FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The people who make up the Allen County Department Health have been recognized for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been named the collective county Employees of the Year.
The recognition has been given to outstanding county employees since 2015. On Tuesday morning, the entire Department of Health were thanked by the Allen County commissioners for putting their normal responsibilities on pause to respond to the pandemic. Many worked extra hours and apart from each other over the past 14 months.
“A lot of the functions that a lot of you did as a normal course of work was abandoned, to a degree, to be able to come together and meet the need for this community,” Commissioner Therese Brown told the group assembled at the Memorial Coliseum. “For that, we are eternally grateful.”
“It’s been such an incredible year – a roller coaster of emotions,” Director of Community Health and Case Management Erika Pitcher told WANE 15. “We’ve had really tough times, really great times, really sad times, really happy times. Just to come together, we’ve all been spread apart in different buildings and facilities doing all different tasks, so to see all of our co-workers again is amazing. And just to be acknowledged for the effort that we put in for the last 14 months is just really incredible.”
“The staff are very pleased and proud that they are a part of this,” Susan Cisney, Director of Clinical Services said. “It’s been a long year and a half. We started this discussion in about November, 2019, so to be on this side of it is really rewarding.”
“There’s always a few sour apples everywhere you go, but for the most part, everybody is super grateful for what we’ve been doing, so it makes it more enjoyable for us when we can feel that impact we’ve been making,” Pitcher added.
Each staff member was given a certificate at Tuesday’s ceremony. The department has also been added to a plaque that includes the other employees of the year going back to 2015.