MOUNT VERNON — Three individuals were honored for their public service at the seventh annual Partners in Public Health breakfast this morning at the Knox County Health Department. With this event being a part of National Public Health Week, the three individuals presented with this award for 2011 were Nathan Gerhart, Larry Williams and the Rev. Robert Alexander. Conducting the ceremony was Knox County Health Commissioner Julie Miller.
Nominated by Terri Hillier, registered sanitarian and emergency response coordinator with Environmental Health Services, Williams and Gerhart are both Knox County animal control officers. They assist the health department in the investigation, enforcement and surveillance of quarantined animals in the county. They have provided assistance in locating stray animals and animal owners to aid in animal bite investigations. They help the staff in dealing with vicious animals that have bitten people and need to be captured and quarantined. This partnership provides an effective response to animal bites and limits the fears of county citizens to the potential exposure to the rabies virus.