Health and Human Services Agency



The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency's (HHSA) Community Outreach Campaign, "Health Through My Eyes," was the honorary recipient of the "Most Innovative Campaign in a Small Jurisdiction" Award on June 30, 2016, from the Health Officers Association of California (HOAC), who judges Public Health Communication campaigns undertaken by California County Health Agencies. The outreach project was designed to use a unique method of data collection that would be attractive to youth so their perspectives could be included in the County’s 2016 Community Health Assessment. The 2016 HOAC Communications Awards recognize unique technological innovations, and showcase outstanding efforts to improve community health and promote fair access to healthy lifestyles using communications tools.     

“We’re proud to earn the recognition of our peers and excited to put the award to good use,” said Olivia Byron-Cooper, Program Manager and Epidemiologist for HHSA. “The Youth Commission really deserves the credit for this award. Our 2016 Community Health Assessment is a much more representative depiction of the health of our community because of their outstanding work.”

HHSA’s Public Health Division teamed up with the El Dorado County Youth Commission and Access El Dorado for the “Health through My Eyes” (HTME) PhotoVoice Project. PhotoVoice is a process in which individuals share their perspectives of their community through photography and stories. The HTME PhotoVoice project captured what youth believe contributes to good and poor health in our communities. The results have been incorporated into the Public Health Division’s Community Health Assessment. 

In total, ten counties each received a $10,000 award to support their respective efforts and another two earned an honorable mention and the praise of their colleagues. All of them have success stories worth emulating, according to the panel of health officers and communications experts who chose the winners.

The HOAC Communications Project and all awards are funded by The California Endowment. Each winner exemplifies The Endowment’s Health Happens Here framework, which challenges Californians to think about people‘s health beyond the doctor's office and the choices made by individuals, and re-focus efforts on changes to the places where we live, learn and play.

“El Dorado County’s extraordinary campaign represents the best of the day-to-day work being done by local health departments to build healthier communities,” said Kat DeBurgh, Executive Director of HOAC. “It’s not always easy to talk about the health of the public. It’s both an extremely personal endeavor and one dependent on the strength of our communities and institutions. Yet this county’s efforts have made positive change possible by bringing people together with cutting-edge communications.”

To see the “Health Through My Eyes” video, please visit

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