Health department honors 2 members with awards

Health department honors 2 members with awards

Every year the Holmes County General Health District awards two recipients with either the Maurice Mullet or Esther Spreng awards. The purpose of these awards is to recognize the excellent service and contributions these individuals have made to Holmes County. To end 2018, the district rolled out both of the awards.

This year the Esther Spreng Award was given to longtime board member Carol Miller while the Dr. Maurice Mullet Award was presented to LaVonne Flickinger.

“It is so important to recognize those individuals who have made important contributions to the health of the people of Holmes County,” said Michael Derr, Holmes County Health commissioner. “These two women have played integral roles in doing just that. They have made an incredible commitment to serve their community, and neither of them do it for the recognition. They do it because they care about people.”

The Esther Spreng Award is presented to a Holmes County woman who has made great contributions to health and wellness. Esther Spreng served as a board of health member and board president for nearly three decades, and it is in her memory that the district presents the award.

Miller has been a board of health member for 22 years, and for many of those years, she served as the board president.

“Carol Miller is not only an advocate for the HCGHD but also for public health,” Derr said. “She has been a champion for change within our agency, supporting transition and growth that is necessary to promote a culture of quality within our agency.”

Miller said she was honored to accept the award, one reason being Spreng’s granddaughter Kris Pipes-Perone now serves on the health district board and was there to participate in the celebration.

“I am so humbled and honored to receive this award,” Miller said. “And to have Esther’s granddaughter here to celebrate was especially exciting. None of us do what we do for awards and recognition. There are so many people connected to the health district who are passionate about what they do. Like myself, they too believe in what the health district means for Holmes County. It is such a great feeling to know that I work alongside so many caring and dedicated people.”

In addition to serving on the board of health, Miller is an active volunteer for the Holmes County Medical Reserve Corps and has participated with the health district at a variety of events including the 2014 measles response, providing hand-washing education during Kids Day at the fair and greeting customers during the district’s annual Point of Dispensing/Flu Clinic drills. Derr said Miller also is a valued member of the health district’s strategic planning/performance management committee.

“You are a true public health servant, and your service and dedication to the Holmes County community has not gone unnoticed,” Derr said to Miller at the ceremony. “We truly appreciate you and all of the work that you do.”

In addition to Miller’s award, the district also honored Flickinger with the Dr. Maurice “Mo” Mullet Award.

“Each year we get the opportunity to recognize an individual who, in the honor of Dr. Mullet, shows a dedication to service for the benefit of our community,” Derr said. “That person is LaVonne. She is always willing to help others, tackle difficult situations and offer solutions for the benefit of our agency. She goes to extra trainings and brings her knowledge back to staff, helping us to be better stewards at work and in our community. LaVonne is a valued member of our staff and leadership, an incredible asset to the health district, and we are honored to recognize her for this award.”

Derr said the county’s health and state of mind are crucial to the ongoing success of the county, and people like Miller and Flickinger are extremely important parts of the ongoing campaign to ensure a healthy county continues.

“They have both been instrumental in our ongoing effort to create awareness about health issues and to keep the people of Holmes County healthy,” Derr said. “We are blessed to have people like this who care so deeply about others.”

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