2002 Agency of the Year
Naugatuck Valley Health District
Employees of the Health District
The Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) was founded in 1972, as a collaborative effort to provide public health services to the towns of Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton. Beacon Falls and Naugatuck joined in this voluntary effort in 1980 and 1985, respectively.
Responsible for the public health of approximately 120,840 residents, NVHD is committed to improving the quality of life for all it serves through the promotion of health, prevention of disease, and by assuring a safe and clean environment. The two divisions, Community Health and Environmental Health, are staffed with 23 individuals, mostly nurses, sanitarians, nutritionists, and other public health professionals. The 15-member Board of Directors sets policy for the district.
The Community Health Division provides an array of public health programs aimed at increasing the span of healthy life for all residents. Activities take place at convenient community locations, and involve partnerships with local health and human service agencies, municipal departments and physicians. Key programs are as follows: investigation and control of infectious diseases; immunizations for the elderly, children, high risk, and those at occupational risk; chronic disease control; maternal and child health services; supplemental nutrition for pregnant women and children; health education, and the prevention of childhood lead poisoning.
The goal of the Environmental Health Division is to prevent illness, disability or death from interactions between people and the environment. Sanitarians perform health inspections, investigate and resolve complaints about health hazards, and educate the public. Key areas of responsibility include the following: food service, housing, lead abatement, day care centers and schools, public pools and recreation areas, tattoo and body piercing, hair and nail salons, septic and sewage, and drinking water.
The health district responds to public health emergencies on a 24-hour basis. Most recently, NVHD staff responded to the Oxford anthrax case by providing antibiotic clinics, disease surveillance, community meetings and health information.
Though it might be unusual in other parts of the state, the Health District has been a very active and valuable member of the Valley Council for Health & Human Services and its Director, Karen Spargo, has taken an active leadership role in developing the priorities of the Council - especially when it comes to health matters.
As Naugatuck Valley Health District celebrates its 30th anniversary, its dedicated board of directors and staff look forward to providing local public health services during the next 30 years and beyond and the Valley Council is pleased to honor the Health District with it Agency of the Year Award for 2002.