Each year, healthcare professionals across the state are honored with awards at the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health. The annual event allows healthcare professionals, educators, and students several days to share their strategies for sustaining healthy North Dakota communities, and offers workshops, keynote speakers, poster presentations, and an awards banquet, during which the awardees are celebrated. These peer-nominated recipients are recognized as those who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to improving the healthcare of rural North Dakota residents.
While the 2020 conference has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recipients will be recognized at the 2021 Dakota Conference awards banquet on June 3 in Bismarck.
Rural Health Awards
- Brian Twete, Provider/FNP with Northwood Deaconess Health Center, is the Outstanding Rural Health Provider.
- Katie Beyer, Prevention Specialist/Partnership for Success Grant Coordinator with City-County Health District, is the Emerging Rural Health Leader.
- Billie Madler, Chair of Graduate Nursing for the University of Mary, is the Outstanding Rural Health Educator/Mentor.
- William McKinnon, MD, Medical Director of Regional Operations for Altru Health System, is the Outstanding Rural Health Professional.
- Avera eCARE School Health earned the Outstanding Rural Health Program award.
- Deloris Oja, activities aid/member/treasurer with Bethel Home Auxiliary, is the Outstanding Rural Health Volunteer.
- Erling Martinson, MD, Family Medicine Specialist and Medical Director with Nelson County Health System, garnered the Outstanding Rural Health Career award.
- Representative Richard “Rick” Holman, North Dakota House of Representatives, is the Rural Health Legislator of the Year.
- Towner County Medical Center hosted the R-COOL-Health Scrubs Camp of the Year.
Public Health Awards
- Michael Dulitz, Opioid Response Project Coordinator with Grand Forks Public Health, is the Public Health Worker of the Year.
- Debbie Swanson, Director of Grand Forks Public Health, is the Public Health Outstanding Service award winner.
- Custer Health’s Mandan Good Neighbor Project, led by Director of Nursing Jodie Fetsch, is the Public Health Team of the Year. Members of the team are Rebecca Nielsen, Jennifer Pelster, Jade Gross, and Kaitlyn Weiss.
Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health
For more information about the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health, visit ruralhealth.und.edu/dakota-conference.
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 University of North Dakota (UND) College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines, and the Center for Rural Health at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences.