NNPH Environmental Health Services Wins Prestigious National Food Safety Award

Jan 25, 2024

Jan. 25, 2024. Reno/Sparks, Nev. – Northern Nevada Public Health (NNPH) Environmental Health Specialist Kristen deBraga and her team were awarded with the prestigious John J. Guzewich Environmental Public Health Award at this year’s Integrated Foodborne Outbreak Response and Management (InFORM) conference in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes individuals and environmental health departments for protecting their communities, as well as the national food safety system, from foodborne illness. The award honors innovative programs and best practices for response and management of foodborne illness outbreaks, and is given to just one recipient every two years.

“We have an incredible team and culture around food safety here at Northern Nevada Public Health, and we are honored to have received this award,” deBraga said. “The environmental health services department is dedicated to protecting the health of our community and I’m so proud to be a part of this team. I look forward to continuing this important work moving forward.”

deBraga and her team were recognized for many notable achievements, including:

  • Improvements to NNPH’s foodborne outbreak assessment protocols and tracking mechanisms.
  • Continued and enhanced collaboration between several stakeholders and departments, including NNPH Environmental Health Services, Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness, and the Nevada State Laboratory.
  • Development and implementation of educational materials around foodborne illness prevention, including the development of a website with food permitting information in Spanish.
  • Public outreach and education on foodborne illness prevention measures, specifically Spanish townhall workshops and a presentation to the SB92 (sidewalk vendors) Task Force.

Please note the Washoe County Health District changed its name to Northern Nevada Public Health on Aug. 31, 2023. More information is here.

Northern Nevada Public Health (NNPH) is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making District Board of Health. NNPH consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.