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Pandemic response team honored by senior leaders

Release Number: PA-001-21

Vermont state pandemic leaders stand for a group portrait in front of an F-35A Lightning II at the Vermont Air National Guard base, South Burlington, Vermont, June 10, 2021. Senior leaders from the Vermont National Guard honored a small group from Vermont's Pandemic Response Team, recognizing them for their selfless commitment to supporting Vermonters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Davis)

Vermont state pandemic leaders stand for a group portrait in front of an F-35A Lightning II at the Vermont Air National Guard base, South Burlington, Vermont, June 10, 2021. Senior leaders from the Vermont National Guard honored a small group from Vermont's Pandemic Response Team, recognizing them for their selfless commitment to supporting Vermonters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Davis)


Members from Vermont’s pandemic response team received recognition from Vermont National Guard senior leaders on the Vermont Air National Guard Base June 10 in honor of their selfless commitment to supporting Vermont during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The group of state professionals recognized at the ceremony include: Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine, MD, Mike Smith, Secretary of the Agency of Human Resources, Jenney Samuelson, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Human Resources, Chad Spooner, Daniel Daltry, Emily Pareles, Harry Schoppmann, Merideth Plumpton, Ian Kilburn, Lee Dorf, Marianne Wolz, Matthew Maiberger, Tim Stetson, Tori Steffend-Hodgkins, and Helen Reid and the Health Department State Laboratory team.

“So much of what goes into our pandemic response happens behind the scenes, out of the public view,” said Levine, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health. “I am proud to work alongside these colleagues, each of whom stepped up when the need arose, and kept at it, working long days, going weeks and sometimes months without a single day off.”

After presenting a coin to Levine, Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight, the adjutant general for the Vermont National Guard, said he could not be more proud to serve alongside these Vermont state professionals during this national crisis.

“Because of the hard work and leadership of everyone we recognized at this event, our members integrated seamlessly into the whole-of-state approach which flattened the curve and protected our communities,” said Knight.

Awards given to Vermont’s pandemic response team included Commanders Awards for Civilian Service, Civilian Service Achievement Medals, coins, which carry a commander’s insignia and emblem, and the Green Mountain Boys Flag that Col. David Shevchik, commander of the 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard, flew in an F-35 during a routine training mission.

“This flag is a small token of our appreciation for your teams’ work and commitment to our wing, communities, and the state of Vermont,” said Shevchik. “We’re grateful for our strong state partnership, especially during these unprecedented times.”

“These professionals made our successful testing and vaccination capability a reality – especially in the early days when supplies were never assured. They made possible our ability to process lab samples at a rate the state has never seen. And, critical to our ability to keep the spread of the virus in check, built and ensured a capable, well trained, effective and compassionate contact tracing workforce. They and their fellow employees are indeed our public health heroes,” said Levine.