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Panhandle Heath District's Cuvala honored by Soroptimists

| November 26, 2010 8:00 PM

ST. MARIES - Panhandle Health District's Peggy Cuvala, a nurse practitioner in PHD's St. Maries office, received a "Woman of Distinction" award in the health category from Soroptomist International on November 19.

"Peggy is a tenured, respected nurse practitioner, well-known and respected in the Benewah and Shoshone communities," said Lora Whalen, PHD director. "She truly cares about her clients and does what she can to give them the best care."

Soroptomist International is an organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of people in their communities and around the world. The organization has honored Women of Distinction for 28 years.

Cuvala is a strong advocate of women's health. Her position as a nurse practitioner enables her to promote healthy lifestyles, work to prevent disease, educate patients about health and counsel them.

"The mantra of public health has always been one of planting seeds by providing education," Cuvala said. "Every day we plant these seeds of education and hope that someday they will sprout."

Cuvala screens patients for breast and cervical cancer and provides reproductive health services. She also screens for sexually transmitted diseases, providing diagnoses and treatment.

"Peggy is the type of public health professional that we all aspire to be," said DeNene Banger, PHD's nurse manager of clinical services and Cuvala's co-worker and supervisor for 21 years. "Her caring manner, professional expertise and superb clinical skills combine to serve her clients with excellence. Her capable and compassionate actions have improved the level of health and well-being for the people of her community and our health district."

Cuvala joined the health district 26 years ago, working as a home health nurse, public health nurse, school nurse and nurse practitioner. She serves as the chairman of the Benewah Community Hospital board and has served on the board for 11 years. She also volunteers her skills at the St. Maries Volunteer Community Clinic, which provides medical services for people with no access to health care.

"A public health department's standing in the community is a direct reflection of the actions of its staff members," Banger said. "Peggy's achievements shine the brightest possible light on Panhandle Health District."

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