Public health leaders honored


CONTACT: Jennifer Sumner
(334) 206-7988
[email protected]

The Alabama Public Health Association (AlPHA) recently honored several individuals for exceptional merit in the field of public health during its 62nd Annual Meeting and Health Education Conference, held in Prattville.

The D.G. Gill Award was presented to Tim Hatch, M.P.A., R.E.H.S., director of the Logistics and Environmental Programs for the Center for Emergency Preparedness at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

This award is intended to honor an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to public health in Alabama. Supporters described Hatch as “the epitome of what an emergency preparedness worker should be,” and lauded his work as a nationally- and internationally- recognized expert in disaster and emergency management.

The Guy M. Tate Award, presented annually to a public health employee, group, or agency with 10 years or less in public health for outstanding service to public health, was presented to Carrie Allison. Mrs. Allison is the accreditation coordinator for ADPH. Supporters noted her diligent efforts over the past three years in leading ADPH to receive full accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board, which it received in June of 2017. Mrs. Allison was praised for keeping the overall goal of improving programs and services for the citizens of Alabama at the forefront of the process.

The Virginia Kendrick Award, recognizing individuals who have provided notable service to the people of Alabama while in a supporting role in the field of public health, was presented to Kratina Cunningham, a disease intervention specialist with ADPH. Mrs. Cunningham, who works with clients dealing with sexually transmitted diseases, was recognized for her ability to handle the tremendous workload associated with her role with high levels of compassion and excellence.

The Frederick S. Wolf Award recognizes an individual who has been active in public health at the local level and who has demonstrated efficiency, dedication and professionalism in the delivery of public health services, and who has provided unselfish community services in areas unrelated to public health. This year’s winner is Deborah Grim of the Coffee County Health Department.

Mrs. Grim has been with the Coffee County Health Department since 1989. Supporters singled out her efficiency and professionalism, along with her compassionate and cheerful outlook, when nominating her for the award. In addition to her work with the health department, Mrs. Grim is a frequent and welcome presence at the local animal shelter, where she offers her trademark generosity to animals of all kinds.

Bob Hinds, director of the ADPH Alabama Behavioral Health Division, was the recipient of the Ira L. Myers Award for Excellence in Public Health. This award was established to recognize an individual, group or organization who, through excellence in work, has made a significant impact on some aspect of public health in Alabama. Hinds was recognized for his work in numerous areas of public health during his 19-year career with ADPH, including stints with the Alabama Child Death Review System, the Alabama Newborn Screening Division, and his current role, through which he works with the multiple programs included in the Tobacco Control and Prevention Branch, the FDA Inspection Branch, the Fatality Review Branch, and the Injury Prevention Branch.

Supporters praised Hinds as the “gold standard” of leadership and excellence in public health, and described him as a supervisor who “nurtures, supports and inspires his staff.”

The recipient of the Anne M. Smith Public Health Nurse of the Year Award must exemplify the mission of public health nursing in Alabama, which is “to assure conditions in which individuals, families, and communities can be healthy utilizing the unique expertise of public health nurses to assess, plan and implement, and prevent disease.” This year’s recipient is Lynn Jacobs, clinic nursing supervisor at the Randolph County Health Department. Supporters described Mrs. Jacobs as someone who approaches both her clients and her staff with kindness and respect, and who utilizes problem-solving skills to ensure the highest quality of patient care.

In addition to these awards, two AlPHA members were inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame, Class of 2018: Stacey B. Adams and Tim Hatch. The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the enhancement and advancement of the association.