BEND, Ore. -

In conjunction with National Public Health Week, April 1-7, the Deschutes County Behavioral and Public Health Advisory Boards announced their annual selections for the 2013 Health Heroes Awards Monday night.

The awards were announced during a special Des Chutes Historical Museum History Pub event at McMenamins St. Francis School. 

The annual award honors an individual and a group that has demonstrated excellence in promoting and protecting behavioral and public health through their work and in their daily lives.

“Their actions make our community a safer and healthier place to live in and we want to acknowledge them for this,” said Deschutes County Public Health Advisory Board Chair Kim Curley Reynolds.  

This years’ Individual Award winner was Tina Busby, M.D. of Mosaic Medical in Bend. Dr. Busby’s nominators noted that she is a strong advocate for mentally ill patients, connecting them to services and advocating for them to receive fair treatment. She has gained the trust of many patients that did not have faith in the medical system, and has been working to help providers overcome their fear and disregard of mentally ill patients.

The Group Health Hero Award winner was Healthy Beginnings represented by Executive Director, Holly Remer. The nomination form for Healthy Beginnings pointed out that the organization provides the most comprehensive assessment and referral service in the community, confirming the health and development of young children-birth-to-age-five-through health screenings, at no cost to families. The free screenings determine whether a child is developing appropriately and identifies concerns that can go unnoticed at regular check-ups. Since January 1994, the organization has served over 8,000 children and provided over 6,000 referrals for potential health concerns.

Along with the awards, COCC Professor Mark Eberle presented "Bring Out Your Dead! An Illustrated History of Plague" to a packed audience at McMenamins. The professor’s talk shed light on surprising connections between historical plague and the disease in our modern world.  Please call (541) 330-4640 for more information about this event.