Friend of Public Health Award

The Berrien County Health department, through it’s Board of Health, has established the annual “Friend of Public Health Award.” This award gives recognition to outstanding, significant and innovative activities and accomplishments by an individual, agency or other entity in furthering the principles of Public Health and the mission of the Berrien County Health Department.

Our Mission

The mission of the Berrien County Health Department is to prevent disease, prolong life, protect the health of the community, and promote an optimal quality of life for the citizens of Berrien County.

Our Methods

This mission is achieved through the continual evaluation of community-wide health needs, particularly where vulnerability exists; through the development of comprehensive population-based health policies, both personal and environmental; and through diligent collaboration and cooperation with all healthcare organizations and the community to provide health services. It is hoped that a rich tradition will be developed with the implementation of this award.


The purpose of the award is to provide recognition of the recipient for worthy contributions to the health of our Community, reflecting the spirit of the Berrien County Health Departments’ Mission statement and it’s population-based approach to health care enhancement.


  • To provide recognition and appreciation for advancing the mission and principles of public health
  • To provide a means for the Berrien County Health Department’s community health care partners to obtain local recognition from the Board of Health, local media and peer individuals and organizations
  • To increase the public awareness of the role of local public health and its health care partners
  • To provide a means of building pride among public health workers and their community partners
  • To provide a platform to showcase partnerships in providing population-based health care for the enhancement of the community
  • To encourage excellence in all public health collaborative ventures with the community


Eligibility is open to all individuals and organizations, whether Berrien County based or not, who have advanced the Mission of the Berrien County Health Department.


The Award, whether it be for an individual or organization, should be designed to recognize outstanding contributions to the health of the community. As it relates to public health, and more specifically local public health, recognition should be considered for outstanding, innovative, and leadership efforts relating to program or service development, delivery or administration in supporting local public health and community efforts that enhance the health status of our community. Generalized criteria to be considered include the following:

  • Improve the health status of the community
  • Address a specific health service need for a special or vulnerable population
  • Increase public awareness of health programs or problems and the need for implementation of a public health methodology to address them
  • Demonstrate an ongoing effort that has resulted in long term outcomes to eliminate disease, suffering, or disability, thereby promoting the health of the community
  • Development of a new creative service or program in cooperation with public health that enhances the health of the community

Nomination Procedure/Selection Process

  • The Management Team of the Berrien County Health Department will nominate a slate of not less that two worthy candidates (individuals and/or organizations) to the Award Selection Committee of the Board of Health.
  • The Management Team shall develop the slate based on collaborative experiences with worthy candidates. Input for nominations may be sought from health care peers and providers. The Health Officer will be charged with communicating the slate to the Selection Committee.
  • The Selection Committee will be comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chair and one other member of the Board appointed by the Chair.
  • The selection committee will convene its work in January of each year so that a vote by the full Board can be conducted at the March Board meeting.
  • The Award will be presented at the April Board of Health meeting each year, corresponding with National Public Health Week.

Recognition Process

  • The recipient will be asked to be present at the April Board of Health meeting to receive the award
    Media coverage of the presentation will be solicited. A press release will be distributed to all local media.
  • The selected individual or organization will receive a plaque identifying them as the recipient of the “Friend of Public Health Award” for that particular year.
  • The name of the recipient will be placed on a permanent plaque housed at the Berrien County Health Department’s main office.