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Local Health Official Wins National Award

One morning in May 2010, Harvey Crowder, Administrator of the Walla Walla County Health Department went into his office and discovered a package. Inside the package was a copy of the paperwork his staff had submitted to nominate him for the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work. Crowder was awarded the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize on November 9, 2010 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association meeting.
Local Health Official Wins National Award

Harvey Crowder, DVM, MS

November 19, 2010

One morning in May 2010, Harvey Crowder, Administrator of the Walla Walla County Health Department went into his office and discovered a package. Inside the package was a copy of the paperwork his staff had submitted to nominate him for the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work. “When I read the nomination, I was honored,” Crowder said. “I was touched by the time and effort my staff spent putting it together.”

Crowder was awarded the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize on November 9, 2010 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association meeting. The Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize is awarded each year to a public health professional who shows exemplary creativity and innovation in his or her work. Crowder is the first from Washington State to win the prize.

When Crowder’s colleagues nominated him, they highlighted his efforts in mobilizing Walla Walla County’s annual mass vaccination clinic called the Flu Shot Roundup.  In 2005, the Walla Walla County Health Department began using emergency preparedness funding to organize an annual three-day vaccination clinic. These clinics have since provided the opportunity to practice mass dispensing, an important emergency response skill. Crowder explained, “From my experience in the military, I know that unless you practice it, when it comes time, you won’t do it very well.”

In addition to maintaining a state of readiness, the Flu Shot Roundup has made it easy  for people in Walla Walla County to get immunized. At the last Roundup, 3,800 immunizations were given. The time it took for an average visitor to receive an immunization was seven minutes. The Roundup makes it easy for families to get immunized together, and people with decreased mobility can receive in-vehicle immunizations.

Describing the success of the Roundup, Crowder is quick to acknowledge the role of community partners, without whom the event could not take place. “I think this award really is about how well our community works together.”

 

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