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Oakland County Health Division to Receive "Model Practice Award"

Public Date: 7/13/2010 12:00 AM
Contact: Kathy Forzley, Manager/Health Officer Oakland County Health Division
Phone Number: 248-858-1410

Pontiac, Michigan -- The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) will honor the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) for using cutting-edge technology to improve the reporting of communicable diseases such as flu, chicken pox, mumps and measles, among others.

Oakland County's Health and Human Services Communication Portal is one of 24 public health programs developed by a local health department selected from across the nation to receive NACCHO's Model Practice Award at its 2010 annual conference this week.

"Oakland County is recognized as the most digitally-advanced county in America," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "This award emphasizes the county's mission to lead in utilizing technology to improve services for our residents."

The portal utilizes web-based technology to bring communication and communicable disease reporting features together in a one-stop-shop system for our community partners such as schools, hospitals and some healthcare providers. Through the portal, the Health Division offers enhanced disease surveillance capabilities for our schools. To date 50% of Oakland County schools have begun utilizing the system.

With a student population of more than 220,000, school reporting provides an important opportunity for communicable disease surveillance in Oakland County. The portal is a source to retrieve credible, up-to-date information on communicable disease activity in schools, which may reflect illness patterns in the community as they occur.

"We are proud to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award," said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of the Oakland County Health Division. "The award is evidence of our commitment to develop responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of local residents."

Each innovative project receiving the award was reviewed by a committee of other local health department professionals and selected from a group of 93 applications. Since 2003, NACCHO's Model Practice Awards program has honored initiatives that demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health concerns. 

The Health and Human Services Communication Portal is now part of an online, searchable database of successful public health practices in areas ranging from immunization, maternal and child health, infectious diseases and emergency preparedness. 

This award puts Oakland County Health Division into special company—a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward thinking, proactive attitude toward protecting and promoting the health of communities across the nation. 

For more information about OCHD and the NACCHO Model Practice Award, visit the Health Division website at www.oakgov.com/health.