Dr. Thomas Seaworth was awarded the prestigious SSgt. Andrew P. Nelson Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service at the Third Annual Heroes and Leaders Gala held at the Delta Hotel by Marriot in Fargo, North Dakota, on Nov. 18.

The award was developed to recognize local veterans who quietly make a difference in their communities in the way that they work, volunteer, and make life better for others, according to a news release.

Dr. Thomas Seaworth, who lives in Detroit Lakes and currently practices at Perham Health's New York Mills clinic. (Contributed / Perham Health / Perham Focus)
Dr. Thomas Seaworth, who lives in Detroit Lakes and currently practices at Perham Health's New York Mills clinic. (Contributed / Perham Health / Perham Focus)

Recipients are nominated by friends, family or coworkers and selected by a panel of community leaders. No more than five awards are presented annually. The award is presented by the Northern Lights Council, Boy Scouts of America; however, no scouting affiliation is required.

Seaworth, who lives in Detroit Lakes, is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota and holds bachelors of science degrees in psychology and medicine and has a Doctor of Medicine, the release states. He has served as a family physician with MeritCare / Sanford Health in Detroit Lakes and currently practices at Perham Health’s New York Mills clinic. Prior to that, his civilian employment included assistant football coach and director of high school relations and admissions counselor at the University of North Dakota, where he also worked as assistant clinical professor of family medicine.

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Seaworth’s military service is significant. According to the release, he was commissioned as 2nd Lt. U.S. Army Signal Corps in May 1975, and served in the Army reserves from 1975-1979. He attended medical school through an Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship. He served in active duty from November 1986-July 1991 and his deployments included: Commander U.S. Army Health Clinic, Giebelstadt, Germany; Chief of Emergency Services, 67th Evac. Hospital, Wuerzburg, Germany; Commander C Company, 125th Forward Support Battalion and 3rd Brigade surgeon, 1st Armored Division; Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm; family physician, 67th Evac. Hospital, Wuerzburg, Germany.

He was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal in 1990 and a Bronze Star in '91.

Seaworth has been very active in the community, serving as a youth basketball coach and on the United Way Board of Directors from 1994-1997. He was on the Detroit Lakes School Board from 1996-2016, and has served as the physician for Detroit Lakes High School sports teams from 1992 to the present. He has also served as physician for numerous hockey tournaments and track meets.

In addition, Seaworth is very active in his church, Holy Rosary, where he has served in the church choir and as a confirmation class leader. He is a life member of the VFW and has served as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign for the past 25 Years. He has been married to his wife Mary for 46 years and they have four children.

Seaworth's past awards include: Rotarian of the Year (Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary), President Charles E. Kupchella Preventative Medicine and Wellness Award, Detroit Lakes Tribune Reader’s Choice Award for Favorite Doctor, and the Detroit Lakes Athletic Foundation Hall of Honor.