GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Deloris Oja of Stanley received the Outstanding Rural Health Volunteer award at the 2021 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health. The award recognizes the contributions made by a community person who has volunteered his/her energy, time, and skill toward the betterment of rural healthcare. The virtual awards presentation was held on June 3, and the program may be watched here, 2021 Awards Program.
Oja has been with the Mountrail Bethel Home for over 30 years, whether as a nurse or volunteer. For the past 12 years she has volunteered as treasurer of the nursing home auxiliary, scrupulously keeping track of auxiliary funds and presenting her reports at auxiliary meetings, which helps to plan future projects.
“Many fundraising efforts are completed by the auxiliary each year, and Deloris is always an active part of them,” said Lynn Patten, credentialing specialist with Mountrail County Health Center and secretary of the Mountrail Bethel Home Auxiliary. “She is one hard-working, reliable, enthusiastic lady who is a great example to the rest of us of what a volunteer can accomplish.”
Along with her involvement with other events hosted by the home, Deloris spearheads the sales of cutlery, which has helped fund many projects for the nursing home over the years. But perhaps her most lasting effect is with nursing home residents. Each Friday Deloris visits the residential ladies for some “hair fixing,” greatly adding to their quality of life.
About the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health:
The Dakota Conference allows healthcare professionals, educators, and students several days to share their strategies for sustaining healthy North Dakota communities, and offers workshops, keynote speakers, poster presentations, and an awards banquet, during which the awardees are celebrated. The annual event is a joint effort by the North Dakota Rural Health Association; the North Dakota Public Health Association; Altru Health System of Grand Forks; the UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines; and the Center for Rural Health.