Alumni Award of Merit
Sharon E. Buhr, MPH
Director, Young People's Healthy Heart Program, CHI Mercy Health
Clinical Dietician, Sanford Health Clinic
Sharon Buhr has had a career-long commitment to the ideals of public service and community health. After earning her MPH in public health nutrition in 1980 from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Sharon began the Young People's Healthy Heart Program after leading an assessment of heart health indicators in children. For 35 years, the Healthy Heart Program has focused on behavior change, family participation, and education. Sharon designed lesson plans and interactive aids - adopted by the majority of school districts in the state of North Dakota - to help participants understand how much fat, sugar, caffeine, and salt they consumer per serving of popular drinks and foods. One of the Healthy Heart Program's activities is "On the Move," a community exercise program created in 1995 in Valley City, ND. The program now includes 19 local non-profit and government organization partners, and thousands of community members have participated in "On the Move" activities.
Sharon is also a licensed registered dietician and sees patients as a clinical dietician at Sanford Health Clinic and the Open Door Center in Valley City, ND, a center for individuals with developmental disabilities. The list of Sharon's dedicated volunteer work includes serving on the city-county health board, chairing Tobacco Free North Dakota, mentoring the next generation of dietitians, and writing grants for various committees to improve the city in which she lives and works. Sharon also spent more than four years volunteering in Liberia, where she helped coordinate a public health unit as the public health director of an area with more than 100,000 people.