Press Room

ASTHO Announces 2012 Vision Awards  

(Sept. 14, 2012) Austin, Texas – Today the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) presented its 2012 Vision Awards to the Ohio Department of Health, Texas Department of State Health Services, Florida Department of Health, and Oklahoma State Department of Health during the ASTHO Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. The ASTHO Vision Awards annually recognize outstanding health department programs and initiatives that use creative approaches to address public health needs or problems and to promote awareness and replication of successful state health programs and initiatives.

ASTHO presents Vision Awards in two categories: programs with budgets greater than $250,000 and programs with budgets less than $250,000. Applications are judged by experts and leaders in state public health based on innovation, program effectiveness, and potential for replication.

Budgets greater than $250,000. The Ohio Department of Health received first place in this category for its work on the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative (OPQC). OPQC is a public/private partnership focused on improving prematurity and infant mortality outcomes in Ohio. Using quality improvement science, OPQC’s work has resulted in an 8 percent increase in full-term deliveries. In addition, OPQC has saved approximately $27 million in healthcare costs through reductions in NICU admissions.

The Texas Department of State Health Services took second place for its “Surviving Disaster: How Texans Prepare” video toolkit and documentary series. Using real survival stories, the toolkit is a replicable and sustainable multipronged approach to helping residents prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. The videos have attracted attention nationally and been screened at hospitals, businesses, conferences, and county departments and on cable channels.

Budgets less than $250,000. Taking first place in this category, the Florida Department of Health was honored for the Florida Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Screening Program. In 2009, Florida implemented a universal screening process to rapidly detect multidrug‐resistant tuberculosis patients. Thanks to the program, 31 TB patients were more accurately diagnosed during 2010-2011, ensuring appropriate treatment and minimizing transmission.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health was awarded second place for the Every Week Counts Collaborative, an initiative aimed at reducing infant mortality and other adverse birth outcomes with particular attention to reducing racial disparities in these outcomes. Approximately 90 percent of Oklahoma birthing hospitals participate in the collaborative, affecting about 95 percent of Oklahoma births.

ASTHO congratulates its 2012 Vision Award winners for their exemplary state health programs and for achieving excellence in public health through innovation.

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state-based public health practice.

CONTACT: Scott Briscoe, 571-527-3173, cell 703-328-2761, sbriscoe@astho.org. Follow us on Twitter.