Commissioner recognized for public health efforts

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – A local county commissioner is recognized for his work as a public health advocate.

Greg Puckett has dedicated much of his career to pushing southern West Virginia to be a healthier community. Last month, the National Rural Health Association awarded him with the Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health.

Puckett hopes the achievement inspires others to take care of the community.

“I think that it’s indicative of the hard work that is still yet to come and not what has passed,” said Puckett. “It’s an amazing opportunity to share my voice on a national scale, but [we also] have so much work to do and so many things that we can fix. If this helps take it to another level to where we can work with more partners, then that’s great.”

A ceremony scheduled to happen in San Diego later this month was canceled, but the organization will present the award during a virtual ceremony next month.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at