LIHUE — District health officers have never been recognized, said Toni Torres, the state’s Department of Health Kauai District Health Office nursing supervisor Monday.
“Hawaii State Senate President Ron Kouchi is the key,” Torres said. “Not only did he successfully negotiate for capital improvement funds to repair the building, he nominated Dr. Dileep Bal, the Kauai District Health Officer, for the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service.”
Torres said Monday’s celebration marked the completion of repairs to the DOH administrative building and overflowed to include the celebration of Bal’s award he received Feb. 23.
The $700,000 repair work involved reflooring the entire building, new disabilities development facilities, a secured entryway to the building as well as the DD area, new bicycle racks, handicapped parking and draining of the exterior landscaping.
“I’m glad we’re not breeding mosquitos, anymore,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, state’s DOH director. “This is a great way to get into a healthy community and you people deserve to have a work place conducive to the great work you do in the community.”
For his AMA award, Bal was nominated by for his leadership in helping to prevent obesity with a variety of partnerships and policies aimed at improving access to healthier food choices and having more safe places to exercise and play. He was also recognized for his outstanding work with tobacco and cancer control at the state and national levels.
“Throughout his career, Dr. Bal has spearheaded a myriad of special projects,” said Rep. Dee Morikawa.