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Kim Mertz


North Dakota PMHCA Program Administrator

Kim Mertz

Kim Mertz has a passion for helping people; which is why a career in nursing was the perfect choice for her. Kim started her nursing career as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) after graduating from Detroit Lakes – Minnesota Sate Community and Technical College in 1983. As a student practical nurse, Kim received first place honors at state and national Vocational Industrial Clubs of America nursing skills competitions. Kim credits her time working as a LPN at West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, North Dakota from 1984-1989 as providing her with the skills and confidence needed to provide quality patient care.

In 1989, Kim moved to Bismarck, North Dakota and started working at The Children’s Hospital at Sanford Health. As a LPN at The Children’s Hospital, she provided direct patient care, taught several classes on child health, and gave numerous presentations to parents and teens on adolescent health issues. In 1995, Kim graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Nursing Science from Medcenter One College of Nursing. Soon after graduating, Kim took over the responsibilities as the System Educator and Clinical Care Coordinator at The Children’s Hospital. In these roles, Kim provided leadership to a staff of over 20 nurses, provided pediatric expertise system-wide by serving on numerous committees and served as a mentor and preceptor for student nurses. In 1997, Kim was recognized by the North Dakota Nurses Association (NDNA) and received the District Number 6 NDNA Recipient Nurse of the Year Practice Award.

Since 2000, Kim has been employed by the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH), providing her with many opportunities to serve the citizens of North Dakota. Kim started her career at the NDDoH as a Maternal and Child Health Nurse Consultant with her work focused on reproductive and school health. In 2003, Kim received the North Dakota Public Health Association Worker of the Year Award. This same year, Kim was named the Director for the Division of Family Health, become a member of the Community Health Section Leadership Team, and assumed responsibilities as the State Maternal and Child Health Director. In recent years, Kim led a statewide infant mortality initiative that resulted in the NDDoH receiving the March of Dimes Virginia Apgar Prematurity Leadership Award in 2015 and 2016 for reducing state infant mortality rates. Since 2018, Kim has been serving as the Project Director for North Dakota’s Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Grant Program – a collaborative program with Sanford Research North.

On July 1, 2017, Kim was appointed as the Healthy and Safe Communities Section Chief and provides leadership to the section’s mission to support individuals, families and communities by providing quality programs that protect and enhance the health and safety of all North Dakotans. Kim was honored to receive the Legendary Nurse Award from the North Dakota Center for Nursing in November 2017 and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau Director’s Award in recognition of her contributions made to the health of infants, mothers, children, adolescents, and children with special health care needs in October 2018.

During COVID-19 response efforts, Kim is providing leadership as co-manager for the Public Health Hotline and is the Executive Sponsor for the NDDoH on the K-12 Healthy Return to Learning Team. Kim has also been involved in other COVID-19 response efforts by serving on several committees, task forces and workgroups such as homeless sheltering, business training coordination, school response, North Dakota Smart Restart, etc.

Kim’s leadership extends beyond her work by serving in various officer positions of her P.E.O Chapter – a Philanthropic Educational Organization that advances the education of women through scholarships, grants, awards, and loans.

If You Have Questions

Please contact North Dakota PMHCA program staff with any questions or concerns