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Award Recipients

Each year, ANCBH recognizes individuals and groups for their contributions to and accomplishments in public health.  We're pleased to introduce you to these outstanding individuals.

2023 Recipients

Vaughn Upshaw Award
Karina Gonzalez, MPH Candidate, is recognized for her leadership in building healthy, resilient communities, while centering equity. This includes her work in Ashe and Alleghany Counties for AppHealthCare migrant farmworker health team, which promotes equity at the local level in rural communities with migrant Latin populations. After an outbreak of COVID on a farm of migrant H2-A workers, she was able to get migrant workers prioritized for mobile vaccine clinics, onsite response, and increased access to care.


Robert Blackburn Award
Robert Zerniak,
MPH Candidate, is recognized for his leadership in helping individuals receive the necessary resources and access to care that many lack in eastern NC. Rob and his stakeholders are advocating for Medicaid expansion which will improve the lives of eastern NC residents.  His work as an EMT and administrative intern in rural eastern North Carolina directly touches the lives of many underserved patients.

Awards Presentation by Dr. John Kessler, ANCBH Board Member March 23, 2023




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