The awards were announced recently at an awards ceremony in Savannah in conjunction with the Georgia Public Health Associations annual meeting.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improving childrens health services through a series of achievements, went to Vicki Free, RN, coordinator for the Children with Special Needs Program for the Northwest Georgia Health District.
The Individual Recognition Award, given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improving childrens health services, went to Linda Bell, public health nurse specialist with the Floyd County Health Department.
Local health organizations were also recognized.
The Polk County Health Department in Cedartown received a special recognition award in the Local Health Department Recognition category for its Baby Steps program, which uses home visits to provide new parents with the resources they need to care for their babies in a healthy, safe way.
Receiving a special recognition award in the Health Staff Recognition category was the Northwest Georgia Health District 1-1, Oral Health Team. By using a dental clinic to treat patients nearby and a mobile unit to reach those without access to care, this team has developed a unique oral health system of care to combat high rates of tooth decay and other unmet dental needs of low-income children. The team includes Charles Roszel, DDS; Vienna Watkins; Sherry Hamilton; Olivia Taylor, DDS; Christopher Keenan, DDS; Michelle Martin, DDS; Jessica Keith; Melissa Spears; Katrina Jones and Patricia Townley.