Public Health Recognitions


What would you like to do?

What you need to know

Help spread the news! The Nebraska State Board of Health accepts nominations to recognize outstanding work in public health promotion. Anyone may nominate a community health promotion activity or someone who works directly with communities in efforts to improve and enhance their health.  Complete the nomination form for a program/initiative you are familiar with.  NOMINATION FORM   

Nominations are accepted any time throughout the year by the Public Health, Education and Legislation Committee for review. They are forwarded to the State Board of Health for approval at regular meetings. Award recipients will receive a framed certificate and a press release will be issued to area newspapers to announce the award. When feasible, a State Board of Health member will come to you to present the award.

Send completed nominations to:   

 Monica Gissler, State Board of Health
 DHHS / Public Health / Licensure Unit / RPQI
 P.O. Box 95026
 Lincoln, NE  68509-5026
 (402) 471-2948, Fax (402) 471-0383

Recently Recognized Public Health Initiatives in Nebraska:

November 2017 - AIRE Nebraska

Asthma/Anaphylaxis Intervention, Resources and Education - AIRE is dedicated to enhancing asthma and allergy awareness, promoting comprehensive asthma and allergy education, serving as a resource and advocate for Nebraskans affected by asthma and life-threatening allergies. They provide resources for schools, parents, patients, etc. They provide hands-on training, are multi-lingual, have handouts, posters, electronic presentations, sample forms, links to other resources, etc.  They help young people learn how to self-manage their care, and be confident about it. They help parents with the information to identify the signs and symptoms of a breathing emergency, and know when to call 911, and to make sure their child has what they need on hand, whether at home or at school. They provide teachers with information on non-food rewards for classroom activities. They also maintain a facebook page to get out timely information, like for Halloween, or cold weather changes, and share information about happenings around the country like studies, new drugs, protocols, etc, connecting to the community.   

September 2017 - City Sprouts

City Sprouts became a group in 1995 when concerned community members came together to reclaim an overgrown city lot and make it a garden. City Sprouts in Omaha facilitates community gardens and educational opportunities for people in Omaha. Often the people they serve live in more urban parts of the city and have little exposure to growing their own food.  City Sprouts has focused efforts on providing opportunities for youth and immigrant populations, as well.  They are promoting public health by educating people about opportunities for healthy food options, increasing the availability of fruits and vegetables, and empowering people to be a little more self-reliant and in control of where a portion of their food comes from.  City Sprouts has worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Omaha to train 15 low-income teenagers in horticulture production, marketing, accounting, and team-building skills. They also work with different community groups including churches, neighborhood associations, schools, and unions. Two universities, the Omaha Public Works Department, and Douglas County Extension have also become involved, as well as several businesses that donated services or materials.

July 2015 - Fuel Up to Play 60

Fuel Up to Play 60.  Childhood obesity rates have reached epidemic levels across the country. Helping ensure children have access to healthy foods and opportunities to get physically active at school is a critical step in fighting this epidemic. Fuel Up to Play 60 was created as a program to promote healthy eating and physical activity to youth in a fun and positive way.  Fuel Up to Play 60 is focused on providing students and schools nationwide with resources to build a healthier generation. Fuel Up to Play 60 is on a mission to empower youth as change-agents for wellness in their schools and communities. They provide students with a voice by bringing their insight, ideas, and knowledge to the table. The partnership between schools across the state of Nebraska and the Midwest Dairy Council, and several others including the Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids, Hunger Free Heartland, the USDA, and the Nebraska Association of School Boards, is a successful endeavor to promote healthy eating and physical activity to youth in a fun and positive way. 

January 2015 - Nebraska MEDS (Medication Education for Disposal Strategies) Program

Nebraska MEDS (Medication Education for Disposal Strategies) program is a successful public health initiative in Nebraska.  The partnership between Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department; the Nebraska Pharmacists Association; Groundwater Foundation; Nebraska Regional Poison Center; the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office; WasteCap; and several others, was unique and made this a successful endeavor.  The work and dedication of this partnership was responsible for providing an opportunity for patients to dispose of unwanted medication in an effort to protect the environment and public health.  This is a clear demonstration of your efforts to sustain a healthy community.  Please accept this letter as a thank you for your steadfast work in prevention and care.  We wish you continued success with this pilot program and hope that this will be an ongoing effort so all of Nebraska's water and people may benefit.  We also recognize Nebraska Environmental Trust's grant for the local efforts and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for funding the ongoing statewide collection of unwanted medications. Press Release.

November 2014 - Blast Off for Healthy Kids

Memorial Health Care Systems developed this program as one way to fight back against childhood obesity.  Statistics show that childhood obesity is a worsening trend that stands to threaten the health and wellness of our vulnerable children.  In an effort to help combat this dangerous development, three years ago MHCS began a program working with elementary school students to provide important, relevant, easy-to-understand information about making healthy lifestyle choices.

The “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BLAST OFF FOR HEALTHY KIDS!" campaign is targeted to young children in grades 1-4, and is based on five basic tenets that teach children about healthy nutrition and exercise choices.  They impact and educate parents as well by sharing information through materials sent home with their child, and they work to keep the message alive through community presence of their seven foot 'carrot' found at parades and community events as a constant reminder.  MHCS staff provide a 25-30 minute upbeat, educational ½ hour presentation to all Milford and Seward Elementary School students in grades 1 through 4, and this year they will add the Centennial (Utica, NE) elementary school.

January 2014 - Health 360 Project Access

Health 360 Project Access. This program provides uninsured individuals and their families in Lancaster County, Nebraska access to medical care and medications on a sliding fee based on household income. There are three components:  medical assistance started in 2003; access to specialty medical care started in 2007; and access to primary care started in 2012. They collaborate with many community agencies and connect with over 80 local human services agencies.

June 2013 - Camp Superkids

Camp Superkids is a summer residential camp for Nebraska children 7 to 14 with moderate to severe asthma. The Lung Association provides 24-hour care through an asthma and allergy specialist physician, experienced nurses and respiratory therapists. YMCA camp staff provide hiking, swimming, crafts, horse-riding and other adventures so central to a summer camp experience. Daily asthma educational sessions help to keep the children in school and on the playground where they belong, instead of in the hospital or doctor's office. It was founded in 1977. 

In 2013, Camp Superkids will be June 9-15, 2013, at YMCA's Camp Kitaki near South Bend.  60-100 youth attend each summer.  By providing this safe and educational, yet fun experience, Camp SuperKids helps kids to increase their lifelong asthma management skills and decrease the impact of asthma on their life.
Asthma can limit a person's quality of life and even be life threatening.  There is no cure for asthma.  It is the leading serious chronic childhood illness.  The good news is that asthma can be controlled through education and proper treatment. 
Camp Superkids is a step in the right direction.  By learning how to better self-manage their illness, kids miss less school and enjoy a better quality of life.

Children with asthma might have a difficult time at a regular camp.  Camp SuperKids provides 24-hour medical care through volunteer doctors, nurses and therapists to ensure their specific medical needs are met.  YMCA camp staff provide traditional camp experiences, like horse-riding, swimming, hiking, crafts, and other adventures, to ensure their kid needs are met! 

The camp is made possible through generous donations of foundations, corporations, and individuals.  Their goal is that no child is ever turned away from camp due to lack of funds.  They work with scholarships and other types of financial aid.  They also partner with school districts, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, health clinics, volunteers and businesses. One of their biggest partners is the Lincoln YMCA Camp Kitaki.   

March 2013 - Camp CoHoLo

In 1984 Maureen Herrick, an Omaha housewife, viewed a national talk show's feature on a unique summer camp that hosted children with cancer and blood disorders. Because of their unique medical needs, the show's host noted that many children with cancer and blood disorders were deprived of the opportunity for a normal summer camp experience.

Maureen contacted Robyn Freeman, then the director of the Campfire USA Midlands Council, to see if a similar camp existed in Nebraska.  Finding none, they contacted the head of the pediatric hematology/oncology department at Children's Hospital, sparking the birth of Camp CoHoLo. Camp CoHoLo held its first summer camp, a three-day event, in 1985 for 22 children.

CoHoLo is an acronym for Courage, Hope and Love, the guiding principles behind the formation of Camp CoHoLo.  From its humble beginnings, Camp CoHoLo now hosts 140 to 160 children each July during an eight-day camp.  The summer camp is held at the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center near Gretna. The 4-H Center features ten two-story cabins nestled within the wilderness and a large, air-conditioned lodge used for activities and meals. They also hold a Sibling Camp and a Winter Carnival.
For the first ten years, Camp CoHoLo was entirely funded by the Variety Club of Nebraska.  There is a $15 registration fee for those campers who are able to pay it.  Since 1995, Camp CoHoLo has depended upon the generosity of area businesses and individuals for financial support (see donor photo on the next page).  Camp expenses each year total approximately $75,000, with the largest outlays expended for food and the rental of the 4-H Center.

They target sick and recovering kids, their siblings, and their families. Children in remission since age two share the camp with newly diagnosed twelve-year-olds; regardless of the age of diagnosis, they all share a common bond. With their daily medications and special medical needs, these kids often didn't have an opportunity to attend camp before Camp CoHoLo was founded. They now host approximately 150 children each summer, as well as approximately 25 children each fall for a weekend sibling camp. They also have a Winter Carnival to provide the campers with an opportunity to get together with their camp buddies. Everyone is welcome, regardless of ability to pay.  They are solely staffed by volunteers.  

March 2012 - Ted E. Bear Hollow

Ted E. Bear Hollow is a nonprofit organization that provides day camps, support groups and other services for grieving children, teens and their families. Founded in 2001, the center has helped more than 5,000 metro-area families by giving them support, understanding and the skills to communicate and cope after the death of a loved one.

Their work with families is paid for by members and contributors. Families are never charged to participate in any TEBH program. Our new "BearHUGS" campaign is designed to increase awareness and build financial support involving different subscription levels.  Our "Pay It Forward" program enables you to sponsor a child or family through a program. We now have the capability to accept online donations, and recently added an online "Wish List" containing various program and office supplies that are always needed and much appreciated.
The staff and volunteers at Ted E. Bear Hollow are a resource for the community. They offer training and information to groups and organizations that are dealing with child grief, or would like to know more about the subject.

Ted E. Bear Hollow has a number of volunteer opportunities for students and members of the community that want to contribute to the work we do with grieving children and families. This may involve helping at day camps, facilitating support groups, assisting with fundraisers, completing an internship or helping around the office, among other things. We invite you to become part of the Ted E. Bear Hollow family and get involved today!