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Jordan, Willis honored by state agency

Two Surry County officials were recently recognized by the Association of North Carolina Boards of Health, honoring the two for their “extraordinary contributions to public health,” according to the association. The association gave three statewide awards, two of which came home to Surry County.

The two awards went to Eddie Jordan, chair of the Surry County Board of Health, and Mark Willis, director of the Surry County of Office Abuse Recovery.

Day-to-day Jordan, who won the Carl Durham Award, works at Surry County EMS as the peer review, compliance, and training officer. “Despite the challenging nature of his job, he additionally contributes to public health through his service to a wide variety of health initiatives including the Child Fatality Prevention Team,” county officials said in announcing the award.

Early next year will mark nine years of Jordan’s direct service to the Surry County Board of Health – the governing body of the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center.

“Through his connections and dedication, community health has seen many strides in interagency partnership, resource connection, and health progression.

Willis, who initially ran the Office Abuse Recovery as a one-person operation, expanded his program to numerous staff and to encompass initiatives that cover a wide range of influences on substance use, including transportation and peer support.

“Through extensive partnership and cooperative agreements across local, state, and federal sectors, Mr. Willis brought one of the most impacted counties from the opioid epidemic to the frontline of progress,” county officials said. “Incredibly few programs exist such as the one Mr. Willis has built, and even fewer maintain and generate the level of community response and teamwork that his has.”

He was recognized with the Robert “Ed” Strother Award for the creation of public-private partnerships for the advancement of public health.

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