Elkins-Randolph Health Department honored by Youth Health Service
ELKINS — Youth Health Service presented its annual Heart of Giving Award to the Elkins-Randolph County Health Department Thursday.
Each year Youth Health chooses a local person or organization to honor that has contributed in some way to the mission and vision that Youth Health has for the community, and in 2021 the Elkins-Randolph Health Department excelled in that capacity, officials said.
“We’ve relied heavily on the health department the past two years,” Youth Health Executive Director Tammie Rizzio told The Inter-Mountain Thursday. “They have provided us with guidance on how to proceed with COVID precautions safely in order for us to be able to continue to do what we do.”
Rizzio said when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the health department became the most important resource in the community.
“I kind of joked with them early on that before COVID, nobody really knew all the things the health department did,” she said. “Then COVID hit and they have become so important to the community in trying to keep everyone safe and guide everyone to make good decisions.”
“The last two years have been difficult for all of us,” Kassie Swecker, Clinical Nurse Supervisor for the Elkins-Randolph County Health Department, told The Inter-Mountain. “Cooperation and support from community partners such as Youth Health Services has helped us keep working to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in Randolph County.
“The efforts made by the Youth Health Service team to protect their staff and clients has kept COVID numbers very low within their own agency, which in turn helps protect the whole community.”
The award was established in 2015 in honor of Steve and Jean Jury, who were the first-ever recipients. Steve Jory is a successful lawyer in Elkins, while his wife Jean Jory served as an educator in the Randolph County School system for many years.
“Steve and Jean have supported the agency so much, especially in its early years,” Rizzio said. “Jean was one of our first board members and remained active on the board all the way up until 2016. They were both very pivotal in creating Youth Health into what it is today.”
Last year the award was given to U Haul Storage Units on the Beverly Five Lane. The business supplies Youth Health space for its Food Pantry.
“They have worked so well with us in providing us space for our food distribution,” Rizzio said. “They have been so easy to work with in allowing us to not only use space for storage, but also allow us the use of their parking lot for when we distribute food.”
Youth Health Service was established in 1978, by the Family Health Service, Inc., to serve the health needs of children and adolescents who live in Randolph and Tucker counties and the connecting regions of Barbour and Pocahontas counties.