Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Innovative Practice Award was created to honor and share the best local public health practices that were quickly and creatively developed or significantly adapted in response to a specific and emerging public health issue. The 2021 Innovative Practice Award will focus on practices that were developed in response to COVID-19 and demonstrate effective community partnerships and collaboration, adaptability and quality improvement, and remarkable innovation.
Your practice is right for the Innovative Practice Award application if:
- It was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or
- It was creatively adapted to meet the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, and
- The practice demonstrates remarkable innovation to address COVID, but does not yet exhibit the same rigorous program evaluation or long-term sustainability as a model practice.
Examples of practices that may apply for the Innovative Practice Award:
- Local health department contact tracing program partnering with local schools of public health
- WIC office began offering remote benefits and services due to COVID-19, resulting in an increase of WIC participation and health outcomes based on initial findings
- Shifting operations at syringe service and other harm reduction programs by preparing to-go kits ahead of time to limit the staff needed and the level of client interaction at their physical sites
- Partnering with local public access TV network to launch a weekly public health-focused television show that addresses COVID-19 and the public health issues that matter the most to the communities within the county
- Expanding safe accessibility to flu vaccines through the development of drive-thru immunization sites
- Converting mobile health clinics to COVID-19 immunization sites in underserved community neighborhoods
The Innovative Practice Award application will include an overview and three required sections: Innovation, Partnerships and Collaboration, and Quality Improvement.
2021 Innovative Practice Award FAQs
Why was the Innovative Practice Award developed?
Local health departments have spent much of the 2020 year responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. NACCHO recognizes this outstanding work and developed the Innovative Practice Award to honor the best of these practices.
Is the Innovative Practice Award part of the Model Practices Program?
No, they are separate awards, but the 2021 Innovative Practice Award can be seen as the “COVID-19 track” to the Model Practice Awards; the awards have many similarities and some key differences (see comparison chart below).
The Model Practices Program is open and accepting applications for outstanding and replicable local public health practices as it does every year.
The 2021 Innovative Practice Award is open to practices that were quickly or creatively developed in response to COVID-19, but do not yet exhibit the same rigorous evaluation or long-term sustainability needed to be designated as a Model Practice awardee. The applications reflect these differences.
Who will review the Innovative Practice Award applications?
The applications will be reviewed by NACCHO’s Subject Matter Expert Advisory Workgroups.
Who can apply?
This award is open to local health departments with active NACCHO membership. If you are unsure of your membership, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will there be an Innovative Practice Award in the future?
The Innovation Award may be used in future years when a specific and emerging public health threat is identified, and an Innovative Practice Award is needed to supplement the Model Practice Awards.
Where and when can I find more information and apply?
More information can be found on NACCHO’s awards webpage.
The application is open concurrently with the Model Practices Program application through December 31, 2020.