Public Health Recognized with Nine National Achievement Awards

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) earned nine Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). These NACo awards honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

“We are honored to be recognized by the National Association of Counties, as the public health workers in Los Angeles County are committed to providing the best support possible to keep our residents healthy. We thank NACo for this honor, and acknowledge the critical work done by our partners and colleagues across the country that allows us to learn from each other,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

NACo recognized Public Health for the following:

  • Public Health Task Force – A component of Public Health’s Wellbeing Centers, the Public Health Task Force is an innovative youth leadership program educating high school students ages 14 to 18 from underserved communities across LA County to help lower the transmission of COVID-19, build leadership skills, and explore public health as a career option.


  • COVID-19 PPE Inventory Dashboard – Public Health created and implemented a dashboard to ensure real-time monitoring of PPE inventory at various sites, helping to maintain key operational activities and respond to the pandemic safely and effectively.

  • AAIMM Prevention Initiative – Village Fund – The African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) Prevention Initiative recognizes racism and stress engendered by racism as root causes of disproportionally high rates of Black infant deaths. The Village Fund is AAIMM’s innovative grant program awarding small grants to community members and organizations who provide valuable support and services to Black birthing women.

  • AAIMM Prevention Initiative – Doula Program – The AAIMM Doula Program, deploys and funds a cadre of Black doulas, connects them to pregnant Black individuals, offers them professional development, and promotes long-term sustainability of doula care.

  • Incentivizing Participation to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 – To strengthen COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, Public Health employed several strategies, including gift card incentives, which significantly increased the number of case interviews completed.


  • SARS-COV2 Whole Genome Sequencing – Public Health Laboratory (PHL) was the first local public health lab to perform SARS-COV2 whole genome sequencing in California.  PHL quickly scaled up sequencing efforts to begin sharing critical sequencing information with the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as through public databases.


  • Culturally Appropriate Translation during a Pandemic – Public Health mastered the art of culturally appropriate translation to support the COVID19 pandemic response, decreasing the turnaround time of translations from 21 days to 24 hours, with a robust quality control process that ensures that the translation is accurate and culturally appropriate.


  • Tuition Incentive Program Pilot – Public Health launched the Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) pilot to recruit, train, and develop new Substance Use Disorder counselors from within areas disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs to help address low economic opportunities and bolster the public SUD workforce.

  • COVID-19 Case and Contact Interview Branch (CCIB) Student Internship Program – To support its ongoing efforts in combating COVID-19, Public Health hosted over 500 student internships to aid in critical contact tracing efforts, which provided students with unparalleled public health experience and training.

Los Angeles County was also recognized for two other programs – submitted by the Internal Services Department, Office of Emergency Management, and the Department of Health Services – where Public Health played an essential role:

  • Vaccine Mega Points of Dispensing (MPOD) Program – As soon as COVID-19 vaccines became available, LA County established large-scale Mega Points of Dispensing (MPODs) in hard-hit communities as one of the critical strategies to safely, effectively, and efficiently vaccinate millions of LA County residents.


  • Promoting Health Equity in COVID-19 Testing – Throughout the pandemic, the Department of Health Services worked in collaboration with Public Health and community-based organizations to target COVID-19 testing in hard-hit communities.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) strengthens America’s counties, serving nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees.  Founded in 1935, NACo unites county officials to advocate county priorities in federal policymaking, promote exemplary county policies and practices, nurture leadership skills and expand knowledge networks, optimize county and taxpayer resources and cost savings, and enrich the public’s understanding of county government. To learn more visit NACo’s website: