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2022 Year in Review

Rendering of Dove Springs Public Health Facility

Department Highlights

  • Secured $12M in federal funds to support public health infrastructure.​

  • Secured $2M to expand Opioid prevention and treatment services in Austin and Travis County.​

  • Austin Public Health became the nation's first health department recipient of the Exemplary Provider Certification program for Immunization and Testing services. Announced by The Compliance Team, a CMS-approved national healthcare accreditation organization in April 2022.​

  • Austin Public Health celebrated its first round of Community Health Worker (CHW) graduates in September 2022. A total of 32 CHWs graduated after completing APH’s first-ever training cohort. These graduates will play a critical role in connecting with and serving as an advocate for their community. CHWs create a bridge between their community and the government, the healthcare industry and social service systems and are the secret sauce of public health.

  • City Council proclamation of World AIDS Day as part of continued efforts in the fight against HIV.
    APH offers free HIV testing as well as case management services. 

Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Plan Launch ​

  • Austin Public Health launched the REDI Plan, a department-level equity policy that provides a framework for employees throughout APH to build a more culturally inclusive workforce that is accountable to the communities we serve. APH is committed to identifying and addressing the racism inherent in the systems in which we work.​
     

Equity Academy

Developed core training courses and implemented a pilot in 2022 including topics of:

  • Race & Racism​

  • Intersectionality, Implicit Bias, and Microaggressions​

  • Health Equity

Office of Medical Director
and Health Authority for Austin-Travis County

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  • 3,500 – Number of Community Member calls answered by APH Nurses

  • 2 articles published in Travis County Medical Society Journal​

  • Dr. Desmar Walkes (Medical Director and Health Authority for Austin-Travis County) was a featured speaker in over 18 Community Health Presentations, lectures, forums, panels, and events. 

  • Distributed 9,500 naloxone kits to Texas Harm Reduction Alliance to prevent overdose deaths.

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What is naloxone?

  • Naloxone is a live-saving medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It attaches to opioid receptors and works to reverse, and block the effects of opioids. Naloxone can rapidly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. Naloxone is not a treatment for opioid use disorder, and has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system.
    Examples of opioids include morphine, heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and codeine.

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Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness Division

  • Processed approximately 700,000 incoming lab reports and investigated 15,395 cases, including COVID-19, mpox, and other reportable conditions. 

  • Completed monitoring for 1,060 individuals potentially exposed to high-consequence diseases like Ebola and facilitated the submission of more than 3,600 specimens to the state lab for genetic sequencing. 

  • Educated approximately 250 providers or provider practices on reporting laws and other surveillance matters. 

  • Investigated 121 outbreaks or clusters of illness in schools, long-term care facilities, and throughout the community for COVID-19, influenza, and foodborne pathogens in 2022.  

  • They have also linked over 100 people to care for mpox and requested or performed 31 Infection Control Assessment and Response Evaluations (ICARs) for Travis County long-term care facilities or hospitals. 

  • Response to the mpox outbreak has included testing, vaccination, antiviral administration, and sample submittal.  

  • Activated cold weather shelter operations for 13 days this season, recording 3,931 shelter stays.

  • Coordinated the Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) during the recent winter storm, providing assistance to 589 families affected by the winter weather.

  • Coordinated with healthcare providers to provide Evusheld injections to 397 patients over a four-month period in 2022.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness​

  • Continued COVID response operations for testing ​

  • Mpox response operations: testing, vaccination, antiviral administration, and submitting samples ​

  • Cobalt Magnet 22 full scale exercise. Assisted with exercise planning and development of a Community Reception Center site game for use in other national exercises. ​

  • Response to Winter Storm Landon, December Winter weather event ​

  • Office of Vital Records received the 5-star Award of Excellence for Vital Registration from the Texas Department of State Health Services

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Health Equity and Community Engagement Division 

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  • Community Health Assessment (CHA)/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) completed its 3-year cycle community health needs assessment, produced a comprehensive and summary reports, and convened stakeholder summit to begin developing the process for the prioritization of health indicators​

  • HIV Planning Council Office of Support also completed its needs assessment as well as the integrated plan for HRSA in collaboration with Ending the HIV Epidemic, Fast Track Cities and Ryan White Part A. ​

  • Fast Track Cities relaunched in February 2022 and has seen an increase in its membership recruitment and retention, active participation of members, expended and strengthened its partnership with provider organizations, established a new structure for the program, and developed a newsletter to improve communication and information sharing.

  • Age Friendly Austin (AFA) launched its first Older Adult Month kickoff in May 2022 to celebrate and recognize those advocating or working in other capacities to help older adults to live better and age in place.​

  • AFA also engaged in marketing campaign to educate older adults on Senior Homestead Exemption​

  • Through strong partnerships, AFA was able to have a portal called "A Mighty Good Time" dedicated to sharing information about free events that older adults can attend virtually or participate in person.

Social Service Agreements Administration ​is responsible for managing and monitoring over $71M in local, state and federal funds. These funds are distributed to nonprofit partners to provide a wide variety of social services to the community to support early childhood and youth development, provide basic needs support, workforce readiness training, and address health equity. ​

  • Over $40M awarded through 51 new agreements in 2022

Contract Management​

  • Issue areas: Basic Needs, Behavior Health, Homelessness, Youth Services, Early Childhood, Health Equity,  Reimaging Public Health and Workforce Development​

  • 190 active contracts ​

  • Total dollars managed annually: $53,666,524 General funds, $533,722 State, $17,494,199 Federal funds​

Contract Compliance ​

  • Monitored 142 contracts & grants held by 68 partner agencies​

  • Conducted annual risk assessments for all active contracts

Launch of the Equity Groups​

  • Equity Ambassadors: support learning – both formal and informal – on equity topics throughout APH.

    • EA Informal Learning Leaders: 5 members​

    • EA Training Facilitators: 12 members ​

  • Equity Council: oversee implementation of the REDI Plan and ensure an ongoing commitment to the principles of the plan by engaging in strategic planning, reviewing APH policies and procedures and making recommendations to the Department Director, the Executive Leadership Team, and Human Resources ​

    • Equity Council: 22 members​

  • Communications Equity Review Committee: reviews APH draft communications through an equity lens and makes recommendations to APH Communications/Public Information Officers ​

    • CERC: 8 members
       

Health Equity Unit

  • APH received approval as a Department of State Health Services Community Health Worker training site.
    32 individuals graduated as part of the inaugural cohort. ​

  • Maternal Infant Outreach Program -  69 moms received services to ensure babies were born at term, at a healthy weight, and are breastfed.  ​

  • Hosted the "Chocolate Milk Summit" with over 150 women as the program celebrated Black Breastfeeding Week.​

  • Health Equity Unit served more than 20,000 families in 2022.

The Office of Violence Prevention

  • Distributed more than 2,000 gun locks through community engagement events and website ​

  • Launched Safe Gun Storage Saves Lives Media Campaign​

    • 5 billboards: estimated 6 million views

    • Capital Metro Bus Ads: estimated 1.67 million​ views

  • Received a $500K grant to collaboratively develop and implement firearm surrender protocols in domestic violence cases.​

  • Launched a Community Violence Intervention program in communities most impacted by crime.​

  • Launched Address Your Stress Campaign ​

    • Media Campaign: total views 2,273,911; video views 456,615​

    • Website: views 4,785

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Administrative Services Division 

HR Division

  • Human Resources has filled over 170 (promotions, transfers, new hires and status changes) positions in the last 12 months.​

  • APH Human Resources continues to build a workforce development pipeline partnering with high schools and colleges to provide internships and practicums specific to public health.​

  • Processed 53 bilingual pay stipends.​

  • Supported a workforce of FTE's to 650 employees and 225 temporary employees. ​

  • Launched digital timekeeping for APH.

Budget and Analysis​

  • Established the 340B Program and Fund that has generated $239,635.54 in revenue supporting PrEP and HIV programming.

  • Completed the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program reporting (the 10-year Federal Medicaid Waiver program that generated $53M in funding for a variety of public health and social service programs)​

  • Facilitated the submission of over $24M in payroll documentation for FEMA reimbursement of COVID expenditures​

Accounting Unit – Accounts Payable, Purchasing and Accountants​

  • Accounts Payable Processed ~6,000 invoices for payment.  ​

  • Executed, facilitated and managed 85 (28 new) purchasing contracts for APH and Animal Services Office (ASO). Additionally, executed 211 (104 new) Social Service Agreements.​

  • Procured, paid and submitted ~ $73M in contractual documentation for FEMA reimbursement related to the COVID pandemic.​

  • Secured $41M (55 active grant contracts) in grant revenue.​

  • Spearheading City Wide standardization of policy and procedure for grant life cycle.​

  • Successfully completed 8th year of Federal, State and Single Audit with no financial audit findings.

Health Information Technology​

  • Created a system to track Mpox testing, vaccines and cases.​

    • Trained 80+ staff in 6 weeks on the technology to respond to Mpox.​

  • The online payment portal for Environmental Health Services (EHS) went live for customers to use.​

  • Animal Service Office Tech Improvements ​

    • Shelter Capacity Dials for public​

    • Digital Invoice Reporting​

    • Animal Live streams​

    • Public Dashboards​

  • Resolved 5,849 incidents/tasks.​

  • Completed technology upgrades in training rooms and media room​.

Capital Projects, Facilities, Safety, and Courier Services​

  • $16 million Bond funded project Dove Springs Public Health Facility (projected opening 2024)​

  • Management and maintenance of 35 APH facilities​

  • Management of the Safety Program for both APH and Animal Services Office employees​

  • Interoffice mail, lab, and special deliveries across three counties

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Public Information and Marketing

  • 112 press releases published

  • 94 interviews conducted

  • 7 press conferences held

  • 1 roundtable held

In all public health campaigns APH:​

  • Strived for diversity and inclusion in choosing images​

  • Created easy to read content aligned with Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Materials (CLAMS)​

  • Reached audiences of those in the community facing health inequities by using data to choose ad placements in specific geographical locations.​

  • Improved access to content by translating into multiple languages, ensuring people proficient in other languages than English can benefit from information distributed by APH.
     

Campaigns:

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  • COVID-19 Q&A campaign

  • Over 90,000 impressions ​

  • More than 700 engagements.

  • Healthy Holiday Campaign, media kit  ​

  • Over 150,000 impressions ​

  • More than 13,000 engagements.​

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  • Flu vaccination campaign 2022-2023, social media kit  

  • Over 51,000 views

  • Over 450 ​engagements.

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  • Best performing content on Facebook - Paid​

  • Over 62K impressions and 2,262 engagements

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  • Best performing content on Facebook - Organic​

  • Over 75K impressions and 2,248 engagements

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Translations 

  • 835 total translations in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese

Money spent in advertising, per audience:​

  • Audience 1: Hispanic (18-65)​

  • Audience 2: African American (18-65)​

  • Audience 3: People who are gay, bisexual,
    or other people who have multiple sex partners​

  • Budget total: $408,013.00

Web engagement numbers​:

  • Views: 309,100

  • Unique Page Views: 195,513 

  • Engagement: 262,135

  • Best performing content on Facebook - Organic​​

  • Over 20K impressions and 743 engagements

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Flyers created for APH events​: 44+​

APH Fall Newsletter

YouTube shows​​​

  • My API Live​​​

  • Walkes Talks ​​​
     

Homelessness: 8​

Emergency Response exercises: 1 - Cold Weather Shelter​

Equity Training​​:​

CERC initiative, CLAMS guidance​​​

Other materials—brochures, certificates, signage, digital templates, etc.​

Community Services Division

Austin Healthy Adolescent (AHA)​

  • New partnerships created with two Austin charter schools​

  • The partnerships with IDEA Rundberg and Austin Achieve allowed AHA to expand services to now include middle school and high school students

Community Youth Development (CYD)

  • 1,130 youth (ages 6-17) served in a juvenile delinquency prevention programming in the 78744 Dove Springs community​

  • 65 CYD families received basic needs assistance through additional TANF funding awarded to APH.
    Average assistance was $464/family. ​

  • More than 70% of families requested assistance with electric bills and/or food assistance​

  • Gabriel Becerra, member of CYD’s Youth Advisory Committee, received the Outstanding Youth Award at the Prevention and Early Intervention Partners In Prevention statewide conference in recognition of his leadership in the 78744 Dove Springs community​

  • Gabriel has been in the program for many years and was accepted to his
    top-choice college, Rice University.
    Video: https://vimeo.com/738247852/894060a487

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Early Childhood​

  • Deployed $11 million in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to stabilize the childcare sector in Austin, as highlighted by the National League of Cities, per recommendations from the Success By 6 Coalition. Below are a few of the opportunities these funds supported.

Pre-K​

  • 67 children in free, full-day, dual language Pre-K 4 in Del Valle ISD​

  • 70 children in free, full-day Pre-K 3 in Austin ISD​

  • 164 children in Pre-K partnerships classrooms in community child care programs ​

Child Care Workforce Supports​

  • 92 child care teachers and staff received premium pay stipends​

  • 90 home visitors and parent educator staff of Ready Families Collaborative programs received premium pay stipends​

  • 37 child care teachers received incentives to continue higher education in the field of early childhood​

  • 36 home-based child care providers participated received training, support to pursue licensing and quality ratings, and peer networking opportunities

  • Provided funding to open 8 Pre-K classrooms for 3-year olds in area school districts​

  • City-sponsored child care program, KinderCare at Bergstrom Tech​

  • Achieved accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for providing the highest quality care​

  • 67 children enrolled​

  • 7 children of City of Austin employees​

  • 6 children receiving child care scholarships ​

  • Enrolled 222 parents of young children in Bright By Text to receive child development tips, resources and information on family-friendly events.

Austin Youth Development (AYD) Program​

  • Through partnerships with SkillPoint Alliance and Austin Urban Technology Movement 6 AYD youth received industry standard certifications, (2) Electrical, (3) HVAC, and  (1) IT certification. ​

  • Prepared and coached two AYD youth through workforce development training efforts to become full-time city employees with APH and Public Works.  ​

  • Received a one-year Grant award for $187K from the Office of the Governor , Public Safety Office in collaboration with APD to prevent violence in and around schools for 250 youth; to improve the juvenile justice system by providing mental health services, truancy prevention, and intervention through community-based and school programs.  

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First Workers Day Labor Program

  • Expanded program operations to offer Day Labor opportunities to clients housed in the bridge shelters operated by the
    Homeless Strategy Division. ​

  • Awarded a two-year funding (327K) opportunity from Homeless Strategy Division solicitation.  ​

  • This funding will help expand Day Labor First Workers Program efforts to provide evidence-based programming, workforce development opportunities, comprehensive case management services and career exploration. 

Family Connects

  • Transitioned from virtual visits back to in person home visits!​

  • Conducted a WIC Facebook live event with an obstetrician on the importance of postpartum checkups  ​

  • Team grew by two nurses and one supervisor!​

  • Collaborated with Integral Care to improve connections during home visits when nurses identify clients at risk for postpartum mood disorders​

  • Expanded into 2nd hospital, Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin​

  • Implemented RN on-call schedule to assist with staffing needs

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Neighborhood Services Unit​ (NSU)

  • The 6 Neighborhood Centers across the City of Austin provide emergency rent, utility and food assistance, bus passes health screenings and information & referrals to low-and moderate-income families in need.​

  • NSU provides seasonal services such as child safety seats, fans, coats for kids, and free income tax form filing.

  • In collaboration with the Central Texas Food Bank and Amazon, the NSU launched a home delivery program. Eligible individuals can sign up for monthly deliveries of pre-packed food boxes. For example, in December 2022, 2,092 households and 6,182 individuals had food boxes delivered to their doorstep. NSU started with deliveries 1 day a week and now we are delivering 5 days a week, 4 weeks of the month. Over 15,778 deliveries have been made since the start of this program!

  • Public Health Nursing Services – the NSU nurses provide free health screenings at our 6 Neighborhood Centers. ​The following health screenings are available for free: Blood Pressure, A1c Testing, Blood Sugar Reading, Cholesterol Testing, Pregnancy Tests, and general Health Information & Resources.

  • Rent Assistance Program -  In 2022 we helped 1,062 people avoid eviction. The NSU staff processed $1,216,072 in rent assistance payments to eligible individuals​

  • Plus 1 Utility Assistance Program – In 2022 the NSU staff helped 314 people keep their lights on by processing utility assistance applications using Austin Energy Plus 1 funding.​

  • Fans – In 2022, through a collaboration with Family Elder Care, the NSU provided fans for 1,394 people in 437 households during a record-breaking Summer heat season.

  • Self-Sufficiency Case Management Program – NSU social workers provide employment supports, help clients apply for benefits, provide case management services and can provide bus passes, rent assistance, food pantry assistance and other services to actively participating clients.

  • 37 Transitions Out of Poverty (TOPs)

    • TOPs are people in households achieving an income of 125% of the poverty level or greater,  through our Self-Sufficiency Case Management Program and have been tracked for at least 90 days.

 

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Unit

  • WIC Clinics – served 24,972 participants; Northwest WIC hit highest participation of 6,419 and Del Valle had a new high of 1,007 participants served in a month.​

  • 1,400 meal kits distributed.​

  • Two FB live cooking demonstrations per month (one English and one Spanish) with over 12,400 views in 2022.

  • During the national formula shortages, WIC provided Facebook live information to citizens on formula recall, shortages and what to do – over 3,000 views. Staff worked tirelessly to help parents/guardians navigate through the challenges.​

  • Had 9,100 followers on ATX Family Care Facebook page.

  • WIC Call Center received 66,023 incoming calls and answered 581 live chats.

  • Mobile Unit locations increased from 5 to 9 to provide services to clients experiencing transportation and other challenges. ​

  • WIC Call Center received 66,023 incoming calls and answered 581 live chats.​

  • Shopping & Delivery Team – hired 3 shoppers in 2022 and completed 629 shops; began breast pump deliveries in collaboration with Mom’s Place.

  • Mom’s Place - served the community by providing over 3,109 encounters in lactation service:​

    • Increase in African American breastfeeding rates by 10%
    • 937 phone consults conducted​

    • 567 breast pumps issued​

    • 103 students trained/mentored​

    • Responded to over 829 referrals 

    • 673 lactation consults conducted​

  • Partnered with Family Connects

  • Partnership with community partners in the Prenatal Referral Workgroup.​

  • Expanded Breastfeeding Lives on Facebook to reach more moms and maintained virtual lactation consults at Mom's Place. 

  • Expansion of Mother Friendly Worksite locations throughout COA facilities.​

  • Created a digital WIC cookbook; recipes contributed by staff.

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