The Dakota County Board of Commissioners presented Public Health Achievement Awards to three recipients at its Board meeting Tuesday, April 5, as part of National Public Health Week.
This year’s recipients are Trudy Matthys, a Farmington resident who volunteers at Prince of Peace Church in Burnsville; Nickie Carrigan Fitness: The Warehouse, a fitness studio that reaches out to Rosemount residents; and the youth of Dakota County 4-H Youth Teaching Youth Mentoring Program for their work with students in the Farmington schools.
Trudy Matthys was recognized in the individual category for her work with the Mission Outpost at Prince of Peace Church, which serves approximately 700 families each month through a food shelf, clothing closet, baby and furniture ministry, and a low-cost dental clinic. Matthys, a Farmington resident who works as a pharmacist, has helped organize free flu immunization clinics for people without insurance and provides blood pressure monitoring, diabetes education and health education to promote healthy lifestyles. She also serves on the advisory board of the Medical Reserve Corps in Dakota County.
The Rosemount fitness studio, Nickie Carrigan Fitness: The Warehouse, was recognized in the community group category for their extensive outreach efforts to promote physical activity and wellness. For the past 10 years, The Warehouse and its team have organized creative events and activities intended to improve the health of individuals and the community, including presentations to students in the Rosemount schools, 5K races, and innovative events such as the ”ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” and ”Zumba for a Cause” which raised funds to support individuals with illnesses.
The Dakota County 4-H Youth Teaching Youth Mentoring Program was recognized in the youth category for their work with students in five elementary and two middle schools in Farmington. The program trains high school students to provide academic and social support to younger students. The high school youth mentors are positive role models who build healthy relationships with the younger students and help with academics. This school year, 330 fourth graders and 375 seventh graders have learned skills to prevent drug, alcohol and tobacco use.
The Dakota County Board established the Public Health Achievement Awards in 2000 to recognize and honor the contributions of Dakota County residents who devote their time, energy and talents to creating a healthy future for their fellow county residents.