ImgCommunity Health Awards

"It is inspiring to hear the stories of these creative, dedicated people. There is so much good work taking place in public health, and it's important to take time to celebrate the accomplishments."

--Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger

The annual Community Health Awards recognize and acknowledge individuals or groups who make significant contributions to public health in Minnesota. Recognition of these accomplishments by elected officials and local and state public health staff is a long standing and honorable tradition of the annual Community Health Conference.

Recipients of the awards are nominated by their peers. Nominations are received for review and selection by the SCHSAC Awards and Nominating Workgroup. Awards are presented by the Commissioner of Health at the conference.

2014 Community Health Award Recipients

2014 Community Health Award RecipientsClick image to enlarge and view names.

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Jim Parker Leadership Award

       

This award is given to individuals or groups who have demonstrated significant statewide leadership in public health. Learn more.

Diane Thorson, Director of Otter Tail County Public Health Department, received the 2014 Jim Parker Leadership Award for leadership in developing local data systems, and promoting effective health information exchange across multiple entities. Thorson is known for developing high-impact solutions to public health issues.

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Jack Korlath Partnership Award

       

This award is given to individuals whose work has strengthened the state-local partnership. Learn more.

Pete Giesen, Director of Olmsted County Public Health, received the 2014 Jack Korlath Partnership Award for bringing public health and other professionals together to work on a wide range of issues in southeastern Minnesota. Giesen is dedicated to ensuring that all voices are heard and he seeks out "win-win" solutions.

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Commissioner's Award for Distinguished Service in Community Health Services

       

This award is given to individuals or groups who have contributed to advancement in the field of public health. Learn more.

Ann Stehn, Director of Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services, received the 2014 Commissioner's Award for Distinguished Service in Community Health Services for her commitment and forward-thinking leadership in public health policy discussions. Stehn is an effective leader and well-respected advocate for public health.

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Lou Fuller Award for Distinguished Service in Eliminating Health Disparities

       

This award is given to individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to the elimination of health disparities in Minnesota. Learn more.

Dr. Vacharee Peterson, CEO of Community Dental Care, received the 2014 Lou Fuller Award for Distinguished Service in Eliminating Health Disparities for leadership in ensuring access to dental care among low-income and minority groups. Peterson leads a nationally recognized non-profit dental center with three Minnesota locations.

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Award for Outstanding Dedication to Local Public Health

       

This award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the promotion and implementation of local public health in Minnesota. Learn more.

Nancy Schouweiler, Dakota County Commissioner, received the 2014 Award for Outstanding Dedication to Local Public Health to honor her leadership on public health issues in Dakota County. Schouweiler has been a leader on issues including tobacco, methamphetamine labs, mental health, and child maltreatment.

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Certificates of Recognition

       

Certificates are given to individuals or groups who have demonstrated a significant commitment to public health. Learn more.

The recipients of 2014 Certificates of Recognition follow:

Wendy Kvale, Public Health Nurse Consultant for the Minnesota Department of Health, received a 2014 Certificate of Recognition for her consistent, compassionate, and constructive presence in county and tribal public health. Kvale is a trusted and long-time member of the Northwest community, bringing needed attention to public health issues and promoting community-led solutions.

The Smoke-Free Housing Collaborative of the City of Minneapolis received a 2014 Certificate of Recognition for passing a strategic plan to require all public housing high-rise buildings to be smoke-free by October 2015. The plan includes education and referral services for residents seeking to quit smoking.

David Stroud, Retired Director of the Minnesota Center for Health Statistics at the Minnesota Department of Health, received a 2014 Certificate of Recognition for leadership on data issues, especially data on populations of color and American Indians. Stroud led development of many major reports on issues tied to health disparities.