My start in public health began with Dr. Arthur Agatston, cardiologist, and creator of South Beach Diet on a school-based nutrition and physical activity study. This study operated in both urban and rural areas in Florida, Mississippi, and New York. The research was published widely and led to school health policy reforms with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Later I worked with Alliance for a Healthier Generation, supporting more than 140 schools within 18 school districts in my home state of Kentucky. Together we tripled the number of nationally awarded schools for their improvements in nutrition and physical activity policies and practices.
Currently, I am CEO of Rural Health Association of Tennessee a 501(c)3 non-profit established to lead the way for a healthy tomorrow throughout rural Tennessee via partnerships, education, advocacy and resources. In this role, I am committed to advocating for members who include rural hospitals and clinics, school health directors, and others who live and work in rural Tennessee. My goal is to bring groups together to deliver services that improve health locally, promote peer-to-peer learning and resource sharing, and to elevate rural voices at the Tennessee legislature as well as nationally.
In my free time I enjoy reading, traveling, and hiking with my husband Chris and our three dogs, Alonzo, Jimmy, and Ada Mae.
I AM WHO I AM TODAY BECAUSE OF THE CHOICES I MADE YESTERDAY.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
MASTERS OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Villanova University; Villanova, PA; 2015
BACHELORS COMMUNICATION STUDIES AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Western Kentucky University; Bowling Green, KY; 2003
April 2020 - present
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RURAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF TENNESSEE (RHA)
Leads a 501c3 nonprofit that serves ~700 members across the state of Tennessee. In 3 years, secured $4.5 million in grant revenue, increased membership by 25% each year, and increased conference revenue by more than 150%. Currently in process of standing up a new network within RHA to support more than 200 federally designated Rural Health Clinics.
July 2017 - March 2020
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TENNESSEE HEALTH CARE CAMPAIGN
Provided leadership for a grassroots advocacy organization of more than 4000 advocates. Responsible for monitoring national and state healthcare legislation, advocacy, fundraising, and coalition building. (Tennessee)
August 2016 - June 2017
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TOPS
Provided primary leadership for the management of the organization including program delivery, staff supervision, and general operations. (Tennessee)
February 2012 - August 2016
HEALTHY SCHOOLS PROGRAM MANAGER, ALLIANCE FOR A HEALTHIER GENERATION
Responsible for building support for childhood obesity preventative and educational programs in Kentucky. Facilitated change in schools as it relates to wellness policies and practices for students and staff. (Western Kentucky)
October 2009 - February 2012
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, GIRL SCOUTS WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA
Responsible for marketing and expanding the Girl Scout program and brand in large geographic areas. (Tampa, Florida)
February 2006 - May 2008
PROGRAM AND RESEARCH MANAGER, AGATSTON RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Responsible for the management and expansion of an intervention study for a school-based nutrition and physical activity program in public elementary schools. (Miami, FLorida)
August 2003 - January 2006
AREA EXECUTIVE, GIRL SCOUTS GREATER LOS ANGELES
Responsible for marketing and expanding the Girl Scout program and brand in large geographic areas. (Ontario, California)