County News | Guilford County, North Carolina

The Guilford County Division of Public Health (GCDPH) has been appointed 2021 North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) Dr. Sarah Taylor Morrow Department of Health of the Year. This award is given to health departments that have demonstrated outstanding and exemplary health initiatives and programs. Winners also receive a $1,000 prize.

Dr Iulia Vann, Director of GCDPH, said: “Receiving this award is a historic and complete moment for GCDPH – as the award is named in honor of Guilford County’s first-ever female Director of Public Health, Dr. Sarah T. Morrow. When Dr. Morrow, who is still following us very closely from her home in Wilmington, North Carolina, found out that we had received this award, she said, “Well, of course they did! ” This is such a special time for us and it is truly an honor to continue the rich legacy of monumental public health achievements in Guilford County. (More on Dr. Sarah T. Morrow at the end of this release)

Without a doubt, 2020 has been the year of COVID-19. GCDPH not only addressed unprecedented issues surrounding an international pandemic, but demonstrated creativity and determination to keep community members in Guilford County safe and healthy.

GCDPH was awarded the NCPHA Health Department of the Year for our unique ability to provide COVID-19 services while simultaneously addressing priority health issues in Guilford County. Some of our work recognized in the NCPHA Health Department of the Year Award included:

  • Formerly Incarcerated Guilford County Transitional Program (FIT)
  • Management of high-risk pregnancies (CMHRP)
  • Respond to the needs of community members experiencing housing insecurity
  • Collaborative Opioid Outreach and Awareness Efforts
  • COVID-19 testing, contract research, surveillance, vaccinations, mitigation and a nationally recognized communication campaign.

For more information on the above programs and other recognized GCDPH programs, contact Kenya S. Godette.

Please see the photos below:

From left to right: Louise Baldwin, MPA (Guilford County Public Health Agency Business Manager), Dr Iulia Vann, MD, MPH (Guilford County Public Health Manager), Jasmine Buxton (Guilford County Billing Unit Supervisor) Guilford County Public Health)

Receive the NCPHA 2021

From left to right: Leah Mayo, MPH, MCCHES (NCPHA Chair 2021-22), Jasmine Buxton, Louise Baldwin, Dr. Iulia Vann, Michael Zelek (Chatham County Public Health Director, NCPHA Chair 2020-21)

2021 NCPHA Awards

The 2021 NCPHA Dr. Sarah Taylor Morrow Health Department of the Year Award

About the North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA):

NCPHA is a professional association comprised of an interdisciplinary group of current and future public health professionals and is one of the largest affiliate organizations of the American Public Health Association in the nation. NCPHA was established in 1909 and continues to fulfill its mission of working together to improve public health through policy advocacy, public awareness, professional development, and the interface between research and practice. For more information, visit

About Dr. Sarah Taylor Morrow:

Dr. Sarah T. Morrow was a clinician with the Guilford County Health Department, where she established the department’s groundbreaking child and youth development program. Dr Morrow was soon named the first female director of health in Guilford County in 1969 and was later named the first female

Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in 1976 by Governor James Hunt Jr. The Guilford E Wendover County Clinic Building is named in his honor and in honor of Dr. Ross (the first superintendent public health). Morrow earned a medical degree from the University of Maryland in 1942 and a master’s degree in public health from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1959. Dr. Morrow is 101 years old and currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina. For more information on Dr. Sarah Morrow, click here.

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