Annual Public Health Awards Presented April 16th

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - 4:20am

Six Individuals and Groups Honored For Public Health Efforts

PUBLIC HEALTH FOR MADISON AND DANE COUNTY

Madison, WI, April 15, 2008 - Six individuals and organizations will be honored at the 2008 Public Health Awards ceremony held tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 PM at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center. These awards are presented annually to honor important contributions to public health in Madison and Dane County.

"These awards recognize fabulous people and organizations that have gone above and beyond to make our communities healthier and happier," County Executive Kathleen Falk said.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by community individuals and organizations and Public Health staff.

"Our public health employees work hard every day to keep our community safe and healthy," said Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. "I am pleased that we have this opportunity to recognize just some of the contributions they make."

"We are very pleased to have the chance to recognize some of the individuals and organizations that have made efforts above and beyond what is expected to ensure good health for others and contribute to our vision for healthy people in healthy Dane County communities," said Dr. Thomas Schlenker, Director of Public Health for Madison and Dane County.

The awards will be presented by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Janet Piraino from Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's office.

The six awards are as follows:

The Prevention Award
For improving pedestrian safety and supporting a community environment that promotes walking for children and adults of all ages.
City of Stoughton
Mayor Helen J. Johnson
Chief of Police Pat O'Conner
Streets Department - Carl Manthe
Stoughton Senior Center - Cindy McGlen

The Prevention Award
For efforts in connecting people within Dane County communities, to work together to develop and make available more physical activity programming opportunities, especially for underserved youth.

Sharon Baldwin,
Activate America Program, YMCA of Dane County

The Partnership Award
For work with community partners in creatively developing community programs that result in meaningful community learning experiences for UW Medical School students and medical care, health information and mentoring support for underserved and at-risk populations in our community.

Sharon Younkin
Community Service Program Director
UW School of Medicine and Public Health

The Partnership Award
For working with community partners and involving youth in Participatory Photo Mapping, to better understand perceptions of barriers to, and opportunities for, being physically active.

Samuel Dennis, Jr. PhD.
Assistant Professor
UW Department of Landscape Architecture

The Advocacy Award
For implementing creative neighborhood interventions that address public health issues, including traffic safety, personal safety, sexually transmitted infections, and chronic disease.

Sue Krause and Tammi Droessler
Neighborhood Police Officers,
Madison Police Department

The Leadership Award
For convening and leading a countywide Falls Prevention Task Force, which has created a coordinated system to educate, evaluate, treat and refer older adults who are at risk for falls.

Andy Kosseff, MD,
Physician Director of Quality Improvement
St. Mary's Hospital

For more detailed information on the contributions of these award winners consult the posted version of this release at www.publichealthmdc.com.

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NEWS RELEASE ADDENDUM

Background Details on Public Health Award Recipients

City of Stoughton (Mayor, Senior Center, and Police & Streets Depts. (Prevention Award):
Mayor Helen J. Johnson
Chief of Police Pat O'Conner
Streets Department - Carl Manthe
Stoughton Senior Center - Cindy McGlen

For improving pedestrian safety and supporting a community environment that promotes walking for children and adults of all ages.

For the past two years, the City of Stoughton has partnered with Safe Communities and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to develop a Pedestrian Safety Program for Older Adults.

Through exemplary commitment and leadership, including the mayor, the police and streets departments, the senior center, and local businesses, the City of Stoughton has achieved tremendous success in changing the driving culture to be more pedestrian friendly. Stoughton improved the percentage of motorists in the City who yield the right-of-way to pedestrians from 28% in 2006 to 77% in 2007. In downtown Stoughton, at a targeted crosswalk frequently used by pedestrians, the yield rate for people using a crossing flag is now 92%. A speed board had a dramatic impact on pedestrian safety with most drivers now traveling in the 25 to 30 mph range. Prior to that, many motorists were traveling in the 40 mph range. Education, enforcement and engineering strategies were all used to implement the change.

With the pedestrian safety improvements, Stoughton is a more walkable community, creating opportunities for a healthier lifestyle. It serves as a model community for improving pedestrian safety for other communities nationwide.

Sharon Baldwin, Activate America Program, YMCA of Dane County (Prevention Award):
For efforts in connecting people within Dane County communities, to work together to develop and make available more physical activity programming opportunities, especially for underserved youth.

Sharon Baldwin has been the driving force behind the YMCA of Dane County's Activate America program, which began in 2005. Their goals are to provide the means, the motivation and the mentoring for both the individual and the community to prevent obesity and the chronic diseases associated with physical inactivity and obesity.

Sharon leads a countywide interdisciplinary Activate America team, which has engaged stakeholders and leveraged resources in Dane County communities to promote fitness and physical activity, with a focus on underserved children. She helped establish five YKidsFit programs in Dane County, through the YMCA's after school programs. The 24-week program engages youth in interactive nutrition and fitness sessions, making learning fun. Sharon has also been the instigator for the "Mount Horeb on the Move" campaign, a community-wide effort to increase physical activity and wellness; helped organize Walk Our Children to School activities in Mount Horeb in collaboration with Safe Kids Coalition and Safe Communities; and has helped organize efforts with youth to identify environmental barriers to physical activity which will be used to advocate for pedestrian safety improvements.

Sharon's enthusiasm for physical activity, her ability to motivate individuals and communities to take action in providing fitness opportunities, help make Dane County a better place to live.

Sharon Younkin, Community Service Program Director, UW School of Medicine and Public Health (Partnership Award):
For work with community partners in creatively developing community programs that result in meaningful community learning experiences for UW Medical School students and medical care, health information and mentoring support for underserved and at-risk populations in our community.

Sharon has creatively initiated a number health related programs that impact the health of our community and benefit the underserved and at-risk populations. Through her role as Community Service Director at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, she has partnered with a number of community organizations to create and match UW Medical School Students with six community service programs. Programs include the Medic Clinic offering free medical and psychiatric care for acute health issues; health promotion programs for residents of the Allied Drive neighborhood; a program focused on health-related discussion with young people to help them with lifestyle choices; a mentoring program for middle school students; a service learning program that promotes equity and social justice in community and population health; and a mentoring, advocacy and support program for at-risk pregnant women.

In her personal time, Sharon is also thinking about community service. She has served on the Board for the AIDS network and is currently the Board president of the Allied Wellness Center. Sharon's work moves forward the public health agenda of prevention and access to care.

Samuel Dennis, Jr. PhD. Assistant Professor, UW Department of Landscape Architecture (Partnership Award):
For working with community partners and involving youth in Participatory Photo Mapping, to better understand perceptions of barriers to, and opportunities for, being physically active.

Sam Dennis is a geographer and a licensed landscape architect whose work focuses on the connection between the built environment and health and well-being.

Sam developed a tool, called Participatory Photo-Mapping (PPM), which combines digital photography and mapping (geographic information systems - GIS). This process has been used in many projects, most notably those involving youth in high-risk communities, to identify issues in the community that have informed stakeholders and advocated for change. Such projects include: Cypress Spray Park Project and the Northside Walking Audit Project to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety along walking and biking routes; Youth Mapping for Safety and Healthy Neighborhoods
in South Madison which has influenced police interaction with local youth; and a project to incorporate youth participation in redesigning Penn Park.

Sam's work has enlightened a cross section of professionals and community organizations and has empowered youth. It has been used to inform local health departments, other local health care organizations and police departments and has impacted community design, community assessment, service delivery, prevention and intervention strategies in Dane County.

Sue Krause and Tammi Droessler, Neighborhood Police Officers, Madison Police Department (Advocacy Award):
For implementing creative neighborhood interventions that address public health issues, including traffic safety, personal safety, sexually transmitted infections, and chronic disease.

Sue Krause and Tammi Droessler are neighborhood police officers with the Madison Police Department. Their work with the South District has far exceeded regular policing duties. They have worked closely with the neighborhood residents and have mobilized them to get involved in projects that work to improve pubic health. Some examples of this work with the neighborhoods include: creating a community garden on the grounds of Lincoln school; recommendations for improving neighborhood traffic safety; neighborhood clean-up in the Bram's Addition neighborhood; work with MSCR to do children's programming at Penn Park; partnering with Fit City for the annual Lincoln School Picnic; inviting neighborhood youth to provide input in the redesign of Penn Park; and starting a multidisciplinary, community initiative to address prostitution in the area.

Sue and Tammi's leadership on these projects has resulted in tangible results. Changes have been made with traffic safety, increased physical activity among youth and heightened awareness around prostitution issues and its impact on public health. Sue and Tammi's advocacy work for those in the South Madison has helped empower individuals in the community to improve their quality of life.

Dr. Andy Kosseff, MD, Physician Director of Quality Improvement, St. Mary's Hospital (Leadership Award):
For convening and leading a countywide Falls Prevention Task Force, which has created a coordinated system to educate, evaluate, treat and refer older adults who are at risk for falls.

Falls and falls related injuries are a serious public health problem that can be devastating for older adults and present a substantial economic burden to the health care system. In Dane County, falls are the number one cause of injury related hospitalization for those 65 years of age and older.

Under the leadership and vision of Dr. Andy Kosseff, Safe Communities convened a Falls Prevention Task Force in January of 2007. It began with Dr. Kosseff soliciting the involvement of top-level health care and senior organization leaders, and resulted in a collaboration of 37 organizations involved in creating a countywide, coordinated system to educate, evaluate, treat, and refer older adults who are at risk for falls. He has inspired Task Force members to elevate falls prevention as an organizational priority and to reach across sectors to collaborate. The goal of the task force is to reduce falls-related hospitalizations and emergency visits by 10% over 3 years. Thanks to Andy's leadership and ability to link community partners, a strong coalition has been created with it's members working together to coordinate services that will improve the health and quality of life for seniors in Dane County.

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Contacts: 
  • Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302