The Westchester County Board of Health is asking community leaders, educators, health professionals and heads of organizations that serve county residents to nominate their unsung volunteer heroes for the county’s annual public health service awards.Deadline for nominations is Feb. 11. Nomination forms are available at www.westchestergov.com/health.
The Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Award is presented annually to a person or community-based organization not professionally engaged in public health work whose efforts have made an extraordinary contribution to the public health of Westchester residents.
The J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Service Award is an annual award to a student for his or her creative contribution to public health in Westchester. The award was created in 2014 in memory of J.R. Tesone, a Board of Health member with a lifelong commitment to Westchester children.
The board also will recognize the compassion, creativity and commitment demonstrated by a select group of nominees named public health honorees.
The awards will be announced and presented in April to spotlight National Public Health Week. The honorees and their achievements will be featured on the Health Department’s web pages.
Recent youthful winners have included a teenager who advocated for children affected by cancer and another who created an app to foster communication between teens with Type 1 diabetes. A volunteer who advocated for comprehensive mental health care for low-income residents, as well as nonprofit programs that have worked to reduce health disparities, improve health literacy and improve access to care also have been honored.
“The Health Department and the Board of Health rely on creative partnerships with the public to promote public health,” said Steven Nakashima, president of the Board of Health. “By shining a spotlight on these local heroes, we hope to inspire more people and organizations to join us in this work which is so vital to the health of our community.”