Press Room

ASTHO Awards Public Health Leaders and Agencies for Service

BETHESDA, MD (Sept. 25, 2019)—The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) presented several awards during its 2019 Annual Meeting and Policy Summit this week to commend public health leaders and agencies for their service and dedication to improving our nation’s health.

“We’re pleased to recognize this distinguished group of health professionals and agencies,” says Elke Shaw-Tulloch, state health officer at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, past ASTHO president, and chair of ASTHO's Nominations, Awards, and Membership Committee. “The excellence we highlight today touches millions of lives and represents just a small sample of our nation’s dedicated public health professionals, who continuously strive to promote the public’s health and well-being.”

The 2019 ASTHO awardees include:

John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH, Secretary of Health, Washington State Department of Health
Arthur T. McCormack Award

Dr. Wiesman has served as Washington state’s health official since 2013 and currently co-chairs the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Under his leadership, the Washington State Department of Health is spearheading the End AIDS Washington program, developing the Healthiest Next Generation initiative, identifying and funding foundational public health services, implementing the governor’s executive order to reduce suicide and prevent firearm injuries and deaths, and addressing the public health impacts of climate change.

Stephanie C. Williams, RNP, MPH, Senior Deputy, Arkansas Department of Health
Noble J. Swearingen Award

As deputy director for public health programs at the Arkansas Department of Health, Ms. Williams oversees and guides the work of the agency’s four operational centers: Health Advancement, Health Protection, Local Public Health and Public Health Practice. She also oversees the state public health laboratory and the state offices of Health Communication and Minority Health. Ms. Williams also advises and assists the state health official in setting policy and programmatic direction for the department and serves as state health official in his absence.

Janae Price, MPH, Senior Epidemiologist, Illinois Department of Public Health
State/Territorial Excellence in Public Health Award

Ms. Price served the Illinois Department of Public Health from April 2016 to March 2019 as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She led or co-led more than five nationally-funded statewide projects, ten committees or workgroups, and numerous complex multi-year projects. Price’s contributions led the health agency to strengthen its chronic disease epidemiology capacity by integrating evaluation and performance monitoring for chronic disease programs, developing critical partnerships, improving data collection and reporting quality, and using innovative methods to assess public health needs.

Paul K. Halverson, DrPH
ASTHO Alumni Award

Dr. Halverson served as the state health official for the Arkansas Department of Health from 2005-2013. He oversaw the development of Arkansas’ statewide trauma system, which has become a model for other states, and he greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the Arkansas Public Health Preparedness Program and the Arkansas Public Health Laboratory. As a state health official, Dr. Halverson was a mentor to many new state health officials and a trusted colleague to his peers. After transitioning to his position as founding dean of the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, he has remained active as an ASTHO alumnus, serving as president of the ASTHO Alumni Society.

Increasing Immunization Capacity in Texas Emergency Responder Facilities – Texas Department of State Health Services
ASTHO Vision Award, First Place, Category A (Programs ≥ $250,000)

ASTHO recognizes Texas Department of State Health Services for its work raising immunization rates for Texas emergency responders.

Implementation of the New York State Prevention Agenda 2013-2018 – New York State Department of Health
ASTHO Vision Award, Second Place, Category A (Programs ≥ $250,000)

ASTHO recognizes New York State Department of Health’s for its work developing a six-year state health improvement plan, which aims to make New York the healthiest state. Developed in collaboration with the Ad Hoc Committee to Lead the Prevention Agenda and more than 140 statewide organizations, the plan identifies New York’s most urgent health concerns and recommends ways statewide organizations and local health departments, hospitals, and partners from the health, business, education, and nonprofit sectors can work together to address them.

Office of Grants Management – Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation
ASTHO Vision Award, First Place, Category B (Programs less than $250,000)

ASTHO recognizes the Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation for establishing the Office of Grants Management to improve coordination of the administration of all of the health agency’s federal programs and external funds. The office was created to oversee the financial and record keeping aspects of the annual grant-making process for the corporation and its divisions for all grants received or awarded. It also collaborates closely with all program managers to streamline and improve grant applications, implementation, administration, compliance, performance, and reporting requirements on all grants.

Local and Tribal Public Health System Improvement Program – Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
ASTHO Vision Award, Second Place, Category B (Programs less than $250,000)

ASTHO recognizes Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for its efforts to improve Montana’s local and tribal public health infrastructure. As part of this work, the health agency has strengthened partnerships between the healthcare sector and public health agencies; accelerated the use of the Public Health Accreditation Board’s national standards for public health practice by state, local, and tribal public health agencies; and strengthened local boards of health.


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice