Public Health Heroes Awards

National Public Health Week Announcement 2023 (3)

Nominations have been closed for 2023.

View the February 13, 2023 Press Release: Jefferson County Public Health is Celebrating 2023 National Public Health Week Beginning April 3rd

Public Health Hero awards are given out every year as a way to recognize those who make a difference in the health and well-being of our community.

The 2023 awards will be presented at the monthly meeting of the Jefferson County Board of Health, held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20th, either in person at the Commissioners’ Chambers at the Jefferson County Courthouse or virtually via Zoom.

2023 Award Winners

  • Cameron Botkin works at Chimacum Schools, where she has coached basketball. She has also volunteer coached many County Parks and Rec sports teams and assisted Jefferson County youth in tournaments such as Hoopfest. She uses athletics as a way to keep youth connected and healthy, building their confidence and having healthy fun.
  • Tonia Burkett commits much of her time to making Jefferson County a more inclusive and accessible place for all, particularly by conducting trainings concerning anti-racist literacy. Her efforts are transforming multiple communities throughout the county.
  • Greg Graves served on the Jefferson County Parks and Rec Advisory Board from 2014 to 2021. His efforts to improve public health takes the form of improving and maintaining hiking trails, often personally doing much of the physical labor, and otherwise developing county parks, to encourage a healthy lifestyle by spending time outside, enjoying the forest and shoreline beaches (particularly timely during COVID).
  • Charlie Johnson, a firefighter/paramedic with East Jefferson Fire Rescue, demonstrates a willingness to take extra effort to improve his ability to make patients feel heard, safe and continually cared for throughout rescue response.
  • Judith Lundgren hosts Barstool Bingo fundraisers, promoting and raising funds for Jefferson County Christmas for Children, Toys for Tots, Clemente Course, Chimacum Backpacks for Kids, Center Valley Animal Rescue, and many others. She has also supported the Winter Warmth Clothing Drive and participated in the annual Relay for Life.
  • Shannon Minnihan is the Port Townsend School District Director of Food Services. She has made significant changes in regards to providing more healthy and diverse cafeteria menus, providing lower carbon footprint (vegetarian) meals, introduced reusable dishware in the cafeterias, increased the use of vegetables grown in school gardens, and introduced composting at the schools. She also coaches swimming at the high school.
  • Beau Ohlgren has provided support to hundreds of youth in this community as they grapple with adolescence challenges, particularly in regards to gender and sexuality. He runs the Jefferson County Transgender Support group, provides education in schools, has worked with Jumping Mouse and Newport Academy and other local organizations.
  • Mark Saran is a Port Townsend therapist whose practice includes family dynamics, adolescent rebellion, strategies for success in school, ADD/ADHD treatment and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). He works with pregnant and parenting teens, and teaches childbirth education in schools. He also advocates for Jefferson Healthcare to increase staff with specific skills in providing care to trans youth.
  • The Benji Project provides much needed mental health resources to Jefferson County youth, ages 11 to 19, years during which teenagers face high rates of suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety. It acts, proactively and preventatively, to teach teens skills for managing stress and building emotional resilience.
  • The JC MASH Free Clinic’s mission is to strengthen the safety net of accessible medical care by providing free consultations with medical practitioners, referrals and advocacy to obtain medical, behavioral and social services, and providing prescriptions and clinical interventions.
  • The JUMP Board: JUMP (Jefferson Universal Movement Playground) and its volunteers have built the first accessible and inclusive playground in Jefferson County. The JUMP playground provides a safe space where all children can experience challenging and stimulating play, including, but not limited to, children with motor and other disabilities.
  • The Jumping Mouse Children’s Center provides mental health therapy for children, ages 2 to 12, most often when they have experienced emotional stress or trauma. When these and other stressors affect a child’s ability to communicate or relate to others, Jumping Mouse steps in to nurture the child’s healthy development.

2022 Award Winners

  • Christie Boyd
  • David Codier RN
  • Medics and EMTs of Jefferson County 
  • Food Bank Farm and Gardens aka FoodBank Growers
  • Sarah Grossman
  • KPTZ
  • Grace Love
  • Lisa McKenzie
  • Jim Moffitt
  • Logan Stegner

Learn more about our previous public health heroes: 2007200820092010201120122014201520162017201820192022

About National Public Health Week

National Public Health Week, sponsored by the American Public Health Association, is held each year in April and focuses on important issues in public health. More information, as well as a helpful Toolkit, can be found on the National Public Health Week website at

About Public Health Heroes

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) began honoring public health Heroes in 2007 as a way to locally celebrate National Public Health Week. The annual public health award celebration recognizes the contributions that community members make through their work or volunteerism to protect and promote the health of the citizens of Jefferson County. The public health heroes awards honor people who live or work in Jefferson County and promote public health in their daily lives.