Rutherford County Assistant Public Health Director, LaShan Dixon, receives three prestigious honors

Rutherford County’s Assistant Public Health Director received three prestigious honors in August and September consecutively.

LaShan Dixon was recognized in August with Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU) “Young Alumni Achievement Award,” an award “given to a graduate age 35 or younger making a positive impact in the world.”

The university stated that LaShan, who has a total of four degrees from MTSU, helps improve the “quality of life in the community” through her outreach as an administrator for Rutherford County Health Department (RCHD).

Dixon was awarded the Tennessee Public Health Association’s “Tennessee Public Health Worker of the Year” on September 10, 2020, an award recognizing her outstanding service to the field.

On September 16, at the Rutherford ATHENA International Leadership Awards held at Embassy Suites, Dixon was announced as recipient of the “2020 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award,” which is presented to a woman under the age of 40 for her emerging leadership, accomplishments and contributions in Rutherford County.

Dixon received the recognition for developing and implementing the first Community Baby Shower with RCHD in partnership with United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, a now-annual event that helps to provide more than 2,100 essential baby supplies to expectant mothers in the community. Also noted by the organization was her vital role as spokesperson for “Beauty Behind Bars,” a self-esteem program created to “help women and girls break away from mental incarceration and self-imprisonment of low self-esteem, doubt, depression, suicide, and dream killing.” Through the program, at least 1,200 girls and women have been positively impacted. Dixon “meets them where they are” to teach them about “forgiveness, accountability, and the importance of loving self from the inside out.”

“We could not be more proud of LaShan,” said Rutherford County Public Health Director Dana Garrett. “She never ceases to amaze us with the impact she provides to our local community in a variety of ways.”

“I am always delighted to hear of a Rutherford County employee that exemplifies professionalism both at work and in the community,” said Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron. “We are fortunate to have LaShan as a part of our team.”

During her time as a student to present day, LaShan Dixon has continued to make outstanding contributions in public health within the community. An alumna of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), Mrs. LaShan Dixon earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, Graduate Certificate in Health Care Management, Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, and Master’s degree in Health and Human Performance. 

Upon leaving MTSU, she accepted a position with the Rutherford County Health Department and advanced quickly to become the first Assistant Public Health County Director, where she plans and instructs health education programs for the community reaching over 80,000 residents throughout Rutherford County annually. Additionally, for more than fifteen years, she has hosted multiple community events and contributed to several grants that focus on women and underserved populations. Moreover, working in public health for the past twelve years has instilled in her a respect for diversity along with a burning desire to be an advocate for underrepresented populations in the community.