Debbie Marvidikis of Price was named the recipient of the 2023 Rural Health Association of Utah (RHAU) Lifetime Achievement Award. Marvidikis retired from the Southeast Utah Health Department (SEUHD) this summer following 20 years of service.
Over her two-decade career, Marvidikis managed nearly 30 health promotion programs that focused on community prevention, health and wellness. Marvidikis holds a Bachelor’s degree in public health and boasts a wealth of experience in prevention. Founding the HOPE Squad of Carbon, Emery and Grand Counties was one of the highlights of her career, which was accomplished in 2013.
Marvidikis was involved in a plethora or groups and organizations, such as the Utah Rural Opioid Health Care Consortium, the UCO-OP Steering Committee, the National Governor’s Association for Opioids and the UDOH Opioid Fatality Review Committee, and the Carbon and Emery Substance Use Prevention Coalition, to name a few.
“Debbie is an ardent champion in her community who stands for what she believes in, even under threat of arrest,” said the RHAU. “Thankfully, she was never arrested. Instead, she won over the local law enforcement. Debbie retired this summer, and her absence has been felt.”
She has received several state and national awards for her efforts around suicide and substance use prevention, with the Lifetime Achievement Award being one of the most recent. This is a prestigious recognition that is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated innovation, dedication and an impact in the field of healthcare within rural communities in Utah.
“This award celebrates the remarkable contributions of individuals who have devoted their careers to improving the health and well-being of residents in remote and underserved areas. Recipients of this award have exhibited outstanding leadership, shown a profound commitment to addressing the unique challenges of rural healthcare delivery, and have made significant strides in enhancing medical access, quality, and services in these regions,” the RHAU shared.
Through tireless efforts, those that receive the award have left enduring legacies that have worked to positively shape healthcare practices while also positively influencing the lives of many residents of rural areas.