Dr. Tina Stefanski, regional medical director for the Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) Office of Public Health in Acadiana (Region 4), was recently recognized by the Louisiana National Guard (LANG) with its Distinguished Civilian Service Award.

At a recent ceremony at the Lafayette Parish Health Unit, Col. Willus Hall commended Dr. Stefanski for her exceptional work in coordinating a response during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This award is important because it reflects the highest level of professionalism and service. Dr. Stefanski was chosen because of her superior leadership, medical expertise and deep care for the citizens of Acadiana. Working with her was a true partnership whereby we closely collaborated with our teams to optimize collective resources and do the best for the community,” Col. Hall said.

Dr. Stefanski coordinates COVID-19 community testing and vaccination centers in Region 4’s seven parishes including Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion. Besides her COVID-19 efforts, she is responsible for maintaining overall daily public health needs in the community.

Last month, Dr. Stefanski and Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory honored LANG for its work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two years, LANG soldiers operated testing sites, administered vaccines, transported personal protective equipment and distributed over-the-counter COVID tests. LANG soldiers collected over 42,000 COVID-19 tests since August 2021, working in conjunction with Region 4.

Dr. Stefanski and Mayor-President Guillory presented awards to each member in recognition of their service. Col. Hall concluded the ceremony, thanking his team for their hard work. Dr. Stefanski expressed her gratitude to the soldiers who worked tirelessly, in all weather conditions.

“The Louisiana National Guard has been a tremendous partner in our COVID-19 pandemic response. Our OPH community-based testing sites would not have been possible without this LANG partnership. These soldiers have been present every day, leading the testing efforts often in less-than-ideal environmental conditions, from extreme heat to recent frigid conditions. They were always in full uniform and never complaining. We are indebted to them for their ongoing service,” said Dr. Stefanski.