University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Awards honor rural and public health

Rural and public health providers, volunteers and organizations were recognized recently with awards at the 2013 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health’s annual awards banquet. The conference was held June 5 – 7 in Mandan, with the awards banquet taking place June 6.

The North Dakota Public Health Association (NDPHA) presented two awards:

• Chelsey Matter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota was named the Public Health Worker of the Year. This award recognizes an NDPHA member who has made a significant contribution in the field of public health in the past year.

• Bev Voller, Emmons County Public Health, Linton was presented the Outstanding Service award. The Outstanding Service award honors an individual who has exhibited continued excellence in the field of public health.

In addition to the awards, NDPHA also recognizes individuals’ length of service in public health with Longevity Awards. Recipients include: for 35 years of service: Colleen Pearce, North Dakota Department of Health; 20 years of service: Barbara Andrist, Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control; Linda Anderson, Fargo Cass Public Health; Denise Cochran, Custer Health; Doreen Ott, Southwestern District Health Unit; Jeanne Prom, Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control; Brenda Stallman, Traill District Health Unit; Elizabeth Tyree, UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines; and Karen Volk, Wells County District Health Unit; 10 years of service: Vonda Bechtel, Custer Health; Deb Flack, Richland County Health Department; Dawn Mayer, North Dakota Department of Health; Nikki Medalen, Minot State University; Kelly Nagel, North Dakota Department of Health; and Arvy Smith, North Dakota Department of Health.

The Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health planning committee presented seven awards:

• Jo Vilhauer, Wishek Hospital Clinic Association, was presented the Outstanding Rural Health Professional award. This award is presented to a health care professional located in rural North Dakota who has demonstrated leadership in the delivery of rural health services.

• Jacquelyn Lindsey, RN, FNP-C, St. Luke’s Hospital and Crosby Clinic, was the recipient of the Outstanding Rural Health Provider award. The Outstanding Rural Health Provider award is presented to a health care clinician whose practice is in rural North Dakota and has made an important contribution to their community and area.

• Gilman Beck received the Outstanding Rural Health Volunteer for his years of service with Altru Hospice (16 years), Hospice of the Red River Valley (12 years), and 34 years as an EMT with Northwood Ambulance Squad. The Outstanding Rural Health Volunteer award recognizes the contributions made by a community person who has volunteered to contribute their energy, time, and skill toward the betterment of rural health care.

• Coal Country Community Health Centers received the Outstanding Rural Health Program for their contributions to the award winning documentary Resolana: Voice of the People. This award is presented to a program that delivers services in innovative ways, highlights coordination among providers, or improves the quality of care to rural residents.

• Sheila Trontvet, NP, Grafton Family Clinic, was presented the Outstanding Rural Educator/Mentor award. This award recognizes a professional who has made outstanding contributions to the education, development, and placement of new health care professionals in rural North Dakota communities.

• Mandy Rath, FNP, Kidder County Community Health Center was the recipient of the Emerging Rural Leader award. This award recognizes a new professional who has demonstrated tremendous promise for and commitment to improving the health of rural North Dakota residents.

The Rural Collaborative Opportunities for Occupational Learning in Health (R-COOL-Health) Scrubs Camps program, which provides mini grants through a competitive process for rural communities to host one-day camps where students learn about careers in health care from local professionals, presented one award:

• Northeast Education Services Cooperative in Devils Lake was named the R-COOL-Health Scrubs Camp of the Year. This award is presented to the community that hosted the Scrubs Camp deemed as the top camp of the year based on a number of factors including innovative and interactive activities incorporated into the camp, collaboration of community partners and local health care professionals, and organization of the camp and administration of the grant.

The Dakota Conference is a joint effort by Altru Health System of Grand Forks; the North Dakota Public Health Association; the North Dakota Rural Health Association; the UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines; and the UND Center for Rural Health.

-- Kristine Morin, communications coordinator, Center for Rural Health, 777.0871, kristine.morin@med.und.edu