Community Members, Organizations Honored at Public Health Awards

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013 --- 6:28p.m.

Community members and organizations were honored Monday afternoon at the 2013 Public Health Awards ceremony.

Public Health Madison and Dane County, along with Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Dane Co. Executive Joe Parisi presented plaques to seven individuals who represented local efforts to address public health concerns.

The recipients included a nurse from Access Community Health Center who has worked to improve the quality of care for TB patients, the program director at Youth Services of Southern Wisconsin for creating an outlet for high-risk youth, and the staff of the Dane Co. Drug Treatment Court for providing criminals who have drug-dependency issues with an alternative to prison.

"Putting people in prison, behind bars doesn't work," said Dane Co. Circuit Judge John Markson. "What we do is get them in treatment, we keep them in treatment, we do that enough that we hope it will work. So far the studies are proving it's been a valuable approach."

They also honored those who work to prevent the transmission of diseases and minimize overdoses among drug-injection users.

"They give us their dirty syringes and that helps us get those off the street and disposed of properly," said Heidi Olson-Streed, with the AIDS Network. "Which helps us prevent needle stick injuries in the community. And then we exchange those dirty needles for clean syringes."

Nominations for the awards were submitted by people in the community and staff from the Health Dept.

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