Local health department receives top honor in region

By Rozella Hardin
star staff
rhardin@starhq.com

  The Carter County Health Department has been named Health Department of the Year for the Northeast Tennessee Region.
  According to Caroline Hurt, director, "this is a prestigious honor. We were in competition with ten other health departments. The selection is based on a year-long audit conducted by the Quality Management Coordinator for the region."
  "It is not a snapshot look at our department, but it reflects how efficiently we operate internally as well as the services that we offer and how they are offered. It also is based on how well we are responding to community needs," Hurt said.
  Hurt, who has served as local director for two years, said the department's staff has adapted well to change. "We have had a lot of things going on the past couple of years in addition to our routine service. We have become very involved in Homeland Security, and we have targeted programs focused on alleviating some of the disparities in public health," she said.
  One such effort was a diabetes clinic held earlier this year in cooperation with the Carter County UT Extension Office. "The targeted group was African-American women. We had a good response and the clinic was very successful," she said.
  Health departments in the Northeast Tennessee region include Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins-Rogersville, Hawkins-Church Hill, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington.
  The award was presented during a regional in-service meeting.