New Hampshire Guardsman ANG Public Health NCO of the Year

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Victoria Nelson
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing

The Public Health Office with the 157th Medical Group has seen its most challenging years in decades and one NCO lead the way in ensuring the health and well-being of the base population and the local community.

Tech. Sgt. Sarah Davidson, the NCO in charge of the Public Health Office with the 157th Air Refueling Wing, was selected as the 2023 Air National Guard Public Health NCO of the Year.

Davidson conducts inspections, implements preventive measures, and partners with health professionals to ensure the wellness of all Airmen assigned to Pease Air National Guard Base.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award,” said Lt. Col. Derek Brindisi, the Public Health Officer with the 157th MDG. “She is the greatest of professionals but more importantly an even greater human being.”

Davidson’s role requires a deep understanding of public health principles, effective communication skills, and the ability to collaborate with various departments and personnel.

“I work with the whole base during the health fair at the semi-annual block training,” Davidson said. “But my involvement with each organization is more in-depth through the deployment medicine and occupational health programs.”

In the past year Davidson acted as the medical intelligence officer, briefing over 180 country-specific public health threats and prevention methods. She also led a deployed public heath pop-up clinic in Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma and managed the health education section for a population of over 450,000 people.

“The public health field requires a lot of one-on-one direct communication with supervisors and squadron commanders,” said Brindisi. “Sarah handles these situations with ease. She is so approachable and compassionate. You can clearly notice that she only wants what’s best for those around her.”

Davidson began as a young Airman in public health and has steadily gained increasing responsibilities. In 2022, she managed the Wing's first Public Health Fair for over 400 members. In 2023, she conducted all food vendor evaluations for the Wing's Thunder Over NH Air Show, ensuring the health and safety of over 80,000 civilian attendees.

“Sarah came in with no experience in public health, but she had the motivation to learn what she didn’t know,” said Brindisi. “Now she is leading the next generation of public health techs. Spend time with her and you will experience a very gentle approach to educating and leading our junior enlisted.”

In addition to preparing her team to be the best of the best, Davidson also lead by example. During the COVID-19 pandemic she was tasked with ensuring the base population was protected and lead a five-person COVID monitoring team for the entire New Hampshire National Guard.

“This function required her to be on call 24/7 for almost two years,” explained Brindisi. “Providing recommendations for force protection and acting swiftly on quarantining service members.”

Davidson said she is humbled by the recognition and would be remiss not to acknowledge her team.

“I fully understand that this award reflects not only my efforts but the entire public health team,” she said. “They are rockstars and have provided invaluable commitment and support this past year.”

Brindisi said since he has known Davidson, she has exemplified outstanding leadership and a true passion for public safety.

“I love being able to have a tangible impact on the health and safety of our community,” Davidson said. “But I truly love having the opportunity to work with so many organizations across the wing. Making connections is my favorite part and being on a team that promotes a culture of well-being and preventative care is the most rewarding.”