Public health leaders honored


CONTACT: Jennifer Allen
(334) 206-7988

The Alabama Public Health Association recently honored several public health employees and a former employee for exceptional merit in the field of public health during its 63rd Annual Meeting and Health Education Conference, held at the Montgomery Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at Capitol Hill in Prattville.

The Guy M. Tate Award is given annually to a public health employee, group or agency with 10 years or less in public health for outstanding service to public health. This year’s award was presented to Daphne Jordan Baum, LBSW, public health social worker in Baldwin County, Southwestern District of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Those nominating her for this award repeatedly cited her warm personality and caring approach to her work. One wrote, “Daphne has the biggest heart and cares about everyone she comes in contact with.” Another wrote that Ms. Baum “treats everyone with great respect and truly makes a difference in people’s lives.”

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 Genevieve Moore, an administrative support assistant in the ADPH Bureau of Information Technology, Logistics Division who has been employed there for 17 years.

“In addition to excelling at her day-to-day duties, she has demonstrated a willingness to lend a helping hand in other areas when needed,” a supporter wrote. She has also educated and raised awareness at the community level for the Office of Women’s Health.

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 Karen “Puff” Crawford, administrative support assistant at the Tuscaloosa County Health Department, West Central District.

A nominator stated, “Karen has simply been the MVP in environmental health in Tuscaloosa for decades,” including easing a complex changeover from a paper to an electronic system. Ms. Crawford also works with local women’s and homeless shelters and supports several programs benefitting underserved populations abroad.

Miriam Gaines, MACT, RDN, LD, FAND, 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. Ms. Gaines is the former director of the ADPH Nutrition and Physical Activity Division and is dietetic internship director at the Samford University School of Public Health, where she serves as an associate professor.

Supporters praised her body of work that includes mentoring and educating dietitians, working with and leading numerous health advocacy groups, and pioneering such initiatives as Scale Back Alabama and the Alabama Obesity Task Force.

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 Susan Stiegler, B.S.N., M.P.H., assistant health officer of the Mobile County Health Department.

Throughout Ms. Stiegler’s 36-year career in public health, she has excelled in a variety of roles. Beginning as a health educator, she has led numerous departments, including immunization and primary care. She has worked to ensure that Mobile County’s high needs areas are served by clinic sites, and has served on numerous boards that have proven influential in public health matters. She served as director of Family Health Clinical Services and has been instrumental in leading teams that have won competitive national grants resulting in expanding the capacity of the Mobile County Health Department’s Primary Care Division.

In addition to these awards, Sonya Tinsley was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame, Class of 2019. The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the enhancement and advancement of the association. Nominators wrote that Ms. Tinsley, tobacco coordinator for ADPH’s Northern District, “has supported the organization by tackling tasks big and small,” including service as treasurer and vendor manager. Described as both bright and energetic, “she continues to be a driven, compassionate advocate for public health today.”

The Alabama Public Health Association is an affiliated association of the American Public Health Association. For more information, visit