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County Executive McCoy Announces National Awards for Health Department

Posted: Monday, June 3, 2019 9:24 AM

Builds on Previous Recognitions & National Accreditation

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced today that the Albany County Department of Health is once again getting the national spotlight with new awards for two programs aimed at fighting diabetes and high blood pressure and reducing tobacco use among those with mental health issues. The recognitions from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) honors outstanding local, evidence-based initiatives that improve overall public health.

Albany County’s “Million Hearts in Municipalities: Tobacco Cessation in a Mental Health Clinic” was given the Promising Practice Award for using certified tobacco treatment specialists to identify at-risk patients and working with the County Mental Health Department to connect Severely Mentally Impaired individuals with cessation resources to prevent and reduce tobacco use. This designation is given to those programs that are innovative and respond to a local public health need.

Additionally, the “Creating Healthy Connections” earned the Model Practice designation, as Albany County partners with the local YMCA, primary caregivers, National Diabetes Prevention Program providers and supermarkets with pharmacies to help local residents prevent and manage prediabetes and diabetes and reduce hypertension. The award shows that the program is effective and should be replicated by other municipalities.

“While one in four adults have some form of mental illness, they sadly consume nearly 40% of all cigarettes smoked. This, along with diabetes and high blood pressure, are serious issues that we must address,” said County Executive McCoy. “When our Health Department earned national accreditation earlier this year, I knew it was only the beginning as we use these standards we’ve met to constantly improve and make Albany County a healthier and happier place to live and raise a family.”

The Model and Promising Practices recognitions follow the health department’s esteemed national accreditation approval, setting rigorous standards for the core functions that every health department should be able to carry out. Of the country’s 3,000 governmental health departments, only 244 have gained this accreditation as of November 2018.

Other Albany County Department of Health programs that have earned Model Practice Awards include Project Orange and Complete Streets, which reduces the prevalence of unused prescription drugs and makes local infrastructure safer and more walkable, respectively. The awards will be formally presented to Albany County at NACCHO’s 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner Reception in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, July 10.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy