Deanna Smaw, public health aide with the WIC Program. Image courtesy of First 5 San Luis Obispo County.
Deanna Smaw, public health aide with the WIC Program. Image courtesy of First 5 San Luis Obispo County.

Public Health Aide Deanna Smaw Recognized with Hands-On Hero Award

Author: Public Health Department
Date: 2/22/2019 12:39:49 PM

Meet the public health aide empowering new parents to nourish their babies and themselves.


Caring for a new baby can be full of challenges. For some local families, this includes making sure infants and mothers have the nutrition they need.

Deanna Smaw, public health aide with the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program, works to ensure that newborns in SLO County get the nourishment they need for a healthy start in life – and that their parents get encouragement and kindness as they care for their babies. She provides breastfeeding support, nutrition education and much more. 

Deanna was recently recognized with the Hands-On Heroes award for her compassion and dedication to SLO County parents and children. The award program is coordinated by First 5 San Luis Obispo County in collaboration with local community organizations dedicated to children's well-being.

In announcing the award, First 5 called out the special impact Deanna has made in the community: 

Deanna’s colleagues say she brings enthusiasm, kindness and creativity to her work each day. She makes every parent and child feel special— and ensures that the WIC appointment is a comforting place of support. Whether it’s a classroom or an office, Deanna is innovative and thoughtful in making that space warm and inviting. A father walked into the WIC clinic with his baby one day, and Deanna said to him “I admire you for raising your baby.” He responded appreciatively, “Nobody has ever said that to me.” She has even used her sewing talents to make breastfeeding scarves for dozens of moms, and has given away a number of her umbrellas to clients who came in on a rainy day. 

See the full Hands-On Heroes spotlight at www.first5slo.org/hands-on-heroes.php