Health Heroes

Congratulations 2013 Health Heroes!

2013 Health Heroes

Back Row: Kurt Hefner; Delia Villanueva; Dr. Rustin Hatch; Dr. Mitch Moffitt; Dr. Cole Johnson; Kyle D. James; Dr. Christopher Tiu; Dr. Jared Walker; Mary Pat Fields

Front Row: Tricia McGarry; Stacy Miller, RN accepting for Dr. Justin Dazley; Victoria Roper; Stacy Whitman accepting for Kathryn Guylay; Kate Weihe accepting for Cara Barrett


*Health Heroes are nominated by members of the community. This is the fifteenth year SCPHD has recognized the outstanding contributions to public health made by area individuals and/or groups.


Kurt Hefner, RPh; Kurt's Pharmacy & Hallmark;
"Six years ago, Kurt Hefner, a local pharmacist, started the Ten Thousand Dollar Weight Loss Challenge. He asks that people who want to enter the contest pay a registration fee so that they have a vested interest in actually losing the weight. He then donates the money from the entry fees to different local charities, and actually pays the prize money himself. This year Kurt partnered with the YMCA of Twin Falls. Kurt's main goal for this year's weight loss challenge is to help make the Magic Valley a healthier place to live. The primary marketing theme has been to help Magic Valley lose ten thousand pounds in the $10,000 weight loss challenge." Nominated by Donna J. Cleland.

Delia Villanueva; CSI Head Start/Early Head Start;
"Delia Villanueva works tirelessly as the Health Specialist at CSI Head Start/Early Head Start program. Her innovative approach and dedication to standards keeps children healthy and safe and makes her an inspiration to the community. Delia's work in Smiles Count for Head Start children ages 3-5 and Dental Care for Women and Children ages 0-3 has been progressive in its scope and purpose. She monitors screeners such as vision, dental, lead, and well child checks. Delia works with and collaborates with local nurses on health issues for pre-school age children and trains staff that work with 673 families in Region 5 on current applications in the health field. Delia is a champion in the field with close to 20 years in health care." Nominated by Beth Cothern.

Dr. Rustin Hatch; Dr.'s Welch, Allan and Hatch;
"Dr. Hatch has been involved with the Magic Valley Diabetes Coalition for the last several years, conducting free eye screenings for patients at South Central Public Health District Head to Toe clinics. He volunteers his time for numerous clinics each year. Over the last seven years, he has been an important part of providing 75 clinics to over 700 people with diabetes in south central Idaho." Nominated by Susie Beem.

Dr. Mitch Moffitt; St. Luke's Pediatrics;
"Dr. Moffitt is a pediatrician, works in the NICU, and is very involved with helping parents and children in the community. He is always very friendly and is so willing to help people. I have never seen a day when he was grumpy or upset. Even when he was sick! I know it sounds too good to be true but that is exactly Mitch Moffitt." Nominated by Michael S. Bezas.

Dr. Cole Johnson; Dr. Cole Johnson's Office;
"For many years, Dr. Cole Johnson, Merrick Reynolds, PA-C, their Nurses and office staff have worked very hard at making sure all of their adolescent patients, new and old, are up to date on their immunizations. Many flu vaccines were purchased by Dr. Johnson and donated toThe Wellness Tree Community Clinic in Twin Falls to benefit low-income patients who could not afford the vaccine. Dr. Cole Johnson also volunteers his services to The Wellness Tree Community Clinic once a month at no charge to help keep the community healthy. These same wonderful people also volunteered at the YMCA Weight Loss Challenge, more than once, to answer any questions the public had regarding weight loss and to take vitals, etc., at no cost to the public. Support and donations are made yearly to the Quick Response Unit Fundraiser and the Toys for Tots Program. Both Dr. Johnson and Merrick Reynolds, PA-C, volunteer their time, yearly to go out into the community schools and offer their services doing sports physicals." Nominated by Shanny Gallegos.

Kyle D. James; The Riverview Urgent Care and Medical Center;
"Kyle began his career as a director for a long-term care facility. Then with the encouragement of and backing from family, the plan was put in place to open an urgent care and medical center in Burley. The Riverview Urgent Care and Medical Center has been a training ground and working dream for Kyle. He is the facility manager and works with the providers and employees to serve this community with medical services that do not require an appointment, has extended hours, and can cover a vast array of needs." Nominated by DeeAnn James.

Dr. Christopher Tiu; Twin Falls Dental;
"Dr. Tiu has been actively engaged in the community to promote oral health and hygiene. He has generously donated time and supplies to several organizations to promote oral health and hygiene. He goes above and beyond to educate his patients on how to prevent health problems related to poor oral hygiene practices. In addition, Dr. Tiu and his staff actively use social media to promote oral health by supplying viewers with valuable information and instructional videos." Anonymous nomination.

Dr. Jared Walker; Eastland Vision Clinic;
"Dr. Walker has been involved with the Magic Valley Diabetes Coalition for the last several years, conducting free eye screenings for patients at South Central Public Health District Head to Toe clinics. He volunteers his time for numerous clinics each year. Over the last seven years, he has been an important part of providing 75 clinics to over 700 people with diabetes in south central Idaho. In addition, for many years Dr. Walker allowed the diabetes coalition to use a slit lamp from his office during Head to Toe clinics. When it was no longer available, he found a nice, used slit lamp and assisted the health district in securing a grant to purchase the slit lamp." Nominated by Susie Beem.

Mary Pat Fields, RN;
"Mary Pat has served her community over the past years as an example of what Public Health is all about. She served as a representative from Camas County on the South Central Public Health District Board of Directors for many years and most recently as Chairman of the Board. While she was teaching at the College of Southern Idaho, she helped to influence many students in the health field. She currently serves on her local library board and has/is working with the Fit and Fall Proof™ Program in her local community. Mary Pat exemplifies what Public Health is all about: Prevent, Promote, Protect." Nominated by Linda F. Montgomery.

Tricia McGarry; CSI Head Start/Early Head Start;
"Every day of the week, Tricia provides nutritious, well-balanced meals and snacks to the children and families utilizing the Head Start program. She enables everyone to experience a wide variety of healthy food choices that aren't normally available to low income families, so they can develop a wonderful taste for many nutritious foods and snacks over sugary options. Tricia encourages children to eat healthy, wholesome foods, and to try new things in their diets." Nominated by Tracy Teske.

Dr. Justin Dazley; St. Luke's Orthopedic, Spine, and Plastic Surgery;
"Dr. Dazley possesses the characteristics of the old fashioned, caring "horse and buggy" doctor who provides both health care and personal concern for his patients, many times relying on good common sense and the will to respect the humanity of his patients despite any intrusion on his personal life. Dr. Dazley is passionate about his expertise in spinal surgery and never treats a patient without impeccable research into the individual's medical condition. And he even sent flowers to a patient after his surgery. When commended for this, his answer was, 'Who but your own doctor knows how much you need flowers?'" Nominated by John H. and Sarah Blasius.

Victoria Roper; Lee Pesky Learning Center;
"Beyond her personal practice of 30+ years as a yogini, Victoria is a teacher and a model practitioner in the Wood River Valley. She is personally active in biking, hiking, skiing, etc., and is always quick to invite and encourage those of us less likely to participate in physical activity. She is the daily model for many family and friends in her ability to quietly model healthy food choices and an active life style while in a guide-on-the-side way offering support and guidance when asked." Nominated by Ann Flannery.

Kathryn Guylay; Nurture;
"Kathryn leads a group of motivated and talented women in The Wood River Valley delivering high impact nutrition education in schools, empowering children to make better food choices to stem the obesity epidemic. Nurture's Food & Fun program in schools teaches children and families how to eat healthy foods on a budget. Nurture targets low income families, who have a higher propensity for obesity and related diseases, with messages that are beneficial to all." Nominated by Jeff Guylay.

Cara Barrett; Higher Ground;
"Cara works for Higher Ground, a local organization that 'enhances quality of life through inclusive therapeutic recreation and education for people of all abilities.' They do a wonderful job working with the physically and cognitively disabled. They have a special focus on disabled military veterans. Cara has been with the organization since 2001, starting the summer recreation program and creating new methodologies on how to best serve and empower youth, teens, and adults with disabilities in our community. Cara started Blaine County's first day camp for students with special needs, then went on to build teen programs, cycling groups, and the initial formation of the Higher Ground veterans program." Nominated by Dr. Peter Curran and Angenie McCleary.

Not pictured: Dr. Heath Sommer;
"Dr. Sommer has worked tirelessly to support his clients and create a better quality of life for children with disabilities. Dr. Sommer makes the lives of disabled kids and their families in our community better by creating and providing a service to the community to allow families get their kids through the disability assessments." Nominated by Ted and Laurelle Gardner.