Gallagher Honors Unsung Heroes of Coronavirus, Announces Northeast Wisconsin Service Award

June 23, 2020
Press Release

GREEN BAY, WI — Rep. Mike Gallagher today unveiled the Northeast Wisconsin Service (NEWS) Award, a recognition to honor the unsung heroes of the Coronavirus who helped keep Wisconsin moving while the state was shut down to slow the spread of the virus. The honorees, all of whom were determined to have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their respective fields, come from a variety of backgrounds and include truck drivers, nursing home employees, and grocery store workers.

"While much of the country was shut down to help slow the spread of Coronavirus, brave men and women across Northeast Wisconsin worked hard to keep our state moving," said Rep. Gallagher. "The Northeast Wisconsin Service Award is a small way to recognize these unsung heroes, and also highlight the incredible work members of our community did day in and day out to keep Wisconsin afloat. These individuals embody the best of Northeast Wisconsin, and I look forward to shining a light on their efforts in the weeks ahead."

Rep. Gallagher recognized the first three recipients of the award on Friday, June 19, 2020, and will continue to recognize individuals throughout the summer. 

Valley Cooperative Association

During the intense shortage of masks for employees and customers, Valley Cooperative Association partnered with the Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA) to coordinate the distribution of over 115,000 masks to participating grocers across the state. While accessing and purchasing the masks from northern China was a challenge for the WGA, Valley Cooperative took over the program once the masks cleared U.S. customs and made all the arrangements for distribution of the masks. Rich Wise received the award on behalf of the association.

Dana Rau-Courtier, truck driver for Schneider

Dana has been a Schneider driver and driver road instructor for the last 18 years and has played an important role in servicing customers in Northeast Wisconsin and helping student drivers become safe and productive drivers. During the Safer at Home order, Dana quickly stepped up to the plate to fill gaps caused by the many challenges the pandemic created in the trucking industry, shifting her focus from providing instruction to students on the road to delivering essential freight to customers. 

Sheila Olinger, CNA at St. Paul’s Elder Services in Kaukauna

During this pandemic, studies have shown that nursing home residents living with dementia are 1.7 times more likely to die from Coronavirus if they acquire the infection than those who do not live with dementia. Residents living with dementia make up 52% of nursing home residents nationwide, but account for 72% of the deaths that have occurred in nursing homes. Needless to say, protection of residents living with dementia is critical during this pandemic. Sheila was recognized as a stand-out caregiver within St. Paul's Elder Services, and her dementia-capable care has been praised regularly by families.




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