Screening and Special Services
14 year of service
Who inspires you?
My colleagues inspire me. They come to work every day to help the children and families of Oklahoma receive the services and resources needed to improve health outcomes. If barriers are identified, they work diligently to find a solution.
Got any favorite quotes?
I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.—Lou Holtz
If someone was interested in a public health career, what advice or encouragement would you give them?
Public health is an extremely rewarding career and it allows you to collaborate with various entities across the state to ensure optimal services are provided. There are many facets to public health. It is important to be aware of the various programs and services provided. I recommend reaching out to a public health organization to see if there are internships or volunteer opportunities available as that would allow the individual to receive a hands-on experience and help guide them to where their passion may lie.
How did you start working in public health?
I began my public health career at Stephens County Health Department as a public health nurse.
Can you share a few highlights of your experience in public health? What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I provided direct services to individuals of all ages at the county level, statewide education to birthing hospitals and healthcare providers, performed quality assurance and improvement activities, provided cases management services for children with abnormal newborn screen results, collaborated with multiple partners to improve services provided. I have also coordinated services outside Oklahoma to ensure families who move out of state, or need to seek services elsewhere, have barriers minimized and a smooth transition.
The most rewarding part of my work is collaborating with partners, both internal and external to OSDH, to ensure services are provided to the children and families of Oklahoma.
In your role, how do you educate people about public health?
I provide information about the programs within Screening and Special Services, as well as other services provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, through meetings and presentations and engagement with stakeholders. I take every opportunity to educate and connect individuals and organizations to programs that may be of interest and to cultivate relationships that will enhance services provided.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is trying to identify solutions with limited resources when there are barriers or obstacles for children to receive the care and services needed; however, it is also the most rewarding part of job when a solution is identified and the child’s or family’s needs are met.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had in Public Health?
I have had the privilege of experiencing several rewarding moments in my public health career. A few of my favorites moments include going through the process to add Severe Combined Immunodeficiency to the Newborn Screening Panel, and pulling together resources across the state to ensure midwives have the tools and resources necessary to offer pulse oximetry screening in order to potentially identify babies born at home with a critical congenital heart defect. I have enjoyed collaborating with specialists across state lines to ensure follow-up recommendations are provided for children who have an abnormal newborn screen results when a needed specialist is not available within our state.