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RED RIBBON AWARD GOES TO HEALTH DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE
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Press Release   
MAY 15th, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: TIM O’CONNOR
PHONE:561-355-3576
FAX:561- 355-3035


    TALLAHASSEE, FL- Coretha Smith a Palm Beach County Health Department Employee working in the correctional facilities located in western Palm Beach County was recognized with the Red Ribbon Award for her insight into the formation and implementation of the HIV/AIDS Peer Education Program.

    Smith began HIV testing and counseling through the Health Department in 1990 at the Sheriff’s Drug Farm Program in the Glades Correctional Facility. Through the years she recognized a need for greater education among the infected inmate population and by 1997 created the HIV/AIDS Peer Education Program which is now considered a model program for inmates and prison staff.

    Peer Education is designed to educate inmates about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, heighten moral values, inspire behavioral changes, and ultimately reduce HIV transmission through the knowledge of positive behavior change. Currently, there are 120-130 Peer Education Classes and four to five support groups that meet monthly at the South Bay Correctional Facility.

    Smith continues to expand her program work as she recently added deaf inmates to become peer educators. As a result, Palm Beach County is able to transfer other deaf inmates to participate in the programs established at the western correctional facilities.

    Health Department Director, Jean M. Malecki, M.D., said, “Coretha (Smith) is totally dedicated to improving the lives of those infected with HIV/AIDS in our community. She has made tremendous strides in preventing the spread of this disease. I am truly honored to call her a colleague.”

    Smith joins other Red Ribbon Awardees from the art and entertainment community as well as Congressman Alcee Hastings, Sheriff Ken Jenne, and Peter Deutsch.

####

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For more information, reporters may contact:
Public Relations,  Tim O’Connor
email: feedback
Phone: (561) 355-3576 
FAX:    (561) 355-3038
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MyFlorida.com - www.myflorida.com - opens a new window  Automated Community Connection to Economic Self-Sufficiency    Welcome to the Florida Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set (CHARTS).  It is our hope that you will find Florida CHARTS informative and easy to use. This site includes such health statistics as births, deaths, disease morbidity, population and behavioral risk factors. - opens a new window Jobs within the State of Florida - State Job Search - opens a new window

Florida Health Finder.gov - opens a new window   Agency for Health Care Administration - opens a new window  

http://www.floridakidcare.org/ - opens in new window The Health Care District has launched a new program called Vitahealth.  This is a low cost policy for residents of Palm Beach County who have no health insurance coverage or have lost their coverage for over 6 months.  Details are available by calling 866-930-0035 or on the web at www.vitahealth.orgTen-year plan to end homelessness in Palm Beach County - opens a new window

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