Pam Trueblood, public information officer and supervisor of the injury prevention program at First District Health Unit in Minot, retired March 1, after about 33 years of working for the unit in various positions.
"I've always said, if you're a true public health person, you'll be in it for a long time. It really gets to your heart," Trueblood said.
"I liked working with the public, to keep them safe and healthy," she added.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN --
Pam Trueblood, public information officer and supervisor of the injury prevention program at First District Health Unit in Minot, retired after almost 33 years of work.
Trueblood began working with the unit as a secretary for the environmental health department, two days after she had graduated from college in Bismarck. Throughout her time there, she also worked in accounts payable and receivable, as a secretary for the home health department, and as an injury prevention specialist before taking her final positions as public information officer and supervisor of the injury prevention program.
Trueblood recalled the changes she saw in First District over the years.
"When I first started, the division of environmental health wasn't very big, and we did a lot of nursing. Then we got nutritionists on staff, with the WIC program, and that really grew. The tobacco prevention department was started and grew, and the injury prevention program. The divisions have really grown and expanded," Trueblood said.
"When I first started, we had typewriters, and we're always laughing now about the old Royal typewriters. When correcting typewriters came along, we thought we really had something great," she added.
As she moved from department to department, and in her last position as a public information officer, Trueblood got to know how the departments at First District worked together for public health. She was willing to take on other jobs that opened up.
"When people had that confidence in me, and asked if I would be interested in it (another position), I thought, why not give it a try. Lisa Clute and Molla Romine got me into job positions I never thought I would be in," Trueblood said.
"I was doing press conferences and public speaking, and it was not anything I thought I would ever do," she added.
The injury prevention program, however, was always close to Trueblood's heart.
"My love is helping children with buckling up, and injury prevention. I loved going to the schools and helping with Buckle Bear. I would do a presentation as Buckle Bear's mom. One little boy saw me out at the store and recognized me, that was fun," Trueblood said.
Through that program, Trueblood helped organize various safety fairs and events as well as car seat distributions.
Trueblood hopes to keep involved with the injury prevention program, helping out with car seat checks, and with the Safe Communities of North Central North Dakota coalition.
In addition to her duties at First District, Trueblood had memberships with the N.D. Public Health Association, Safe Communities of North Central North Dakota, Mid-Dakota Chapter of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, National Public Health Information Coalition, Minot Area Wellness Alliance, and the Minot Optimist Club.
Trueblood has received the Pioneer Award and the Outstanding Service Award from Safe Communities, Public Health Worker of the Year from the N.D. Public Health Association, and the Outstanding Service Award from Tobacco Free North Dakota.
Public health remains important to Trueblood.
"I think public health is really important, because it helps so many people in the community. WIC has helped so many mothers and children with nutritional needs, the nursing has helped so many people with their lifestyles, environmental health has really helped with food safety and inspections, and tobacco prevention has really helped people quit," Trueblood said.
"I really liked working there, and all that public health stands for," she added.
(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944 or Managing Editor Kent Olson at 857-1939. Either can be reached at 1-800-735-3229. You also can send e-mail suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)