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Several North Dakotans Recognized as 2018 "Community Stars"

Nov 16, 2018

On National Rural Health Day, November 15, seven North Dakotans and one North Dakota program appeared in the 2018 Community Stars book. Those earning the honor include:

  • Karen Clementich, Nursing Program director at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake
  • Jacquelyn Hedstrom, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at West River Health Services in Hettinger
  • Lisa Iverson, a diabetes educator at McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc., in Watford City
  • Amanda Melby, a paramedic and co-manager of the Garrison-Max Ambulance in Garrison
  • Theo Stoller, CEO of Jacobson Memorial Hospital Care Center and executive director of Jacobson Memorial Hospital Foundation, in Elgin
  • Daniel Young, director of purchasing and respiratory therapy at First Care Health Center and a paramedic with Park River Volunteer Ambulance Service in Park River
  • Darryl G. Hell, an emergency medical technician with the Park River Volunteer Ambulance Service in Park River and
  • SIM-ND in Grand Forks

Every year on the third Thursday of November, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) leads National Rural Health Day (NRHD). NRHD is an annual day of recognition for those who serve the health needs of nearly 60 million people residing in America's rural communities. NOSORH is the member organization serving all 50 State Offices of Rural Health (SORH). North Dakota's SORH is headquartered at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Grand Forks.

In 2015, NOSORH asked each SORH to nominate hospital and emergency first responder teams, community health, and volunteer service heroes on the front lines of rural health who were making a positive impact on rural lives. Soon after the stories started coming, the book of National Rural Health Day Community Stars was published.

"The 2018 North Dakota Community Stars really demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of their communities, which makes them worthy of recognition," said Lynette Dickson, associate director of the CRH. "They are shining examples of true North Dakota rural health leaders." The CRH is designated as North Dakota’s SORH, a federal-state partnership that helps rural communities build their healthcare services through collaborations and initiatives with a wide range of partners across the state. SORHs provide support to rural hospitals, clinics, and first responders in several ways, including technical assistance, funding that supports workforce development, population health management, quality improvement initiatives, and more.