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Health Department Recognizes Williamstown Mayor for Efforts to Improve Health and Prevent Disease

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Northern Kentucky Health Department will honor Williamstown, Ky., Mayor Rick Skinner with the 2016 Award of Excellence in Public Health. Skinner is being recognized for his leadership of the Fitness for Life Around Grant County (FFLAG) coalition as it works to improve health in Grant County, specifically efforts to create opportunities for physical activity and improved nutrition for residents; and for his willingness to advocate for a syringe access exchange program.

“Mayor Skinner has been a long-time partner on health initiatives,” said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. “He knows firsthand how creating a culture of good health, and creating an environment that makes healthy choices easy can go a long way to improving the health status of a community.”

Some of the milestones that FFLAG accomplished during Mayor Skinner’s tenure as chair include development of a comprehensive master plan for Williamstown, improved opportunities to be active with local trails, playgrounds and sidewalks, and improved opportunities for healthy eating, with the implementation of a healthy food policy for city meetings and events. Further, Mayor Skinner was also an early advocate for a syringe access exchange program. The City of Williamstown was the first in Northern Kentucky to pass a resolution to allow such a program to operate.

Efforts in Grant County have translated into positive change. In the annual County Health Rankings, which compare health across all counties in Kentucky, Grant County improved more than 30 spots in both health factors and health outcomes from 2010 to 2016.

Skinner will receive the award at the Grant County Chamber of Commerce meeting at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 16, 2016, at the Grant County Extension, 105 Baton Rouge Road, Williamstown, Ky. Saddler and Doug Thoroughman, Assistant Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning for the Kentucky Department for Public Health, will present the award.

The Award of Excellence in Public Health is given each spring to honor those people and organizations in Northern Kentucky who have shown progress toward achieving and maintaining a healthier community. Winners are nominated and selected by Health Department staff for work done in collaboration with the Health Department. The awards were first presented in 2000. For more information, please visit http://www.nkyhealth.org/Awards.aspx.

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Media representatives should contact Emily Gresham Wherle at 859.344.5470 or Emily.Gresham-Wherle@nkyhealth.org, about any request or information before calling any other Health Department employee. Your calls and requests will be handled expediently with your deadlines in mind. Thank you for your interest and support in educating the community about public health issues.

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