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DOH-Orange’s Epidemiology Clinical and Information Technology teams receive Florida TaxWatch with Productivity Awards

By Kent Donahue

August 14, 2019

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County’s Epidemiology Clinical and Information Technology (IT) teams were recently honored with 2019 Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards by Florida TaxWatch, an independent nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog and taxpayer research institute. 

Formerly known as the Prudential Productivity Awards, since 1989 the TaxWatch Productivity Awards Program recognizes and rewards state employees and work units whose work significantly and measurably increases productivity and promotes innovation to improve the delivery of state services and saves money for Florida taxpayers and businesses. 

“We are proud that our Epidemiology Clinical and Information Technology teams were recognized for their efforts to address the hepatitis A outbreak and for implementing a Badge Reader system,” said Dr. Raul Pino, Interim Director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “Through vaccinations, the Epidemiology Clinical team has prevented additional cases and saved thousands of dollars in treatment and medical costs. The Information Technology’s Badge Reader system has streamlined documentation processes and created reductions in time.” 

Recognized with a Cash Award in the quality of life category, Epidemiology’s Clinical team members are Deborah Andrews, Luz Higuera, Danielle Knight, and Karen McKenzie. Their project (DOH 62) was a coordinated vaccination response to the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Orange County. They administered more than 4000 doses of hepatitis A vaccine to high-risk populations. Based on an estimate from March 2019, the team’s efforts have saved approximately $25,618,299.84 in treatment and hospitalization costs.  

Information Technology’s Badge Reader system (DOH 61) was recognized as a Plaque Winner in the technology category. Utilizing software technology, team members Susannah Bowersox, Chris Collinge, and Marcus Chinfatt were able to increase the accuracy and reduce reporting cycle for sign-in and out processes for large and small meeting events and emergencies where attendance documentation is required. Cost savings for this system is between $15,000 and $30,000 per annum. 

For more information about the Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards and to see a full list of winners, visit