Public-health efforts lauded

By Lanier Holt

The Olmsted County Public Health Department presented two individuals and two organizations Tuesday with the annual Lyle Weed Healthy Community Award.

Coinciding with National Public Health Week, the award recognizes individuals and organizations in the community who support public health efforts.

Recipients of the awards, with information from their nomination forms, are:


Individual Award: Joe Powers

Owner of the Canadian Honker Restaurant in Rochester, Powers was one of the first restaurant owners in the county to voluntarily go smoke-free. His community involvement includes being founder and president of Community Food Response, serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Rochester Jaycees.

Special Population Award/Developmental Disabilities: Rochester Community Education Adults with Disabilities Program

Since 1986, this program has provided leisure and recreational services for adults with disabilities. Programs and classes range from healthy eating to personal safety and hygiene. By focusing on abilities rather than disabilities, the program helps participants discover a spirit of belonging and a sense of independence.

Youth award: Eric Anderson

A senior at Lourdes High School, Anderson served as a peer educator for middle school students teaching students about heart health and the dangers associated with alcohol, tobacco and drug use. He has helped the county with tobacco compliance checks of retailers and has volunteered to be a coordinator for Community Food Response.

Group Award: Zumbro Valley Medical Society

ZVMS employees have donated many hours researching, reviewing and preparing environmental tobacco smoke and ordinance information. The organization also played a lead role in the development of a comprehensive immunization registry for southeastern Minnesota to optimize immunization rates and decrease vaccine-preventable diseases.


Established in 1999, the awards are given in memory of Dr. Weed, an accomplished microbiologist, who worked at Mayo Clinic and Mayo Graduate School and was the volunteer medical director of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Clinic for nearly 10 years.

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