Sandy S.

Health Department receives Sandy Starner Community Partner Award

March 13, 2021

By DEB TOBIN — Editor, Logan Hocking Times

The Hocking County Health Department received the Sandy Starner Community Partner Award Thursday. From left is Health Commissioner Doug Fisher; Director of Nursing Kelly Taulbee; Bryan Starner; Cara Starner; Board of DD Superintendent Jill Squires; Lorie (Starner) Schrader; Director of Environmental Health Wendy Hanna; and Public Health Nurse Nikki Hankison. Congratulations to the Hocking County Health Department.

LOGAN — The Starner family has been well-known in Hocking County for many years — Gary Starner was Hocking County Commissioner serving numerous terms; Sandy Starner was a beloved teacher and served on the Hocking County Board of DD helping in the community in any capacity possible.

Sadly, Gary passed away in 2015, and Sandy just passed in December 2020. However, their legacy continues on through their children and grandchildren.

In honor of Sandy’s commitment and dedication to the Hocking County Board of DD and the community, an award — Sandy Starner Community Partner Award — has been established by the Board of DD and was presented to its first recipient Thursday.

The children of the Starner family — Bryan, Cara and Lori — presented the award to Hocking County Health Commissioner Doug Fisher and staff members during a small ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Hocking County Health Department.

“Everyone in this county has been through an extremely challenging and difficult time while dealing with the pandemic. The Hocking County Health Department has partnered with many to protect this community and stop the spread of this disease,” Health Commissioner Fisher told Logan-Hocking Times.

“Part of this effort is to make sure our most vulnerable Hocking County residents are protected. Therefore, we worked with the Board of DD to get their eligible and most vulnerable clients protected as soon as possible. We have always considered the Hocking County Board of DD a great public health partner of ours, and we have also appreciated the support that Sandy and Gary Starner and their children have given the Health Department and public health,” he added.

“So, to receive recognition for the work the Hocking County Health Department is doing in response to the pandemic and for the award and recognition to come from our partner, the Hocking County Board of DD and for it to be in honor and memory of Sandy Starner, it makes it extra special,” Fisher stated.

Prior to the award presentation, Fisher received notice of the award from Board of DD Superintendent Jill Squires:

Hello Doug,

As you may be aware, the Hocking County Board of DD recently lost one of our board members, Sandy Starner. She was a long-time member of the board, serving 11 years. She was prepared to serve her 12th and final year in 2021, but unfortunately passed away in December 2020.

Sandy had a strong record of passionate advocacy for the people of Hocking County who have developmental disabilities. She worked to make sure people were being helped in very practical ways. Nothing made her more pleased or proud than when people were being supported by others in the community. She was an asset not only to our board, but also to the entire community.

In her memory, we established the Annual Sandy Starner Community Partner Award. For the inaugural year, we have chosen the Hocking County Health Department as our recipient! The work you have all done for people with DD in our community during the pandemic has been a shining example of support and advocacy.

There was a time not long ago that people with DD would have been discarded during a global pandemic. They would have been thought of last, if at all. I know Sandy strived to make sure people with DD were considered just as much as any other citizen of Hocking County.

Your Health Board has gone above and beyond to coordinate efforts to not only keep people safe and healthy, but you have done so with respect and dignity for people with DD. Your collaboration with us over this past year has been truly appreciated.

Again, Congratulations and Thank You and your team!

Fisher and the Health Department staff graciously accepted the award.

“On behalf of the Board of Health and the hard working Health Department staff, I thank the Board of DD and the Starner family for this award and recognition,” Fisher concluded.


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