Harold K. Bengsch Award

Perhaps no single individual has had a bigger impact on public health in Greene County than Harold K. Bengsch. Harold worked for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department for 45 years, serving as director for 20 years, before retiring in 2004. He lived SGCHD’s mission to Protect and improve community health through education, collaboration and prevention.

He moved across the street to serve as the Greene County Western District Commissioner, before retiring in 2020. Harold has always understood the value of collaborative approaches, even before the words public health system or collective impacts were commonplace. 

In recognition of Harold’s significant impact, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department has created the Harold K. Bengsch Award to honor Harold’s unwavering belief in the value of collaboration and cross-sector approaches. The public health system works best when people across our community—healthcare professionals to community leaders and anyone in between—collaborate to improve the health of our community.

Harold understands the value of individuals and organizations working in a wide variety of settings and situations. He knows that if the system is working properly, its impacts are often invisible to the public. 

This invisible blanket of protection is a result of a public health system that is working well. However, those who are leaders in prevention do not often get well-deserved credit for their actions. The Harold K. Bengsch Award is designed to recognize such efforts.

We invite nominations of individuals from across all fields of public health and a range of career paths, including: service in local leadership, advocacy, business efforts, newcomers to public health practice or for career achievement. Nominations of individuals from traditional and non-traditional public health organizations are encouraged.

The following criteria have been established for this recognition. The award recipient will:

  • Demonstrate commitment to the values of public health (e.g., community-based approaches to health and prevention, equity for all people, collaborative spirit, ethical decision-making, etc.); 
  • Have significantly contributed to improving and protecting the health of citizens of Greene County; 
  • Have contributed to a broader understanding of public health; 
  • Have a primary place of employment within Greene County, but outside the employment of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Previous awardees:

2019: Peggy Davis, Retired Greene County Commissioner

2018: Steven D. Edwards, CoxHealth President and CEO

Due to COVID-19, the Harold K. Bengsch Award ceremony is on hold.