Executive Board

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 Executive Board meeting following the annual meeting. Term of office for the Executive Board Members is three (3) years each.

LDHA with sonLisa Aquino, President
Term Expires: 2016

Lisa grew up and went to high school in Anchorage, and returned after graduate school. She received her BS in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Masters in Health Science in International Health, Disease Prevention and Control from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Since graduate school, Lisa has made a number of contributions to public health in Alaska , largely at the State of Alaska Division of Public Health including: originating the position of Data and Evaluation Lead with the Diabetes Program; managing the Arthritis Program; originating the Data and Evaluation Lead with the Tobacco Program; managing of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program; and serving as the coordinator from the State of Alaska for the statewide initiative Healthy Alaskans 2020. In 2008, Lisa moved to Cape Town, South Africa. While there, she worked for the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, as the Youth Program Leader. One major project Lisa accomplished there was the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre. Lisa is currently serving as the Executive Director of Catholic Social Services – bringing public health perspective to the issues impacting the most at need in Anchorage. The Alaska Public Health Association has an important role to fill in terms of public health in this state and Lisa is very glad to be a part of it.


Jayne Andreen, President Elect
Term Expires: 2017

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.


Term Expires: 2015

Masayo has worked as a public health nurse for seven years. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from South Dakota State University, a Master of Science in Nursing (International Nursing), and Master in Public Health (global health) from Emory University. For her graduate thesis work, Masayo spent part of two summers researching nursing skills competency in the Republic of Georgia.

She currently works as the Nurse Manager at the Juneau Public Health Center in Juneau Alaska supervising the Juneau, Haines, and Sitka Public Health Centers.  Since 2009, she has lead the community health assessment and improvement planning process in Juneau using the Mobilizing for Action through partnerships and planning framework (MAPP). Finally, she has served as a board member for the Alaska Public Health Association for 4 years. As President-Elect in 2013, she facilitated the planning for the 2014 state public health conference. Currently, she is serving as President. Masayo believes in the importance of education and empowering the younger generation into becoming successful public health professionals. As a supervisor, she mentors and guides many public health nurses ensuring that they have resources to accomplish their mission.


Andrea Fenaughty, Director
Term Expires: 2015

Andrea Fenaughty has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Arizona State University, and did her post-doctoral training in Alcohol and Addiction Studies at University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Fenaughty has been working for the Alaska Division of Public Health since 2002, and currently serves dual roles as both the Chronic Disease Epidemiologist and the Deputy Section Chief for the Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She has co-authored numerous technical reports and presented to policy makers, health professionals and the public on the burden of obesity, tobacco use, and their related chronic conditions in Alaska. Andrea sees surveillance and evaluation as powerful tools that can be used to improve public health programs and, ultimately, the quality of life of Alaskans.

AliHamade Ali Hamade, Director
Term expires: 2016
Ali Hamade serves as the Environmental Public Health Program Manager in the Alaska Section of Epidemiology. The program works with state, federal, local, and tribal partners to assess and educate about the health hazards of chemical exposures, and to develop intervention strategies to reduce or eliminate chemical exposures from air, water, soil, and food. Ali received his Doctorate in Environmental Toxicology from the University of California, Irvine. Subsequently, he performed air quality health effects research at Johns Hopkins University, where he also trained in the risk sciences. He then transitioned to work on human health risk assessment and hazard identification of chemical contaminants, before joining the State of Alaska. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.

Shawne ALPHAShawne Johnson, Director
Term expires: 2016
Shawne has worked in Public Health since 1993 in roles both as a Public Health Nurse and Public Health Nurse Manager. She currently is the Anchorage Itinerant Nurse Manager and work to support teams of Public Health Nurses working in the Southwest region of the state. Her educational background includes a BS in Nursing, an MPH from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and a graduate certificate in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She also completed a fellowship at the Mid-America Regional Public Health Leadership Institute in Chicago. In her work, Shawne is most proud to say she achieved her most significant accomplishments as a member of a team, rather than on my own. She also firmly believes in the importance of helping to support future public health leaders and connecting with other organizations in order to improve coordination and collaboration of health services.

Johnston ALPHA

Janet Johnston, Secretary
Term Expires: 2017

Janet Johnston has a 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.


Alison Kulas, Director
Term Expires: 2015

Alison received her Master of Science in Public Health from Tulane University. With over ten years of public health experience, she serves as the Program Manager for the State of Alaska’s Tobacco Prevention and Control (TPC) Program. Alison has worked with the TPC Program since 2008, previously as the Deputy Program Manager and Community Grant Program Manager focused on community health policy such as smokefree workplaces, increasing the price of tobacco products, youth initiation strategies, and evidence-based cessation programs. Prior to this, she oversaw the Building Initiatives in Rural Community Health (BIRCH) Program at the Rural Alaska Community Action Program and served as an AmeriCorps Member with the American Red Cross of Alaska.

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.

Romy Mohelsky, Director
Term Expires: 2017

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.

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.

Diane Peck Photo

Diane Peck, Director
Term Expires: 2016

Diane Peck, MPH, RDN, is a Public Health Specialist with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Obesity Prevention and Control Program. Diane is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with over 25 years of experience in the field of nutrition and public health, and has worked with DHSS for 12 years. In her current position, she partnered with several other state and non-profit agencies to establish the Alaska Food Policy Council and the Alaska Farmers’ Market-Quest Program.


Natasha Pineda, Director
Term Expires: 2015

Natasha Pineda is a Program Officer for the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.  She works on projects varying from substance abuse prevention to Medicaid expansion and reform.  Prior to joining the team at the Trust, Natasha served the State of Alaska for four years in the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health.  There, she provided leadership for the Alaska Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking and participated on many projects ranging from domestic violence prevention to Healthy Alaskans 2020.  She was a mentor for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Prevention Fellow and a technical assistance team member for the Rural Prevention Pilot Project with the Governors Initiative to End Domestic Violence.  She is a Certified Prevention Professional through the State of Washington.  Natasha received her Masters of Public Health Practice through the University of Alaska, Anchorage in May of 2015.  She was recently inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi based on her academic excellence as well as inducted into Gamma Iota Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Katie Reilly, Treasurer
Term expires: 2016

Bio Photo-Reilly


Katie Reilly, MPH, is an Adolescent Health Project Coordinator for projects related to healthy relationships education and reproductive health promotion with the State of Alaska’s Section of Women’s, Children’s and Family Health. Katie began her public health career in 2004 as a community health educator with the U.S. Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa. During her Peace Corps service, she worked with adolescents to develop peer health education clubs aimed at reproductive health promotion and healthy life-skills education. In 2011, Katie received a Masters of Public Health from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Throughout her years as a public health professional, she has worked on a variety of health topics including: international HIV/AIDS prevention education and advocacy in Tanzania; urban substance abuse research in New York City; and a rural intimate partner violence social norms assessment in Chatham County, North Carolina. Katie’s public health interests are broad, but include advocating for health equity and positive youth development, and focusing on the social determinants of health to address the complex root causes of today’s public health challenges.

Peggy Sue Wright, Director
Term expires: 2015

Dr. Margaret Wright earned her BSN from University of Rochester and MSN from University of Virginia, specializing in rural community health.  Her DrPH is from University of California Berkeley where her research area was refugee participatory governance in public health programming.  She has worked in remote Alaska as an Itinerant Public Health Nurse and Public Health Nurse Manager serving a largely Native Alaskan population delivering a full range of public health services. During this time she was very involved in the Turning Point Initiative working on public health infrastructure development using participatory governance.  She has also been involved in remote clinics and clinic development in rural Guatemala.  Working as a consultant she used Photovoice techniques to involve refugees in needs assessment in San Jose, California.  Margaret has been an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Health Sciences teaching public health nursing theory and clinical in California.  Since has then has worked in Goma, DRC, assisting HEALAfrica develop local capacity to collect and use public health and medical data for project and research evaluation. Now she is back in Alaska as a Nurse Consultant for the Section of Public Health Nursing focusing on quality assurance and quality improvement for the public health nurses and communities across the state.

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