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DOH-Orange Honored with Two State Productivity Awards

June 28, 2017

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) was honored with two 2017 Florida Prudential Productivity awards for creating and implementing innovative solutions that improve the delivery of state services and save money for Florida taxpayers and businesses. 

 The first Prudential Productivity plaque award DOH-Orange received was for the implementation of the Bellies, Babies, and Beyond program.  The program provided social services support, mental health counseling, and prenatal and well-baby checks to mothers and babies in communities identified as having the highest rate of infant mortality.  Because of these efforts, Bellies, Babies, and Beyond increased the number of infants born at or above normal birth weight. A healthy birth weight is important for the overall health of an infant. This initiative helped avoid millions in healthcare costs. Team members included: Jacqueline Gray, Noelle Jacobsen, Shobha Shah, Lalybeth Miro-Rivera, Sabrina Barber, Jennifer Austin, Naomie Joseph, Chantelle Wade, Joan Schendorf and Cecilia Jackson.

 The second plaque award was in recognition of the DOH-Orange Zoonosis Team’s Mosquito Fish project. Introduced into abandoned green swimming pools, the mosquito fish feed on mosquito larvae, thereby eliminating mosquitoes and also the Zika virus they may carry.  The project saves roughly $10,000 per year in labor and material costs that were associated with the previous method of purchasing and applying mosquito larvicide.  Team members included: Kari Lara-Murabito, Michael Hataway, Vanessa Redley-Ewan, Amanda Tiblier, Judith Hecker, Lea Williams, and Ismael Gonzalez. 

 “We are so proud of our staff. Bellies, Babies, and Beyond is an outstanding program that increases birth weights and reduces the number of premature babies in our highest risk neighborhoods,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, Director of the Department of Health in Orange County.  “Also, the Mosquito Fish team is improving public health by preventing mosquitoes from breeding in unmaintained green pools of abandoned homes by deploying mosquito fish.” 

 For more information about the Prudential Productivity Awards and to see a full list of winners, go to http://www.floridataxwatch.org/prudpa.aspx