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Contact Info

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Healthy Communities Program
4770 Buford Highway, N.E., Mailstop K-93
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717

Telephone: (770) 488-6452
Fax: (770) 488-8488

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Award Recipients


The Steps Community Heroes Award Program is a CDC Steps initiative that honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improve the health and well-being of others in their communities. This program was designed to acknowledge “Steps Heroes” who, without expecting personal recognition, have unselfishly contributed their time, talents, and expertise to make significant and often sustainable contributions in their communities, making them a healthier place to live.

The honored Steps Heroes, representing a cross-section of society, were selected from 23 nominations made by the 40 CDC-funded Steps communities. The selection process was not an easy task, as all of the nominees made excellent contributions to the Steps Program in their community.

Seven Community Heroes were selected and recently honored at the annual Steps Cooperative Agreement Program Action Institute held in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2008. The 2008 Steps Community Heroes Award recipients include a school district food service director, a community health representative, a teacher and one of her students, a retired nurse and community advocate, a health educator, and a public health nutrition graduate student volunteer. They have each volunteered significant portions of their time to address one or more Steps initiatives. Many of their efforts have led to a policy, systems, or environmental change in their community that will sustain efforts to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Heroes contributions demonstrate a passionate commitment to the Steps Program and to reducing the burden of chronic diseases.

Photo of the Hero Award recipients

l to r, top row—Award presenters: Elaine Auld – Executive Director of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), Dr. Wayne Giles – Director of CDC’s Division of Adult and Community Health, Dennis Shepard – Project Director of Y-USA’s Steps Partnership, Jennie Hefelfinger – Project Manager at National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), and Dr. Alyssa Easton – Director of CDC’s Steps Program Office.
l to r, bottom row—Award winners: Ray Denniston, Patty Tobal, Peggy Johns, Stephanie Heim, Kelley Brumfield, Dawn Imler, and Woody Hansen.

The Steps Program extends its sincere appreciation and wishes to acknowledge Dennis Shepard and staff of the YMCA of the USA (YMCA) and Genie Short with Partnerships in Prevention for their efforts sponsoring the Steps Community Heroes Awards Program and Ceremony. The YMCA’s generosity made it possible for the Heroes to attend this event, all expenses paid, and afforded CDC the opportunity to present the Heroes with a distinguished award in commemoration of their involvement with the Steps Programs in their communities. Genie Short arranged Steps Heroes interviews with the media, disseminated press releases about the Heroes, and co-sponsored the Heroes Reception and Breakfast. We would also like to thank Steps to a Healthier Cleveland for sponsoring the cost of Kelley Brumfield’s award statuette.

Page last reviewed: August 26, 2009
Page last modified: August 26, 2009
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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