Theresa Will receives Outstanding Service Award
Theresa Will, administrator at City-County Health District, was awarded the Outstanding Service award at the 2023 Rural and Public Health Awards Banquet, which recognizes outstanding North Dakota rural health and public health advocates for their accomplishments. This award, presented by the North Dakota Public Health Association, honors an individual who has exhibited continued excellence in the field of public health. The awards banquet was held on June 15 in Bismarck.
In her 34 years of service, Will has been involved in a variety of public health initiatives, organizations, and projects. She has led the Barnes County Behavioral Health Coalition, a group dedicated to bringing mental health and addiction counseling services to underserved rural populations. She also was an advisor for “On the Move,” a community program aimed at promoting physical activity for Barnes County that has been recognized by North Dakota for its efficacy.
She worked in public health tobacco prevention, helping to see the state’s first local ordinance – banning the sale of flavored e-cigarette and vapor products in Valley City – being adopted. This ordinance has served as a model to encourage other North Dakota communities to follow suit. Will also helped coordinate numerous grants, bringing in over $3.35 million, to support the health of local and regional residents.
“I consider Theresa to be one of the most important leaders in public health in our state,” said Katie Beyer, deputy administrator at City-County Health District. “She is a natural leader, encourages lifelong learning, and exemplifies all the qualities of a rural and public health advocate.”