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Award Categories

You might notice some changes in the naming, descriptions and number of awards listed below.  In an effort to uphold the values of our Association and honor and celebrate the work toward building a public health movement in Colorado, a new awards slate was developed.  Certainly, there has been much to celebrate throughout the history of CPHA, including several of its members, who are recognized in many of the awards – which gives both inspiration and direction to award nominees and nominators.  The intentional foci of the ‘Retired Awards’ remain in the current slate of awards below, and the achievements of previous award winners set the stage for measuring award nominations in the future.  As you consider a nomination (for yourself or someone else), please review the contents of the award descriptions, the accomplishments of past award winners and both the historic and future impact of the Colorado Public Health Association.

Award for Excellence in Policy & Advocacy: 

The Award for Excellence in Policy and Advocacy is presented to an individual or entity who has made a significant contribution in advancing health equity by improving socio-political determinants of health through organizational, local, state, and national policy and advocacy. Awardees can be external to CPHA and the public health industry.


This award was established in 1988 and is presented to a person or organization for playing a critical role in advocating for policies that support the advancement of public health at either the local, state or national levels

Award for Innovation in Public Health:

The Award for Innovation in Public Health is presented to an individual, team or organization who has developed an innovative and translatable solution  to a significant public health challenge.  This may include, but is not limited to, technology innovation, public health practice approach, research project, innovative partnerships. 

This award was established in 1972 in recognition of Colorado Board of Health member P.W. Jacoe for his devotion to duty, his excellence of work, his leadership and contributions to public health.

Public Health Emerging Leader Award

The Public Health Emerging Leader Award is presented to an individual with 5 years or less experience working and/or in school for a public health profession.  This individual has demonstrated outstanding initiative and leadership ability in the public health community. 

Lifetime Distinguished Public Health Service Award

The Lifetime Distinguished Public Health Service Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional public health leadership, made significant and lasting contributions to public health, and has taken an essential role in mentoring other public health professionals throughout their career (currently working or retired).  


This Award was inspired by the following retired CPHA Awards: 
-The Roy Cleere Distinguished Service Award (est. 1974) who was the director of the Colorado Department of Health for 38 years. 
-The Sabin Award (est. 1947) given for achievement in the public health field, in recognition of the outstanding leadership of Dr. Florence Sabin in the promotion of better public health in Colorado.
-The John Muth Award, named in honor of Dr. Muth, who served as CPHA President 1983-1984 and El Paso County Department of Health Director as an award is given to a member of CPHA who has made an outstanding contribution to the Association.

Values in Action Award

The Award for Values in Action recognizes an individual or organization whose work exemplifies CPHA’s core values: Advocacy, Connectedness, Health Equity, Racial Justice, and Service.  This work is focused on serving marginalized people, such as, but not limited to, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.

Award for Excellence in Community Partnership

(for a non-public health individual or entity)

The Award for Excellence in Community Partnership is given to a non-public health individual or entity that has provided outstanding contributions that improve the heath of the community through public health partnerships and/or collaboration.  


 This award commemorates Dr. Florence Sabin, a Colorado native, who helped pave the way for women in science and was an outstanding leader in the promotion of public health in Colorado.

Lillian Wald Award: 

Lillian D. Wald (1867–1940) was a nurse, social worker, public health official, teacher, author, editor, publisher, women’s rights activist, and the founder of American community nursing. Her unselfish devotion to humanity is recognized around the world and her visionary programs have been widely copied everywhere.

The Lillian Wald Award is given to a public health nurse who demonstrates leadership skills among peers and community; has practiced a minimum of 5 years; and is creative, resourceful and innovative in addressing public health concerns in the community. This person is caring in relationships with colleagues and clients, and initiates, implements and evaluates public health interventions that focus on health promotion and disease prevention, and shares public health knowledge with colleagues and the community.

Exemplary Frontier Public Health Nurse Award:

Recognized a Public Health Nurse who has demonstrated exemplary service in a local public health agency located in a Colorado rural/frontier community.

Mountains in Clouds

Take a Look at Award Winners from Previous Years

The awards were presented at previous years of the Public Health in the Rockies conference in Keystone, Colorado.

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