Denver, Colo., November 9, 2010 —
The Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work, which recognizes a local health officer for outstanding creativity and innovation, was awarded this year to Harvey R. Crowder, DVM, MS. The award is given by the American Public Health Association and was presented at the Association’s 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Denver.
Administrator of the Walla Walla County Health Department in Washington, Crowder has promoted emergency preparedness and protected a broad swath of local residents by implementing an annual, countywide influenza vaccination clinic. By using the incident command system to organize and manage the event, Crowder has mobilized partnerships with both the county’s health care facilities and hundreds of willing volunteers. His work in both military and civilian public health settings has set a high bar for quality improvement at the annual clinics.
Under his leadership, the county health department went from vaccinating no more than 1,000 people in an outdated dorm to the annual vaccination clinic at the fairgrounds, which enlisted hundreds of volunteers and in the first year vaccinated more than 6,000 adults and children for flu and pneumonia in three days. He also led the county’s H1N1 influenza response and has helped the health department prepare for emergencies.
“Harvey is a leader not only in the state of Washington, but nationwide for emergency preparedness,” said Don Marlatt, former emergency management director for Walla Walla County. “He is a forward thinker and pioneer for disaster preparedness at the government, business and personal levels. He works tirelessly with each of these entities to promote preparedness.”
Prior to being the public health administrator in Walla Walla County, Crowder was regional emergency response coordinator for the Benton-Franklin Health District in Washington, bioterrorism coordinator and assistant manager for public health preparedness at the Oregon Department of Human Services, chief of the Prevention Division of the Air Force Medical Operations Agency at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., and commander of the 325th Medical Group at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. He also served as commander of the 14th Medical Group at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi and held many other posts during his 25-year military career, including assistant chief of the Medical Readiness Unit for the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Among his numerous honors, Crowder has been awarded the Air Force Organization Excellence Award, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters. He is a member of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, the Washington Public Health Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Washington Veterinary Medical Association and Walla Walla Kiwanis.