Volunteers honored for helping with H1N1 vaccinations

Wanda English Burnett


A volunteer appreciation dinner was recently held for all those who were instrumental in making sure everyone in the county (who wanted it) received H1N1 vaccinations.

Thanks to a host of volunteers Ripley County ranked above the state in the percent of vaccinations given for H1N1. The State of Indiana vaccinated 20.7% with Ripley County’s percentage being 43.8%. “I am very proud of our volunteers,” noted Pat Thomas, director of the Ripley County Health Department (RCHD).

Clinics were set up across the county with volunteers manning them. They worked tirelessly to make sure everyone was vaccinated. The group went into local schools and also administered the vaccine.

Thomas said of the volunteers, “You have all been great to work with.” On a printed paper with the agenda for the evening it noted, “Your compassion and dedication to improve public health and support the H1N1 vaccination campaign has been invaluable.”

In addition to setting up vaccination clinics, the group attended numerous training sessions. Thomas and her staff worked long hours to make sure everything was in place.

Dr. David Welsh, county health officer was presented an award for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication. “We couldn’t have done it without you,” Thomas told Dr. Welsh at the event. He in turn thanked Thomas and her dedication to public safety.

Thomas handed out many certificates and in turn was presented a Certificate of Excellence in Leadership, along with county nurse Vicky Powell, from area school nurses.

It was a spirit of working together that was the theme throughout the evening as volunteer appreciation certificates were given to: Janele Bible, Melisa Boor, Lisa Hartman, Amy Hon, Mary Krumm, Mary Schmaltz, Heather Sides, Randy Stein, all Registered Nurses. Also given certificates were: Josh Cady, law enforcement (Osgood), Tracey Gobel, Stormy Scherer-Berry, Madge Stephens, Janice Wittich and Ollie Craig.

Leadership awards were presented to: Bill Dramann, Sunman Town Marshal; Susie Halcomb, RN; John Hegge, Osgood Town Marshal; Janice Hosmer, Denise Johnson, RN, Wayne Peace, Vicky Powell, Kris Schneider, Appie Thompson, Marla Thompson, and Gayla Vonderheide.

Distinguished Service Awards were presented to the following schools: Batesville, Jac-Cen-Del, Milan, South Ripley, St. Louis and Sunman-Dearborn.

The District 9 Team from Homeland Security was honored along with media outlets, Ripley Publishing Company and WRBI Radio.

Those in attendance learned about Ripley County’s Medical Reserve Corps and how it will benefit the community. The organization was born when President George W. Bush called for Americans to volunteer in support of their country. The mission is to improve the health and safety of communities across the country by organizing and utilizing public health, medical and other volunteers.

Ripley County leads the way with the H1N1 project, proving the positive results of working together. To find out more about volunteering with the health department you can contact 812-689-0506.

Pat Thomas, left, Ripley County Health Director, presents an award for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Dr. David Welsh, Ripley County Health Officer at a volunteer appreciation dinner and training held at the Southeastern Career Center recently.