Steve Griffin, Deseret News
FILE - The National Association of County and City Health Officials named the Salt Lake County Health Department the Local Health Department of the Year during its annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Association of County and City Health Officials named the Salt Lake County Health Department the Local Health Department of the Year during its annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

The department was honored for its response to the county’s hepatitis A outbreak from 2017–19; its innovative use of real-time public health data; its proactive regulation of scrap metal recycling; and its new public health center in downtown Salt Lake City.

Judges scored applicants on their innovation and creativity, implementation, impact in the community and public health, and engagement of community and diverse partners. The department won in the extra-large local health department category.

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“We appreciate this extraordinary recognition of the hard work our employees do every day to promote and protect community and environmental health in Salt Lake County,” Gary Edwards, the department’s executive director, said in a statement. “It’s a reflection not just of our health department, but also of our many dedicated partners and the entire public health system in the state of Utah.”

The award comes the same year th the department is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its current form as a combined city-county health department, its 120th anniversary as a county agency and its 170th anniversary of providing public health services to the Salt Lake Valley.