Public Health Community Advisory- Patricia Lopez, RN, MSN was recognized as an outstanding advocate for Public Health in Nebraska at the annual COPH Awards Ceremony.
Ms. Lopez works with local health departments to assist them in preparing for national public health accreditation. For the past seven years, this project has taken her to National meetings allowing her the opportunity to work with peers in other states. She is currently a Site Visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board for local health departments in other states.
Ms. Lopez was instrumental in the passage of LB692, the bill that created regional public health departments in Nebraska. Her work with the state legislature, community partners, primary care, education, and others made it possible for so many to agree on the importance of establishing a statewide local public health system with the funding from the Master Tobacco Settlement Dollars in 2001. The local public health districts cover all 93 counties of the state to assure the public health of all Nebraskans. Ms. Lopez played a major role in assisting these new health departments with examples of state and local laws, policies and procedures and human resource information. She volunteers as the Director of PHAN’s State Association of Local Boards of Health Section and provides education and assistance to Board of Health members on regularly scheduled conference calls, annual meetings and one-on-one dialogs. Since their establishment, Ms. Lopez has focused her energy on assuring these departments and their staff are successful and continues to advocate on their behalf.