City honors local public health heroes

April 16, 2024

Heroes to be awarded in a public ceremony April 17

Building healthier communities requires the dedication of community members committed to improving the well-being of our city.

To recognize those contributions, the Minneapolis Health Department will be holding its annual Local Public Health Heroes award ceremony and resource fair, a tradition of the department since 2011.

This year’s theme is Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving.

Local Public Health Heroes award ceremony and resource fair

  • Wednesday, April 17
  • Resource fair: 11 a.m. to noon
  • Award ceremony: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Public Service Building, 505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 100

“The dedication of community members actively engaging in public health is key to building healthier communities,” said Commissioner Damōn Chaplin, Minneapolis Health Department. “Congratulations to this year’s Public Health Heroes. You help transform the lives of those who live, work, and play in our city. Minneapolis is grateful for the work you do.” 

Recognizing local public health heroes

The awards and ceremony are one way the department recognizes the vital role community members play in building healthier communities and supporting the department’s vision. Healthy lives, health equity, and healthy environments are the foundations of a vibrant Minneapolis now and into the future.

“The Minneapolis Public Health Heroes Award celebrates the incredible dedication of everyday people and organizations who are making a difference in our community's health and well-being,” said Mayor Frey. “From fostering city-community collaboration on initiatives like the Climate Legacy Initiative and leading the way in culturally relevant opioid response efforts, their hard work inspires us and strengthens our collective commitment to public health. We are immensely grateful for the contributions of this year’s recipients and are proud to recognize these Minneapolis heroes."

Featured speakers at this year’s ceremony

  • Mayor Jacob Frey
  • Deputy Health Commissioner Heidi Ritchie
  • Award presenters
  • Award recipients

2024 award recipients and categories

The committee selects the recipients based on the excellence and impact of their work that aligns with one or more of the Health Department’s goal areas.

A Healthy Start to Life and Learning, Thriving Youth and Young Adults

  • Mark Sander, Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Schools

A Resilient Urban Public Health Infrastructure

  • Derek Johnson-Dean, Mpox Taskforce*

Community Violence Prevention and Opioid Response

  • Clarence Jones, HueMAN Partnership*
  • Lori Wilson, Turning Point

Sustainability, Healthy Homes and Environment

  • Roxxanne O’Brien, Environmental justice activist and community organizer*

Healthy Living and Healthy Food Systems

  • Ann Hill, Twin Cities Food Justice
  • Liz Mullen, Chowgirls Catering

Resource fair

The resource fair includes interactive booths with demonstrations for community members to learn more about the services offered by the Health Department.

Booths include:

  • City Trees Program
  • Community Air Monitoring
  • Environmental Services & Biochar Program
  • Environmental Health
  • Green Careers Exploration Program
  • Homegrown Minneapolis
  • Lead & Healthy Homes
  • Opioid Response Team
  • School Based Clinics

Visit the Health Department’s website to discover more resources.

*Award recipients who will also be honored for their work in health equity.