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Public Health Educator
State Health Department
ND Department of Health
Olmsted County Public Health
Epidemiologist With the State Health Department
The first time Annette Olson, 24, competed for Miss North Dakota she finished first runner up.That glimpse of the crown enticed her to compete again the following year.This time she won. Olson spent the last year traveling the state doing talks for the "Eat Smart and Play Hard" campaign. After passing on the tiara in June, she moved to Rochester, where she spreads a similar message as a public health educator for Olmsted County.Although now, "I've hung up my heels," she said. But she's still got her riding boots. Having grown up on a cattle ranch outside of Wilton, N.D., Olson said she brought her horse with her "of course."Annette Olson completed her reign as Miss North Dakota in June.She competed in the Miss America pageant in January.She is a public health educator for Olmsted County.
2007-Annette Olson - Miss North Dakota Scholarship Organization
Miss North Dakota 2007 Annette Olson Annette Olson grew up on a ranch near Regan, ND. She recieved her elementary education in a one-room country school, an experience she treasures. "I was the only student in my grade and there were about 10-15 kids in the entire school. It was the best possible educational setting- like a family. I was surrounded by people who made me believe I could do anything." Annette graduated from St. Mary's High School in Bismarck. She earned her bachelor's degree in Biology from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 2005. Annette took advantage of several unique opportunities during her college years. She studied abroad in Australia, and in Tanzania. During her time in Tanzania, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain. Following graduation from Concordia, Annette began working as an epidemiologist with the ND Department of Health. Annette was crowned Miss North Dakota in June of 2006. During her year of service, she continued working for the State Health Department as well traveling from one community to the next educating women about breast cancer and the importance of early detection. She spoke at countless women's health events, benefits, and fund raisers. "I met so many incredible women who inspired me with their stories of strength, courage, and hope. My mission during my year as Miss North Dakota, was to encourage even just one woman to have a cancer screening. It may very well be that one test that could save her life." On her school tour, Annette was a spokeswoman for the Eat Smart Play Hard campaign. She visited 70 schools and encouraged more than 15,000 students to make healthy choices about nutrition and physical activity. Annette now lives in Rochester, MN and works for Olmsted County Public Health as a health educator.
Bright and early this morning, Annette Olson made the first of many stops on her school tour at Williston High School.Annette Olson was crowned the 2007 Miss North Dakota back in June and has had the time of her life ever since.Annette Olson/Miss North Dakota 2007: "It`s been everything I expected it to be and more."It`s no easy task being Miss North Dakota.Olson has many responsibilities to fulfill.Her platform is "The Power of Prevention:" promoting early detection of cervical and breast cancer, and with last month being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it was the perfect time to spread the word.Olson: "It was a really, really great opportunity for me to get out and speak at a lot of womens health events on the importance of getting regular cancer screenings and detecting their cancer as early as possible, when it`s easily treatable."With all the duties she has as the crown holder, it might surprise some to know that she also has a whole separate career.Since February, she has worked as a field epidemiologist with the State Health Department.Her job is to investigate contagious diseases and outbreaks in the five counties surrounding the Bismarck area.Olson: "Whenever a doctor would see a patient that would test positive for one of our reportable diseases, than I would work with the doctor and interview the patient and try and figure out where they got the disease and who they may have exposed to that infection as well."Today Olson shared her experience of being an epidemiologist with Williston High School students in Ms. Axtman`s Health Careers Class on the first stop of her school tour.Olson: "I just wanted to let the kids know that there are so many opportunities out there in a health-related field.Epidemiology is not something that I would`ve pictured as a high-schooler doing.I didn`t even know that it existed."She also taught students the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in hopes that early on they can start to prevent some of the diseases that she deals with on a regular basis.Olson: "A lot of chronic conditions are caused by a lack of physical activity and poor nutrition.I really wanted to drive that point home that there`s things you can do preventatively everyday to live a long and healthy life."Olson will be talking with students of all ages.Her school tour will last through May, taking a brief pause for the holidays and while she competes in the Miss America Pageant at the end of January.Today she also spoke to students in Trenton and will be traveling around the area all week.
Annette Olson says it`s wonderful to be in a position to have a positive influence on the lives of children.She`s been in that position the past year, as Miss North Dakota. Olson says her favorite experiences have involved school tours and kids. "The little boys tell you they want to marry you, and the little girls want to be you," she saidThe 24-year-old Olson passes on her crown Saturday night, at the Miss North Dakota pageant in Williston.Her platform over the past year has been promoting the early detection of breast and cervical cancers.Olson works as an epidemiologist with the state Health Department.The Baldwin native says the job fits her health-related goals.
WILLISTON, N.D. - Annette Olson works to fight diseases, and her campaign as Miss North Dakota for the early detection of breast cancer has a personal connection."My grandmother and aunt both had breast cancer, and my grandmother died from it," said Olson, who was crowned Miss North Dakota on Saturday night."It's really a personal issue because it runs in the family."Olson, 23, of Baldwin, is a field epidemiologist for the State Health Department in Bismarck.She interviews patients who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer and other diseases linked to viruses.Olson said she interviews the patients who have been diagnosed with one of the 60 reportable diseases in North Dakota, ranging from food diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, to the flu and West Nile virus cases.Her platform as Miss North Dakota is promoting the early detection of breast cancer and cervical cancer.She chose the title "Power of Prevention.""I think the two things will mesh well, especially with my platform," Olson said of her Miss North Dakota title and her epidemiologist job.She plans to take her message to schools starting in the fall."It's going to be a lot of fun," she said."I'm going to focus on healthy choices, like food choices and the importance of exercise, because some of the components of cancer are preventable."Olson also plans to speak with many women's groups.She feels she is well prepared for the public speaking aspect of her role as Miss North Dakota 2007."I've had the opportunity to give presentations on infection control to doctors, nurses and dentists, which can be an intimidating crowd," she said.Olson is a graduate of Concordia College, in Moorhead, Minn., with plans to get a doctorate in dental surgery."At this point, I plan on being in family dentistry," she said."I would like to practice on an American Indian reservation for a few years."She said she now works closely with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe."There is a real need there," she said, referring to reservations."They do not have adequate health care, especially in dentistry."Olson said preliminaries for the Miss America pageant will most likely be in late August or early September, in either Las Vegas or Nashville, with the finals likely in Las Vegas in January.Olson's father, Randy, works at Falkirk Mine near Underwood, and her mother, SuAnn, is an accountant in Bismarck.She has two brothers, Christopher 19, a student at North Dakota State University, and Matthew, 16, a student at St. Mary's High School in Bismarck.She said her younger brother recently started racing stock cars."He thought since I was Miss North Dakota now, it would be cool if I would be in the Powder Puff races (all-women races)," she said.And she might consider it."We had gotten especially close last week," Olson said.
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