OCHD honored for work with Nicolet College during COVID-19 pandemic
For the Tomahawk Leader
RHINELANDER – The Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) was recently honored with the Wisconsin Technical College System’s Futuremaker Partner Award for its close working relationship with Nicolet College during the COVID-19 pandemic, release from Nicolet said.
The WTCS Board presents the Futuremaker Partner award to a local business or organization to recognize the valued and effective collaboration between that organization and a college in the state technical college system.
“Nicolet’s partnership with the health department reflects the deep community ties the college maintains,” said Becky Levzow, WTCS Board president. “These partnerships are unique and have value to all involved, especially during a year like we just experienced.”
“It’s truly an honor to receive this award,” said Linda Conlon, director and health officer for the Oneida County Health Department, during the award presentation at recent WTCS Board meeting at Nicolet. “I’m so proud to accept this award on behalf of the department and my staff, who worked tirelessly during the pandemic, often putting in 70- and 80-hour work weeks.”
Conlon also applauded Nicolet’s actions during the depths of the pandemic.
“Nicolet’s response to the pandemic was exemplary and the college did a fabulous job protecting public health,” she said. “We could not have asked for a better partner in working to protect public health.”
Nicolet President Kate Ferrel also extended praise to the entire Oneida County Public Health Department.
“The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the profound role public health agencies play during a complex health emergency,” Ferrell said. “Nicolet College’s readiness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic was informed by an ever-strengthening partnership with and the steady leadership of the Oneida County Health Department, under the direction of Linda Conlon.”
Nicolet said that, from the earliest days of the pandemic, Nicolet officials were in close contact with health department officials to establish guidelines and protocols to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ensure public safety to the greatest extent possible.
“The health department was an invaluable resource for the college in establishing science-based practices that focused on the safety of Nicolet students, staff, and visitors to campus,” Ferrel added. “The timely guidance Nicolet received from the health department proved vital to helping the college weather the storm. As we approach what we hope are the waning days of the pandemic, we consider it an honor to have been able to nominate the Oneida County Health Department for this prestigious award.”