Health | National

Arne Vainio receives 'Unsung Hero' award for efforts in Minnesota

Arne Vainio. Photo from Walking Into The Unknown / Vision Maker Media

Arne Vainio, a physician and member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is being recognized for his efforts to promote health, wellness and education in Minnesota.

Vainio is one of four recipients of the Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Award. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and The McKnight Foundation selected him for his "life-changing" work in Native communities.

"Everybody is breaking trail for the rest of us,” Vainio said in a press release. “We walk in the footsteps of those who went before us.”

Vainio will receive $10,000 at a private luncheon in Minneapolis this Friday. He also will be recognized during the Minnesota Council's annual conference next month.

"The Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards reveal what so many of us already know: Minnesota has no shortage of people doing amazing things with and for others in their communities on a daily basis,” said Jon Pratt, the executive director of the Minnesota Council. “To be able to shine a spotlight on some of the most inspiring of these individuals—despite their aversion to this type of recognition—is an honor that goes beyond words.”

In addition to working with Native youth and mentoring Native physicians, Vainio hosts a health segment for Native Report. His writings appear in Indianz.Com and News From Indian Country.

More from Arne Vainio:
Arne Vainio: The late Jim Northrup shared his calling with the world (08/18)
Arne Vainio: A powerful homecoming for family in our troubled times (07/18)
Arne Vainio: Congratulating our graduates on a major milestone (06/16)
Arne Vainio: A mother's gift carried me through many life journeys (05/26)
Arne Vainio: Saying Giigawaabamin (goodbye) to uncle and elder George Earth (04/19)
Arne Vainio: Let's start to banish the shame associated with suicide (03/03)
Arne Vainio: Watch Native Report for first Health Matters segment (02/16)
Arne Vainio: Starting a new medical segment for Native Report (12/15)
Arne Vainio: A mother opens up after the death of her child (11/16)
Arne Vainio: Happiness comes from my life of medical service (10/16)
Arne Vainio: Learning to dance to bring healing for our people (09/24)
Arne Vainio: Doing more to support our Native youth in medicine (08/21)