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September 1, 2020

Healthy Community Awards honor local organizations and individuals supporting our most vulnerable residents

Professor Deborah Cantrell, the Community Infant Program, and Boulder County Farmers Markets are this year's winners

Boulder County, CO - On Sept. 10, Boulder County Public Health will honor organizations and individuals that have improved the health and well-being of people in Boulder County by developing policies for fair housing; the mental health of new parents; and making fresh, local fruits and vegetables available to low-income Boulder County families during the pandemic.

The winners of the 2020 Boulder County Healthy Community Awards are Professor Deborah Cantrell, the Community Infant Program, and Boulder County Farmers Markets. The community is invited to celebrate the work and achievements of these award recipients.

  • What: Boulder County Healthy Community Awards Ceremony
  • When: Thursday, Sept. 10, 1:30 -3:00 p.m.
  • Where: Online virtual ceremony via Microsoft Teams

Professor Deborah Cantrell supervised a law clinic of students and provided essential, strategic legal analysis and advice that led to the passage of two bills that protect and support residents of mobile home parks. The bills, HB 20-1196 and HB 20-1201, address retaliation, arbitrary eviction, utility billing transparency, landlord responsibilities, right to privacy, and set standards for potential community purchase of a park. Cantrell and her students served as integral partners on Representative Edie Hooton’s executive steering committee that co-designed the legislation. Cantrell consistently provided keen, clear legal analysis that could be understood by audiences ranging from mobile home park residents, to legislators, to state regulators and community organizers.

The Community Infant Program (CIP) provides home visits from a psychotherapist and nurse to help new mothers build on their strengths and manage depression, anxiety, and past trauma so they are able to parent positively. With the added impact of the pandemic, many families are reporting higher levels of stress, trauma responses, and mental health needs. CIP has been responsive to these new demands, providing developmentally appropriate, culturally competent, trauma-informed, and attachment-focused care for our most vulnerable families. Since the majority of brain development occurs in the first three years of life, and secure attachment is a cornerstone to healthy development, the work of CIP is a vital program that helps give families the opportunity to live a healthy life.

Boulder County Farmers Markets (BCFM) has been a longtime supporter of public health and equity through their food access programs and health and safety protocols; this has been further exemplified throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue providing critical food resources to many low-income residents during this time, BCFM developed the BCFM 2GO online marketplace, opened modified drive-through pickup markets, and created an online reservation system to manage crowd flow and space. BCFM even created health and safety protocols that are now being used across the state, allowing farmers markets to open and continue operating in many Colorado communities. Through Aug. 14, 2020, more than 1,100 families (i.e. more than 5,000individuals) have received fresh fruits and vegetables using the Double Up Food Bucks and WIC Farmers Market Program through online markets/curbside pickup or the Longmont and Boulder in-person farmers markets. More than 300 families reported it was their first time shopping at the farmers market. Shoppers at the in-person markets said they felt it was a safe place to shop and provides a welcome alternative to the high-stress indoor grocery stores during this time.

Since 2006, Boulder County Public Health has recognized more than 30 individuals, groups, agencies, and organizations that have worked to address public health needs and issues in Boulder County. Recipients of the Healthy Community Award demonstrate strategies that improve the health and well-being of the people and environment in Boulder County; up to three awards are given annually.

A Boulder County Public Health employee must nominate the community members or organizations for an award, and a review committee comprised of public health leaders selects the annual award recipients.