Bart Hagston, Interim Administrator and Director of Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness at Jackson County Health Department, recently received the ‘Local Leadership Award’ at the Illinois Public Health and Health Care Coalition Preparedness Summit in Normal, Illinois.
Hagston, a 20-year veteran of Jackson County Health Department, has made many significant contributions over the years to emergency preparedness efforts in Jackson County and the region. At the county level, Hagston has ensured the coordination of health department planning and response activities with other key partners. He has assisted Jackson County leaders with volunteer management, public information and social media messaging during numerous floods, a tornado, and the 2009 super derecho. Based on his experience as the County’s debris manager following the derecho, Hagston developed a debris management plan that has been used as a model for other communities.
Hagston also took a public health leadership role in planning for the 2017 Solar Eclipse during which large numbers of people came to Jackson County. Due to his efforts, Jackson County and the region were prepared to meet the public health and safety issues for that and other mass gathering events. “Mr. Hagston has exhibited the many ways that public health can contribute to community disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
Hagston has also demonstrated exemplary dedication and leadership in emergency preparedness planning and response across the region as a member of the Executive Board for the Shawnee Preparedness and Response Coalition (SPARC) and as an American Red Cross volunteer and instructor.
Dr. Ezike stated, “Mr. Hagston is truly a role model for public health emergency preparedness leadership.”
— The Southern