Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Board of Health is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual awards. Each year at its April meeting, the Board of Health recognizes an Employee of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, and Partner of the Year. This year, the honors were given to Jennifer Park and Anna Stormzand as Employees of the Year, Debbie Garrett as Supervisor of the Year, and Chatham Hospital as Community Health Partner of the Year.
Although the Employee of the Year is traditionally awarded to one staff member, the Board decided that two employees, Jennifer Park and Anna Stormzand, were worthy of the honor this year. In their time with the Chatham County Public Health Department, Jennifer and Anna boast numerous individual successes in addition to a major collaborative accomplishment this year: Chatham County’s Tobacco-free Grounds Policy. The two have been instrumental in the planning and implementation of the policy, as well as initiatives that help those looking to quit using tobacco. “Not only do they embody the characteristics of an outstanding employee on a day-to-day basis,” the nomination read, “but in this past year Anna and Jennifer accomplished what could be considered one of the biggest undertakings in protecting the health of Chatham residents in recent years — the passage of the county comprehensive smoking policy, which banned all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, on all county-owned and leased property.”
At the ceremony, Board of Health Vice-Chair Wanda Fearrington also presented the Supervisor of the Year award to Debbie Garrett. Debbie, who was joined by many members of the clinic staff as she received the award, has dedicated her career to public health and is well-respected by many across the state. Her nomination referred to her as “a wonderful listener,” and pointed out that she “handles every situation with patience and kindness, which empowers staff to do their very best each day. She embodies public health, public service, selflessness, and would be a very deserving Supervisor of the Year.”
The final award of the evening, the Community Health Partner award, was presented to Chatham Hospital. Throughout its history, Chatham Hospital has served as an important public health partner in the county. Recently, the hospital has taken on an even greater role in seeking avenues beyond its walls to improve and foster health. This has resulted in tremendous opportunities for the health department and Chatham County as a whole, including grants from the Duke Endowment and Blue Cross Blue Shield NC to fund the Chatham Health Alliance. The health department and Chatham Hospital also conducted the 2014 Community Health Assessment as a collaborative effort.
The Chatham County Board of Health and health department would like to congratulate all award recipients and thank them for their service to public health in Chatham County.