William "Bill" Patton Environmental Service Award

William "Bill" Patton Environmental Service Award

To honor a person who has demonstrated exceptional performance, outstanding achievements, and meritorious service in Environmental Services. Bill Patton worked tirelessly as an environmentalist in southeastern Kentucky from the earl 1980's until his death in 2001. Bill truly believed that he could improve the environmental health of all Kentuckians. Guidelines: Nomination of someone who has clearly demonstrated the above referenced achievements.

2023 Recipient: Rhiannon Simon

2021 Recipient: Jennifer K. Bardroff, RS
Environmentalist III/Public Health Preparedness Manager
Franklin County Health Department

Reading over comments from peers there was a common theme…a positive attitude and a smile always on her face. Her public health career spans over 20 years as a Registered Sanitarian/Environmentalist and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Manager, serving in every area of Environmental Health.

She is very focused on community collaboration and maximizing resources for the health, safety, and well-being of the residents of her community. This has been evident in her work during COVID-19. In addition to her environmental tasks, she has organized drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, helped Kroger set up their first drive-thru testing event, worked with local health facilities and medical offices to ensure they had needed personal protective equipment (PPE), developed traffic plans and staffing schedules and these are just a few of the areas under her responsibility. She has worked alongside community partners to provide services to some of the most vulnerable residents by taking both COVID testing and vaccinations to neighborhoods, assisted living facilities and residential facilities for adults with intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, taking these services to where these individuals reside. She is always friendly, reassuring, knowledgeable, professional, and highly competent.

She has been described as that employee that is always first to volunteer for projects or lend a hand to assist another staff member in need. Her care and concern don’t stop there; she is always ready and willing to work with others for the greater good.

2020 Recipient: Stuart Spillman, RS, REHS
Environmental Director
Lake Cumberland District Health Department

This year’s recipient received two nominations and several support letters from within his local health department but also from other health departments across Kentucky. This is due to his leadership at both the local and state level in environmental health. He has been a dedicated public health employee in both the environmental health and public health preparedness for many years. His approachability combined with his experience and reliability leads to his sound advice being sought by his peers and public health leadership. These attributes make him not only an asset to his local health department but to public health. While he may not have been formally assigned to the position of mentor, he has happily assisted many in the environmental profession in his role as attested in the many letters of support.

He has actively participated in the Kentucky Environmental Leadership Group, assisted with the review of Kentucky’s environmental health regulations, and has been integral in local and state policy development around environmental health issues. Most recently, he led an effort to increase efficiencies and decrease barriers for obtaining Person in Charge (PIC) Food Safety Training. Kentucky adopted the 2013 Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code in July of 2019. Many local health departments had required PIC training prior to the 2013 Code adoption to improve sanitation and safety practices of those working in the food service industry. Such training and certification are designed to improve health and safety, improve the scores of local food establishments, decrease liabilities of those establishments, and decrease the number of follow up inspections performed for non-compliance. With the passing of the 2013 FDA Food Code, training became required for all food service managers across Kentucky. Also, during this same period, local health departments (LHDs) were actively evaluating staffing needs and in many cases downsizing to align with public health transformation as well as to deal with increased pension costs. He led an effort to design an online option for LHDs across Kentucky for both Food Manager level training as well as food handler training. The Lake Cumberland District Health Department built capacity to provide the administration and management of these courses and then he began meeting with local health department directors and leadership in their environmental health programs to offer their assistance. He also presented this option at the Kentucky Health Departments Association (KHDA) to ensure he made this available to each and every local health department throughout Kentucky.

Another important contribution to local health departments and the environmental health programs made by our recipient was his participation on a KHDA subcommittee that was tasked with assessing the cost of providing environmental services. This is crucial to local health departments and sustainment of the environmental health programs. This work was requested by the sponsor of House Bill 129, the Public Health Transformation Bill, Representative Kimberly Moser. As a result of this work, local health departments providing these services are assured the necessary funding to continue to assure safety and sanitation throughout their local communities.

His contributions have the potential to positively affect all local health departments through increased efficiencies, funding, and sustainability. His passion and dedication to public health is to be admired and noted as he receives the Bill Patton Environmental Service Award.

Congratulations to this year’s Bill Patton Environmental Service Award, Lake Cumberland District HD’s Environmental Director, Stuart Spillman.

Past Winners

2019: Todd LaFollette
2018: Not Awarded
2017: Raymond “Jackie” Cole
2016: Carlene Whitt
2014: Dr. Emmanuel Lyiegbuniwe
2013: Vijay Golla/Ritchie Taylor
2012: Three Rivers District Health Dept. Environmental Team – Sarah Biggin, Rachele Cobb, Natasha Collins, Ashley Froman, Wayne Biddle, Don Jacobs, And Justin Pittman
2011: William G. Thomas
2009: Kathy Fowler
2008: Juli Conner
2007: Wayne Biddle
2006: To All Who Helped With Hurricane Katrina
2005: Tim Vorbeck
2004: Sam Burnette
2003: Lloyd Peniston
2002: William “Bill” Patton *
2001: Stephen F. Harris
2000: Carolyn Boaz
1999: Brian Elswick
1998: Paul C. Rice
1997: All Kentucky Health Environmentalists
1996: Patrick Clark Bledsoe Department Environmentalists
1995: Veda Wooton, RD
1994: James Wesley
1993: Porter Bailey
1992: Ed Cecil
1991: Bert Turner
1990: Gary Coleman
1989: Jim Sullivan
1988: Keith Brock
1987: Ann Young Wethington