5 years of service
Got any favorite quotes?
I was raised on the Serenity Prayer. God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.
Who inspires you?
My family members and the families I work with inspire me. There are some very brave people out there fighting some very tough battles. They give me strength and I am honored they have allowed me and trusted me to be a part of their journey.
If someone was interested in a public health career, what advice or encouragement would you give them?
There are so many different career opportunities in public health. If you have an interest in serving others, there is a job in public health for you.
How did you start working in public health?
A very good friend and mentor retired from this position and encouraged me to pursue it. I had worked closely with people in the Child Guidance Program; people for which I have great respect. I knew what a great resource Child Guidance could be for the community. I wanted to be a part of that.
Can you share a few highlights of your experience in public health in Oklahoma?
I get to see the families I work with become successful at home, school and in public. The opportunities I have been given through my career with public health to continue to educate myself and to serve others. The relationships I have gained within and outside of my agency.
In your role, how do you educate people about public health?
Most people relate health departments to medical needs, but Child Guidance serves children and their families with developmental and behavioral needs. We are seeing more and more blending of physical and mental health services throughout the medical field. My Child Guidance partner and I are continually working to educate other agencies/providers, school systems, child welfare specialists, community leaders and members, as well as the clients we serve, on services and resources we provide as a health department and Child Guidance.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
First, being in a rural community comes with some barriers to services and limitations of resources. Second, is working to eliminate the stigma attached to mental health care. This sometimes will prevent a person from reaching out for help. Third, seeing families in need but not quite ready to reach out for assistance.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had in public health?
Being a member of the Pittsburg County Mental Health Crisis Response Team and some of the crises we have responded to in this community and other areas. For more than 20 years, Child Guidance has maintained a large role in the annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference. This event has an average of 200-300 attendees. It is a great resource for families and providers throughout the state.