National Public Health Week Activities Include Awards Ceremony and Career Day

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 26, 2012

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Administration/HHS Director's Office Division

National Public Health Week is April 2-8

National Public Health Week is April 2-8
As part of National Public Health Week (April 2-8), Washington County Department of Health and Human Services is recognizing an individual and an organization that have made significant contributions to the public's health and well-being.

Award recipients will be honored at the Tenth Annual Public Health Recognition Awards ceremony and reception on Thursday, April 5, 9:30 AM, at the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building auditorium, 155 N. First Avenue, Hillsboro. The public is invited.

Paul Hudak is being honored as the developer and director of Terra Nova Community Farm in Beaverton, a project he initiated in 2008.

A teacher at Terra Nova High School, Hudak worked to convert an unused baseball field at the high school into a productive student farm. Since that time, the farm has become an official Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA), whereby people invest in the farm at the beginning of the season and receive a share of farm-fresh produce throughout the growing season.

Under Hudak's leadership, the students who operate the farm have learned about healthy sustainable agriculture; made it possible for the community to have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables; and have grown to understand the importance of community and knowing where their food comes from.

For the first time in the award's history, the organization being honored is actually a collaboration between two groups. Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and Community Action Early Head Start have developed ways to improve the health of pregnant inmates during incarceration. Examples include prenatal and postpartum support groups and classes as well as a breastfeeding program that allows women to pump and store breast milk for their newborns.

Now any inmate who wishes to pump breast milk for her newborn can do so. The mothers can also enroll in the Early Head Start program at the facility and breastfeed their infants several times a week when they are together in the program. The nutritional and psychological benefits for both mothers and infants are significant.

According to Kathleen O'Leary, Public Health Division Manager for Washington County, "Our vision, 'healthy people, thriving communities' can only be realized through effective partnerships and shared work. These recipients are shining examples of how to focus on prevention and good nutrition to build life-long good health."

Following the awards ceremony, Washington County will once again host a Public Health Career Day. Students from area high schools have been invited to attend the half-day event, which offers them the opportunity to participate in a series of short, interactive sessions with various public health professionals.

More information about National Public Health Week can be found at

Media Contact:

Wendy Gordon, Department Communications Coordinator