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Posted on: April 19, 2019

Jefferson County Board of Health Honors 2019 Public Health Heroes

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April 19, 2019

For Immediate Release 

Jefferson County Community Health

Vicki Kirkpatrick, Director

360.385.9400

Jefferson County Board of Health Honors 2019 Public Health Heroes

A retired NASA research scientist, an organization that connects students to physical activity and clean transportation through experiences with bicycles, a Jefferson County Public Health Nurse Practitioner dedicated to ensuring access to family planning services regardless of income and personal circumstances and dedication to adolescent health through work in the community and in school based health clinics, a professional in the Dove House who believes in the right of every individual to feel and be safe and offers services accordingly, a Community Based Specialist from the Health Care Authority dedicated to assisting people navigate WA Health Plan Finder to sign up for Apple Health, and a former board member of Jefferson Land Trust who lives his life devoted to protecting habitat and reducing the causes contributing to climate change.

In celebration of National Public Health Week (April 1 – 7, 2019), and in recognition of their efforts to promote community health, the Jefferson County Board of Health was proud to announce its 2019 Public Health Heroes at their meeting on April 18, 2019.

The 2019 National Public Health Week theme is “Creating the Healthiest Nation:  For science, For action, For health”.  Based on this theme, the Board of Health honored recipients in the areas of Healthy Communities, Violence Prevention, Rural Health, Technology and Public Health, Climate Change, and Global Health.

The Board of Health honored the following nominated Public Health Heroes:  Bob Bindschadler in the category of Global Health for his international work on climate change and his active participation with the 20/20 Climate Action Outreach group as speaker and action initiatives.  The Recycery in the category of Healthy Communities for their dedication to introducing and educating youth to incorporate the bicycle into an active approach to life.  The Recyclery offers ways for any young person of any means to obtain a bike through its community programming.  In the Category of Rural Health, the Board honors Susan O’Brien, ARNP, Jefferson County Public Health for her tireless clinical work providing both family planning services to residents of Jefferson County and health services to adolescents through school based health clinics.  She is a tireless community advocate for adolescent health and access to family planning services in Jefferson County.  Teresa Shiraishi, MSW, of the Dove House, is honored in the category of Violence Prevention.  She is a tireless advocate for the prevention of intimate partner violence.  One of her many capacities at the Dove House is as an instructor of Relationship Skills.  She partners with the Port Townsend, Chimacum and Quilcene school districts to teach 8th and 9th graders healthy relationship skills.  In the category of Technology and Public Health, the Board honors Julie Iszley, Washington Health Care Authority.  Julie goes above and beyond to assist people with the Apple Health application process, including addressing technical issues and concerns encountered in the Washington Healthplan Finder.  Ensuring eligible people are able to apply for insurance and receive it are important steps in increasing access to health care which is one of the Jefferson County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) priority goals.  Finally, in the category of Climate Change, the Board of Health honors Owen Fairbank, former board member of Jefferson Land Trust and helpful partner to Jefferson County on open space projects.  He has volunteered endless hours to the welfare of the community by building climate resilience through open space and habitat protections at Jefferson Land Trust.  He is someone who walks the talk by living his life in ways that reduce his carbon footprint.

Kees Kolff, Board of Health Chair said, “It is a pleasure to honor these deserving recipients of the 2019 Public Health Hero Awards.  It takes the commitment of many to improve the health and well being of Jefferson County residents – not only the work of our capable public health department staff, but also of our Jefferson County Communities as a whole”.

About National Public Health Week

National Public Health Week, held each year during the first full week in April, bring to light important issues in public health.  This year’s vision to create the healthiest nation for science, for action, and for health focuses on some of the ways that the public’s health is impacted by things that happen outside the doctor’s office.  For more information about National Public Health Week can be found at www.nphw.org.


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Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community

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