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Westchester County Board of Health Present 2020 and 2021 Public Health Awards

County Executive George Latimer will acknowledge the work of the Westchester County Department of Health and others in a proclamation declaring April 15 Public Health Appreciation Day to “recognize the vital contributions of dedicated public health professionals, volunteers and community partners to improving the health of our community and to honor National Public Health Week, which was observed April 5-11.

Together with County Executive George Latimer, the Westchester County Board of Health will present the 2020 and 2021 Public Health Awards on Thursday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m. via Webex. Event Number: 185 282 3340, password: awards.

The Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Award is presented annually to a person or community-based organization, whose efforts have made an extraordinary contribution to the public health of Westchester residents but who is not professionally engaged in public health work.

The J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Award is an annual award to a student up to age 21 for his or her creative contribution to public health in Westchester. The award was created in 2014 in memory of J.R. Tesone, a Board of Health member with a lifelong commitment to Westchester children.

“Talented and selfless people work hard every day to make our communities healthier,” said Robert Baker, MD, president of the Westchester County Board of Health. “By nominating these volunteers for recognition, you can help inspire others to join our efforts to promote and protect public health in Westchester.”

The Board also will highlight the compassion, creativity and commitment demonstrated by a select group of nominees who will be named Public Health Honorees.

Board of Health President Robert Baker, MD, will present the Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Award for 2020 to the Open Door Family Medical Center for its Baby Box Program, which has provided infant essentials, a safe place to sleep and parent education to more than 1,300 families.

Board of Health Member Cynthia Chazotte, MD, will present two 2021 Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Awards for 2021, to Amy Kirschenbaum of New Rochelle and to Neighbors Link in Mount Kisco.

Kirschenbaum, a physical education teacher at Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck, launched numerous efforts to assist Westchester individuals and families touched by COVID-19 and to give back to healthcare workers and first responders throughout Westchester and beyond. She delivered meals, raised fund, distributed iPads and iPhones to patients hospitalized with Covid-19, collected and distributed toys and baby care products and more.

Neighbors Link is being recognized for the hot meals, groceries, referrals for support, medicine and public health messaging it provided to more than 1,000 new immigrant families each week during the pandemic. Their assistance was a lifeline for residents who were ineligible for government assistance but whose jobs and health were at risk.

The Board will present the J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Service Award. The 2020 award will be presented to Hana Zalvan of Briarcliff Manor for her advocacy of eating disorder awareness in schools. The 2021 award winner is Nolan James, an 11th grader from Larchmont. Nolan organized a bicycle brigade of school friends from Rye Country Day School who delivered meals to clients of Caritas, a Catholic charity in Port Chester. He also collected carloads of reusable bags for those deliveries.

The Board also recognized six Public Health Honorees:

For 2020: 

  • Kathryn Joblon, a Montrose resident who has volunteered to help the needy, veterans and first responders, among others; and.
  • At Home on the Sound, an organization that helps Larchmont, Mamaroneck and Rye Neck seniors connect with each other and provides rides to medical and dental appointments; and.
  • Ellen Herlihy, who worked in her North Salem high school to destigmatize behavioral health issues

    For 2021:

  • Molly Howson of Rye, who raised funds for personal protective equipment for hospital and nursing home workers; and
  • Caitlyn Carpenter of Mamaroneck, who organized students to lobby for free legal representation for tenants facing eviction; and.
  • Milan Acosta of New Rochelle, who raised funds to feed essential workers.