The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance has named this year's recipient of the 2019 Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant.

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment received the $5,000 award at the National Environmental Health Association’s 2019 Annual Education Conference and Exhibition awards ceremony in Nashville.

The grand was created to commemorate Robert Neil Lowry, Ph.D., a long-time member of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, one of the predecessor organizations to the PHTA. The grant is given to a public health official or department that has made outstanding contributions to advance the public’s health and safe use of recreational water in pools, spas and waterparks through educational, safety, operational and technical programs.

“The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment’s submission best represented what Dr. Lowry’s award embodies,” said Jody O’Grady, a member of PHTA's Recreational Water Quality Committee. “Their submission stood out to the committee members, and we’re honored to present the PDPHE with the 2019 Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant.”

The grant will be used to help educate citizens in Pueblo County about water safety and bather hygiene. The county plans to offer the Certified Pool Operator (CPO) or Professional Pool Spa and Operator (PPSO) courses.

“Through educating children and families about water safety and bather hygiene, we are able to make differences in people’s lives in our growing community,” said Environmental Health Specialist Scott Cowan. “On behalf of the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, we are honored to receive this award to continue our effort to promote healthy and safe swimming awareness.”

Past winners of the grant include: Arizona Department of Health Services, 2018; Quechan Parks & Recreation, 2017; Riverside County California Department of Health, 2016; Columbus Public Health, 2015; Middlesex-London Health Unit of London, Ontario, 2014; Brevard County Environmental Health Services Department, 2013; Sacramento County Environmental Management Department, 2012; Alexandria Health Department, 2011; City of Houston, 2010; and City of Plano, 2009.