SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The local celebration of April’s National Public Health Month began with displays in all the county’s public libraries and some Snohomish County buildings. At the state level, the Washington State Public Health Association (WSPHA) named 11 “Public Health Champions” for their work in disease prevention and health promotion. Local health reporter Sharon Salyer of The Daily Herald (Everett) earned recognition in the media category:
Through her sound and persistent reporting, Sharon Salyer has become a valuable asset to public health. As a reporter for the Daily Herald in Everett, Ms Salyer covered all aspects of Snohomish County’s public health system. Her recent coverage of the countywide whooping cough epidemic was invaluable to the educational efforts involved in controlling the outbreak. At a Snohomish County clinic that delivered over 400 doses of the pertussis vaccine, 8 of 10 people seeking the vaccine indicated they learned of the clinic through the newspaper. By keeping this issue in the public eye over the course of many months, she’s been instrumental in raising awareness of pertussis and prompting residents to seek out vaccinations.
“Sharon Salyer is dedicated to presenting useful information to the public, and she has been exceptionally helpful in getting the word out about the whooping cough epidemic in Snohomish County,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of the Snohomish Health District which nominated Salyer for the award. “Her work and words have raised public awareness of the scope and severity of the epidemic, leading many residents to seek the vaccination that prevents the spread of the disease.”