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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Rural Health Champions

By Renay Rouse

April 11, 2017

Dental Hygienist, Milly Ruiz and Nurse Program Specialist, Marybeth Peña were named Rural Health Champions by the Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network (LORHN) and the Health Council of Southeast Florida (HCSEF).

The Rural Health Champion award provides recognition for individuals who go above and beyond in their work to support programs and initiatives that reduce health disparities and improve the quality of life in rural communities.

Ruiz provides oral health education and dental sealants to Martin County children though the school based dental sealant program and coordinates a dental health coalition to address the children’s unmet dental needs. More than three thousand children have been served since the program began in late 2014. The program is funded, in part, by the Children’s Services Council of Martin County.

Peña is known for her interactive workshops with children and adults that promote healthy eating and lifestyles. The programs have touched the lives of thousands of residents through partnerships and collaborations with Martin County community agencies