Laboratory Preparedness/Safety Officer
Prevention & Preparedness Services,
Public Health Lab
16 Years of Service
Got any favorite quotes?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 (My dad signed the many letters he wrote to his kids when we were away at camp or school or when we were young adults trying to figure life out).
If someone was interested in a public health career, what advice or encouragement would you give them?
If you enjoy serving others, if you think you will enjoy being a small part of making positive changes in a population’s health, enjoy working with like-minded people, enjoy doing something that really matters, then being in the public health work force is truly something to consider.
Who inspires you?
Memories of my parents, men and women who serve(d) in the military and the fire service, and those who have remained in public health even when it has not been popular to do so.
How did you start working in public health?
The small health care company I worked for moved their office out of state and I took a job at the Public Health Laboratory in order to have a job while I looked for another job. That was 2002. I never did look for that other job.
Can you share a few highlights of your experience in public health in Oklahoma?
Most of my 16 years working in public health have been spent as an administrator at the public health laboratory. My responsibilities have included maintaining or increasing federal funding through coordination of grants, administering CDC laboratory preparedness/response and safety programs, and overseeing the lab’s preparedness and safety programs.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Coordinating and providing preparedness and response outreach to our laboratory/hospital partners and the first responder community. Delivering trainings and establishing relationships with our response partners is one of the more enjoyable aspects of my job.
In your role, how do you educate people about public health?
Many of our partners/clients are educated about public health through the trainings we provide, the joint exercises we participate in, the joint responses to real life events, and through routine day-to-day communications that occur as we rely on each other’s expertise.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had in Public Health?
No singular experience stands-out, but, it is rewarding being a small part of the response team that includes the public health lab, epidemiologists, other members of OSDH, first responders, and local/state/federal law enforcement during a threat event such as an unknown substance being found out in the community. Yes, it is a cool feeling when a joint response to events occurs without incident and all the hours of training and collaboration pay off in the form of a reduction of risks to exposures and rapid laboratory result dissemination back out to the community.