Public Health Week activities (and awards) announced

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Public Health & Human Services Dept. • 320 West Second Street, Suite 605 • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2096 •

Linnea Mirsch





March 28, 2017

CONTACT: Amy Westbrook, Public Health Division Director


Special awards, activities planned for National Public Health Week 

Public Health nurses and staff work one on one with clients, but also with larger groups to create community- or system-wide change. Many of these efforts focus on the broad goal of ensuring that all people have equal opportunity to be healthy. Likewise, much of work done by Public Health employees is in partnership with other community agencies and professionals.


The week of April 3-9 is National Public Health Week. To highlight the important work being done - and the dedicated agencies and individuals doing the work - St. Louis County commissioners will present their 2017 Public Health Achievement Awards during the Board meeting on April 4, at 9:30 a.m., in the Courthouse in Duluth


Honorees this year include the National Diabetes Prevention Program team from Essentia Health, the Duluth Area YMCA and the Mesabi Family YMCA. This partnership involving both the private and non-profit sector was chosen for its work promoting healthy people and healthy communities across St Louis County.


The second honoree is Verne Wagner who has shown dedication and passion for substance abuse prevention. Wagner volunteers on the Opioid Abuse Response Strategies (OARS) group and helped found a support group for people who've lost loved ones to addiction.


Additionally, Public Health staff will be setting up tables throughout the week, providing outreach on nutrition, immunizations, child and teen checkups and overall health and well-being. 


  • April 3: Northland Office Building in Virginia, 8 a.m. to noon; and the St. Louis County Service Center in Ely, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • April 4: Super One North in Virginia, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Zup's Grocery Store in Ely, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April 5: Super One South in Virginia, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Vermilion Community College, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • April 6: Super One in Hibbing, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Ely Northland Market, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April 7: St. Louis County Service Center in Ely, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

"Public Health professionals do amazing work, often with the people who have no other resources," said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director. "We are helping pregnant moms deliver healthy babies, and working with at risk families to give young children a better chance during the critically important early years of development. On the opposite end of the life spectrum, our nurses help elderly clients maintain independent living. We work with community partners to address factors - such as environment, income and education level, lifestyle and genetics - that affect health and well being. And we're also involved in disaster preparedness plans."

St. Louis County Public Health is a division of the Public Health and Human Services Department. Public Health nurses, nutritionists and other staff serve citizens countywide from offices in Duluth, Virginia, Hibbing and Ely. To learn more, call (218) 725-5210 or visit