2020 Innovation Award for Service honorees

The King County Innovation Awards seek to honor employees within department teams whose projects, improvements, and ingenuity deliver exceptional, measurable results. This year, however, the Service award honors not individuals, but teams who pulled together to address the urgent needs of the COVID pandemic in our community. The True North values of “We are one team,” “We solve problems,” and above all, “We respect all people” drove these teams to come up with creative and effective solutions that truly aided some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Due to the pandemic, the Executive and other leaders at King County congratulated the 2020 honorees by video.

The 2020 Innovation Award for Service honorees are the Department of Public Health – Seattle and King County, the Department of Community and Human Services, Metro Transit, and the Department of Executive Services.

In addition, at the insistence of these departments, special recognition was imparted on the Department of Executive Services, Facilities Management Division and the Office of Emergency Management. The honorees said they could not have accomplished what they did without the support of these groups.

 To view the members of each project team, click here.

“These proactive and creative solutions to protect the most marginalized have been recognized and modeled nationally,” Natasha Jones, Director of Customer Service for King County, said in the video announcing the honor. “Their combined efforts have literally saved lives. There’s probably no better demonstration of what we can accomplish when we act as one team.”

“Joining forces with other King County, government and community partners they reduced the spread of COVID-19 among the region’s most vulnerable populations, many of whom are Black, Indigenous, and people of color,” Jones stated. “This work helped King County achieve one of the lowest rates of death due to COVID-19 among the country’s most populous counties.”

Here are just a few examples of the creative work that garnered the honor for these teams:

  • Public Health set up and staffed seven isolation and quarantine sites where people could recover from COVID-19 exposure or illness if they did not have a suitable place to stay.
  • Metro worked with their Access para-transit partner to transport people with confirmed or presumed COVID-19 diagnosis to and from isolation and quarantine sites, medical facilities, homeless shelters, and assisted living facilities.
  • Community and Human Services created a sheltered deintensification plan to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in congregate shelters, which also created an opportunity to connect with the treatment and services people need to help escape homelessness.

Executive’s Performance Excellence Awards

The Innovation Awards are part of the Executive’s Performance Excellence Awards series, honoring employees, and workgroups at King County for their exceptional contributions to performance, leadership, and innovation.

“As we build a best-run government at King County, these awards recognize individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond to look at how they can do things differently to better serve our customers and employees,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Learn more about the King County Performance Excellence Awards here.