Each year, NACCHO recognizes the remarkable accomplishments of local health departments and health officials through the following awards. Winners are honored at a special ceremony and reception at the NACCHO Annual Conference.

About the Award

The Local Health Department of the Year Award values that local health departments are the local stewards of public health—known for helping to ensure the safety of the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. This award recognizes and honors the outstanding accomplishments of small, medium, and large local health departments across the United States for their innovation, creativity, and impact on communities.


This award is open only to active (dues-paying) members of NACCHO whose memberships are in good standing. If you are unsure of your membership status, contact or call 877- 533-1320.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted Feb. 1 through April 8. Log in to MyNACCHO and select NACCHO Applications. Apply online and submit payment for the application fee, which is based on the size of the local health department—small ($25), medium ($55), large ($75).

Selection Process: Each year focuses on a different theme. Awards are categorized by the size of the population the local health department serves: Small (<25,000-49,999), Medium (50,000-499,999), Large (500,000+). NACCHO’s Awards Committee, in collaboration with subject matter experts, judges applications based on their impact to the community, health improvement, originality, creativity, uniqueness, and overall contribution to promoting public health. Up to three awardees (gold, silver, and bronze) are selected for each size category. NACCHO notifies award recipients in the spring and recognizes the winners at the NACCHO Annual Conference in the summer.

Medium: Kansas City Health Department

Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) is a diverse urban community in the heart of the Midwest with a population of 459,787 people. With 150 years of protecting the population’s health, the Kansas City Missouri Health Department (KCMOHD) operates with a mission to promote, preserve and protect the health of Kansas City residents and visitors. Read more

Large: Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services

Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES) is the county health department for Harris County, Texas - the third most populous county in the U.S. - providing comprehensive public health services through an annual budget of over $80 million and a workforce of over 700. Read more

NACCHO remembers Maurice “Mo” Mullet, MD, who passed away on September 7, 2014. Mullet’s distinguished career in public health inspired NACCHO’s “Mo Mullet Lifetime of Service Award,” which honors local health officials for noteworthy service that reflects Mullet’s commitment, vigor, and leadership. To view Mullet’s obituary, click here.

About the Award

NACCHO’s Mo Mullet Lifetime of Service Award honors local health officials for noteworthy service that reflects Mullet’s commitment, vigor, and leadership. Mo Mullet was a NACCHO board member for three years, vice president for four years, and president from 1992 to 1994. During his career, Mullet achieved statewide and national recognition as a leader among local health officials and in the field of public health.


The career of the recipient of this award will demonstrate the following achievements:    

  • Leadership among local health departments demonstrated by energetic volunteer service to NACCHO
  • Significant contributions to the field of local public health practice as a thoughtful leader and representative of NACCHO
  • Commitment, skill, and effort demonstrated on behalf of NACCHO

How to Apply

Applications and nominations are accepted Feb. 1 through April 8. To apply or submit a nomination, log in to MyNACCHO and select NACCHO Applications.

Selection Process: NACCHO’s awards committee will meet in the spring to select a winner. NACCHO will notify the winner in May and recognize him or her at a special ceremony at the NACCHO Annual Conference in July.

Previous Winners

2016: Patrick M. Libbey

Learn more about Patrick.

2015: Patrick Lenihan, PhD, MUPP

Learn more about Patrick.

2014: Joan Ellison, RN, MPH

Learn more about Joan.

2013: Mary Selecky

Learn more about Mary.

2012: Robert Harmon, MD, MPH

Learn more about Robert.

Model Practices Award: This award honors outstanding local public health practice and shares the outstanding practices through the Model Practices Database. Evidence-based model practices contribute to the overall improvement of public health.

National Health Security Strategy Award: This award recognizes excellence in national health security strategy and implementation.

Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection: This award honors local environmental health jurisdictions that demonstrate unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection services to their communities.