COVID-19 response team honored for excellence in health service |

COVID-19 response team honored for excellence in health service

The 15-person Incident Management Team has received the 2020 Award for Excellence in Health Service from the Rural Health Network to honor their work to help the community navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Courtesy Rural Health Network

Every year, the Grand County Rural Health Network honors healthcare pioneers who impact the health and lives of the community.

But this year, the Rural Health Network decided that the Award for Excellence in Health Service would not go to an individual and instead to a team.

The Grand County Incident Management Team Command Staff was awarded for their dedication to putting the health of the community first, despite many obstacles, the RHN said in a release.

The Incident Management Team was formed to provide assistance and support to Grand County Public Health for the county’s COVID-19 response.

The release said that their commitment to limiting the spread and impact of COVID-19 in Grand created sustainable mitigation strategies. These strategies included the development of COVID-19 testing procedures and protocols, the implementation of methods and processes for economic recovery and drafting a countywide vision to provide for a unity of purpose and effort moving into the recovery phase of this crisis.

“Through their work, stakeholder trust and support in the integrity of the public healthcare system in general has been strengthened and efforts for sustaining it are being developed,” the release said.

The Incident Management Team Command Staff was comprised of 15 people: Brad White, Brene Belew-LaDue, Brett Schroetlin, Darcy Selenke, Kat Conrad, Kelly Oxley, Abbie Baker, Chris Leahy, Curtis Lange, Nick Wall, Ryan Mowrey, Tyler Campbell, Katlin Miller, Schelly Olson and Alexis Kimbrough.

“These 15 people made extremely difficult, and often unpopular decisions, which guided our county’s COVID-19 response,” the release said. “They worked tirelessly for over five months, collaborating with over 100 individuals from dozens of local and statewide organizations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the corresponding economic and mental health crises.”

Representatives of the RHN and the community said that this leadership, collaborative effort and focus on public health best practices and evolving COVID-19 science illustrated the innovation and community impact the award was designed to celebrate.

Past award recipients include Sue Johnson and Katie Hornbaker in 2019; Heather Bentler and John Nichols in 2018; Wade Walker in 2017; Val Lind in 2016; Hannah Foley and Ray Jennings in 2015; Mary Jo Hargadine in 2014; and Therese McElroy in 2013.

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