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CU Public Health Receives National Recognition For Facilitating Community Partnerships

CUPHD award

CU Public Health District Epidemiologist Awais Vaid and Administrator Julie Pryde accept an award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials on July 10, 2019. Courtesy of CUPHD

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District has received national recognition for its efforts to build partnerships to address local public health needs.

The “2019 Local Health Department of the Year” award comes from the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

CU Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde said the award acknowledges the district’s efforts to build community partnerships, including an initiative launched earlier this year known as the “Immigrant Cooperative.”

Pryde described it as a one-stop shop where people can access services from several local organizations that work to help immigrants and refugees in east-central Illinois, including the Refugee Center, the YMCA New American Welcome Center, CU FAIR and Three Spinners.

“The benefit is that they’re not having to travel all over town,” Pryde said. “For people who are non-English-speaking, there are limited bilingual translators for all the different languages. So it helps when you can come to one place and you can be followed around by the translator you’re working with.”

Pryde said her agency also works with local hospitals, social service agencies and health departments in neighboring counties. Together, they assess and work to meet the community’s health needs.

She said the district is involved in more partnerships now than ever before. 

“Another example is when we just recently had the measles outbreak. That was not Public Health (addressing) that alone. That was Public Health, Carle, OSF, University of Illinois” and others, Pryde said. 

“In the past, there was a tendency to not get involved in things because we weren't big enough to do it,” she said. “But now, we see... we have willing community partners who jump in and are there, literally at a moment's notice.”

Follow Christine on Twitter: @CTHerman