WA: Whatcom County Health Department Wins National Award for Veterans Work
Bellingham, WA – Whatcom County Health Department was honored at the 2014 annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) with NACCHO’s Local Health Department of the Year Award. The award recognizes and honors the outstanding accomplishments of small, medium, and large local health departments for their innovation, creativity, and impact on their community. This year’s winners were recognized for their adoption of outstanding internal or external policies.
WCHD knew that it had to offer support services to ensure a return to health and an opportunity to build independent living skills. These services include behavioral health treatment, dental care, transportation to essential appointments, and legal assistance.
The number of homeless veterans in Whatcom County dropped from 74 in 2011 to 28 in 2012. Only three veterans who were counted in 2013 remained unhoused in 2014.
Whatcom County Health Department was chosen as the winner for the Medium category (health departments serving populations from 50,000 to 499,999) for the work it has done to end local veterans’ homelessness through a commitment of funding and an expansion of veterans’ programs and services. The department proposed and the County Council approved an ordinance in 2011, officially creating the Whatcom County Veterans Assistance Program. Through the implementation of this ordinance and targeted housing dollars, the number of homeless veterans in Whatcom County dropped by 65 percent from 2008 to 2014. Only three veterans who were counted in 2013 remained unhoused in 2014.
We are proud to accept NACCHO’s Local Health Department of the Year Award on behalf of all of our community partners who joined with us to make a difference in the lives of our veterans. The award is evidence of our commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of local residents
About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.