Larimer County Department of Health and Environment's Community Health Services Director Avie Strand has received several prestigious health awards in the recent past. Strand was honored with the 2002 National Lillian Wald Award for Public Health Nursing Excellence. Strand also won Colorado's Lillian Wald Award in 2001 and a Colorado Nightingale nursing award in 1996.
Strand has held the position of Community Health Services Director for Larimer County for 29 years. She has worked in the realm of public health nursing for over 33 years. In addition to her work at Larimer County, Strand is a member of the Board of Directors for the Health District for Northern Larimer County, a member of the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy, a board member of Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation and she is a past-president of the Colorado Public Health Association.
"Avie has done an outstanding job of bringing together people and coalitions to solve public health problems, helping people to learn about the issues, and never making those with other points of view feel like 'the bad guy,'" wrote Dr. Adrienne LeBailly in her nomination for the 2002 National Lillian Wald Award.
Strand was instrumental in efforts that led to the creation of the Poudre Valley Prenatal Program. In the early 1980s, she helped create what is the Larimer County Food Bank to address hunger in the community.
Lillian Wald originated the nation's first public health nursing program through the Henry Street Nurses Settlement (1893) to meet the needs of the poor in New York City's Lower East Side. During the early twentieth century, this outstanding nurse and social activist was a dynamic force for social reform, creating widely-adopted models of public health and social service programs.
Colorado's Lillian Wald Award is given to a public health nurse who demonstrates leadership skills among peers and community, has practiced a minimum of five years, is creative, resourceful, and innovative in addressing public health concerns in the community, is caring in relationships with colleagues and clients, initiates, implements and evaluates public health interventions that focus on health promotion and disease prevention, shares public health knowledge with colleagues and the community, and is a member of the Public Health Nurse's Association of Colorado and Colorado Public Health Association.
Nationally the award is given by the American Public Health Association Public Health Nursing Section who gives one award per year to a public health nurse demonstrating exemplary public health nursing practice.