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Pike County Wins PA Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence


Pike County Commissioners Ronald Schmalzle, Matthew Osterberg and Steven Guccini accept the Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence in the Building Community Partnerships category on behalf of the county’s Opioid Task Force, Tick Borne Diseases Task Force, and Reentry Coalition. Contributed.

PIKE COUNTY — Pike County was one of 10 communities and eight individuals from across the commonwealth recognized today as part of the 24th Annual Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence. Three Pike County initiatives garnered a 2020 Governor’s Award in the Building Community Partnerships category: the Opioid Task Force, Tick Borne Diseases Task Force, and Reentry Coalition.


Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) noted Pike County’s dedication and commitment to strengthening the community and better serving residents by fostering collaboration among public and private entities to create innovative solutions to three challenging issues.


“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of these three local initiatives that are leveraging the skills of county staff, volunteers, and professionals from the nonprofit and private sectors to benefit residents and visitors,” said the Pike County Commissioners. “These partnerships strengthen our community through grassroots dialogue and consensus.”


Results include educational outreach and strategic plans by the Opioid Task Force and Reentry Coalition, focusing on prevention, reducing stigma, and enhancing the continuum of care to better address the correlation between opioid abuse, incarceration, and recidivism. The Tick Borne Diseases Task Force completed scientific research that identifies types of ticks and diseases present locally; collaborated with a regional health care system to establish a Tick Borne Diseases Clinic, a first of its kind in the Commonwealth; and developed a protocol for school nurses to use when a student reports an embedded tick.


“At DCED, we often say that Pennsylvania is the best place in the world to live, work, and play—and that’s because of our local communities,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “These projects represent what is best about Pennsylvania—our resilience, creativity, and strength. We are proud to commend these efforts.”


The 2020 awards ceremony, originally scheduled for last April as part of “Local Government Week” in Harrisburg, was held virtually today via webinar due to COVID-19.


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