Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners this week recognized the County’s Medical Examiner’s Office and Office of Research, Operations and Innovation (ROI). Both received Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
NACo recognized the Medical Examiner’s Office for its Indigent Burial Program in the Human Services category. The goal of the Indigent Burial Program is to provide a dignified burial to constituents in Cook County whose families do not have the funds to make arrangements and the indigent who have no one to make arrangements for them. More than 2,500 dignified burials have been conducted since the program was implemented in 2014.
“The Indigent Burial Program provides a vital service to some of the neediest residents of Cook County,” President Preckwinkle said. “This program reflects the values of the Medical Examiner’s Office, Cook County Government and our constituents throughout the County.”
The County’s newly established Office of ROI was recognized by NACo for its Employee-Driven Continuous Process Improvement Program in the County Administration and Management category. ROI assists departments in identifying opportunities for process improvement and facilitates the implementation of innovative solutions. Solutions are developed and implemented by front-line employees and are designed to increase efficiency, add value to the customer and reduce costs.
“My administration has made fiscal responsibility, innovative leadership, transparency and accountability and improved services the benchmarks by which we measure our success,” said President Preckwinkle. “I am grateful for the leadership ROI has taken in ensuring that our departments continue to evolve in order to effectively serve our residents.”
NACo President Greg Cox said, “Counties implement innovative programs that enhance residents’ quality of life every day. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs demonstrate how counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”
Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition July 12-15 in Clark County, Nevada.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.