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DOH-Orange Honored for Excellence in Public Health

By Kent Donahue

August 06, 2020

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County was recently honored with the 2020 Model Practice Award by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The award celebrates local health departments for developing programs that demonstrate exemplary and replicable best practices in response to a critical local public health need. 

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County’s “Step into Your Best Life” program was one of 21 local health department programs to receive NACCHO’s prestigious Model Practice Award. 

Focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention, the Step Into Your Best Life program provided free Chicago-style Steppin’ lessons to the community last year. The program’s motto was improving your heart one step at a time. Besides the weekly step lessons over the course of two months, the program was a chance for participants from priority populations to learn more about heart health through facilitated discussions and with the screening of the High Blood Pressure documentary. 

“The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is honored to receive this national award for a program that benefited over 200 residents,” said Dr. Raul Pino, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “The Step Into Your Best Life program not only improved participants’ hearts through step lessons, but it also encouraged them to live a healthy lifestyle.” 

Since 2003, NACCHO’s Model Practice Awards have honored programs, resources, and tools that demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health challenges. Each innovative project receiving the Model Practice Award was peer-reviewed and selected from a competitive group of over 100 applicants. 

Step Into Your Best Life program is now part of an online, searchable database of successful public health practices in areas that range from immunization and maternal and child health, to infectious diseases and emergency preparedness. The NACCHO Model Practice database allows local health departments., public health partners, and other important stakeholders to learn about the good work being done by local health departments across the country. The database also provides users an opportunity to learn from best practices and what resources are needed to implement comparable programs in other jurisdictions that produces results. 

Read more about the award-winning programs at   


About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts. 

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