Dr. Jean M. Hudson, Orange County health commissioner, has been named Public Health Professional of the Year by the New York State Association of County Health Officials. Hudson is the immediate past president of the public health advocacy and information organization.

"To be recognized as the top of the field by her profession's leading state organization is true testament to Dr. Hudson's experience, expertise and commitment to public health," county executive Edward A. Diana said in a news release announcing the honor. "We are indeed fortunate to have her here in Orange County working on behalf of our residents."

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As president of the state association, Hudson led an effort to ensure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill concerning college immunization records that would have hampered public health officials' ability to respond to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases on college campuses.

She also represented the association and local health departments on a work group that helped develop the new State Health Improvement Plan, also known as the prevention agenda, and she contributed to a statewide obesity prevention project.

Under Hudson, the county health department has participated in a sugary beverage project as part of the "Healthy Orange" campaign to combat chronic disease. She also led public outreach in the county to prevent West Nile virus, whooping cough and flu, and responded to public health issues following tropical storms Irene and Lee, as well as Hurricane Sandy.

Hudson, a resident of Campbell Hall, has been the county health commissioner since 2003.