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, however due to the COVID-19 we are postponing the nomination deadline to July 11, 2022.

Public health professionals know that providing care and services for families and children can be done in different ways. Sometimes, children come to clinics for health services; other times, services come to them in the form of mobile dental clinics, 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 at community gardens, to learn about nutrition and combat obesity with fresh vegetables and fruit.

While health care can be delivered in different ways, North Carolina's public health 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 annual Child Health Recognition Awards.

2021 Child Health Recognition Award Recipients:

Those honored with awards, selected from nominations submitted by colleagues, and chosen by a selection committee of public health professionals. Awards given included:

Lifetime Achievement Recognition Award Recipient:

Tommy Jarrell, PhD (retired), Richmond County Health Department

Dr. Jarrell has provided leadership in Richmond County as the Health Director for 30 years and served as the Human Services Director for the last seven years. His dedication and passion have facilitated continued improvements in the county especially reaching the underserved. He has worked and implemented countless public health centered programs over the years. He has worked to secure dental care for children with Medicaid and the last months were filled combating the pandemic across the county. The Richmond County Health Department celebrates his leadership – and will miss him as he is retiring.

Individual Achievement Award Recipient:

Reina Rodriguez, Forsyth County Department of Public Health

Ms. Rodriguez has been primarily focused on Maternal and Child Health, until the pandemic. As a public health educator, she broadened her role to work as a Hispanic Community Liaison. Her work is helping connect many in the Hispanic community with the health department’s outreach efforts. Her work efforts grew and attracted more agencies to the cause, which gave birth to the Hispanic Task Force of the Piedmont. In 2021, the Hispanic Task Force received a Hanes Award from the Hispanic League, and a Governor’s Service Award for their work in the community.

Local Health Department Achievement Award Recipient:

Forsyth County Department of Public Health; BeHealthy

The BeHealthy children’s health and wellness program is educating Forsyth County youth on the importance of health, nutrition, and physical activity. Collaboration with county organizations including Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Winston-Salem Parks and Recreation staff has led to offering educationally rich, interactive programs for children in community-based settings. The BeHealthy program is a child and adolescent-based preventive health program.

Local Health Department Achievement Award Recipient:

Jackson County Department of Public Health; Safe Routes to School

Children walking or biking to school in the rural Appalachian Mountains may seem impossible to some, but it was a challenge the Jackson County Department of Public Health’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) tackled. SRTS has integrated walking and biking into the district-level policies and procedures while focusing on teaching and promoting safety. The SRTS program serves Jackson, Haywood, Macon and Swain Counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. This program provides long lasting infrastructure improvements allowing over 14,000 students access to walk or bike to school.

Local Health Department Achievement Award Recipient:

New Hanover County Health and Human Services; School Mental Health Program

New Hanover County Schools and the New Hanover County Health Department have joined together to provide mental health supports for students and their families. A Health Department licensed clinical therapist is available at school, to provide mental health services for children and adolescents with moderate to severe behavioral and emotional problems. Through the partnership 16 therapists serve 20 elementary and middle schools. The School Mental Health Program provides psychotherapeutic services to any student and no out-of-pocket costs are billed to the parents.

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: 2021 Child Health Recognition Awards Highlights, 2020 Child Health Recognition Awards Highlights , 2019 Child Health Recognition Awards Booklet, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2018, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2017, Child Health Recognition Award Booklet 2016, 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

25th Anniversary Celebration