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Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health

Posted on: May 25, 2021

LDCPH Staffer Serves at Vaccination Clinics to Honor Her Grandfather


May is Mental Health Month. COVID-19 has not only threatened people’s physical health but their mental health. 

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Elena Theresa was featured in a weekend article about managing stress during the pandemic and how she wore traditional Native American regalia in honor of her grandfather, Burgess Tapedo, who died July 22 due to complications from COVID-19. 

“It was really important for me to be there at the vaccine clinic and wear that skirt. It makes me feel strong. When I’m at a powwow or dressed in my outfit, I don’t feel any more beautiful in anything else. I don’t feel like my true authentic self in anything else. I feel powerful,” Elena said. “So, to be there and to equip my community with this vaccine, I thought about him, my grandfather, the pillar of this family, who protected this country and who protected our family, I felt like I was honoring him by trying to protect my community as well.”

Jeff Burkhead, Communications Manager of Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, shared Elena's and other stories of hope and resiliency and examples of how people coped and managed their mental health during a pandemic. 

Read the full Bert Nash article at:

Photo by Jeff Burkhead, Communications Manager, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.

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