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Becky Hunt

Becky Hunt displays her W. Scott Johnson Award at the Sept. 26 MPHA Annual Conference.

Madison County Health Department Administrator Becky Hunt has often been recognized locally for her service, and now she has recently received the highest statewide honor in her field.

The Missouri Public Health Association presented Hunt its most prestigious award, the W. Scott Johnson Award, on Sept. 26 at the Annual Conference in Columbia.

Hunt was nominated by health department staff for not only her service in Madison County, but also for the many contributions she has made for public health statewide.

The W. Scott Johnson Award is presented to an individual for distinguished service in the field of public health in Missouri. The award is given in recognition of the skills, integrity and devotion to duty and constructive leadership which characterized the life of W. Scott Johnson. 

MCHD RN and Assistant Administrator Teresa Rehkop said Hunt strives to ensure public health is strong not only in Madison County but across the entire state.

"She has served on several different state boards and with trial and error she has achieved great feats," Rehkop said. "One of her largest impacts was diving into how public health can bill commercial insurance for services. This took some time and help of staff but was achieved."

Rehkop said the increase in revenue has made a great impact on the community and has helped the financial situation of the department as well as helped other counties.

"Several other counties have reached out to MCHD regarding commercial billing and we have shared the process and have helped them to achieve the same success," Rehkop said. "Becky also successfully got a fee for service ordinance passed for Madison County and again has shared the process with other counties."

Hunt started her career in public health in 1982 as the MCHD receptionist being promoted to her current position as administrator in 1999. She also volunteers as the Emergency Management director for Madison County.

"Becky's heart and soul are in our community and public health, locally and state wide," Rehkop said. "I feel the work she has done will have a lasting impact across the state."

MCHD has also recently been renewed as an Accredited Health Department for five more years.

"Accreditation means your local public health agency is prepared to provide the highest quality of service to your community," Rehkop said. "It means the MCHD has voluntarily completed a challenging, comprehensive evaluation and the agency has made significant effort to achieve a standard that affects the quality and safety of your life."

Only a small percentage of local public health agencies have gone through this evaluation process. 

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Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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