Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Friday, April 8, 2022, the Mississippi Public Health Association (MPHA) awarded Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker with the Community Service Award during its 84th Annual Public Health Conference.
Barker was recognized for his leadership during the COVID-19 Pandemic and for his overall commitment to improving the health of Hattiesburg residents through policy initiatives.
“We are so pleased to present this award to Mayor Barker. He exemplifies what we hope all elected officials will do for their citizens and includes attention to health as part of the overall plan for economic and educational growth. We believe that a healthy community is a productive community, and Mayor Barker’s leadership indicates that he believes that as well,” said Dr. Kaye Bender, Executive Director of the Mississippi Public Health Association.
The Community Service Award was established in 2018 by MPHA to recognize outstanding contributions to a community by an individual or organization who made a significant impact on the health and well-being of the citizens being represented.
“Even though the pandemic was marked by immense loss and grief, I am grateful for the community Hattiesburg is and how quickly many responded in the face of adversity,” said Barker. “This award is a direct reflection of the collective efforts made by so many to protect the vulnerable, prevent overrun of the health care system and prioritize public health.”
Since 1937, MPHA has strived to strengthen public health in Mississippi through leadership, advocacy, and education. This year, the conference was held during National Public Health Week. To learn more about Mississippi Public Health Association, visit www.mspha.org.