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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

Aug 11, 2003


Charlotte, NC - Mecklenburg County's commitment to high caliber, innovative programs and projects, especially in the health arena, has earned national recognition. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has recognized 16 Mecklenburg County programs with an Achievement Award.

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will recognize some award recipients and programs during its August 12 regular meeting. Health Department winners will be recognized on Sept 4.

Begun in 1970, the annual Achievement Award Program seeks to recognize innovative, creative and successful County government programs.

"NACo is proud to confer these awards and recognize your county's hard work to promote responsible, responsive and effective county government," said Larry Naake, NACo Executive Director in a letter to Tom Cox, chairman of the BOCC.

The following Mecklenburg County programs received the 2003 NACo Achievement Award:

Managing For Results: Mecklenburg County government's strategic planning and performance management philosophy, a key component of which is the use of the balanced scorecard. 

Library Initiative for Youth in Business - The initiative's goal is to connect youth and businesses to library resources. Youth programs include career exploration, job shadowing, college preparation, entrepreneurship and leadership development.

Fleet Task Team - This Department of Social Services (DSS) initiative put specific and uniform tracking mechanisms in place to monitor vehicle usage and maintenance, and has provided significant savings of county dollars.

Sheriff's Redistricting - a Geographic Information System (GIS) application that geographically plots all papers, then creates deputy districts, or zones, based upon the number of deputies available.

Tax Collections GIS -  a unique tool that allows Mecklenburg County tax collectors to make better use of their field collection time and maximize their potential revenues collected by having access to maps showing unpaid taxes.

Property Ownership Land Records Information System - an Internet mapping application designed for access and retrieval of maps and data associated with real property in Mecklenburg County. For many businesses and individuals, POLARIS has totally eliminated the need to visit a Mecklenburg County or City of Charlotte department to obtain a copy of a map or related information.

Breathe - a local clean air initiative developed and implemented by Mecklenburg County in an effort to achieve and maintain clean and healthful air for its citizens.

Winner Circle Program - a school-based initiative to prevent childhood obesity.

Fighting Back Consumer Advocate Initiate - The program is designed to identify and help close gaps in the continuum of care for people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS and who traditionally have been unable to access needed services.

REACH 2010 Lay Health Advisory Program - Neighborhood based health educators who are hired and trained to provide peer-to-peer education about positive health behaviors associated with the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Potassium Iodide Distribution - Mecklenburg County hosted planning sessions with the four surrounding N.C. counties within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone of Catawba and McGuire Nuclear Power Plants to plan and accomplish a consistent and successful potassium iodide (KI) distribution/education program. Overall, 20,000 households received KI during the distribution effort.

Shigellosis Education Video - Because Mecklenburg County was experiencing an unusually high number of cases of shigellosis, a highly contagious bacterial infection spread most often at daycare centers because of improper handwashing, the Mecklenburg County Health Department's Communications team produced a video detailing proper hand washing and hygiene techniques. This video was mailed to every childcare center.

Medical Online Surveillance Tool - After September 11, 2001, the Mecklenburg County Health Department recognized the need to develop a system that would provide early detection of unusual disease patterns or trends that could indicate a biological terrorist event. Absentee and illness data were collected from a mail handling facility and 14 daycare centers.

West Nile Virus Response Program - This program has responded to the largest mosquito-borne disease to potentially every strike the US in a comprehensive, scientific and expeditious manner. With few additional resources in staff or funding provided, surveillance of mosquitoes and birds has increased 300 percent over the last two years.

Partners in Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities - Created as a focal point for unifying representatives from the community, including consumers, representatives from health and human services groups, medical professionals, local universities, faith-based institutions, community-based organizations and key private sectors stakeholders in an effort to confront health care disparities collaboratively.

Immunization & Health Screening Program for Immigrant Students - Through this program, students whose health problems might otherwise have been missed because of language and cultural issues and lack of access to care were given special attention to insure that they are immunized appropriately, linked with health care, and ready to learn.

Also, the Mecklenburg County Public Service and Information Department won nine awards out of 16 items entered in the National Association of County Information Officers 2003 Awards of Excellence competition.

The Awards of Excellence competition has been conducted for more than 20 years. There are currently 10 categories ranging from Web sites to news writing. This year's competition drew close to 500 entries.

Mecklenburg County won in the following categories:  Internal Publications, Magazine Format: Excellent award to Outlook employee magazine; Internal Publications, Other Formats: Superior award to Outlook 2003 Calendar; External Publications, Newsletter format: Meritorious award to Mecklenburg Matters utility bill insert; External Publications, Magazine format: Meritorious award to Wipe Out Waste brochure; Promotional/PersuasiveWriting: Excellent award to Good Government/Little Sugar Creek Greenway; Video Graphics and Electronic Graphics: Meritorious award to CharMeck.Org; Audio Visual Productions: Meritorious award for 9-11 Remembrance video, Meritorious award for New Employee Orientation video; Media Relations: Meritorious award to Carbon Monoxide campaign.

All awards were presented during the 2003 NACo Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in July.

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