BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – Florida Department of Health, Brevard County was honored at the 2013 annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), a body of peers, for developing and implementing a program that demonstrates exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a local public health need.
Primary Access to Health (PATH) Clinic was one of 38 public health programs developed by a local health department selected from across the nation to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award.
The PATH Clinic provides primary care for the under-served population and specialty care by volunteer physicians in the health department clinic. The program partners with local hospitals to provide diagnostic testing through in-kind donations and partners with Florida Institute of Technology to provide behavioral health component. Brevard Health officials say that his is instrumental in providing free diagnostic and quality medical care to their clients. All services are coordinated by the Brevard County Health Department and supported by the Board of County Commissioners, local hospitals and volunteer private providers.
Last year, the PATH Clinic received the Prudential-Davis Productivity Award, and the Florida Health Care Coalition Community Services Award for being selected as a best practice and providing primary care for the indigent.
"The award is evidence of our commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of local residents,” said Heidar Heshmati, MD, director of Brevard County Health Department. "Brevard County Health Department is the only county health department in the United States to have received twelve Model Practice Program Awards from NACCHO."
Each innovative project receiving the award was peer-reviewed (by other local health department professionals) and selected from a group of 101 applications. Since 2003, NACCHO’s Model Practice Awards program has honored initiatives—including programs, resources, and tools—that demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health concerns.
PATH Clinic is now part of an online, searchable database of successful public health practices in areas ranging from immunization and maternal and child health to infectious diseases and emergency preparedness.
The NACCHO Model Practice database allows users to benefit from colleagues' experiences, to learn what works, and to ensure that resources are used wisely on effective programs that have been implemented with good results. It also enables NACCHO to share information with key stakeholders and media about the good work being done by local health departments across the country.
This award puts Brevard County Health Department into special company—a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward thinking, proactive attitude toward protecting and promoting the health of communities across the nation.