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Cobb and Douglas Public Health Advocates Awarded

April 21, 2014

Last month, the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA) presented Dr. Dan Stephens with the Fred Agel Governance Award in recognition of his outstanding commitment and service as Chairman of the Cobb Board of Health. The GPHA also awarded the Office Personnel Outstanding Service Award to Dominique Hardman, Program Evaluation & Quality Assurance Manager, Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH).  Recipients of this award have demonstrated exceptional merit by enhancing public health's administrative services and serving the community.

Dr. Dan Stephens and Dominique Hardman received awards from GPHA in March.

Dr. Dan Stephens has been an active member of the Cobb County Board of Health since 1988 and has served as the board chairman since 1993.  As board chair he has led the agency through numerous challenges including Y2K, H1N1, the floods of 2009, numerous federal, state and local budget cuts and the severe 2008-2012 recession. Throughout the years, he has remained positive, informed, supportive and committed to the mission of public health. 

Stephens served as the chair for the Cobb Community Services Board (public mental health services) when it was a joint agency with public health in the early years and even after it was a established as a separate agency by Georgia legislation. During this same time, he ran a thriving OB/GYN practice in the community and is recognized for delivering more than 5,000 babies during his 42-year career.

“All my life I wanted to be a physician, ever since I was in grade school,” said Stephens. Known as “Dr. Dan” by his patients and in the community, Stephens said, “I’ve always enjoyed medicine. I’ve enjoyed seeing the patient. Going to work has never been a chore for me. I basically went to work to see my friends, all these people I’ve seen all these years.”

In 2012, he agreed to serve as the chair of the re-launched Cobb Health Futures Foundation (CHFF), the fundraising arm of Cobb Public Health. He has helped establish a new board of directors, increased individual giving to the foundation by local businesses and set the stage for significant future growth and diversified funding resources. 

He has also been persistent in his desire to increase public health awareness.  He has used his community connections and various public platforms to educate local business leaders and the community about public health issues. He works closely with CDPH’s WellStar partner and Cobb County Government and he often speaks on the agency’s behalf at civic meetings and legislative events with the Cobb delegation.  

As a private physician, business owner and member of numerous community boards and his church, Dr. Stephens has had a multitude of demands on his time over the past 3 decades. During the economic recession, he could have easily and justifiably backed away from his commitment to public health due to the many issues he was working to resolve for his business and other groups. Fortunately, he continued to show his commitment to CDPH’s mission and vision to be a recognized public health leader in the Southeastern United States. 

Dominique Hardman, Program Evaluation & Quality Assurance Manager at Cobb & Douglas Public Health, has made a tremendous difference to improve the administrative functions of the health department. 

She currently serves as the agency’s customer satisfaction and productivity “guru,” and is responsible for the administration of customer satisfaction surveys and data analysis for 30 public health programs.  In addition, Dominique has found ways to streamline the customer satisfaction survey process by transitioning from paper-based surveys to online surveys.  This change has not only streamlined data collection, but computer based surveying has reduced data entry by hand and improved the reliability of results. She also manages the design, collection, and preparation of productivity reports for 27 public health programs. These metrics and tools have added a business perspective to public health operations and supplied program managers and staff with meaningful performance data of interest to boards of health and stakeholders, as well as potential funders.

“Dominique displays persistence and initiative to resolve public health service and business issues proactively,” commented Emily Frantz, Director of the Center for Organizational Performance & Strategy Management.  “I was impressed with how quickly she assumed the role of chair of the Business Process QA/QI workgroup, adding structure and a passion for stating ones case through data.” 

While Dominique is more than capable of applying her public administration skills in a number of settings, she is a tremendous asset to public health programs in Georgia and beyond.

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