What does it take to be a Public Health Hero? Every year, the Southern Nevada Health District recognizes individuals or organizations whose actions have served to improve the health status of the community. This year, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) volunteers Maria Soto-Henry and Michael Slonina, and Clark County Code Enforcement’s Lt. Dave Pollex were honored.
Maria Soto-Henry and Michael Slonina/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Volunteers
As part of the Health District’s public health preparedness efforts, a cache of medication is maintained so the Health District can meet the needs of the community. Maria Soto-Henry and Michael Slonina volunteered to repackage medication in individual treatment courses that would be provided to first responders in a public health emergency so they, in turn, can continue to provide services to the community. Each week during the yearlong project, Soto-Henry and Slonina repackaged 500, 10-day treatment courses. During that time, they donated 224.5 hours to the Health District. Their efforts provide vital support to the Southern Nevada Health District’s emergency operations activities, specifically its Medical Countermeasure dispensing plan.
Lt. Dave Pollex/Clark County Code Enforcement
As of 2019, Lt. Dave Pollex has served as the lead organizer of the Clark County Multi-Agency Response Team (CMART) for 20 years. In that time, he has facilitated and coordinated 300 community projects to address public health and safety issues. As the CMART organizer, he uses a team approach to organize and conduct abatements throughout the county. This approach ensures that the right agencies are on hand to provide the right assistance to the people who are impacted the most. His efforts reach out to individuals in the community who are the most vulnerable, and he ensures each CMART activity has adequate outreach partners to assist them.
“In public health our mandates range from taking the lead during a public health emergency to serving as the solid waste management authority for the county. Both of these activities require that we have strong community partnerships to accomplish our shared goals,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer. “Our Public Health Heroes are not from traditional public health agencies, but their work with our staff demonstrates the excellent partnerships we have in place to meet the needs of our community. Maria Soto-Henry, Michael Slonina, and Dave Pollex embody the 10 Essential Public Health Services.”
Public Health Heroes are nominated by Health District staff members for their efforts in supporting one or more of the 10 Essential Public Health Services:
1. Monitor the health status to identify and solve community health problems.
2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
7. Link people to needed health services, assure the provision of healthcare when unavailable.
8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
10. Research for new insights and innovative solution to health problems.