From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Alan Trachtenberg, MD, MPH
Nominee: Duchy Trachtenberg, MSW, LCSW-C, County Council member — Montgomery County, Md.
Council member Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large) was elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2006. She is chair of the Management and Fiscal Policy Committee, responsible for county economic and fiscal policy; government administrative departments; cable and telecommunications; and technology issues. She also serves on the Health and Human Services Committee.
As MFP Chair, Trachtenberg’s primary mission is the stewardship of the county’s fiscal health. She guides the yearly budget-making process to ensure the protection of the county’s long-term stability while funding essential priorities and protecting the vulnerable with transparency, equity and fiscal responsibility.
Upon joining County Council, Trachtenberg became a leader in creating the Family Justice Center to bring coordinated and effective government services to domestic violence victims. The Family Justice Center is a one-stop-shop approach to responding to domestic violence, eliminating the burden on victims of time and travel to offices scattered throughout the county for different services, which can take days or even weeks to fully engage. The Montgomery County Family Justice Center opened in the summer of 2009 and in its first four months served over 500 families from 39 countries.
As a public health professional, council member Trachtenberg has a special interest in addiction treatment services and public health policy. Her landmark regulation prohibiting the use of artificial trans fats in Montgomery County restaurants was the first such action in the United States adopted on a county level.
She recently proposed new regulations to protect the environment and public health that requires a completed and evaluated Health Impact Assessment prior to the final decision-making on all county and state road construction projects in Montgomery County.
Council member Trachtenberg had been an effective grassroots activist for over 20 years on women’s equality, mental health concerns and public health issues. She offers a strong track record of successful community networking and believes building coalitions is an effective tool in bringing about political reform.
Her dynamic leadership style reflects her genuine commitment to full equality for all women. She sat for several terms on the board of directors of the National Organization for Women as the Mid-Atlantic regional director, and also for six years as a Progressive Maryland board member.
Trachtenberg holds a masters degree in social work. Prior to her election, she maintained a private practice specializing in adolescent addiction. She is a past governing councilor and chair of the alternative medicine section within the American Public Health Association (APHA).
She has received numerous honors and distinctions, including the Spirit Award for Humanitarian Advocate from the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF), the “Heroes” Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) of Montgomery County, and the “Ally for Equality” Award from Equality Maryland. Trachtenberg recently completed the program for senior executives in state and local government at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.