Dakota County Public Health has been named a Local Health Department of the Year. The department was recognized July 10 by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, which honored health departments for their innovative ways to improve public health and safety.
Applications were scored on innovation and creativity, implementation, impact on the community and public health, and engagement of community and diverse partners. Dakota County was one of two large local health departments awarded across the country. It was honored for its innovative partnerships, including:
- The Birth to Age 8 Initiative, which brings together the County, school districts and other partners to assure young children reach key developmental milestones. In 2018, more than 130 children and their families were connected to their school district, which would not have received information otherwise, and more than 100 of those were enrolled in early childhood programs as a result.
- The Communities for a Lifetime Initiative, in which the County has partnered with local community groups to offer transportation options and training for older adults.
- The Disease Prevention and Control team that was the first in Minnesota to use telemedicine for treatment of tuberculosis. The program has saved money and increased client and staff satisfaction.
- The Health Promotion team, which has been building relationships with the local Latino and Somali communities to improve the health of youth.
- The Breastfeeding Friendly Health Departments model, which was developed by Dakota County in 2012 and has since expanded to 30 health departments across Minnesota.
Dakota County Public Health employees are leaders in areas such as family home visiting and the Breastfeeding Friendly Health Departments model. They work with local, state and national partners to improve public health.
“Our vision is health for everyone in Dakota County, across the lifespan," said Dakota County Public Health Director Bonnie Brueshoff. “I am proud of the passionate and dedicated staff we have in our department who work toward this vision daily."
To learn about Dakota County Public Health's work, visit the Health Services page.