Please share your public health story on our Facebook page! Share about how you were introduced to the field of public health, what you are grateful for, or anything else you want to impress upon your fellow FPHA members. Thank you! Here are some stories from our members.
“The FPHA brings me closer, virtually and literally, to other people like me, who share a passion for protecting and promoting good health for all people!” Shannon Hughes
“One voice may not be heard while many voices speaking in unison can make a strong statement. That's why I'm a member of FPHA.” Robert Maglievaz
“FPHA is important to me because it provides networking opportunities that facilitate learning how other public health disciplines support improving the health of our local communities. FPHA membership also provides me with resources to improve my knowledge and awareness of public health issues, priorities, best practices with possible solutions or public health interventions that work.” Ethel Edwards
“Because of FPHA I’ve been able to meet others who care deeply about public health issues affecting Florida residents and visitors; importantly, they include people who work not only in different parts of the state, but also in different areas of public health. The opportunity to share best practices, and from different professional perspectives, has been valuable in helping me address those issues in my own community, as well as helping me appreciate the challenges faced by others elsewhere.” Greg Danyluk
“Membership in FPHA is important to me, because it allows me to have a public health resource that keeps me informed and supports the goals of public health in Florida.” Debbie Hogan
"I have been an FPHA member since 1999. Although I retired from DOH in 2011, I am still passionate about public health and have stayed engaged with FPHA. FPHA is the only organization in Florida that focuses on legislative advocacy for public health issues. FPHA also provides educational and networking opportunities for the public health workforce. This year, I invested in the future of public health by giving an FPHA membership to three new public health professionals. This is just one small way we can invest in the future of our public health workforce. " Lynne Drawdy, FPHA Strategic Planning Chair
“Membership in FPHA has been and continues to be very important to me in my professional role within DOH and in my personal life. I have made valuable friends who share my passion, enjoy a great laugh and look forward to spending time with at conferences or when traveling through their areas in Florida.
With FPHA, I have made more of a difference and have had input in statewide legislative affairs, policies and bringing excellent speakers to our Conferences and Regional meetings. Now as the APHA rep for Florida, sitting on the Governing Council, I can promote what we do and what we need in Florida at a National level. Once you join and get involved, you will wonder why you didn’t join earlier!” Lori Jordahl, Past President, Past Recipient of the FPHA Meritorious Award and APHA Rep
“Membership is part of a commitment I have made to promote public health and public health nursing. I hope to help guide future public health professionals with many of the blessings I have had from former members. Membership in FPHA is our public health future in Florida.” Linda Lacomb-Williams
“Membership is one of vital importance for the overall operations and sustainability of any association. Without current members support through membership and the act of recruiting new members, an association may slip into financial and organizational jeopardy. Strength, support and growth are essential in furthering the mission of the Florida Public Health Association. FPHA requires the financial support memberships create and without these generated monies, fulfilling FPHA’s mission, vision and objectives will near about be impossible.” Sandon Speedling
“All of the “little” conveniences of life (clean water and air, walking paths, etc.), are made possible in large part by a healthy public health infrastructure. I don’t want to take these things for granted. I want a healthy and vibrant association that is able to speak on my behalf, and on behalf of all Floridians. Membership just means giving up a dinner or two out.” Rebecca Thomas
“FPHA membership is important to me because of the networking opportunities. Public health involves a number of unique professionals and agencies and only through FPHA am I able to meet and work with many of them.” Richard France
“As a second year student in the PhD program in Heath Promotion Disease Prevention at FIU, I recently became a member of FPHA. When I presented a poster at the 2015 FPHA educational conference, my first FPHA conference, I realized FPHA was the organization for me and, from the minute I joined FPHA, I felt welcome, appreciated, and important. As such, I now serve as FPHA's secretary on their board of directors. I really enjoy all of the networking opportunities provided by FPHA. I have met so many public health professionals who I would probably have not met otherwise, without FPHA. I look forward to many more years with FPHA for so many different reasons such as meeting accomplished and working public health professionals, networking with other students, improving my CV in a variety of ways, and simply having fun!” Jessica Weissman
“I have been a member of FPHA for many years. Membership in our professional organization has afforded me the opportunity to interact and more importantly, get to know my public health colleagues personally. We all share the same passion for public health and once you get to know them personally it is so much more fun to interact at FPHA as well as at work. Knowing people all over the state in public health has been so helpful when I need guidance or assistance. FPHA friends are friends forever.” Warren McDougle
“FPHA has been my professional stronghold as I work in systems that do not yet understand the relevance of public health. You will never regret joining.” Atalie Ashley West
I became interested in FPHA when my colleagues worked with the staff to organize the Annual Educational Conference in Jacksonville in 1989 which also celebrated 100 years of Public Health in Florida. I wondered-What was public health like 100 years (now >125 years) ago? Well, after this event, and with mentoring from the Public Health Laboratory Director at the time, Dr. Eldert Hartwig, the Jacksonville Laboratory Director, Ming Chan, the head microbiologist, Dean Willis, and both Peggy Melton and Bette Holeva, I learned more quickly! We attended meetings, with Dr. Chan and Dr. Willis schlepping the AV equipment and running the overheads (yes, this was a long time ago!) I became interested in the Epi/Lab section, and remember 2 meetings in particular: one when Dr. Roberta Lopez from the West Palm Beach Public Health Laboratory presented on influenza (and I decided it was a scary disease) and when Lea Heberlein-Larson and I did our first session as Epi/Lab co-chairs. We decided to have a poster session in the back of the room and invited a special guest speaker on Ehrlichia from the University of North Florida. Peggy, Bette and I became involved in helping out with registration one meeting when Sandy was extremely busy (and before Marsha started helping out). She looked at us one time, and we were behind the counter in a flash and enjoyed greeting everyone as they came to get their badges. Especially memorable was the “Rapid Response” meeting in Ft. Myers. A hurricane decided to form on the first night, and we started scrambling to rearrange speakers and look for those that had PowerPoint lectures already assembled, as the speakers started to depart for their emergency roles. The meeting was shortened by a day, but we still had a great meeting and learned exactly what it took for Florida to respond to pending emergencies.
Being a member of FPHA allowed me to grow personally with the opportunities in the organization, but also as a professional: I was able to work with, meet and interact with those in various roles throughout the state, building trust, that I also touched on a daily basis at the public health laboratory and later, the agriculture laboratory. This came in especially handy with the events following 9/11. I fully appreciate my FPHA membership, and continue as an active member to this day, even though I have now retired from state government after 30 years and moved to another state and another role in public health. Florida has an organization it can be proud of, and membership in FPHA should be a priority for anyone working and touching the public health in the state, or even nation."
Yvonne Salfinger, Retired Chief, Bureau of Laboratories