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Meet Our Circle of Winners: The NNPHI Awards

The NNPHI Awards

This year, for the first time ever, we opened up our awards program to include national partners and the public health community outside of the Network. We called for the nomination of outstanding individuals and organizations who made exemplary contributions to improving the public’s health and embodying NNPHI’s mission and values. You answered that call with an exciting slate of nominations from organizations spanning sectors, philosophies, and missions.

An awards committee comprising NNPHI Board members and at-large members reviewed each application carefully to determine the winners. We’re excited to introduce you to them—our roster is a #phnerd’s dream.

The Winners

Larry Adelman

Co-Director and Executive Producer

 California Newsreel

This singular recognition is NNPHI’s highest honor, given to a veteran leader who has made extraordinary lifetime contributions to improving public health. We are thrilled to honor Mr. Adelman for decades of film-making that tackles social injustice and its relationship to poor health. In particular, his work on RACE – The Power of an Illusion (2003), UNNATURAL CAUSES: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (2007), and Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation (2016) has helped to catalyze the health equity movement and inspire generations of public health professionals. Each documentary series has nurtured critical dialogue about health equity, the social determinants of health, and the intersectional impact of race, class, historical trauma, and environment on health.


Richard Cohen, Ph.D., FACHE,

President and Chief Executive Officer

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC)

This award honors Mr. Kimbrell’s legacy as a principal founder of the NNPHI network, including his enduring commitment to supporting the kind of innovative, multi-sector work that improves public health and facilitates the Network’s continued accomplishments. As an NNPHI member for more than 15 years, serving multiple Board terms including the positions of Board Chair, Treasurer, and Chair of the NNPHI Annual Conference, Dr. Cohen has been an integral leader in the Network’s development. Dr. Cohen is a visionary leader who has devoted his professional life to public health, non-profit management, and the needs of the Philadelphia metropolitan area and the United States. Since 1980, Dr. Cohen has helmed PHMC, an organization of close to 2,500 employees, more than 350 public health programs, and a family of affiliate organizations. Under his watch, the organization has grown more than 75-fold and continues to expand, with a current operating budget of approximately more than $250 million. “Dr. Cohen’s focus on thoughtful innovation has contributed to improvements for all public health institutes – large and small,” notes Dr. Mary Pittman, President and CEO of Public Health Institute.


New England Public Health Training Center (NEPHTC)

This award is given to a network member that exemplifies the mission and vision of NNPHI by using evidence-based methods to improve public health practice and who has had a measurable impact in the region, state, or locality. This year, the Network is honoring the NEPHTC for its signature blended learning course, “Managing Effectively in Today’s Public Health Environment” designed for current or future heads of local or regional health departments and managers or directors in city or state public health agencies in Massachusetts. Students report the course’s profound impact on the development of knowledge, skills, and awareness in leading organizational change, building and maintaining organizational momentum, and managing people, budgets, teams, and office performance.


Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)

The Network confers this award to organizations or individuals leading creative and compelling approaches to pressing challenges. These solutions include the building of unique partnerships resulting in new methodologies, scalable ideas, or novel ways of working across sectors. We are recognizing the CDPH for its use of informatics, applications, predictive analytics, and other strategies to engage community members and make transformational changes, including their initiative. Healthy Chicago 2.0 is a four-year plan detailing a broad spectrum of strategies for ten priority areas of public health, identified through a stringent community health assessment process.  To ensure community participation and engagement in their work and promote health equity through transparency and engaging community members in systemic decision making, CDPH has held a series of town hall meetings that share information about the program and allow community leaders to share their thoughts about the work underway. The department has also prioritized Chicagoans’ “Health and Wellness,” working with community partners and internal departments to achieve the goal of making Chicago “The Healthiest City in the U.S.”


Chelsea Ridely

Director of Customer Engagement and Performance Excellence

Tennessee Department of Health (TDH)

This award is given to a promising new leader who embodies NNPHI’s mission and vision. In her short time at TDH, Ms. Ridely has accelerated the progress of the Tennessee Tobacco Master Settlement Fund, strengthening multiple public health initiatives resulting in improvements in pregnancy smoking rates and asthma-related hospital emergency visits. Ms. Ridley has also partnered with the Tennessee Department of Education for coordinated school health across the state of Tennessee. “She is a progressive, collaborative, hard worker who works each and every day dedicating her career to the betterment of our citizens,” notes her co-worker Rachel Lemons, Special Projects Coordinator.


Celebrate With Us

Congratulations to this year’s circle of NNPHI Award recipients!

We thank them for their tireless dedication to advancing public health practice.

We’re looking forward to connecting our members and partners to these outstanding public health professionals at this year’s NNPHI Annual Conference.

Find us on Twitter and let us know if we’ll see you in New Orleans later this month.

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