BELL COUNTY (August 17, 2012)—The Texas Association of Local Health Officials (TALHO) awarded Wayne Farrell, Director of the Bell County Public Health District, with the 2012 Janet Emerson Public Health Servant Award at a meeting in Austin.
This award is TALHO’s highest honor for demonstrated extraordinary performance with an exemplary commitment to local public health.
The Emerson award is a means of expressing gratitude, recognition, and encouragement of professional accomplishment in public health at the local level.
“Mr. Farrell worked with 10 governmental entities to acquire new and larger facilities to increase the number of clients served by the District. He is not afraid to try new things, think outside the box, and be a leader among his peers in the Texas Association of Municipal Health Officers, TALHO, and staff through his passion for improving public health,” noted nominator Judy Porubsky.
Wayne Farrell was the Director of San Angelo-Tom Green County Health Department from 1981 to 1993.
He has served as the Director of the Bell County Public Health District in Temple since 1993.
For the previous 41 years, Mr. Farrell has been an advocate for advancing public health services at the local level.
At the statewide level he assisted in the passage of HB 1444 and SB 204 which included the option for non-physician persons to serve as local health department/district directors.
Farrell was the first non-physician health department district director in the State of Texas.
He was also responsible for enabling the Health District to be the first and only fiscal agent for the Texas Health Alert Network which enabled all local public health agencies associated with TALHO to experience improvements in their IT systems over the past 12 years.
The Health District staff is extremely proud of Mr. Farrell and is thankful for his many years of service.
The Janet Emerson Public Health Servant Award serves as a living memorial to Janet Emerson, who served her community as Chief Executive Director of the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District from 1983 until medical retirement in August 2004.
During her tenure, Janet successfully responded to many public health issues with her strength of will, affection, judgment, idealism, and achievement that will last a lifetime.
The mission of Texas Association of Local Health Officials (TALHO) and its members is to promote health, prevent disease, and protect the environment in order to ensure the public health of the State of Texas through leadership, vision, and advocacy.