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Puckett receives national recognition

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MERCER COUNTY (WVVA) -- A Mercer County Commissioner has received national recognition.

The National Rural Health Association awarded Greg Puckett the 'Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Care.'

The award is presented annually in memory of Louis Gorin, a federal employee who for 25 years helped lead the design and authorization of health initiatives for rural America.

According to NRHA, award recipients are selected based on their creativity, unselfishness, compassion and cooperative attitude in seeking ways to make lasting contributions to rural health care. The nominees’ work should expand beyond the local community and have a demonstrated effect on rural health at state and national levels.

"As executive director of Community Connections, a community-based nonprofit in Princeton, W.V., Puckett continually pushes for strong public policy, leads others to combat the problems associated with addiction, challenges the norms on negative health outcomes, and embarks on community revitalization/stabilization efforts," says Jennifer Farmer of Virginia Tech. "He is also involved with a number of state and national committees dedicated to addiction and mental health issues. He dedicates his personal time to mentor young people by coaching high school swimming, producing community-based murals and environmental impact projects, and is an advocate for change.”

"I think it's kinda crazy actually; you do work in public health because it's what you have to do and what you really need to do, and to be recognized for it is pretty amazing, "Puckett said. "The crazy part about this award, if you look at the other awardees from years past, you have Ph.Ds and all these people that have certainly a lot more credentials than I, but I think it sends a signal that people in public health, that really are passionate about being an advocate, can still be recognized for your work even if you come from a small, southern West Virginia place."

Jade Burks

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