One of Eight Nationwide “Gold Innovative Practice Awardee” in 2021
Binghamton, NY – Broome County’s efforts to increase testing throughout the community has received national recognition. The County Health Department was honored with the 2021 Gold Innovative Practice Award by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for its mobile testing lab.
“We are proud to receive NACCHO’s Gold Innovative Practice Award. The award is evidence of our commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of local residents,” said Rebecca Kaufman, Director of Public Health for Broome County Health Department.
The Broome County Mobile COVID-19 Rapid Testing Site Project was one of eight local health department programs to receive NACCHO’s Gold Innovative Practice Award. The award celebrates local health departments for developing innovative programs to meet the needs of their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The designation as a Gold Innovative Practice demonstrates the highest level of program innovation and reflects the collaboration, adaptability, and program resilience.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broome County Health Department identified access to testing as a significant public health issue in our community. After receiving ten rapid testing machines from New York State, the Health Department started a mobile testing site to expand COVID-19 testing in underserved areas, and those areas with a high COVID-19 positivity rate. The “lab bus” as it was affectionally termed, was a retrofitted Broome County Transit bus, turned into a testing laboratory.
The bus was overseen, staffed and mobilized through a partnership of Broome County Departments and community partners that provided 6,174 tests with an overall positivity rate of 11%. The Mobile COVID-19 Testing Site was considered successful because it provided access to areas where testing opportunities were minimal and found high numbers of positive cases. This allowed the County Health Department to begin the contact tracing process in a timely fashion and help to curb the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable populations.
NACCHO’s Diamond Affiliate Partner, Contakt World is sponsoring the 2021 Innovative Practice Award. As the 2021 award sponsor, Contakt World will award Broome County Health Department a $7,000 in-kind contribution of their public health services. In addition, the Health Department will receive a complementary registration to NACCHO’s annual conference, NACCHO 360.