Karen Fradua Recognized with SC Public Health Association Lucinda Thomas Health Education Award


Ms. Karen Fradua (left) is presented the South Carolina Public Health Association’s Lucinda Thomas Award from Ms. Kelly Kavanaugh (right), chair of the Health Education Section.

Karen Fradua received the South Carolina Public Health Association (SCPHA) Lucinda Thomas Health Education Award at the SCPHA Spring Conference for her outstanding contributions in the field of health education and promotion.

“Karen is a very deserving recipient of this award.  Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to advancing health promotion and education efforts in our state, and she has distinguished herself as a true professional in the field.  I join all of her colleagues at IMPH in congratulating her on this award,” said Dr. Lee Pearson, IMPH director of operations.

Ms. Fradua has an extensive public health background that ranges from program implementation and grant writing to policy development and strategic planning. As program manager for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Ms. Fradua had notable success in the development, implementation and evaluation of a variety of health prevention programs. She convened community partners to identify and address critical public health issues and was considered the local public health authority in providing resources, data and guidance on national best practice recommendations. She led the planning and statewide implementation of one of the first South Carolina initiatives to address obesity prevention in the childcare setting. This implementation model was highlighted at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation Conference in 2008 and has been replicated in other states. Ms. Fradua has also worked as an analyst for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System where she was responsible for aggregating population health data and generating reports used to support internal and community-based strategic planning.  At the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH), Ms. Fradua oversees the development, implementation and coordination of the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan through the SCale Down Initiative.  She effectively manages this partnership of close to 100 people and dozens of organizations to influence true change in the state to prevent obesity. Ms. Fradua has presented at numerous state and local conferences and has been published in national nutrition journals.

Ms. Fradua’s active participation in the growth of the profession is demonstrated through her association memberships and board service. A member of SCPHA since 2003, she currently serves as Secretary of the Health Education Section. She has served on the Board of Directors for Eat Smart Move More South Carolina and South Carolina Action for Healthy Kids. She was a member of the Board of Hub City Farmers’ Market and Partners for Active Living (PAL) and chaired PAL’s strategic planning committee. She also served on the Spartanburg County Childhood Obesity Task Force, the Road to Better Health Coalition and was a member of the United Way of the Piedmont’s Community Impact Council for Health and Wellness, which she chaired in 2009. Ms. Fradua is also member the South Carolina Health Information Management Association. Her continual contributions to the field have been recognized throughout her career as she was named the South Carolina Outstanding New Health Educator of the Year in 2004, Health Educator of the Year in 2006 and was selected as South Carolina’s Health Education Professional of the Year in 2010.

Her academic degrees include a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master’s degree from Clemson University and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Informatics from Georgia Regents University. She is also a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and Registered Health Information Administrator.

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