My YKHealth

2023 Health Aide of the Year awarded to Mountain Village Health Aide Deborah Johnson

YKHC is pleased to announce Deborah Johnson as the recipient of the 2023 Health Aide of the Year Award. This award establishes regional recognition and appreciation of a community health aide for their contribution, dedication, and sacrifice while in service. Recipients of this award demonstrate excellence on all levels as an employee and a member of this Tribal Health Organization. The health aide receiving this award embodies YKHC’s mission of “Working Together to Achieve Excellent Health.” Community Health Aide Practitioner Deborah Johnson, also personifies YKHC’s values of Optimism, compassion, pursuit of excellence, personal growth, importance of family, elder knowledge and, most of all, trust in their day to day activities. This health aide has established a noticeable, positive impact to the quality of care delivered in the region.

Deborah Johnson, based in Mountain Village, began her career as a community health aide in 1992. Having completed the Community Health Aide Program in October 1994 with her preceptorship, Deborah’s journey has been marked by her outstanding sense of humor, easy collaboration, enthusiasm, and a keen willingness to learn—qualities that have endured throughout her extensive years of service,” stated Field Supervision Coordinator Joseph Okitkun in his speech during the ceremony, where ge provided her with a plaque, a down jacket and a round trip ticket on Alaska Airlines.

When a health aide is nominated for any award, it is standard to review their training records to gain the training perspective of an employee. Since training in the 1990s, Deborah developed assertiveness in patient assessment and screening, showcasing continuous growth and commitment to continuous improvement in her patient care skills. Her intervention in emergency situations with a calm demeanor and equanimity has been exemplary, going beyond expectations to serve the community. She is a true hero!

Deborah has seen many patients over the years, of all ages, and in varying conditions. As a certified Community Health Practitioner (CHP) she is often the first point of contact when a member of a community is sick, injured, or in distress. Even before the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Deborah, previously a part-time employee, consistently went above and beyond by taking on-call coverage and working during her scheduled weeks off, to ensure the community had access to care when needed. She has taken the initiative to train and guide our newest cohort of up-and-coming community health aides at Mountain Village clinic, ensuring the community and the region has competent and dedicated health care professionals ready for the health care field.

The community of Mountain Village and the broader YKHC region are fortunate to have a caring and compassionate healthcare professional like Deborah by their side. In recognition of her exceptional service, Deborah Johnson has been awarded the 2023 Health Aide of the Year.

The YKHC’s Community Health Aide Program takes immense pride in presenting Deborah Johnson with the well-deserved Health Aide of the Year award. Quyana! Dogidinh! Thank you for all your hard work!