Dr. Douglas Hacking and Provo Towne Centre honored for 2015
PROVO UTAH (April 7, 2015) -- As part National Public Health Week, the Utah County Health Department (UCHD) and Board of Health traditionally honors one individual and one organization for their efforts and dedication to the health and welfare of the citizens of Utah County. This year, the UCHD is honoring Dr. Doug Hacking and the Provo Towne Centre.
Dr. Douglas Hacking has been a highly esteemed pediatrician practicing in Utah County for over 40 years. His early patients are now the grandparents of some of his newest patients. His colleagues report that throughout these many years Dr. Hacking has always enjoyed being a life-long learner studying journals and research articles to stay well informed of the latest advancements in patient care. Colleagues report he is one of the most knowledgeable doctors they know, "a great teacher, a model pediatrician for all of us." Among other public contributions to community health care he served many years on hospital infection prevention committees. Dr. Hacking's experience and knowledge has served residents of Utah County and the State of Utah extremely well.
On Saturday January 3rd, 2015 before there was any news of measles cases from Disneyland, he called the UCHD emergency phone number to report two cases of measles in his office. He reported these two teens showed the classic signs and symptoms of measles and he had drawn lab tests which were still pending to confirm his diagnosis. Because of Dr. Hacking's astute clinical skills and knowledge he was able to alert public health authorities so promptly that that same Saturday afternoon the cases of measles were isolated, interviews with close contacts were begun and those who were susceptible were quarantined. Also emergency MMR immunizations were given to those susceptible individuals who were exposed. Twenty-two very susceptible infants exposed in the clinic areas were given gamma globulin within the following few days to protect them from the serious disease. It was not until a couple of days later that the news of measles cases from Disneyland exposures were occurring.
Now, a couple of months later, 178 cases of measles from the Disneyland exposure have been confirmed across the country in 17 states. Thanks to Dr. Hacking's skills and timely response Utah's total count was limited to only one additional case of measles.
There are other incidences where Dr. Hacking has been instrumental in alerting public health of an outbreak. Dr. Hacking was the first physician in 2007 to alert us of an unusual number of diarrhea cases in his clinic. This was the beginning of the huge cryptosporidium epidemic that year which spread from many public swimming pools.
For this outstanding contribution to the health of citizens of Utah County and throughout the State of Utah, the Utah County Health Department, Board of Health and the Utah Department of Health honor Dr. Douglas Hacking with our 2015 Friend of Public Health Award and the Utah Department of Health's Astute Clinician Award.
Under the management of Scott Hansen and his assistant, Heidi Hultquist, the Provo Towne Centre Mall has very generously donated the use of their parking lots and common areas of the mall to support important public health activities, specifically the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. This is the fourth consecutive year that they have donated their location for our annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event which has become extremely successful and very popular over the years.
Every year this event increases by about 100 more cars. Many conscientious individuals know that it is better for our environment to not put oil, paint, solvent and pesticide products and antifreeze in with their household garbage to be buried in the landfills. The public has shown their great appreciation by taking advantage of this opportunity to safely dispose of these waste products which have collected in their garages and storage sheds. Over 950 resident vehicles are expected to drive by the Provo Towne Centre Mall this coming Saturday, April 11th.
Our North and South County Solid Waste Districts are co-sponsors of and fund this event. BYU and UVU students and faculty in protective clothing donate their time and energy to receive and sort the waste. UCHD staff also help to organize all of the logistics of the event, including a Hazardous Waste information kiosk inside the mall also donated by Provo Towne Centre.
The Provo Towne Centre has also donated free space for several other public health education events including our Immunization Coalition's Iron Lung display and youth tobacco prevention events.
In recognition of the ongoing generosity of the Provo Towne Centre collaborating with very important public health events we honor them with our Friend of Public Health Award for 2015.
The Utah County Health Department is committed to promoting the health of our community by preventing avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community, responding to public health emergencies, and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. For information on UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth. org or call 801-851-7000. You can also now follow the UCHD at www.FaceBook.com/uchealth, www.instagram.com/UtahCountyHealthDept, www.twitter.com/uchd, or www.pinterest.com/uchd/. The UCHD is a partner with Utah's Public Health Departments.