Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, October 5, 2018

Coppinger wins Tennessee PHA Award

Photograph provided Mayor Jim Coppinger, second from left, is seen accepting his award at the TPHA annual conference. With Coppinger, from left, are Dr. John Dreyzehner, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Health, Becky Barnes, administrator, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, and Susan Porter, 2017-18 TPHA president.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger has received the Tennessee Public Health Association’s Partners and Leadership Individual Award.

The award is presented to a non-public health professional who has made a significant contribution on behalf of public health.

One of Coppinger’s primary contributions has been his support of protecting children and non-smokers from the harmful effects of second- and third-hand smoke, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department says in a press release announcing the award.

Through his leadership, all 11 Hamilton County mayors came together to create the Mayors’ Smokefree Community Initiative. Funded solely through the Tobacco Settlement Fund, the initiative “asks” people to not smoke or vape in public places around non-smokers – especially children.

Funds purchased 203 signs and 40 park benches that have carried the initiative’s message in parks and other public places around the county. Tobacco use and exposure are the leading cause of preventable death in Tennessee, the Health Department adds.

Mayor Coppinger has also been supportive of creating tobacco-free campus policies. He was supportive of the TNSTRONG student-led effort to create a tobacco-free policy for all Hamilton County school campuses.

Additionally, Mayor Coppinger attended and spoke at the Bright Spot Award ceremony honoring the Head Start Tobacco Exposure Initiative, which resulted in tobacco-free campuses for Chattanooga Head Start. He was also on hand to support Chattanooga State Community College for their announcement of a smoke-free campus.

“We strongly feel that if we can help turn some of our young people away from smoking – to educate them – we can save lives,” Coppinger says.

Beyond his tobacco prevention efforts, Mayor Coppinger has been supportive of National Recovery Month, endorsing a proclamation to show his support locally for those recovering from addiction.

Mayor Coppinger also delivered the introduction and welcome address at the Tennessee Breastfeeding Symposium in Chattanooga on June 15.

The TPHA is the official professional organization for those engaged or interested in public health services.

Source: Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department