El Paso County, CO – The El Paso County and Colorado Springs Vaccine Consortium—spearheaded and led by El Paso County Public Health—has been recognized with a 2022 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo’s Achievement Awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
“Our deeply rooted community partnerships have only been strengthened over the past two-plus years of pandemic response, convening traditional and non-traditional partners to gain collective insight and strategic input to drive the most effective solutions in improving community health,” said Susan Wheelan, director of EPCPH. “Data, innovation and partnerships are driving factors of our work, and it’s exciting to see these efforts recognized as a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our numerous partners across the Vaccine Consortium.”
Strategic, multi-sector partnerships are at the core of the success of the Vaccine Consortium. Recognizing the magnitude of launching a successful vaccine campaign in the most populous county in the state, EPCPH prioritized the development of a coordinated plan, which included building an extensive infrastructure that incorporated partners across numerous sectors. To meet the unique needs of all El Paso County communities, EPCPH quickly established the Vaccine Consortium, bringing together partners from public health, health care, pharmacies, military, elected and municipal leadership, Veterans Affairs, and numerous others to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all residents who wanted to receive one. This unique approach brought a coordinated, efficient, and effective service delivery model to El Paso County communities, with more than 100 locations across the county and more than 30 providers offering COVID-19 vaccines. The Vaccine Consortium has successfully administered more than 1.1 million doses and vaccinated 71.8 percent of eligible El Paso County residents.
El Paso County District 5 Commissioner Cami Bremer has served on El Paso County's Board of Health since 2019. “This much-deserved award recognizes the great work of our public health professionals and partners THROUGHOUT the community," says El Paso County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Cami Bremer. “The COVID-19 strategy and response have been at the forefront of conversation the last couple of years; however, the continued collaboration of our public health professionals and community partners in future issues will be essential to the long-term success of all sectors, our residents, and visitors.”
“I want to congratulate El Paso County Public Health on this prestigious award and recognize them again for their hard work and collaborative approach during the worldwide pandemic. EPCPH brought together state, county, and city agencies and joined them with medical experts, to produce our city’s measured, data-informed and vastly successful efforts to vaccinate people throughout our city. This effort was key in helping us emerge from the pandemic a strong and resilient city,” says Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.
Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.