Posted by: acbuildingblocks | July 25, 2012

Alameda County Public Health Department Honored for Excellence in Public Health

Local Public Health Department Program is One of 39 Nationwide to Receive
“Model Practice Award” in 2012

Oakland, CA (July 19, 2012)Alameda County Public Health Department was honored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for developing and implementing a program that demonstrates an exemplary response to a local public health need. The Building Blocks for Health Equity Initiative was one of 39 public health programs across the nation to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award.

Based on their 10-point Bill of Rights, the Building Blocks for Health Equity Initiative (BB4HE) builds local and health department capacity to advance their vision for health equity: to ensure that all children in Alameda County – no matter where they live, how much money their families have or the color of their skin – have the best start in life. Recognizing that we need new approaches to reach this vision, the Building Blocks team works to fuel innovation by working with diverse partners to incubate projects and redesign services.

Undergirding their work is a theoretical framework called the Life Course Perspective. Based on health and developmental research, The Life Course Perspective (LCP) recognizes that factors over a lifetime, even before birth, impact long- term health – even life expectancy. It tells us that health is more than access to health care, and develops over time as a result of multiple factors – either positive or negative – in physical and economic environment, community, educational opportunity and healthcare.

A key component of the initiative is the Building Blocks Collaborative (BBC), a partnership of organizations committed to changing the way their organizations work – individually and collectively – to create equitable community conditions that will support well-being starting from the earliest stages of life. BBC members are from diverse arenas – including local economic development agencies, food access projects, city and county government, community clinics, housing, and parks and recreation – and represent stakeholders committed to community transformation throughout Alameda County.  Over 50 Building Blocks Collaborative partners contribute staff time, resources, and expertise from their diverse sectors. In conjunction with partners and funders, BB4HE & BBC have launched innovative projects in the areas of healthy food, healthy economy, and healthy youth and families, such as Food to Families, Prosperity Project and Best Babies Zone. to ensure the optimal health and well-being of Alameda County’s youngest residents.Simultaneously, ACPHD staff are engaged in departmental capacity building by focusing on designing a home-visiting/family support system.

“We are proud to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award.  The Building Blocks for Health Equity Initiative was born from data showing that 1 in 3 of our newborns in Alameda County start life in poverty, and therefore experience many stressors that can result in poor health later in their lives. The award is evidence of our commitment to develop responsive and innovative public health programs that ensure the conditions exist in our communities for all our children to have healthy and productive life trajectories, and we are proud of our diverse partners and the strong local leadership they provide to make this work possible,” said Anita Siegel, Director of the Alameda County Public Health Department.

This award puts Alameda County Public 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.

For more information about the Building Blocks Collaborative, visit: https://buildingblocksalamedacounty.wordpress.com/ and “Like” on Facebook. For more information about the Alameda County Public Health Department, visit: http://www.acphd.org/. For more information about the NACCHO Model Practice Awards and to view a list of other award winners, go to www.naccho.org.

For more information, contact:

Sherri Willis                                        Jessica Luginbuhl

(510) 267-8001                                   (510) 208-1135

Sherri.willis@acgov.org                      jessica.luginbuhl@acgov.org

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