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February 21, 2014

(L to R) Assistant Health Director Kelly Isenhour, Carleen Crawford of the Transformation Grant Project, Assistant County Manager Dewey Harris, and Amy McCauly, Community Outreach Manager, Catawba County Public HealthRegion 4 of the North Carolina Community Transformation Grant Project has named Catawba County Assistant Manager Dewey Harris (third from left in the photo) as a recipient of the Transforming Health Champion Award for his dedication to and continued support for creating healthier communities through tobacco-free policy work.

The Transforming Health Champion Award is presented to grant partners and community leaders who have created lasting health benefits and demonstrated on-going commitment for positive health outcomes in the areas of Tobacco-Free Living, Healthy Eating and Active Living. Catawba County is part of the grant’s ten-county region.

“This award recognizes the good work Catawba County Public Health staff and our local and regional partners have done to make tobacco-free living a top priority in our community while encouraging wellness in all areas of life,” Harris said. “I was honored to receive this award for my assistance in this effort, and look forward to rolling up my sleeves to do more.”

Harris helped transition Catawba County government from a smoke-free campus policy to a tobacco-free campus in March 2013. He continued to move the tobacco-free initiative forward by working with municipal leadership and Catawba County Public Health. Through his guidance and support, five municipalities have now adopted tobacco-free ordinances or policies and he continues to work with the remaining municipalities to move in this direction.

“Dewey Harris is a leader and advocate with a strong focus on making the environment healthier for Catawba County residents,” said Carleen Crawford, Tobacco-free Living Coordinator for Region 4. “He helped to keep the conversation going with municipal leadership and was an integral part of the endeavor.”

Harris began working for Catawba County as Assistant County Manager in August 2008 after serving as Director of the Community Services Department and Interim Assistant City Manager in Wilmington, North Carolina. He currently has day-to-day oversight of Public Health, Social Services, the County Elections Office, the County Library System, and the County’s state and federal legislative program.

During his time in Catawba County, Harris has worked with various teams of employees on such projects as the opening of St. Stephens Park, plans for a new Sherrills Ford branch of the County Library which will open later in 2014 and expansion of the Public Health dental practice among other accomplishments. He is past president of the Catawba Valley Rotary Club and presently serves on the Boards of Directors for the United Arts Council and Hickory Museum of Arts.

About Catawba County Public Health
Located off Fairgrove Church Road behind Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., Catawba County Public Health provides health and education services to eligible men, women, and children in the community. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit

About the NC Community Transformation Grant Project
The Community Transformation Grant (CTG) Project supports communities in the development and implementation of initiatives to create healthier communities and reduce chronic disease throughout North Carolina. The CTG Project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information, please visit