaborative programs that improve the lives of North Carolina’s children. The Foundation works with the North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) to coordinate the program, and all nominees and award recipients are recognized at a luncheon at NCPHA’s annual meeting. Recognition awards are presented in four categories: Lifetime Achievement, Individual, Local Health Departments and Public Health Staff. The awards include grants and scholarships that promote public health study and programs that benefit children. Up to three health departments and three to five individuals are honored annually.

Nominations are due by May 31st each year.

Public health professionals know that providing care and services for families and children can be done in many different ways and many different places. Sometimes, children come to clinics for health services; other times, services come to them in the form of mobile dental clinics and health fairs or through school nurse programs. Mothers of autistic children meet for lunch to support each other through challenges, while elsewhere new mothers meet with supportive coaches who teach them to breastfeed their babies. And the health "clinic" may not be inside at all but in the open air, with children tending school and community gardens to learn about nutrition and combat obesity with fresh vegetables and fruit.

While health care can be delivered in many different ways, North Carolina's health care providers have these traits in common: passion, dedication and commitment to the children and families they serve. The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation salutes all public health professionals in our state who work harder every year to deliver more services in times of great need and tight budgets. We applaud their creativity and innovation and are honored to present the 2016 Child Health Recognition Awards.

The 2016 awards were presented on September 14, 2016 at the NCPHA annual meeting.

2016 Child Health Award Recipients:

Steven E. Shore, MSW, Lifetime Achievement Recognition Award
Steve Shore may be best known for his 15-year tenure as executive director of the North Carolina Pediatric Society, but he also is considered a friend, colleague and mentor for many in the public health arena. His lifetime of achievements, including both direct services and policy, spans mental health, immigrant and maternal/child health; substance abuse; AIDS; primary care; vaccines; tobacco cessation and prevention; health insurance; oral health, and child welfare. Among his other accomplishments, he helped set the foundation for Federally Qualified Health Centers, and advanced a number of health projects in rural North Carolina. His knowledge of complex issues, strong communication skills and optimistic attitude are surpassed only by his compassion for children and his passion for bettering their lives. He has a unique ability to see the big picture, and has spent his life working tirelessly to strengthen entire communities.

Tiffany Bullins, RN, Individual Recognition Award
Tiffany Bullins is known as an energetic, compassionate and truly selfless nurse whose love of children, families and her staff has driven her to push for necessary change at every level. Her positive attitude and can-do spirit make her a role model in an agency that faces constant change. She helped to make Surry County a model Community Care Network, implementing suggestions and forging relationships to ensure that the needs of various agencies and residents were met. She constantly assesses programs and revamps them as needed to make them more effective. It seems as if Tiffany always keeps her eye on the goal of making children’s and family’s lives healthier and safer.

Rolanda Patrick, MPH, Public Health Staff Recognition Award
Two youth who once fought learned to support and encourage each other months later in a rock-climbing exercise. Another 8th grader struggled with school and juvenile legal charges, but now makes A’s in high school and mentors other youth. The secret to their success? Rolanda Patrick and the program she manages at the Cabarrus Health Alliance called Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS). Working with police officers, firefighters and the schools, STARS aims to reduce violence and victimization, improve students academically and promote positive encounters with law enforcement by helping minority youth with goal-setting and healthier behaviors. Patrick’s infectious personality promotes community partnerships and serves as a model for good decision making, healthy lifestyle choices and the ability to have fun while learning!

Cabarrus Health Alliance, Food Recovery Program
The Food Recovery Program began when a Cabarrus County elementary school teacher noticed that students were throwing away unopened, healthy breakfast items (granola bars, cartons of milk and yogurt and fresh produce). In an area where 15 percent of residents report they do not have access to a reliable source of food—which puts them at higher risk for health problems—nutritional food can make a big difference. Cabarrus Health Alliance began a Food Recovery Program that seeks to get healthy food items school children don’t want before it hits the waste cans and into the homes of those in need. Volunteers collect the items from school sites and transport them to satellite food pantries. Since May 2015, the program has collected more than 40,000 pounds of food. Together with nine satellite food pantries, the program has distributed more than 821,000 pounds of food to almost 50,000 individuals in Cabarrus County.

Orange County Health Department, Healthy Homes Program
The Orange County Health Department launched the Healthy Homes program to improve the health of children with asthma by assessing the indoor air quality and safety of their home environments. The health department then provides an Asthma Action Plan. Alarming health disparities exist in the county, where the average life expectancy for African Americans is 5 percent lower than their white counterparts. The county also noted 11.6 percent of citizens had asthma in 2011, but among those who earn $50,000 or more per year the prevalence was only 6 percent, while those who earn less than $50,000 a year showed a 22-percent rate. During a Healthy Homes visit, the team identifies potential asthma triggers and health hazards and assesses a broad array of housing-related health hazards such as lead, pests, allergens and other asthma triggers, carbon monoxide, mold and radon. Staff also provides resources to help parents implement low-cost, reliable and practical methods to reduce health and safety hazards. Using a grant, the health department provides resources to help with remediation and demonstrates how to use resources that include green cleaning kits, pest management plans, mattress and pillow covers, educational materials and smoking cessation materials. Referrals also are made to other agencies as needed.

Wake County Human Services, HIV/STD Health Education and Outreach Support
Wake County Human Services has adapted a version of the curriculum “Making Proud Choices!” designed for youth in foster care ages 12 to 18, to teach them about sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and pregnancy. In addition to addressing the consequences of sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancy, communication, condom use and refusal skills, the curriculum was revised to address sexuality and relationships, with an emphasis on responsibility and accountability. Excellent collaboration with multiple agencies and community partnerships are required to make this program successful. The program notes successful results.

Congratulations to all the award recipients. All 2016 nominees are listed in the 2016 Child Health Awards Program Booklet.

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation appreciates the diligence of the North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) in overseeing the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Child Health Recognition Awards program. NCPHA coordinates many tasks associated with the program, including selecting healthcare professionals to serve as selection committee members. We are grateful to the committee members for their time and careful consideration of all nominations. The information presented was provided by the nominators and reflect their views. We appreciate their participation sharing the work of others that create innovative programs. Thank you to everyone involved.

Link to award booklets: Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2015, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2014, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2013, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2012, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2011, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2010