The highest civilian honor awarded by the Louisiana National Guard was presented to Rapides Regional Medical Center’s Mickey Dennard, RN-BC, Tuesday night.

Dennard, a registered nurse, was presented the Louisiana Distinguished Civilian Service Award by Brig. Gen. Cindy Haygood, Assistant Adjutant General of the Louisiana Army National Guard, and Col. David Dinkleman of the U.S. Army.

Dennard helped with the training and oversight of Air Force personnel during a Department of Defense support mission at Rapides Regional Medical Center in August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dennard “demonstrated unwavering leadership and expertise in his ability to assist both service members and civilians,” said Dinkleman in reading Dennard’s nomination. Dinkleman served as a senior Army advisor assigned to Joint Task Force Headquarters – Louisiana during the DoD deployment.

“His meticulous work ethic and professional demeanor, combined with his compassion and empathy for the needs of all Louisiana patients have become an inspiration for all to emulate,” said Dinkleman. “Mickey’s meaningful guidance and encouragement through the pandemic reflects the finest traditions of civilian service and brings great credit upon himself, Rapides Regional, the Louisiana National Guard and the state of Louisiana.”

Dennard is assigned to the 3 South cardiovascular and telemetry floor at RRMC.

“This means a lot,” said an emotional Dennard. “I put forth effort every day to try to help my patients and make the hospital proud of me.”

“Everyone in this room could say something great about Mickey Dennard,” said Katlin Bolton, MBA-HM, BSN, RN, RRMC’s Assistant Chief Nursing Officer. “For one of our nurses to be nominated and receive this award is an honor. This is a testament to Mickey, to our nursing staff and to our hospital.”

The Air Force command team nominated Dennard. The nomination then went to the Louisiana National Guard.

“Your name just kept coming up over and over as they discussed their time here,” Gen. Haygood said. “Thank you for being patient with us and going above and beyond. You treated our team members like they were one of your own.”