Published on October 12, 2018

Essentia Health Journey Awards Winners Announced

Journey Award Winners

Each year, Essentia Health Rehabilitation Services in Duluth presents the Journey Awards and Ernie Pearson Lifetime Achievement Award to honor patients and an Essentia staff member for how they help and inspire others to overcome challenges related to their disabilities.

This year's presentation took place Thursday, Oct. 10 at Essentia Health-Duluth. Psychotherapist Tina Miketin was honored with the Ernie Pearson Lifetime Achievement Award, while William "Bill" Mayo received the Journey Award and Evan Wolfe was presented with the Junior Journey Award.

Miketin works at Miller-Dwan Rehabilitation Services and has become a role model for patients through her journey with spinal cord injury. "Tina is a fierce advocate for patients and doesn't let anything stop her in her personal life to accomplish her goals. She helps guide patients through the journey with empathy and encouragement," her nomination read.

"I knew Ernie, so this really is a personal honor in that respect," says Miketin, remembering Pearson -- the late rehab staff member who was an exceptional motivator and someone who shared a zest for life. "I would encourage others to live life unafraid and, when compelled, speak up and just do it."  

Journey Award winner William "Bill" Mayo had two strokes in the fall of 2016. He spent countless hours participating in inpatient and outpatient therapies to regain the ability to walk, talk and eat again. "His perseverance has allowed him to succeed in ways that many might not have deemed possible after a stroke," his nomination read. "He is enjoying life to its fullest."

"I'm very excited," Mayo shared. "This is a great place and I'm really glad to be here today to receive such an honor."

The Junior Journey Award goes to someone age 21 or younger who has overcome a disability and inspired others. This years' recipient is Evan Wolfe, who experienced a brain injury as the result of an accident abroad. "Through sweat, tears, laughter and pain, Evan worked his way through both physical and mental rehabilitation and is now enrolled at Lake Superior College and is an active member of our community," his nomination reads. "My future goal is to live life to its fullest because it can change in an instant. I'll be working toward self-betterment, giving back and possibly starting a family someday," Evan says.