It is becoming harder to remember a time when you could not find an open clinic for a vaccine or schedule a ride with just the touch of a button. But as the world has adapted to living with a pandemic, Oakland Park stands above as a community that cares for its seniors and has been a leader from the start. By utilizing local resources and supplies, harmonized quick thinking, and rolling up sleeves during uncertain times, Oakland Park showed that local government can accomplish and deliver services that inspire other municipalities to do the same.
The City of Oakland Park will be honored by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) as the recipient of the organizations’ Community Health and Safety Award for its COVID-19 Vaccination Site for Vulnerable Seniors. Oakland Park will be honored in various platforms, including the upcoming ICMA Annual Conference which takes place September 17-21, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio, and their award-winning “Public Management” Magazine.
First Responders in Our Community
In 2021, Oakland Park was the first City-run vaccination site in Broward County and was able to provide more than 9,500 vaccines to seniors from ten south Florida cities. Oakland Park’s COVID-19 vaccination site opened to serve vulnerable seniors who faced challenges making appointments and traveling to other distribution sites. Partnering with the Department of Health, the City accessed a vaccine supply and worked with local organizations, such as Meals on Wheels South Florida, to help identify and contact vulnerable seniors to schedule appointments. Not only did Oakland Park operate the distribution site, but City staff would transport seniors to their appointments if needed.
“Local government is the government closest and most responsive to the needs of the people,” said Oakland Park City Manager David Hebert. “When the most vulnerable members of our society could not access the COVID vaccine, we took action. Oakland Park provided lifesaving care and comfort to our seniors when no other alternative was available to them and we provided the same service to vulnerable seniors from surrounding communities,” Hebert continued.
As employees worked hard to adapt and to keep their heads above water, their roles in public service also grew stronger and brighter through the hardships. This was a time of uncertainty and scarcity, and Oakland Park delivered stellar, logistical programming and services.
The International City/County Management Association Standards
ICMA’s Local Government Excellence Awards Program highlights creative contributions to professional local government management while demonstrating the difference that effective and committed management makes to the quality of life in our communities. ICMA’s program awards are presented to local governments and their chief administrators in recognition of their innovative and successful programs.
Awards are presented to local governments for each of three population ranges: less than 10,000, 10,000 to 49,999, and 50,000 and greater. Multi-participant nominations will be classified in the population range that corresponds to the population of the largest participating organization. Nominations are evaluated by an independent, 13-person panel of ICMA members. These recipients set the standard for innovation, effectiveness, and creativity in the cities, towns, counties, and academic institutions they lead.
Their Local Government Recognition program allows their members and associates to connect and invest in local communities’ trainings in ethics, equity, and social justice. Oakland Park’s neighborhoods take pride in their diversity and inclusive nature and step up to the bar when it comes to protecting seniors of South Florida.
On the heels of Labor Day, we hope the employees and volunteers who had worked endless hours enjoyed a wonderful day of rest and relaxation. Congratulations on a joint effort for winning this prestigious award!