Nancy Grove, MPH and Supervisor of the Tobacco Prevention Program of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, has received the 2006 "Excellence in Public Health Education Award" from Colorado Society for Public Health Education (COSOPHE). Grove was presented the prestigious award on September 21 at the Colorado Public Health Association's annual Conference in Vail.
According to COSOPHE, the award recognizes one practicing health educator in Colorado who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of public health. Grove was chosen based on her commitment to and work toward tobacco control in Larimer County over the past 15 years.
"Nancy is passionate about public health," said Janna West Kowalski, public health educator for the Larimer County Tobacco Education and Prevention Program. "She really knows how to balance the many challenges that we face daily in this work and enthusiastically applies her knowledge and expertise toward making Larimer County a healthier community.Grove has been a health educator at the Larimer County Health Department since 1991. Over that time and under her leadership, Larimer County municipalities passed laws to decrease youth access to cigarette purchases, and Fort Collins passed its smoke-free law effective October 2003. After Larimer County's demonstrated success in tobacco prevention under Grove's leadership, the Colorado Department of Health chose the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) as one of seven health departments in the state to be granted the opportunity to apply for the first tobacco settlement funds. After receiving the funds in 2000, Grove oversaw the application of funding toward comprehensive education and smoking prevention programs throughout Larimer County, preparing county residents for the eventual passage of the state's smoke-free Colorado law in spring, 2006.