Tazewell County Health Dept.



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     The 2017 Public Health Award winners were announced on April 4th by the Tazewell County Health Department (TCHD).  The Poquette Leadership Award was introduced to honor Gordon Poquette, the first administrator of TCHD who served for over 30 years in that role.  This award was for a staff member who has shown leadership in public health to increase effectiveness through financial or strategic areas.  Shannon Risch was awarded the first annual Poquette Award.


The Margaret Burt Public Health Partnership Award was named to honor Margaret Burt, who was on the original Board of Health in 1970 and served for several years.  Margaret Burt was a champion of public health, not only in Tazewell County, but throughout the state of Illinois.  Community members or agency personnel who have made an impact on the health and safety of Tazewell County residents are nominated by Health Department staff.  Five members of the Tazewell County community were honored with the Margaret Burt Public Health Partnership Award for their impact and partnership to support public health.


  • §Mike Eeten, Pekin Police Department.  Mike currently serves as the Chairperson for Tazewell Teen Initiative and utilized social media to share messages on social media regarding substance abuse.
  • §Bill Heisel, Principal at Edison Junior High.  Bill has continually supported the TCHD Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to ensure that students receive information necessary to make positive life choices.
  • §Nancy Hinnen, Heart of Illinois United Way/SAL Child Care Connection.  Nancy has been a strong collaborative partner to empower children and their families through her work with education and social emotional wellness.
  • §Judy Oakford, Volunteer.  Judy has been a constant support of TCHD programs for over 20 years.  She began with Project Success and continues to be involved with Tazewell Teen Initiative today.
  • §John Dossey, Chief of Pekin Police Department.  Chief Dossey has been instrumental in implementing initiatives including Heroin Task Force, Bridges out of Poverty, increasing collaborations in the community to further public health’s mission.

For additional information, please contact Sara Sparkman at (309) 925-5511, ext.264.

 php awardess       poquette awardee

PHP Awards pictured (l to r) are Mike Eeten – Pekin Police Department, Judy Oakford – Volunteer, Bill Heisel – Edison Junior High School.  Not pictured: Nancy Hinnen – Heart of IL United Way/SAL Child Care Connection, John Dossey – Chief of Pekin Police Department.


Poquette Leadership Award pictured (l to r): Shannon Risch – awardee and Amy Fox, TCHD Administrator