Press Release: Public Health Manager Honored with Excellence in Equity Award

General Press Release

October 20, 2021

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Ottawa County's Sandra Lake Honored with Excellence in Equity Award

Sandra Lake, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health's Community Health Manager, has been named the 2021 Excellence in Equity Award recipient. The news was announced today at the Ottawa County Diversity Forum. Because the forum was held virtually again this year, the Award Decision Committee surprised Lake with the announcement on Friday, October 15. Watch the video of Sandra Lake receiving her award.

The Excellence in Equity Award recognizes individuals who impact the public sector field in Ottawa County and focus on the importance of equity through their practices, programs, policies and decision making. 

"Sandra is a professional with incredible integrity who has helped lead our organization in addressing the root causes of health inequity," said Lisa Stefanovsky, Health Officer for the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. "She is a true champion, turning ideas and honest discussion into action that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace and community."

"I am so humbled and honored," said Sandra Lake, Community Health Manager for the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. "This work is only possible because of my team and our community."

About Sandra Lake

Sandra Lake, RN, MPH, has been with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health since 2012. Sandra worked as a nurse with the Maternal Infant Health Program before earning a promotion to the Community Health Manager. Sandra oversees the Maternal Infant Health Program, Ottawa Pathways to Better Health, Children's Special Healthcare Services and the Hearing and Vision program.

Sandra has worked actively to create equity in public health services. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she ensured that vaccine clinics were staffed with people who spoke multiple languages, created signage in multiple languages and had translating software available for paperwork. Sandra led COVID-19 response and outreach efforts in underserved communities and partnered with leaders in the communities to provide access to information, testing and vaccines.

Sandra adjusted skillfully, balancing the work of the pandemic while continuing to run the other community health programs.

Sandra also created and chairs the Ottawa County Department of Public Health's Health Equity Committee. The health equity committee provides education and resources to the public health employees that allow employees to move along their equity journey in a safe and supportive space.

Sandra strives to create a work environment and community where everyone belongs.

Learn more about the award at

Sandra Lake