Contributed by Robin Minard, Mat-Su Health Foundation
Talkeetna resident, Herman Thompson, was recently recognized with the Bert Hall Award for commitment to the health of the community. The “Bertie” is an annual award presented by the Mat-Su Health Foundation to an individual who consistently exemplifies commitment to improving the health and wellness of Mat-Su residents.
“Herman is a convener. He sees the strengths and assets of his community, and brings people together to solve community issues,” said Mat-Su Health Foundation Executive Director, Elizabeth Ripley. “Beyond solving problems, Herman helps people see opportunities and ways to enhance the community.”
Herman has long been a leader in the Borough’s Senior Services systems, including the Regional Senior Services Oversight Committee. He sits on the board of Upper Susitna Seniors, Inc. (USSI), where he and his colleagues on the USSI board have found a host of ways to serve seniors. For example, USSI partners with eleven local restaurants to provide meals on wheels by buying meals from local businesses and delivering them to seniors in their homes. In addition, Herman and his team negotiated a range of discounts from local vendors for USSI members. He also works with Sunshine Transit Advisory Board and sits on the Mat-Su Borough’s Health and Human Services Board.
The Bert Hall Award is named in honor of Mat-Su resident, Bert Hall, who helped put together the Valley Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and currently serves as a Mat-Su Regional Medical Center Trustee. Bert has served Alaska in many capacities including as a Mat-Su Regional Medical Center board member, associate director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, director of health and social services for the Municipality of Anchorage, and as the Alaska liaison to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Bert also served as a president of the Alaska Public Health Association, represented Alaska on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association and served on the Alaska Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare asset through board oversight. The MSHF invests its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available online at www.healthymatsu.org.