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Cobb & Douglas Public Health and Cobb Safety Village Honored for Excellence in Public Health

August 5, 2015

“Cobb County Safety Village – Interactive Health and Safety Education” is One of 19 Nationwide to Receive “Model Practice Award” in 2015

Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) and the Cobb Safety Village were recently honored with the Model Practice Award at the 2015 Annual Conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The award celebrates local public health departments for developing programs that demonstrate exemplary and replicable best practices in response to a critical local public health need. Cobb County Safety Village – Interactive Health and Safety Education was one of 19 local health department programs to receive NACCHO’s prestigious Model Practice Award.

The Cobb County Safety Village is the direct result of a fast-growing youth population which needed education related to health, safety and injury prevention. It is the most comprehensive safety training environment in the Southeast U.S., where residents gain hands-on experience to protect themselves and others from accidental death, injury and destruction of property.

Children and adults are engaged in interactive sessions where they correct safety hazards in “Sparky’s Apartment”, evacuate a home “on fire,” and ride bikes and drive miniature cars on full-size streets to learn “rules of the road” with Cobb Public Safety staff. CDPH hosts a highly interactive Public Health and Safety building filled with learning modules that address: (1) home emergency preparedness, (2) immunizations, (3) hand washing, and (3) physical activity. In addition, Safe Kids (led by Cobb Public Health and WellStar Health System) is housed at the Village and provides injury prevention education and car safety seat checks free to residents.

Since the Village’s inception in 2009, Cobb Public Safety has seen a drop in fire-related fatalities and structural fires within the community, even within a growing population. Additionally, Cobb Public Safety, Cobb Public Health and partners are reaching more students with the same number of staff than in previous years. The number of students able to take part in health and safety training has more than doubled. Evaluation pre- and post-test data from students continue to show a marked increase in scores, which demonstrates better learning and retention of the safety messages.

“We are very pleased to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award,” said Dr. Jack Kennedy, District Health Director, Cobb & Douglas Public Health. “The award is evidence of our commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs and partnerships that improve the health and safety of our local residents.”

Since 2003, NACCHO’s Model Practice Awards have honored programs, resources, and tools that demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health challenges. Each innovative project receiving the Model Practice Award was peer-reviewed and selected from a competitive group of 69 applicants.

“This award puts Cobb & Douglas Public Health in special company with a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward-thinking, proactive approach toward protecting and promoting the health of communities nationwide,” said NACCHO Executive Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.

Read more about these award-winning programs at http://www.naccho.org/topics/modelpractices/.

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.

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