Coalition named Myers Award recipient

Published 4:45 pm Friday, April 20, 2012

Members of the Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County

The Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County is focused on promoting better health care and healthy lifestyles for the residents of the county — and that focus has gained them statewide attention and honor.
The Alabama Public Health Association has named the Escambia county group as the recipient of the annual Ira L. Myers Award for Excellence in public health.
Ruth Harrell, leader of the group, said the honor is one that brings attention to the work of the group
“This is indeed a great honor for our group and for the entire county,” Harrell said.
“I cannot even begin to describe my joy at this news.”
The Ira L. Myers Award for Excellence was established and was first presented in 1987. The intent of this award is to honor Dr. Myers for his accomplishments by recognizing an individual, group, or organization who, through excellence in work, has made a significant impact on some aspect of public health in Alabama. Nominees are not required to have a direct affiliation with or represent any specific discipline, group, or organization. Rather, they should represent excellence in effort and a significant achievement toward the promotion and protection of public health.
Ricky Elliott, who serves as an administrator with the Alabama Department of Public Health, made nomination for the award. In his nomination, Elliott praised the group for their continued dedication to the health and well being of citizens in Escambia County.
“This Coalition is a great example of what can be accomplished when different agencies and individuals work together to accomplish a goal,” Elliott said in his nomination. “This Coalition has truly had an amazing impact on the public health of Escambia County.”
The group includes a broad range of representatives from the county including retired professionals, doctors, the Escambia County Health Department, RSVP, Escambia County and Brewton school systems, chambers of commerce, extension service, Hope Place, Jefferson Davis Community College, local citizens and many others, Elliott said.
Harrell said the dedication of core members of the Coalition continue to be of benefit to county residents.
“This group is serious about working to improve the health care services for the people,” Harrell said. “All of this has been done over the many years primarily because the people had a mind to work.”
The Coalition was established in 1994 with a mission to assist in the development of a health care system for the citizens of the county that would help improve the living conditions for all, Harrell said.
“Over the years, the county has benefited by the activities of the Coalition from projects identified, developed and implemented for the improvement of care,” Harrell said. “The funds need for operation of projects have been provided by county foundations as well as private contributions. All of the work and funding has made it possible for this group to be successful in our endeavors.”
Among the successes listed as a part of the nomination process, the Coalition has been credited with Wheels of Wellness, hosting a county-wide education summit, partnering with Ozanam charitable pharmacy to expands services in Escambia County, participation in Children’s Policy Council, sponsored a program focusing on Parents as Teachers; partnered with the ADPH in a strategic alliance for health project, promotion of community gardens and countless other programs.
Harrell will be joined by other members of the Coalition organization at an awards ceremony planned in Birmingham next month.

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