Flagler County is making its presence known nationwide for the high quality, comprehensive products, and services it provides. In July, it was honored with National Association of Counties (NACo) 2022 Achievement Awards in two categories, Health and Libraries, and in August it received a 2022 Award of Excellence by the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) in the category Internal Publications.
“It is a great honor for our staff to be recognized for their hard work at any level,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “It is especially gratifying for Flagler County to be acknowledged for its efforts at a national level.”
Flagler County took NACo Achievement Awards in two of 18 categories – under Health for the “Flagler Access Center,” and under Libraries for “Adapting Through Adversity: Connecting with Teens @ Your Library.”
The Library submission noted that the county’s population has nearly tripled since the Palm Coast branch of the Flagler County Public Library was built, and that teens are the hardest demographic to attract to the facility.
“Through research and trial and error, the Young Adult Services Program or YASP was created to provide teens a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment within Flagler County,” it states. “In response to the population growth, the library developed a state-of-the-art young adult space called the Teen Spot, which opened in early 2020. This center provides teens with access to technology, materials, and a space to call their own. The program today consists of classes/demonstrations, meet-ups, lectures, and teen volunteer opportunities. With YASP and the new teen center, the staff was able to keep teens engaged during the pandemic and started planting the seeds for the future of the program.”
The Health submission talked about the high suicide rate that for years has plagued Flagler County.
“To help remedy the situation, Flagler County created a public-private partnership with SMA Healthcare and Flagler Health+ to pool resources for a new center, Flagler Access Center, which opened in January 2022. The center provides an open door for education, screening, and connection to behavioral healthcare services in the area,” the submission states. “All Flagler County residents are eligible to receive services from the Flagler Access Center. Individuals who come to the center will be screened and connected to appropriate services. The center will also utilize other social service providers within the county to provide a continuum of care. The goal is to assist residents with mental illness in informal, supportive environment.”
Flagler County received the “Meritorious” designation (third place) in the 2022 NACIO Awards of Excellence for its internal publication “BOCC Monthly Update,” which provides departmental statistics and a status report to the Board of County Commissioners.
“Though this publication was created with an audience of five in mind, it lives on our website for all to see and review,” Petito said. “Flagler County government strives to be as transparent as possible.”
More information about Flagler County’s NACo awards can be found here. The complete list of NACIO categories and winners is available here.