Chatham County Board of Health recognizes 2020 Employee, Community Partners of the Year

Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Board of Health recognized one individual and two community partners with its annual awards in recognition for their efforts to advance health in Chatham County. The awards were presented by Chatham County Board of Health Chair Carol Reitz-Barlow during the Board’s meeting on Monday, June 22.

Dorothy Rawleigh

Dorothy Rawleigh, Childcare Health Consultant with the Chatham County Public Health Department, was named the department’s 2020 Employee of the Year for her “tireless efforts to keep Chatham’s youngest residents healthy.” Rawleigh, who will complete her sixth year with the county in July, collaborates with child care programs and community partners to create healthier child care environments and develop community wide policies and programs that benefit the health of young children.

The 2020 Partnership of the Year Award was shared between two community partners, both in appreciation for their work responding to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.

Chatham County Emergency Management’s Steve Newton (right), Emergency Management Director, and Colby Sawyer, Emergency Management Specialist.

Chatham County Emergency Management, represented by Director Steve Newton, was chosen “for co-leading the COVID-19 response and continuous support of public health emergency preparedness.” Emergency Management has played a vital role in many aspects of the COVID-19 response, including the collection and distribution of personal protective equipment and leading weekly coordinating meetings with stakeholders.

UNC Health, represented by UNC Health Vice President Meghan McCann and Chatham Hospital CEO Jeff Strickler, was chosen “for ongoing support in Chatham County’s COVID-19 response and providing crucial services to the Chatham community.”

“Chatham Hospital and all of UNC Health are so appreciative of this recognition and would like to highlight the community partnerships that have enabled and supported these initiatives to improve the health of Chatham County residents,” said Jeff Strickler, CEO of Chatham Hospital. “We look forward to continuing these valued collaborations in the months to come.”

Among many efforts to support the county’s overall health, UNC Health has been on the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic, providing critical testing capacity to the Chatham community and playing an important leadership role in responding to cases in long-term care facilities. The award nomination also highlighted UNC Health’s efforts to bring labor and delivery services back to Chatham County.

“All award recipients are incredibly deserving of recognition,” said Michael Zelek, Chatham County Interim Public Health Director. “UNC Health and Chatham County Emergency Management have been critical partners for many years and especially as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dorothy has worked tirelessly to promote health in early childhood and continues to be a valued resource for child care facilities across the county.”