At a national conference Tuesday in Chicago, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) received six awards from the CDC's National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC)—two gold, one silver and three bronze Awards of Excellence – recognizing success in the department's efforts to communicate with those it serves.
DPH Director of Communications Ryan Deal said the awards were the result of unprecedented collaboration between the communications team and programs throughout DPH.
"To be recognized by our NPHIC peers and the CDC is really something special, but validation of our hard work is only part of it," Deal said. "When we consider true success, what NPHIC really recognized this year is rich collaboration across disciplines."
DPH took top honors in the radio marketing category for the "He's the Flu" campaign, which was created and broadcast in areas throughout the state during the 2012-2013 flu season. The 30-second spot and a related television spot produced in conjunction with vendor TG Madison encouraged listeners to get vaccinated at school-based flu clinics in their areas. According to data analyzed by DPH’s Immunization program, the number of flu vaccinations increased in all but one of the markets in which the radio spot aired, and the statewide total for school-based flu shots more than doubled compared to the previous year.
DPH's 2012 Georgia Tobacco-related Cancers Report was another gold medal winner in the annual report category. The 58-page report was the result of collaboration between the Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program, the Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry and DPH’s Division of Communications. After its publication, nearly 1,000 people visited DPH’s website to access the report. DPH epidemiologists also used the information in the report to publish an article in the CDC’s national, peer-reviewed e-journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, and to create an award-winning scientific poster at a CDC national conference.
Victoria Davis and Antionette Lavender, DPH cancer epidemiologists and co-authors of the report, said they were proud of the NPHIC honor for the report.
“It gives us great pleasure to know that our work in epidemiology has been recognized as we continue to support DPH’s efforts to promote health and prevent chronic diseases. This award validates our commitment to the citizens of Georgia,” said Davis.
NPHIC judges also recognized the department's advancement of social media. DPH won a silver medal for a Twitter chat focused on health disparities faced by African Americans in Georgia, which reached thousands of Twitter users with more than 1.2 million timeline deliveries. A March 2013 social media workshop involving Georgia's public health districts received a bronze medal.
Media relations activities were also honored by judges who awarded bronze medals in the categories of general news releases and Op-Eds, or opinion articles.
NPHIC received more than 400 entries this year for health communications work in 17 categories. This is the second year DPH has earned six NPHIC Awards of Excellence since becoming a new, stand alone department in 2011.
View the NPHIC awards and entries on the NPHIC website.