MOPHA - Missouri Public Health Association

Missouri Public Health Association
722 E. Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101
The Missouri Public Health Association recently awarded recognition to a number of public health leaders and partners for their work in improving the health of communities in Missouri; the following awards were made at the Joint Public Health Conference in Columbia, Missouri on September 20, 2023.

Group Merit Award: The Group Merit Award went to Lincoln University Cooperative Research Group for its continued efforts to provide excellence in food safety training, on-farm workshops, developing guidebooks, and producing on-demand webinars for Missourians who work in food production and food safety. Accepting the award on behalf of many partners was Cindy Borgwordt, Food Safety Specialist.

Media Award: For excellence in media coverage in advancing the public health message; this year’s Media Award, nominated by the staff of the Andrew County Health Department, was given to the Savannah Reporter. The selection marks the partnership formed with the local newspaper with the local health department to assure information shared with the public was consistent with science and best practices while also sharing positive programs and news of the community and the department. Accepting the award on behalf of the Savannah Reporter was its publisher, Ken Rosenauer.

Robert L. Northcutt Award: For exemplary service in the formation of public policy related to public health; this year’s Robert L. Northcutt Award was presented to Ronald W. Cates, former Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Mr. Cates served at a critical time in various leadership positions within MODHSS, including Director and led the efforts in fighting the bioterrorist threats that followed the attack on September 11, 2001. His work led the foundation for planning response to perceived and actual threats against the Department’s assets. The Association recognizes the manner in which Mr. Cates carried out his duties with the skill and integrity that make him eminently qualified for recognition by this award.

W. Scott Johnson Award: This prestigious Award is given annually to a person in the public health community that carried out their respective duties with diligence, purpose and integrity in a manner consistent with the integrity shown by W. Scott Johnson, an environmental specialist serving in the 1950’s. This year’s W. Scott Johnson Award was presented to Ms. Eden Dietle of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Ms. Dietle was recognized for nearly 30 years in public health efforts, serving in a variety of roles in data management for specialty areas of bioterrorism response, communicable disease control and overall disease surveillance.

The Section for Public Health Nursing, within Missouri Public Health Association, made two awards as well.

Public Health Nurse Award: The purpose of this award is to honor and recognize a Missouri public health nurse who exemplifies excellence in public health nursing practice. This year’s Public Health Nurse Award was presented to Christy Thompson, RN, with Columbia/Boone County Health Department. Ms. Thompson was recognized for her service as the lead TB nurse for the agency, providing education and expertise to her colleagues, exceptional care for her clients, and strategic coordination with a variety of community organizations.

Public Health Nurse Leader Award: The purpose of this award is to honor and recognize a Missouri public health nurse who exemplifies leadership and excels in public health nursing practice. This year’s Public Health Nurse Leader Award was presented to Lori Moots-Clair, RN, Administrator of Knox County Health Department. Ms. Moots-Clair was recognized for her decades of service to local public health, extensive collaboration and leadership within her community, impactful mentorship of a new county administrator, and caring attitude towards residents of Knox County.

The mission of the Missouri Public Health Association is to take the lead in the identification of public health needs and problems and to work collaboratively with others in initiating and supporting action for the improved health of all Missourians.