ASHEVILLE, N.C., Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The health departments in Alamance, Dare and Henderson counties and Dr. Miriam Labbok, Kristie Marr and Jodi Massey all received awards today during the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation's 2013 Child Health Recognition Awards ceremony at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA). The awards, which include monetary grants for educational purposes, honor local health departments, public health staff and individual citizens for their dedication to improving child health. Local Health Department Awards Three departments were commended for developing innovative programs that produced measurable, sustainable outcomes -- healthier children and families. Alamance County Health DepartmentNC Project LAUNCH When parents need a little guidance to increase their confidence and improve parenting skills, the Alamance County Health Department launches into action. The Department is a local implementation site for a state program called NC Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs for Children's Health), which promotes health programs for children from newborn to eight years old and their families. The goal is to support young children's healthy physical, social, emotional and cognitive development and educate parents along the way, strengthening the family. One aspect, the Positive Parenting Program, gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them confidently manage their children's behavior, prevent problems and build strong, healthy relationships. Project LAUNCH is creating healthier, happier children and families. Dare County Department of Public HealthCoordinated School Health ProgramFrom helping students use inhalers, to teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), to holding safe and sober after-prom parties for teens—Dare County Coordinated School Health Program works on the premise that healthy children will become healthy adults. Dare County's commitment to school health shows with its impressive student-to-nurse ratio of 1:500, compared to the national average of 1:750. The Coordinated School Health Program actively involves parents, teachers, students, families and communities in its implementation, which focuses on educating students about making healthy lifestyle choices. The Coordinated School Health model uses peer and professional counseling and support groups to address mental and emotional health issues, and a variety of physical activities, school nutrition education and services to create a healthy school environment. Henderson County Department of Public HealthSchool and Community GardensIf asked "how does your garden grow?" children in Henderson County can answer that their gardens grow very well! To combat obesity concerns, the Henderson County Department of Public Health has used grants to establish school and community gardens and farm markets that engage students, community partners and volunteers for a healthier Henderson County. Officials from the City of Hendersonville, the Historic Seventh Avenue Revitalization Project Boys and Girls Club and community garden volunteers partnered with the Health Department to support the projects, which serve children and families in lower income homes and create opportunities for exercise, recreation and education. Another project underway is a demonstration garden at the Health Department where clients can see how produce can be grown and harvested in a small area. Lifetime Achievement AwardMiriam Labbok, MD, MPH; Professor and Director, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, UNC Gillings School of Global and Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillDr. Miriam Labbok has dedicated her decades-long career to the health and welfare of children in more than 50 countries, including the last seven years focused on the benefits of breastfeeding. As a pediatric epidemiologist, she has served as an expert and/or consultant for the U.S. and North Carolina Institutes of Medicine, the World Bank, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, USAID, and World Health Organization expert committees related to Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition. She recently was invited to serve a four-year term on the U.S. Secretary of Health's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. Dr. Labbok is recognized for her impressive research, teaching and service.