A person of distinguished courage or ability admired for their noble qualities… a person who, in the opinion of others, is regarded as a model to be emulated. Most heroes live and work among us without much notice, but we all know who they are and it’s only fitting that we publicly recognize and honor them.
In difficult times, local heroes can be just the inspiration we need. Island County’s Community Health Advisory Board (CHAB) and the Board of Health honor individuals who go the extra mile to help others in need. The Linda Lee Martens Community Health Hero Award is named for the late executive secretary of our local Health Department. She was a President of Soroptimists International and a memorable participant in many local activities. She was a hero because she was an ordinary person with an extraordinary love for others.
The Linda Lee Martens Memorial Community Health Hero of Island County Award Criteria recognizes an adult, youth (under age 21 when action completed), or agency that has either directly or indirectly impacted community health. Nominees are selected based on:
(If the nominee’s efforts involve(d) professional duties, they should be above/beyond normal expectations.
Mitch Incarnato (Individual) – For his many years, and many hours, of service in Island County, including being a Court Appointed Special Advocate involving volunteering his time for the best interest of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. Mitch also volunteers with his local food bank, Hospice, Sound Water Stewards, Equestrian Crossings, Camp Erin Children’s Bereavement Camp, Langley Whale Center and Hearts and Hammers
South Whidbey High School Forefront Peer to Peer Training Team
(Group) – For
planning and leading peer-led student trainings on mental health and suicide
Faith Wilder (Individual) – For her volunteer role as the Whidbey Homeless Coalition
Board President, and leading the development and operation of The Haven shelter.
Mark Phibbs (Individual) – For his many years of service to Camano residents through
Mark’s Pharmacy, and the many ways he went above and beyond to ensure residents
had the medication, supplies, and information they needed.
Christin McCausland (Individual) – For her years of service at SeaMar going above and
beyond in her position and collaboration with community partners to better serve her
Wildcat Robotics Team (Group) – For the students’ commitment to service of their
community, and the time and skills dedicated to addressing homelessness.
WhidbeyHealth Engineering Team (Group) – For their above and beyond service during
WhidbeyHealth’s construction and snow storm to ensure the safety of patients, staff,
Award Winner: Lynn Willeford
Supported the start of seven non-profit organizations serving Island County including Friends of Friends Medical Support, Hearts and Hammers, Back to School Project, Whidbey Island Local Lending, and South Whidbey At Home.
Barbara Brock: Original member of the Water Resource Advisory Committee recognized for her 18 years of service
Jason McDermott: Began a challenge little league team for kids with developmental and/or physical disabilities
Laiza Ramos: Established a Hispanic support group at the Toddler Learning Center for families with children with developmental and/or physical delays.Casey Scott-Mitchell: Prevention and Education Manager at CADA who has gone above and beyond her position to educate the community about interpersonal violence, and advocate for victims
Carmen McFadyen: Long-time community volunteer, including the WhidbeyHealth Foundation Board, Windermere Foundation, schools, Boys and Girls Club, Soroptimist International, and Coupeville's Neighborhood Emergency Team.
Award Winner: Camano Country Club Volunteers
A group of 50 volunteers, together providing annually 4000 hours of service, support the Camano Island Country Club in promoting exercise rehabilitation, and community connectedness to Camano Island residents of all ages.
Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions: Volunteer peer to peer mentorship program that creates healthy alternatives for sailors, civilians and families to promote physical and mental wellness
Community Resources Foundation: Organization serving Camano Island residents that provides resource referral and support, English as a Second Language classes, Family Budgeting classes, a Mobile Dental Clinic, Teen Center, Lego Robotics, and teen "ready to work" mentor program.
Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association: Collection and donating clothing, toiletries, food, blankets and other necessary items to clients served by Island County Human Services.
Gifts from the Heart Food Bank Volunteers: Established the "Meals 2 Kids" program to provide low-income students at Coupeville School District with bags of food for the weekend.
Oak Harbor Christian Reformed Church: First host site for The Haven Overnight Emergency Shelter
Toddler Learning Center: Assisting families and children through early years of learning for children with developmental delays
Linda Lee was a former Public Health employee, who volunteered generously and joyously in our community. This award was created to honor her.