TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The South Central Public Health District took a short break Wednesday from its COVID response to recognize four individuals who have gone above and beyond to better the community's health.
The district's "Health Heroes" presentation highlights a youth volunteer, adult volunteer, an adult professional, and organization to acknowledge their efforts to educate and help other residents.
Due to the number of submissions, it can be quite challenging to choose who will be the recipient of these awards. The SCPHD board reviews the applicants and discuss who will be selected through specific criteria.
"We have set up a kind of a scoring sheet, and we use those things that the health department wants to promote like promoting good health, preventing disease, promoting healthy lifestyles," explains board member Pam Jones.
Maisie Nielson was chosen for the education of her classmates about the dangers of vaping, Terry Lamb was picked for his volunteer work with children at his gym, James Rohm for his work within the Community Health Emergency Services program, and lastly, Minidoka Memorial hospital was recognized for its Breathe program.
Minidoka Memorial's Breathe program shares a similar goal of fellow recipient Maisie Nielson about teaching the youth the dangers of vaping and having healthy lungs, which is especially important during a pandemic with a respiratory virus.
"The hospital is here overall to help the community, whether it's education or to take care of their preventive health needs or when they're hospitalized. The breathe program is just our community outreach effort," said Sarah Zielinski, the chief nursing officer for Minidoka Memorial.
Terry Lamb survived a near-fatal car collision and battles PTSD. He's also sober and uses his past struggles with drugs and alcohol to motivate and empower young children at his Burley-based gym, Ninja Sanctuary.
"I put them through physical obstacles. They fall down, and they get back up, that's fine. I teach them that failure is not failure until you quit. So when you fall down, get back up, train harder, try harder, study harder, do it again."
South Central Public Health District takes great pride in putting on an event that features a unique group of individuals.
"It makes me look around at the people that do good in my community and realize we just have people all around us that do good, and when they come here, they shine," said Jones.
The recipients also greatly appreciate the recognition for their work.
"I think it's awesome whenever you can give team recognition. It's amazing," said Zielinski.
"There's just so much gratitude, I couldn't even, I just choked up on my words, and I couldn't even say anything," said Lamb.