County Receives 44 National Awards for Programs, Services

Training dog sitting at feet of a Probation youth, Getting 2 Zero logo and solar panels at a County facility.
The County received awards for the Urban Camp/Girls Rehabilitation Facility, Tender Loving Canines Training Program, the Getting 2 Zero Initiative, and the Renewable Power Program among 44 others.

San Diego County won 44 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties which recognizes innovative county government programs.

“It’s great to see our hardworking, forward-thinking employees get the national recognition they deserve. The awards are further validation of our ongoing efforts to improve public services and to make sure we’re spending taxpayer dollars wisely,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors.

San Diego County was among the top three counties in the state to receive the most awards. San Bernardino County garnered 50 awards and Los Angeles won 46. The recognition spanned numerous categories, including Health, Financial Management, Human Services, Community/Economic Development, Information Technology, and Emergency Management and Response.

Among the award-winning programs recognized were:

A six-week long Probation Department program that teaches teenage girls in Urban Camp/Girls Rehabilitation Facility to train assistance dogs. The teens learn life skills such as patience, confidence and communication skills by training assistance dogs. The girls use only positive reinforcement to train the dogs, which are part of the Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, a non-profit that teaches inmates to train service dogs for wounded veterans and individuals on the autism spectrum. Many of the girls in the Urban Camp/Girls Rehabilitation Facility are often victims of or at high risk for sexual abuse, sex trafficking, homelessness, truancy and drug abuse. The dogs also serve a therapeutic purpose for the girls.

An ambitious renewable power program which will incrementally transition the County’s average annual operational electricity bill from fossil-fuel-generated grid electricity to renewable clean power. The goal is to use 20 percent renewable sources by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030. The renewable power will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from County operations, in addition to saving money, as renewable sources are less expensive than standard electricity

A Health and Human Services Agency initiative which uses a comprehensive approach to end the HIV epidemic in San Diego County.  On average, one person is diagnosed with HIV in San Diego County every day and one in five of those will progress to AIDS.  The initiative tests and identifies people living with HIV; links people living with HIV to treatment and provides wraparound services to ensure they remain in care over time; and links people who are vulnerable to HIV infection to effective HIV prevention interventions. Adopted in 2016, the initiative saw the number of new diagnoses reduce to 392 for the year from around 500 a year previously. Deaths have also declined significantly among those living with HIV, and twice as many of those living with HIV are being treated.

The complete list of winning programs can be seen in a searchable database.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact