Sometimes it does take a community!

If there's one thing we learned throughout the last two years and the on-going response to COVID-19, it's that it truly is a small a world.  That connection that comes from a community was in the spotlight recently when the St. Louis County Board and the St. Louis County Public Health Department combined efforts together to recognize and thank the multiple community partners that "provided instrumental assistance to the county in its pandemic response".

While each of their contributions was different, the forty organizations that received the recognition were each presented with Public Health Partnership Awards.  The awards recognized the organizations for their following efforts:

  • Providing space for COVID testing sites and vaccination clinics
  • Assisting with outreach to ensure people had accurate and timely information and access to the vaccines and testing kits
  • Providing essential services to people in need who had to isolate and/or quarantine during the pandemic
  • Offering "resources and infection control consultation and other technical issues"

The awards not only recognized the entities for their specific contributions to the county's COVID-response, they also brought into focus the way that partnerships and networks were cultivated.  Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director, explains:

"These last two years have been challenging, certainly.  But during these last two years, the challenges have also been accompanied by uplifting experiences and meaningful partnerships.  We've navigated this response as a community.  We have built collaborations that will support future public health initiatives as we begin to focus on recovery efforts."

Meanwhile, attention was also given to the partnership that these organizations formed with the St. Louis County Public Health team.  St. Louis County Commissioner Patrick Boyle  - who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee for the board shared:

"One of the biggest things we do as a county is take care of our most vulnerable adults and children.  And we went above and beyond on that.  We didn't have them come to us, we went to them; especially those struggling with mental illness, homelessness, elders that live in very rural locations.  We made sure we got out there to get them vaccinated, to check on them."

The winners of the Public Health Partnership Awards were invited to attend the St. Louis County Board meeting on April 5.  During that meeting they were presented their plaques and received the recognition.  Here is a complete list of the forty organizations that were recognized:

  • AAD Shriners
  • American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO)
  • Arrowhead EMS Association - Northeast HealthCare Preparedness Coalition
  • Arrowhead Transit
  • Asbury Church
  • Center City Housing – Gateway and Memorial Park Apartments
  • CHUM - both the Warming Center and Steve O'Neil Apartments
  • City of Duluth
  • City of Hermantown
  • Community Action Duluth
  • Damiano Center
  • Duluth First United Methodist Church
  • Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Duluth
  • Duluth School District ISD 709
  • Duluth Transit Authority
  • Essentia Health
  • Falk's Pharmacy
  • Health Equity Northland
  • Lake Superior College
  • Lake Superior Community Health Center
  • Life House
  • Lighthouse Center for Vital Living
  • Minnesota Department of Health - Northeast Regional Office
  • Proctor Public Schools - Rails Indoor Sports Complex
  • Radisson Hotel Duluth Harborview
  • Salvation Army
  • SISU Healthcare IT Solutions
  • St. Louis County Depot
  • St. Louis County Public Works Department - Pike Lake
  • St. Luke's Hospital and Regional Trauma Center
  • St. Mark’s AME Church
  • The College of St. Scholastica
  • The College of St. Scholastica School of Nursing
  • University of Minnesota - College of Pharmacy, Duluth
  • University of Minnesota Duluth; Wilderness Health
  • Zeitgeist - Healthy Hillside Team

In addition to presenting the awards, the St. Louis County Board also issued a proclamation naming April 4 through April 10 as Public Health Week in St. Louis County.

Tara Saglimbeni/ Townsquare Media Hudson Valley
Tara Saglimbeni/ Townsquare Media Hudson Valley

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