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.

 


Rhonda Johnson, President
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 still actively involved in the UAA distance-delivered graduate program in public health that is focused on northern and circumpolar health issues. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Trainer (Thailand, 1980-83), and 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 Research on Resilience (ANCHRR), past President of the American Society of Circumpolar Health, 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.


 Mary McEwen, Past President
Term expires: 2018

BOD McEwen Mary PictureMary McEwen lives and works in Juneau. Born and raised in Alaska, Mary received her MPH from the Yale School of Public Health and certificate in Global Health from the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University. She credits her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer with introducing her to the field of public health. Living and working around the world, including Togo, Zambia, Lebanon, and Guam, has given Mary perspective and appreciation of the challenges of providing services in rural and limited resource settings. Her public health interests include health systems and finance, health care access, health workforce migration, and health equity.


Doreen Leavitt, President-Elect
Term expires: 2020

Doreen Fogg-Leavitt, RN, is an Inupiaq from Barrow, Alaska.  Doreen obtained her bachelors of Arts in nursing from Carroll College in Helena, Montana in 2001 and immediately began her career as a public health nurse with the North Slope Borough Department of Health & Social Services in Barrow.   Doreen briefly left Barrow and worked for the State of Alaska Division of Public Health in Kenai, Alaska and served as the Kenai sub-regional Nurse Manager for Public Health.  Doreen returned to the North Slope to serve as the Deputy Director of Community Health for one year and then served as the Director for the North Slope Borough Health & Social Services Department overseeing 13 health programs serving over 11,000 residents from 2011-2016.    Doreen is currently the Employee Health & Wellness Project Manager for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation.  Doreen has served on numerous health boards both nationally, statewide and locally. 

In Doreen’s personal life, she enjoys participating with her family’s whaling crew and other Inupiaq traditions like hunting, camping and fishing.   


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.  


Katie Cueva, Director
Term expires: 2020

Born and raised in Alaska, Katie is happy to be back home to skate, ski, hike, and work in public health with her Mom, Melany Cueva. Dr. Cueva is a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow in the Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Health at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), and Associate Faculty with the Center for American Indian Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests include social determinants of health in the circumpolar north, culturally appropriate health promotion, and community based participatory action research.


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.


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. 


Tazlina Mannix, Director
Term expires: 2019

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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.
 


Jennifer Meyer, Director
Term expires: 2020

My name is Jennifer Meyer and I grew up in the Bay Area.  After college, I served in Thailand with the U.S. Peace Corps as an AIDS/HIV volunteer.  Upon returning to the U.S. I attended nursing school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.  After several years as an ER Nurse, I finished a Masters degree in International Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2004, I moved to Alaska and worked in Bethel as a Public Health Nurse.  Since 2008, I have worked for the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Rural and Community.  Development Kuskokwim Campus as an Assistant Professor of Allied Health. In 2017, I completed a PhD in Public Health from Walden University.   I have also served as a past president of the Alaska Public Health Association and Advisory Team Member for Healthy Alaskans 2020.  Currently, I serve on the Make a Wish Washington & Alaska Board of Trustees and the Alaska Nurses Foundation.  These days I reside in Juneau, with my husband, three children and two dogs. 


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.


Patricia Owen, Director
Term expires: 2020

Patty Owen is a life-long Alaskan. She has over 30 years of public health experience in Alaska, including at least 20 years working for the Alaska Division of Public Health. Her experience includes coordinating public health surveillance systems (both the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey), working in the area of community-based chronic disease and injury prevention and health promotion, and school-based health and safety. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and holds a Graduate Certificate in Social Marketing and Public Health from the University of South Florida. Most recently she served as the Health and Safety Program Coordinator for the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development where she also supported the work of the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Task Force. She has served as Chairperson of the Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and was formerly board member and Past President of the Alaska Health Education Consortium. Just prior to joining the Board she received the ALPHA Barbara Berger Award for Excellence in Public Health. She is currently retired, resides in Juneau, and is dedicated to making Alaska a healthier place to live.


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 http://patimes.org/?s=sarcone&x=6&y=5


 

Karla Weise, Director
Term expires: 2019

Karla Weise, RN MPH is a tribal member of the Metlakatla Indian Community, her commitment to improving the health and wellness of Alaska Native people has led her to a career of over 20 years of serving in various capacities within the Alaska Tribal Health System. A firm believer in the strength and resilience of the Alaska Native people, Karla has earned a Bachelor Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Oregon State University to better understand the impact of self-motivation on health, a Bachelor Degree in Nursing Science from the University of Alaska to better understand the impact of health on people and their families, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Alaska to learn about promoting community level impact. As part of her commitment to promoting public health for all people, she also currently serves as a Commissioned Corps Officer in the United States Public Health Service. To advance the health of Alaska Native people, Karla advocates for the integration of cultural safety as an essential component of always considering culture, health literacy, and person and family-centered care, with the ultimate goal of promoting health equity. She currently is an Improvement Facilitator for the Alaska Native Tribal Consortium, where she leads planning and implementation of health care quality improvement initiatives.


Margaret Young, Director
Term expires: 2020

Margaret Young is a Maternal Child Health Epidemiologist with the Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health, Alaska Division of Public Health. She oversees the MCH Epidemiology Unit and coordinates the Alaska Childhood Understanding Behaviors Survey, a statewide survey of mothers of 3-year-olds. Margaret originally came to Alaska on a two year epidemiology fellowship in 2005 and has been working for the State ever since. She grew up living in countries all over the world as the daughter of a US foreign service officer, and she’s proud to say that Alaska is by far the place she has lived the longest. She has a Masters in Public Health in Monitoring and Evaluation from the Department of International Programs at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Her public health interests include the prevention of infant and maternal mortality, and early childhood systems.


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