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---Jane Smilie---


Why do you want to serve on the MPHA executive board?

I am interested in serving on the MPHA Executive Board because I believe in the mission of the organization. My career in public health spans three decades during which I have worked toward that mission - to improve the health status of Montanans and influence public health policy to do so. I have always been an advocate for local public health agencies and I continue to be interested in supporting public health practitioners with training, education and networking opportunities. With our political climate as it currently stands, strengthening our public health presence and advocacy efforts could never have been more important. As a part-time employee with the Association of Montana Local Public Health Officials, I think serving on the MPHA Board would be an ideal way to do that, and to ensure our organizations stay well-coordinated, and continue to maximize our precious public health resources in Montana.


What strengths do you bring to the MPHA executive board

I have always been a supporter of local public health agencies and practitioners, and of building our local public health system. I have educated, advocated and lobbied state and local policymakers on a wide variety of public health issues. My strengths include my technical skills, education and experience in public health, as well as my ability to work with people and collaborate across agencies, organizations and systems. I have more than 30 years of experience in public health. I had many roles with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, including serving as Administrator of the Public Health and Safety Division for more than 10 years. I also served as Director of the Deschutes County Health Department in Bend, Oregon, and am currently a part-time employee of the Association of Montana Public Health Officials. I have extensive experience working with Montana counties and tribal governments. I have a private consulting firm that serves a variety of clients including public health departments, mental health centers, Montana Healthcare Foundation and Billings Clinic.


What methods would you use to help grow membership in your region?

To grow membership in MPHA in Region 4, or in any region, we need to continue to show value to our members. On-going communication with public health professionals about MPHA’s benefits and services is essential to growing membership. This can happen in a variety of ways – including reaching out to potential members via social media, email and of course, personal contact. Having networking, training and education opportunities in the region, and including non-members will continue to show value to existing members and increase membership. Including non-members in regional meetings to provide information and updates about MPHA business, services and events is another potential means of increasing membership.



---Karen Lane---


Why do you want to serve on the MPHA executive board?

I would like to continue serving on the board because I appreciate the opportunity to make a contribution on a statewide level to public health. I love public health and consider it a privilege to be doing this work. Serving on the board gives me the opportunity to interact with members on a more frequent basis. I have been an engaged participant in Board meetings and have been an active member of the Awards Committee, Conference Food Committee and the 100th Anniversary Planning Committee.


What strengths do you bring to the MPHA executive board

I love collaborating with others to build strong programs and organizations. I also think it is important to share our public health experiences and lessons learned with the board and through presentations to colleagues as I have done at two MPHA conferences. Through over 16 years of public health service, I have coordinated projects, managed programs, educated the public, facilitated policy adoption and environmental change. In my position as Prevention Program Manager at Lewis and Clark Public Health, I have been a domain lead on our Accreditation Team, sit on the Quality Improvement Council and coordinate and facilitate our Healthy Communities Coalition. Formerly I was a Community Mental Health Counselor, Critical Incident Stress Mental Health Debriefer, college faculty, community development director and a wellness educator. My experience working in organizations helps me to draw on my knowledge and make contributions to board discussions that increase the health of our association.


What methods would you use to help grow membership in your region?

I would continue to reach out to people in Region 4 and encourage them to join. I think it is important to maintain the strong voice of public health professionals working in our communities, sometimes with just a small staff to serve the public every day. I would keep an eye out for those who have specific expertise that would strengthen the work of MPHA committees. It is important to invite people from a cross section of professions that support public health and are committed to healthy communities.



---Stefanie Tassaro---


Why do you want to serve on the MPHA executive board?

Serving on the MPHA executive board would be an opportunity for me to learn from and collaborate with other public health professionals across the state. I am hoping to gain a broader understanding of work being done to advocate for and influence public health systems not only in Region 4, but also in Montana as a whole. MPHA has been an invaluable resource for me during my public health career and by serving on the executive board I hope to ensure that others can have a similar experience. I recently began a Public Health Certificate program through the University of Montana, which I believe would complement this opportunity to serve on MPHA’s executive board.


What strengths do you bring to the MPHA executive board

As the Accreditation Coordinator and QI Specialist for Gallatin City-County Health Department, I have experience working with different program areas in a variety of capacities. Through my work, I have gained a broad understanding of public health systems, as well as ground level approaches for pursuing innovation and improvement. I have also successfully lead local efforts to increase public health awareness, from promoting involvement in the Community Health Assessment to coordinating staff appreciation events during National Public Health Week. I am organized, detail-orientated, and follow tasks through to completion. I believe these are important skills to bring to the table during professional meetings and at recruitment and networking events.


What methods would you use to help grow membership in your region?

I hope to use my personal experience with MPHA to share with others the value of being a member. This will be my fourth year attending the annual MPHA conference, and each year I have looked forward to learning from and sharing resources and information with other public health professionals. MPHA has been a great resource for my professional development, and I hope sharing my personal story will encourage others to join. I am creative and can help establish platforms to grow interest in the field to reach a wide variety of audiences.

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