BURLINGTON – On September 18, the Alamance County Health Department received the GlaxoSmithKline Child Health Recognition Award for its work with local Project LAUNCH.  The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Child Health Recognition Awards program honors local health departments, public health staff and individuals for innovative, collaborative programs that improve the lives of North Carolina’s children. Project LAUNCH promotes the wellness of all children ages 0-8 years and their families in Alamance County.  Project LAUNCH has worked with local pediatricians to implement family-centered medical homes, provide Positive Parenting Program training and support, and supported early childhood mental health services in the community.  The health department was one of three recipients for the state award.

In addition, three health department staff members received North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) All-Star award. The award recognizes public health staff that exhibit dedication, collaboration and professionalism in public health practice. Karen Saxer, certified nurse mid-wife, received the award for her dedication to improving maternity care and birth outcomes for health department patients through Centering Pregnancy (Centering).  Centering is an evidence-based, group prenatal care model that has been shown nationally to improve the outcomes of mothers and infants.  Ayo White and Christie Sykes, both registered nurses, were recognized for their work in the 2011/2012 outbreak of pertussis in Alamance.  Sykes and White coordinated the public health response and collaborated with local partners to prevent the spread of disease.

The awards were presented at the 2013 North Carolina Public Health Association conference held in Asheville.