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County sexuality educator receives state award

• Sep 24, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Heather Alberda, a certified sexuality educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, recently received the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 2018 Outstanding Innovation Award.

"Heather’s creativity, dedication and enthusiasm is an asset to both the sexual health program and the community,” said Connie Kross, sexual health services team supervisor for the Ottawa County health department.

During the Roadmap to Health Conference, state leaders recognized Alberda for her innovative work to address sexually transmitted diseases.

In 2014, she created the Wear One program to help remove barriers such as cost, embarrassment and lack of access to condoms for ages 18-24. Through this program, various Ottawa County locations give out free Wear One packages. Places such as colleges, retail stores, tattoo studios, nail salons, gas stations and community organizations give out these free packages that include 10 condoms, lubricant, sexual health resources and STD testing information. People ages 18-24 can also order packages online and receive them in an unmarked and confidential envelope.

“Her work with the Wear One program is so innovative and deserves to be recognized,” said Irda Kape of the Division of HIV and STD Programs at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

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