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Two award winners at Snohomish Health District

Statewide honor to public health nurse Barbara Bly; national award to dental hygienist LeeAnn Cooper

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. --- Two Snohomish Health District staff have recently been recognized by professional organizations for their career achievements.

Public health nurse Barbara Bly, BSN, RN of Snohomish Health District received a prestigious award from the Washington State Nurses Association at their annual convention.

The association selected Bly to receive the 2013 Marguerite Cobb Public Health/Community Health Nurse Award on May 2, citing her outstanding professional contributions to the field of public health nursing and to the Washington State Nurses Association.

The nomination letter for the award commends Bly for her commitment to serving thousands of mothers and children over the course of 30 years at Snohomish Health District, providing cost-saving preventive health interventions and best health outcomes for her clients. Bly currently is the Lead Public Health Nurse in the Health District’s Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.

An Everett native, Bly joined the Health District in 1979 to work as a public health nurse in maternal support services. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Seattle University in 1978. Prior to coming to Snohomish Health District, she worked in the burn unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She has advocated for public health and public health nursing as a local union representative for most of her career.

“I believe having nurses work with pregnant and parenting women leads to healthy pregnancies, healthy babies, and healthy families,” said Bly. “We teach women about health and nutrition, resources for health care, and how to make positive health choices.” Bly said that translates to improved community health, lower health care costs, fewer premature births, ER visits, and hospitalizations, and prevention of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and substance abuse.

A second Health District employee, public health dental hygienist LeeAnn Hoaglin-Cooper, RDH, BS, was recognized for her work by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Campaign for Dental Health.

Hoaglin-Cooper received the Community Water Fluoridation Determination Award in recognition of her determination above and beyond professional duty in promoting, protecting, advocating and defending community water fluoridation.

“I saw too many kids coming into the dental office with cavities in most of their teeth at the beginning of my career,” said Hoaglin-Cooper. “Many of those cavities could have been prevented. Public health gives me the opportunity to make a positive difference for kids and adults that I couldn’t do in the dental office.” She added that community water fluoridation prevents cavities at the lowest cost and safest level.

A longtime resident of Mountlake Terrace, Hoaglin-Cooper has worked in oral health at the Snohomish Health District for 25 years. She coordinated the effort to fluoridate Everett’s water in the early 1990s.

She completed her Bachelor Degree in dental hygiene/public health from the University of Washington in 1982. Prior to joining the Health District, Hoaglin-Cooper worked in private practice. In recent years, she has advocated strongly for dental access for low-income and uninsured individuals, leading the county’s Dental Access Committee as part of her role at the Snohomish Health District.

Hoaglin-Cooper chairs the Washington State Oral Health Coalition, and serves as a national consultant on fluorides and fluoridation for the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors. She is a member of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and serves on its Executive Council.

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 District at