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Springfield-Greene County Health Department News Releases

Posted on: March 28, 2019

Mar 28, 2019 - Retired Drug Court Commissioner named Bengsch Award honoree

2019 Harold K. Bengsch Award Honoree: Commissioner Peggy Davis

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is proud to announce Peggy Davis, the recently retired commissioner for Greene County’s Drug, Mental Health, DWI and Veterans Courts, as this year’s Harold K. Bengsch Award honoree. 


The public is invited to an award reception in her honor on April 5 at 3 p.m. in the Catherine McAuley Conference Center in Mercy Hospital Springfield at 1235 E. Cherokee.


Attendees are encouraged to register here:

Two years ago, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department developed the Harold K. Bengsch Award to honor Bengsch—the department’s previous long-serving director of public health—and his unwavering belief in the value of collaboration and cross-sector approaches. The public health system works best when people across our community collaborate to improve the health of our population.

This year, Bengsch himself nominated Davis for her years of outstanding work and dedication to restorative justice.

“My nomination of Peggy for the Harold K. Bengsch Award is an outstanding example of Public Health in action. Her dedication in helping and advocating for individuals with addictive behaviors in breaking their cycle of addiction, crime and incarceration has drawn nationwide recognition,” Bengsch said.

Commissioner Davis has been the heart of restorative justice in Greene County. Her career was centered on the giving the accused in her courtroom the chance at bettering their lives, ending the cycle of addiction and becoming a productive member of society. The cycle of addiction can be a significant public health issue, and Commissioner Davis’ work helped countless people in Greene County to better their lives and their health.

Commissioner Davis built our local models for these restorative justice courts, and the programs she has developed are known across the country for their innovation and success rates. Her professional legacy is changing our community by working one individual at a time to create sustainable solutions to give people a second chance, keep them out of jail and put them on a path toward sustainable success and healthier lives.

Her April 5th reception itself closes National Public Health Week. SGCHD could think of no better way to highlight the value of public health during National Public Health Week than to give an award named after Bengsch, one of public health’s most vocal supporters and advocates, to those standout individuals in our community whose work behind the scenes can sometimes go unnoticed.

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