Brainerd council honors health care workers with community award

The council chose Crow Wing County health care workers and their families as the latest recipients of the Community Member of the Month.

Essentia Health St. Joseph's Medical Center Exterior Dusk3.jpg
Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The Brainerd City Council hasn’t doled out a Community Member of the Month award since July, but December’s award is perhaps the most impactful since the award’s inception in 2019.

The latest recipients are the health care workers of Crow Wing County and their families.

Mayor Dave Badeaux made the announcement Monday, Dec. 21, but attributed the idea to council member Dave Pritschet.

“It’s unfortunate there’s precious little that we can do to help out those who are on the front lines doing what they can do to help our community members who are ill, the families of members who are ill,” Pritschet said during the virtual WebEx meeting. “I'm sure all of us know somebody who's working in health care and know how hard they're working and how much they're basically pushing it, burning the candle at both ends, to make sure that they're doing the best in all that they can to ensure the safety and quality of life in our community.

“And so, this is probably the least that we can do, but at least it's something that we can do, again, just to express our gratitude to say thank you. There are heroes in this fight — and it is a fight. And just to let the health care workers and their families know that I have nothing but admiration for the job that they've been doing, and they deserve everything that they can get in gratitude for the job they've done.”



Badeaux echoed Pritschet’s sentiments and thanked him for the idea.
“You are right, this is the least that we could do, but things like this and recognition like this are really important in our community, and that’s the whole point of the Community Member of the Month,” Badeaux said. “It is to show recognition to people that aren’t asking for it but are deserving, and I really appreciate the inclusion of the families because I don’t think people realize the sacrifice that happens when people are involved in the health care industry right now. There’s a large toll on the families involved.”

In other business Monday, the council:

Approved the final payment for the Garfield Safe Routes to School project — which expanded sidewalks near the school — for $1,137,123.20. The project came in under budget, and about 90% of the funds will be reimbursed through state aid and federal funds.

Approved the hiring of Andrew Louks as a community service officer, effective Jan. 4. He will earn $11.67 per hour.

Approved the layout design for a reconstruction project on South Sixth Street between Joseph and Greenwood streets, to take place in 2022.

Appointed Wayne Erickson to the cable TV advisory committee and the parking commission.

Reappointed Michael Duval to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.


THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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