Normandale Community College Dean of Health Sciences Colleen Brickle received the Ann K. Johnson Community Health Spirit Award from the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. This inaugural award is being made in honor of Johnson, who is the former Executive Director of Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, and Community Affairs Director of Delta Dental of Minnesota.
"I am deeply honored to be the first to receive this special award from Delta Dental," said Brickle. "Ann (Johnson) was a role model and mentor to me and many others, and it is important for her legacy to live on."
After receiving many incredible nominees that embodied Johnson's vision and spirit, the Review Committee selected Brickle for the $2,500 award to celebrate her inspirational leadership, outstanding sense of collaboration and personal initiative. These traits are highlighted by Brickle's calm and skillful relationship building, and encouragement that has led to significant advancements in the field of oral health, and overall health.
For nearly 22 years, Brickle's primary role has been as a dental hygiene educator at Normandale, where she has led the effort to develop and implement career ladder programs for dental hygienists. In 2008, she was named to her present position, Dean of Health Sciences.
Among many other achievements, Brickle was instrumental in planning and implementing a community clinic housed in Normandale's dental hygiene clinic, and serves public program and uninsured patients on a sliding scale basis. Brickle has also helped to develop a dual enrollment dental hygiene program with Metropolitan State University that allows students to stay on Normandale's campus to earn a bachelor's degree. She has also helped secure several grants for the Dental Hygiene program, including a recent grant to expand Oral Healthcare Access at Normandale's dental hygiene clinic.
"We are very proud to award Colleen the Ann K. Johnson, Spirit Award, as she truly carries on the vision and mission to improve oral health of our community and has diligently proven her dedication to this mission. We are honored to be able to celebrate Ann Johnson's life by helping further the great passion and dedication that Ann fostered for the oral health of Minnesotans," said Rodney Young, Chief Executive Officer, Delta Dental of Minnesota and Chair, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation."