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Public Health Advisory Council wins statewide award

“Health Champion” honor given by Washington State Public Health Association

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Snohomish Health District’s Public Health Advisory Council recently received the “Health Champion” award from the Washington State Public Health Association for its diligent work identifying the leading public health issues in Snohomish County.

Chaired by Terry Clark from ChildStrive (formerly Little Red Schoolhouse), the 17 members of the Council are community leaders and a youth representative who are appointed by the Snohomish County Board of Health to advise the Board about pressing issues in Snohomish County that impact community health. Members are community leaders who volunteer their time for three-year terms, except the youth representative who serves for one year. The council was created in 2009 and expanded in 2012.

The Council redefined ‘commitment’ when they agreed to create the foundation for community action to improve health,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of the Snohomish Health District. The public health agency assisted the Council with data comparison and analysis. “For eight months, members immersed themselves in data and wrestled with the challenge of identifying priorities that would be embraced by the community. It was hard work. To commend them as ‘Health Champions’ is well-deserved and completely accurate.”

The Public Health Advisory Council studied 80 indicators of the county’s health. With assistance from the Health District, the Council analyzed county health data from the 2010 Census, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, the 2010 Healthy Youth Survey, and other local data – then compared it all to state and national data, trends, and public health benchmarks -- and discerned the critical public health issues to tackle.

The Council’s labor-intensive study culminated in a community health assessment published in April 2013 as a “Community Report Card” of Snohomish County’s collective health. It summarized key public health concerns -- and prioritized three for immediate community action: obesity and suicide among all ages, and physical abuse of youth ages birth to 17.

The public is invited to the Council’s next step – the initial presentation of a plan to prevent suicide, obesity, and youth physical abuse in Snohomish County. The meeting will be 8:30-10 a.m., Friday, May 2, in the Snohomish County Campus Public Meeting Rooms, First Floor Drewel Building, 3000 Rockefeller Ave, Everett, Wash.

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier Snohomish County through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health Board and the Health District at http://www.snohd.org.

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