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Smith, Steuben Public Health honored by CCC

Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith was inducted Friday (Apr. 15) into the inaugural Corning Community College Society of the Red Baron as the recipient of the “Community Organization Partner” award.

The Society’s award goes to organizations that positively impact the college by assisting with program or service improvements, supporting creative and innovative ideas, improving the quality of the student experience, supporting the delivery of instruction, expanding the College’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, providing resources, or assisting with cost-saving measures and advocating for the college.

Under Smith’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 30,000 vaccines were administered at CCC, while infection rates remained low. The school successfully implemented the State University of New York’s vaccine and booster mandate with a 98.7 percent vaccination rate, according to Corning Community College Pres. William Mullaney.

A graduate of CCC, Smith noted the school’s strong partnership with her department in combating the spread of the pandemic.

“We had the resources, but our staff was too small to effectively administer those resources,” she said. “CCC volunteered its student nurses and a facility as well. It’s safe to say we could not have done this without them.”

Smith also noted the volunteer CCC student nurses were among the growing number of county residents who volunteered to assist Steuben’s Public Health with clinics, ultimately totaling roughly 450 people throughout the county.

She also emphasized the work of all Public Health employees during the pandemic.

“This is not about me,” she said. “This is for all of them. They worked tirelessly, sometimes 24/7, for two straight years. We could not have done this without them.”