St. Louis County honors community partners for help with COVID response

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

Linnea Mirsch




April 5, 2022

CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


St. Louis County honors community partners for help with COVID response

The St. Louis County Board and St. Louis County Public Health joined together at Tuesday's County Board meeting to recognize and thank the many community organizations that provided instrumental assistance to the county in its pandemic response. Forty organizations from the southern part of the county were honored with Public Health Partnership Awards for helping in a variety of ways including providing space for COVID testing sites and vaccination clinics; assisting with outreach to ensure people had accurate information as well as access to vaccine and testing; providing essential services to people in need who had to isolate or quarantine; and offering resources and infection control consultation and other technical assistance.


Another recognition event will be held later this month to thank community organizations from the northern part of the county who provided similar assistance to the county. That event will take place April 26 when the County Board meets in Hoyt Lakes.


Organizations honored during Tuesday's Board meeting in Duluth include: 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; the City of Duluth; the 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; and Zeitgeist - Healthy Hillside Team


"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,"  said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director. "We’ve navigated this response as a community. We have built new collaborations that will support future public health initiatives as we begin to focus on recovery efforts."


The County Board also issued a proclamation naming April 4-10 as Public Health Week in St. Louis County.


Commissioner Patrick Boyle, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee for the Board, spoke in praise of the county's Public Health team and its community partners, "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."


Video of the County Board meeting, as well as photos from the recognition event can be found on the county's Facebook page at

Public Health Partnership Awards

Representatives of 40 community organizations were honored with Public Health Partnership Awards for their assistance to the County in its pandemic response.

Amy Westbrook presentation

Public Health Division Director Amy Westbrook addresses the County Board, expressing thanks to the many community organizations that assisted the county with COVID testing, vaccinations, outreach and other services.