Board of Directors

The management and affairs of the Alaska Public Health Association are under the direction of the Board of Directors. The Officers for the organization are the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Affiliate Representative to the APHA Governing Council, Secretary and Treasurer. The President-Elect is elected prior to the annual meeting of the organization. The Secretary and Treasurer are elected from the twelve elective members at the first Board of Directors meeting following the annual meeting. Term of office for the Board Members is three (3) years each.



Mary McEwen, President
Term expires: 2018

BOD McEwen Mary PictureMary McEwen works in the Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Health Planning and Systems Development in Juneau. Her work centers on using data from a variety of sources to answer questions about health status, healthcare access and utilization, and barriers to health equity. Born and raised in Alaska, Mary received her MPH from Yale School of Public Health and certificate in Global Health from the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University in 2011. She credits her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa (2001-2004) with introducing her to the public health field. Living and working around the world, including Zambia, Lebanon, and Guam, has given Mary perspective and appreciation of the challenges of providing services in rural and resource-constrained settings. Her public health interests include health systems and finance, health workforce migration, and health equity.

Jayne Andreen, Past President
Term Expires: 2017

Jayne-7_22_11-IMG_1124  Jayne Andreen has worked with the Alaska Division of Public Health in Health Promotion since 1999, which has community based health promotion, unintentional injury, school health, sexual and intimate partner violence prevention, obesity prevention and control, and tobacco prevention and control. She is a past President of the Alaska Health Education Consortium, the Alaska Public Health Association, and the national Directors of Health Promotion and Education. Her current responsibilities focus on providing training, technical assistance and consultation on community organizing and development, community health assessment, planning and evaluation, injury prevention, and health policy and environmental change. Jayne is a national trainer for the Shaping Policy for Health curriculum developed by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In addition to public health, Jayne has 16 years of experience in community development, policy and environmental change, and advocacy in the domestic violence and sexual assault arenas. She has a BA in Psychology/Counseling from Winona State University, and is a graduate of the Public Health Education Leadership Institute.

Rhonda Johnson, President-Elect
Term Expires: 2019

Rhonda M. Johnson, DrPH, MPH, FNP is Professor of Public Health at University of Alaska Anchorage, and recent past Chair of the Department of Health Sciences (2005-2015) and MPH Program Coordinator (2004-2014). She is actively involved in the UAA distance-delivered graduate program in public health that is focused on northern and circumpolar health issues. She also worked as a primary care provider for almost two decades, including serving several years as Clinic Director and clinician in the Alaska Tribal Health System, and as a past member of the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board (AAIRB). She is part of the administrative core and advisory team for the new NIMH-funded Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Resilience Research (ANCHRR), and current Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Circumpolar Health. She teaches courses in circumpolar health, public health and society, health administration and policy, and public health ethics. 

Sabra Anckner, APHA Representative
Term Expires: 2019

Sabra Anckner is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant with the Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s and Family Health.  Her work focuses on newborn bloodspot screening, critical congenital heart disease screening and infant safe sleep.  She is a member of Alaska’s Maternal and Child Death Review committee and is the Principal Investigator for Alaska’s NewSTEPs 360 project, a national effort funded by HRSA aimed at improving timeliness and quality of newborn screening.  Sabra moved to Alaska in 2015, working in Nome as an itinerant public health nurse before relocating to Anchorage to take her current position.  She began her nursing career in Colorado as a clinical nurse in cardiology, psychiatric care and women’s health, and then transitioned to public health, where she worked as a nurse home visitor and later as an injury prevention specialist and child death review manager at the county level.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Colorado, Denver and her BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  She is presently a student in the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s Master of Science in Nursing Leadership program.  Sabra also spends one weekend a month volunteering in the husbandry department at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.

Deandra J. Ingram, Director
Term expires: 2018

Deandra J. Ingram, MPH is a Quarantine Public Health Officer at the CDC Anchorage Quarantine Station.  In this capaBOD Ingram Deandra Picturecity she collaborates with federal, state, and local partners to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases within the U.S. Deandra has enjoyed public health experiences ranging from her Seeds of HOPE  project exploring health behaviors and outcomes of low-income single mothers with the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, to time as a camp counselor for children and adults with the Autism Society of North Carolina, and providing distance learning education for undergraduate students in the UNC System.

Most recently, Deandra was assigned by CDC as a Public Health Advisor to the New Mexico Department of Health where she supported public health preparedness and Children’s Medical Services program initiatives, and routine disease surveillance with the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Bureau. She was also requested to support CDC’s Ebola response efforts in 2014 as a Public Health Analyst enforcing monitoring and movement requirements for travelers returning from Ebola-affected countries. A native of North Carolina, Deandra received her Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Sociology degree and English minor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her public health interests are rural minority health, health literacy, and chronic disease prevention.

Janet Johnston, Director
Term Expires: 2017

Janet Johnston has aJohnston ALPHA PhD and MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently an Associate Professor of Biostatistics with the Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies (ICHS) at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Janet moved to Alaska in December 2007 to take a job as a Senior Epidemiologist with the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center. In 2010 she joined the Department of Health Sciences at UAA where she taught undergraduate public health classes. Janet currently serves as the Lead Biostatistician for ICHS working on population health research projects. She also serves as the Core Lead for the Alaska INBRE Biomedical Informatics Core and the Alaska biostatistician for the Mountain West Clinical and Translational Research – Infrastructure Network. Before moving to Alaska, Janet worked at the Epidemiology Data Center in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, WV. Janet is pleased to have the opportunity to serve on the ALPHA Board and contribute her experience using public health data to understanding Alaska’s population health needs.

Rebecca Kleinschmidt, Director
Term Expires: 2019

Becca is grateful for the opportunity to use her education and experience to assist with public health efforts impacting her home state. Her public health passions include Community Health Education, Environmental Health, and Global Health efforts. Some of her highlights in the Public Health arena have been youth and family focused disease prevention efforts in rural Alaskan villages, and working in Taiwan to help kickstart Injury Prevention and Environmental Health projects. She knows that the state has many health challenges, but looks forward to using the states varied assets to empower Alaskans to grow toward increased health and well-being. 

John Laux, Director
Term Expires: 2017

John C. Laux is a healthcare consultant based in Anchorage, Alaska, with limited partner-agreement work in Washington, Oregon, and California.  His consulting work specializes in emergency intervention and strategic management of health or human service agencies undergoing significant change, such as leadership upheaval, merger/acquisition, or when an agency requires re-grounding of strategic vision due to the adverse impacts of excessive mission-drift.  John holds appointed positions on the Anchorage Health and Human Services Commission, and the editorial board of “Frontiers of Health Services Management”, an American College of Healthcare Executives publication.  John holds elected positions on the Alaska Public Health Association, and the American Public Health Association’s Mental Health Section.  John holds degrees in public health, psychology, and is nearing completion of an MBA with emphasis in health service administration.

Tazlina Mannix, Director
Term expires: 2019

Version 2

Tazlina Mannix, MPH, works for the Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, School Health Profiles, and Informed Alaskans Initiative (AK-IBIS and InstantAtlas Health Maps). Tazlina was born and raised in Talkeetna, Alaska. She was a professional cross-country ski racer for nearly a decade, and during that time, she obtained a BA in counseling psychology from Alaska Pacific University. Her passion for physical activity and health lead to an interest in public health, and in 2015, she received a Master of Public Health from the University of Utah. Her public health interests include chronic disease epidemiology, minority health, surveillance, and informatics.


Doug Modig, Director
Term Expires: 2018

Romy Mohelsky, Director
Term Expires: 2017

BOD Mohelsky Romy Picture

Romy Mohelsky, MPH is an Epidemiologist at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Native Epidemiology Center. In this capacity she reports on health status of the Alaska Native population, provides technical assistance to tribal health organizations, and manages the health disparities program. She serves as co-Chair for the Alaska MCH & Immunization Conference and is a staff member on the Healthy Alaskans 2020 initiative. Prior to working at ANTHC, Romy worked at the CDC NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office. Romy received a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Waterloo in 2010. Her public health interests are focused around minority health, health disparities, and maternal/child health.

Sarah Nash, Director
Term expires: 2018
BOD Nash Sarah pictureSarah Nash is the Director of Cancer Surveillance at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. In this role, she manages the Alaska Native Tumor Registry, and is also involved with registry-related research to understand the causes of cancer disparities among Alaska Native people. Originally from the UK, she moved to Alaska in 2008 to pursue a PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During this training, she discovered a passion for public health, and a desire to address health disparities affecting Alaska Native people. After graduating from UAF in 2013, Dr. Nash completed her postdoctoral training with the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, during which she also earned a Master’s in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her interests include cancer prevention and epidemiology, particularly the relationships between diet, physical activity, tobacco use and cancer risk, as well identifying and addressing Alaska Native cancer disparities.

Nancy Nix Photo

Nancy Nix, Director
Term Expires: 2017

Nancy Nix is faculty in the MPH Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her teaching is focused on public health and society, social determinants of health, cross-cultural health, public health emergency and disasters, and global health. Her interest in public health was sparked in the late 1970s when she served as an Environmental Sanitation and Health Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador. As she continues her multidisciplinary public health path, she advocates for interdisciplinary approaches to serve public health, in the broadest sense. Nancy has held positions with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a researcher in the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of Parasitic Diseases; a public health advisor in the National Immunization Program, and a senior scientist at the CDC Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit/Guatemala. In 2003-2005, she served as the Associate Peace Corps Director for the Health and Environment Programs with Peace Corps Mongolia. She holds a medical degree, a Master’s of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and a Master’s in Education as well as being a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) since 1999. Her post-doctoral fellowship was at Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College.

Marny Rivera, Director
Term Expires: 2019

Marny Rivera is currently a faculty member in the Justice Center, an academic and research unit in the College of Health at University of Alaska Anchorage. She has been in the Justice Center since 2007. She earned her PhD in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In all three areas of her tri-partite workload (teaching, research, and service) she engages with Alaska’s critical public health issues of substance abuse, child maltreatment, and violence against women. She teaches research methods, biobehavioral criminology, and substance use and crime. As an active researcher, she has conducted numerous research studies examining public health issues and has disseminated information and results through written reports, publications, and presentations. She is interested in the root causes of public health problems, data demonstrating the existence of public health problems, and effective solutions for preventing and addressing them. She has served on numerous state and local task forces, committees, and work groups with the goal of improving public health and safety in Alaska.


Lillian Ruedrich, Director
Term expires: 2019

Lillian Ruedrich came from the East Coast to Alaska in 1980, and landing in Juneau on a sunny day, decided to stay.  Throughout the 80’s and 90’s she worked at a number of different Juneau agencies affecting public health issues, though she didn’t recognize them as such until much later:  Tlingit-Haida Central Council, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, AWARE women’s shelter, and as the owner of the Body Harmonic Massage Therapy Center.  Then a 15-year sojourn in Fairbanks ensued, during which her focus shifted to healthcare workforce development.  While employed at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital as director of the Student Services department, Lillian earned her MPH from UAA and began teaching health promotion program planning as adjunct faculty in UAA’s Health Sciences program.  She served on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Health Commission to distribute state and borough grant funds to nonprofits providing health and social services to borough residents, and also on the planning committee for the Healthy Fairbanks 2020 community health initiative.  In October of 2016, Lillian left her Fairbanks home and relocated to Gustavus, a small community of 400 year-round residents about 60 miles from Juneau, where she continues to teach online and pursue various creative interests.  She is currently serving as Secretary on the ALPHA Board of Directors.

Joe Sarcone, Director
Term expires: 2018

BOD Sarcone Joe pictureIn more than 30 years of public service Joe Sarcone has worked widely at the interface of the federal government with indigenous people.  As a Peace Corps Volunteer he served as a Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Officer in the Solomon Islands.  Later he took an assignment as a Sanitarian with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Malawi Medical Program for Mozambican Refugees. For more than three years he served in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Department of Public Health and Environmental Services as a technical advisor. He came to Alaska to work with the Alaska Native Health Board to implement a rural water and sanitation demonstration project. For ten years he was the Rural Sanitation Coordinator for the U.S.  EPA, Alaska Operations Office, and currently he is an Environmental Health Scientist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) where he works with communities to create a better understanding of the relationship between chemical l contaminants in the environment and the potential for human health impacts.  In 2015 he was detailed to the CDC Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine Against Ebola (STRIVE), a clinical trial to vaccinate health care workers against Ebola. Joe received his MSPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health and he is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).  Joe is a published essayist on public service and work with the underserved


Print page