Hipp Honored by Salvation Army and National Rural Health Association
Over a three-day period in the beginning of May, Van D. Hipp Jr., a board member of the Norwegian American Foundation, was surprised to be honored with two awards from two well-respected non-profit organizations, The Salvation Army and the National Rural Health Association, for his years of service and volunteer work.
On May 4th, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), presented Mr. Hipp with the President’s Special Achievement Award. He received the special recognition for his ongoing efforts to improve rural health and for his support of the association. Mr. Hipp’s firm, American Defense International, Inc, specializes in developing and assisting in the implementation of a civilian application for innovations developed through the Armed Forces. He applies his expertise in telecommunications to improve application in telehealth for rural communities and works to improve and develop infrastructure, education, and health services in those communities.
Val Schott, past president of the NRHA, joined with current president, Bob McVay, in presenting Mr. Hipp with the award in front of a crowd of over one thousand audience members, including many health and medical experts from the US Government and the private sector, at the NRHA Annual Rural Health Conference in Austin, Texas. Mr. Schott explained NRHA’s decision to honor Mr. Hipp with the award by stating, “Van has freely given his time and talents without any expectation except for people’s lives to improve. He himself is from a rural area so he understands and believes in giving back to rural communities –he’s always done that.”
The NRHA is America’s premier and largest healthcare and medical organization focused on improving healthcare and providing the latest medical technology to rural America. The association works closely with the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and the Department of Defense on healthcare matters to provide leadership on rural health issues. Val Schott describes Van’s role in helping the organization by stating that, “He believes in the NRHA and he has helped us immensely in terms of expanding our thought processes of using resources and in helping bring more membership to the NRHA. He does so much without ever asking to be recognized so we are honored to have the opportunity to do so.”
Three days later, on May 7th, Mr. Hipp was once again surprised and honored at the Washington DC area’s Salvation Army Annual Dinner. The Alexandria Citadel Salvation Army honored Mr. Hipp, a longtime supporter of the Salvation Army and current Advisory Board member for both the Alexandria Citadel Salvation Army and the National Capitol Salvation Army, with the prestigious “Reflecting God” Award at their dinner at the Carlyle Club on the evening of May 7th.
This year’s Salvation Army Annual Dinner’s special guest was the inspirational speaker, Vince Lombardi, Jr. During his speech, Mr. Lombardi exclaimed, “I firmly believe that in any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is that moment he has worked his heart out in a good cause!” The Alexandria Citadel Salvation Army presented Mr. Hipp with the “Reflecting God” Award later that evening to honor his fulfillment of “working his heart out” through his humanitarian work with the organization.
The Salvation Army was founded by William and Catherine Booth through their ministry to the slums of London, England’s East Side. They provided food, shelter, and meaningful work, and as such, The Salvation Army soon became an international movement motivated by the love of God to meet human need without discrimination in the name of Jesus Christ since 1865.
Captain Ken Argot, Alexandria’s Corps officer, explained the reason for honoring Van with the Reflecting God Award by stating, “Van is a true participant in Booth’s mission to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.”
Captain Argot continued to explain, “Van was the past Chairman of the Alexandria Citadel Salvation Army and I wanted to recognize him for all of the work he has done. Van has been instrumental not only in networking and fundraising, but he also has been actively involved with the Salvation Army’s ministries.”
Over the years Mr. Hipp has been actively involved with the Salvation Army including his work with the homeless shelter, their transitional housing program for the needy, the Angel Tree Program for needy children during Christmas time, and being a coach for the Salvation Army Little League Baseball Team. Mr. Hipp thanked the Salvation Army and stated, “This award means so much to me. I truly believe in the Salvation Army and look forward to continue being a foot soldier in the Salvation Army.”
Source: National Rural Health Association and Salvation Army