Florida Department of Health In Brevard Earns Two Prudential Productivity Awards
By Space Coast Daily // June 26, 2015
Program saved State of Florida $756,900
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County (DOH-Brevard) received two Davis Productivity Awards: “Vaccine Support Program,” and “Teen Pregnancy Reduction Program.”
Since 1989, the Prudential Productivity Awards Program has recognized and rewarded state government employees whose work significantly and measurably increases productivity, promotes innovation, and improves the delivery of state services and/or saves money for Florida taxpayers and businesses.
The Vaccine Support Program was developed to support community partners. Immunizations are the most cost effective public health measure in reducing disease and death.
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of the inability to pay. Vaccines are distributed from the Federal Government to both public and private agencies at no charge but the vaccine must be accounted for.
In looking at data over the past year, it was noted that over $90,000 of vaccine had been wasted due to storage and handling practices for which the VFC program requires reimbursement.
In response to this significant loss and burden on the private sector, which could undermine the goal of accessing service, the team developed a training workshop specifically designed to train those responsible for vaccines.
The workshop was overwhelmingly successful. In fact, word reached all the way to California and the California Department of Health has reached to the team with the intent of replicating the process.
The Teen Pregnancy Reduction Program saved the State of Florida $756,900 in welfare and medical costs.
Teen pregnancy and childbearing bring substantial social and economic costs through immediate and long-term impacts on teen parent and their children.
In 2011, teen pregnancy and childbirth accounted for at least $9.4 billion in costs to U.S. taxpayers and $443 million to Florida taxpayers for increased health care, foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.
In response to this challenge, DOH-Brevard established a third specialty clinic specifically designed for meeting the needs of sexually active teens in order to encourage healthy behavior while reducing teen pregnancy.
Modeled after our first two successful clinics (nationally recognized for improving outcomes), staff dedicated a block of clinic time to devote to teens.
The clinic was established without reducing services in other clinics or adding any additional costs.
Dr. Heidar Heshmati, DOH-Brevard director, commented that the hard work and dedication of staff is truly appreciated and is a clear demonstration of our commitment to public health, our department and to the people we serve. They represent the heart and soul of our health department.
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