LT. TOM DUNN RECOGNIZED WITH BERT HALL AWARD
Wasilla, Alaska – Alaska State Trooper Lt. Tom Dunn has been recognized with the Mat-Su Health Foundation’s Bert Hall Award for Commitment to the Health of the Community. The “Bertie” is an annual recognition presented by the foundation to an individual who consistently exemplifies commitment to working at the systems level to improve the health and wellness of Mat-Su residents. Lt. Dunn was chosen for this honor because of his work with the Mat-Su Crisis Intervention Team Coalition and Mental Health First Aid training. These programs stress appropriate intervention to ensure safe and effective interactions between first responders and citizens experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
“We’re thrilled to recognize Lt. Dunn of the Alaska State Troopers for the tremendous contributions he has made to our community with his consistent support of the Mat-Su Crisis Intervention Team Coalition and Mental Health First Aid training,” said Mat-Su Health Foundation CEO Elizabeth Ripley. “As a direct result of Lt. Dunn’s advocacy, our first responders are better equipped to handle difficult situations, and all Alaska State Troopers assigned to Mat-Su have had the Mental Health First Aid course.”
Lt. Dunn has over 20 years of service to the State of Alaska and the Department of Public Safety (DPS). He became a member of the Mat-Su Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Coalition in 2015 along with Captain Hans Brinke and completed the 40-hour Mat-Su CIT Academy in 2018. Because of his CIT advocacy, DPS has allowed the inclusion of the CIT graduation lapel pin to be included as part of the official AST uniform. After completing the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course Dunn became interested in training his trooper staff. He was certified by the National Council for Behavioral Health as an instructor for the program in 2017 and has since trained and co-trained with local emergency medical services (EMS) instructors more than 100 first and secondary responders in Mat-Su. His reach in this effort has expanded to the DPS training academy in Sitka and the prison system in Seward. Lt. Dunn will be celebrating 25 years as a trooper with retirement in 2020
The Bert Hall Award is named in honor of Mat-Su resident Bert Hall, who helped put together the Valley Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and has been a Mat-Su Regional Medical Center Trustee. Bert has also served Alaska in many other capacities, including as a Mat-Su Regional Medical Center board member, associate director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, director of Health and Social Services for the Municipality of Anchorage, and as the Alaska liaison to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Bert has been president of the Alaska Public Health Association, represented Alaska on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association, and served on the Alaska Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
Previous Bert Hall Award recipients include Rachel Greenberg (2018), Bill Hogan (2017), Herman Thompson (2016), Margaret Volz (2015), Craig Thorn (2014), and Bert Hall himself (2013).
About Mat-Su Health Foundation: Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare institution through board oversight. The MSHF invests its assets into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available at www.healthymatsu.org.