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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: May 24, 2022

RENSSELAER COUNTY EARNS NATIONAL AWARDS

RENSSELAER COUNTY EARNS NATIONAL AWARDS FOR INNOVATIVE SERVICES TO PROTECT RESIDENTS, COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE MCLAUGHLIN ANNOUNCES

RENSSELAER COUNTY EARNS NATIONAL AWARDS FOR INNOVATIVE SERVICES TO PROTECT RESIDENTS, COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE MCLAUGHLIN ANNOUNCES

Rensselaer County has been selected to receive several awards for services and initiatives from a leading organization of county governments across America, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced.

The National Association of Counties selected Rensselaer County programs for 2022 Achievement Awards for four programs. The awards will be presented at the NACo annual conference in July in Colorado.

“We are proud and very excited to see several important innovations to protect the health, safety and quality of life of Rensselaer County residents be recognized with awards from this prestigious national organization. Rensselaer County appreciates the recognition and support from NACo for this work,” said County Executive Steve McLaughlin.

“Also appreciated is the hard work and dedication of our team at Rensselaer County, who continue to expand services despite difficult challenges like the pandemic. They have provided outstanding service and innovation at a time when it was needed most,” added McLaughlin.

The four services and initiatives recognized by NACo include:

Naloxone  Now – The Naloxone Now effort provides residents with an opportunity to obtain Narcan through curbside delivery to help fight often fatal drug overdoses. The county is believed to be the first county to provide the program, and other counties have adopted similar efforts. The service is done on a no-questions asked basis, and in 2021, the county made 156 deliveries, following 150 deliveries in 2020. The service was instituted during the pandemic, when there was an increase in overdoses.

RenscoCares – The RenscoCares effort is an expansion of the ER Anywhere program introduced by the county in 2019. The ER Anywhere program, an initiative of County Executive Steve McLaughlin, has been recognized with national and state awards for innovation. ER Anywhere represents a partnership between the county, United Concierge Medicine and health care providers, including CDPHP, to utilize tele-health to provide health care assistance and advice while avoiding unnecessary and expensive visits to emergency rooms for Medicaid recipients. The RenscoCares program expands that service to all residents.

Rensselaer County Home-Delivered Meals during the COVID-19 Pandemic - The onset of the pandemic brought about concerns about safety of seniors. County Executive Steve McLaughlin expanded the ability for seniors to receive home-delivered meals at home in early 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the county was delivering over 400 home-delivered meals through the county’s Department for the Aging. During the height of the pandemic, the Aging Department was delivering 1500 meals each day to seniors. Today, there are between 600 to 700 meals delivered each day.

Rensselaer County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Pandemic Response: Rensselaer County took an independent route to ensure effective and needed services to residents during the pandemic. At the direction of County Executive Steve McLaughlin, the county first established an independent site for COVID-19 testing in 2020. In early 2021, the county set up an independent site for COVID-19 vaccinations, coordinated with the county Health Department and Director Mary Fran Wachunas and the Bureau of Public Safety and Director Jay Wilson. The county conducted numerous pop-up clinics and employed the Vax Bus to expand the reach of county vaccination efforts. Today, the county operates three clinics weekly, and has provided over 50,000 vaccinations. The volunteer Medical Reserve Corps has helped staff those efforts, and helped the county earn praise for the vaccination and testing operations. During the pandemic, there were 3,048 MRC volunteers serving with the county, for a combined total of 26,000 hours during 120 events.  

“These programs represent our commitment to providing a high-level of service to our residents, and to never stop seeking new solutions to problems and issues. Naloxone Now and RenscoCares show the effectiveness of new and clear thinking in dealing with long-standing problems,” said McLaughlin.

“At the same time, work and compassion are equally important when responding to challenges or problems. The response by our MRC volunteers and our team at Aging show the talent and dedication we are fortunate to have working and serving every day in our county,” he added.

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