Henrico wins National Association of Counties awards for 24 programs

Two initiatives recognized as Best in Category

Henrico County departments and agencies have earned 24 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for innovative programs, with two also recognized with a Best in Category honor.

Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (MH/DS) received an Achievement Award and a Best in Category honor for the Early Intervention Autism Clinic. Through its Parent Infant Program, MH/DS provides early intervention support and services for infants with developmental delays. To ensure timely assessments, the program partnered with Commonwealth Autism in 2016 to establish a clinic for children who are considered at greater risk for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The clinic reduced by 87 percent the wait time for a diagnosis and provided support and resources to promote learning and development.

The Division of Fire earned both honors for its At-Risk Resident Weather Radio Distribution Project. The project provides low-income families with National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration radios and other resources to help prepare them for and recover from emergencies associated with severe weather.

NACo will formally present the awards July 15 during its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition in Nashville and Davidson County, Tenn. The Achievement Awards program recognizes groundbreaking programs and initiatives in 18 service categories, including children and youth, county administration and management, libraries, risk and emergency management, and human services.

Henrico’s 24 awards, which stemmed from 28 entries, are the most of any county in Virginia for the 13th consecutive year and the seventh most nationally, behind Maricopa County, Ariz.; Montgomery County, Md.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; San Bernardino County, Calif.; San Diego County, Calif.; and Los Angeles County, Calif. Those counties have populations between 1 million and 10 million residents; Henrico has about 328,000 residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Henrico and Montgomery were the only counties to earn multiple Best in Category honors, with two apiece.

“Henrico County is a dynamic community with a high quality of life and needs that are constantly evolving,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Because of this, our departments and agencies understand and embrace the challenge of providing the highest quality programs and services to meet the needs of our residents and community. Our success in the annual NACo awards program highlights the kind of dedication, customer focus and innovation that our employees bring to their jobs every day.”

Henrico has earned 628 NACo awards since 1985. The awards in 2018 recognize the efforts of six general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools. HCPS collected eight awards; MH/DS and the Division of Fire each earned four awards — more than any other Henrico government department or agency. Human Resources earned at least one award for the 32nd consecutive year, a feat unmatched by any other human resources agency in the country.

Henrico’s award-winning programs and their submitting agencies are listed below.

  • Improving Snow Plowing Operations with Mobile GIS, Department of Public Works
  • Making House Calls: Ensuring OSHA Compliance Through Mobile Spirometry, Department of Human Resources
  • Caring for the Community: Advocate for the Aging, Department of Human Resources
  • Health Risk Assessments (HRAs): Using Results to Get Results, Department of Human Resources
  • At-Risk Resident Weather Radio Distribution Project, Division of Fire
  • CAD Passport-Accountability & Community Resource Tool, Division of Fire
  • 2018-2023 Continuous Improvement Strategy, Division of Fire
  • Community Smoke Alarm Initiative, Division of Fire
  • Death Cafés and Bereavement Groups, Henrico County Public Library
  • Interactive Teen Displays at Libbie Mill Library, Henrico County Public Library
  • Night Sky Astronomy, Henrico County Public Library
  • Crisis Intervention Team Refresher Training, MH/DS
  • Bounce Back from Addiction, MH/DS
  • Behavioral Activation Group, MH/DS
  • Early Intervention Autism Clinic, MH/DS
  • ORBIT Program, Sheriff’s Office
  • The Academy at Virginia Randolph’s 100 Men Challenge, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Feeding a Need for Real-World Experience, Henrico County Public Schools
  • “Printing” is More Than Just What You Read, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Art, Reading, Science and Community: From a Tiny Seed a Garden Grows, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Maggie Walker Governor’s School: Remaking an Old-School Application Process, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Spreading Goodwill Through Books, Henrico County Public Schools
  • The Work-Van Project: Students Upgrade Skills and County Vehicles, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Video Training for Secure School Testing, Henrico County Public Schools
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