Board of Directors

OFFICERS

PRESIDENT

Heather Thomas, MPA
Public & Government Affairs Manager, Snohomish Health District 

 

Heather Thomas has more than 15 years of experience in strategic communications and community outreach, largely in the public sector. Heather’s passion is helping to translate complex and technical information into messages that resonate with the public. She is currently responsible for communications and government relations at the Snohomish Health District, as well as managing the agency’s public affairs and policy programs.Heather has been involved in a variety of local and statewide public health efforts, particularly as they relate to strategies for the opioid epidemic, foundational public health initiatives, and potential shared service approaches within Region 1 (Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan Counties).

 

 

 PRESIDENT-ELECT

Julie Osgood, MS, DrPH
Vice President, Clinic Network, UW Medicine, Valley Medical Center

President of the Clinic Network at UW Medicine | Valley Medical Center. She provides leadership to the ambulatory network and is responsible for operations, performance improvement, patient safety, population health and care transformation efforts.

Prior to coming to Washington, Dr. Osgood spent 19 years working at MaineHealth, a large integrated healthcare delivery system in Maine. She held a leadership position in the Center for Health Improvement, overseeing population health programs that utilized clinical, community and policy strategies to improve care and outcomes in Maine and New Hampshire. She served as President of the Maine Public Health Association, Chair of the American Lung Association Leadership Board in Maine, and served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Muskie School of Public Service’s MPH Program, the Maine Center for Public Health, the Hanley Health Leadership Development Program, and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

Dr. Osgood holds a master’s degree in Health Policy and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine and a Doctorate in Public Health Leadership from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

 

PAST-PRESIDENT

Amy Person, MD

Health Officer, Benton-Franklin Health District

 

Dr. Amy Person has been the Health Officer for the Benton-Franklin Health District since 2011. Prior to joining BFHD, she was a primary care pediatrician in Milwaukee, WI for 18 years, working with teen mothers and inner city families. Recognizing the impact of health disparities on the lives of her own patients, she pursued a career in public health to better address prevention and the social determinants of health at the population level

She holds a medical degree from University of Illinois as well as a master’s in health care informatics and a GIS (geographic information systems) certificate from University of Wisconsin.

 

 

APHA AFFILIATE REP

David Reyes, DNP, MPH, RN, APHN-BC

Assistant Professor, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership Program, University of Washington Tacoma

David Reyes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT), joining the faculty in 2014. His research include the intersection and impact of policies, systems and environments on health, and health systems improvement and leadership to improve outcomes for diverse, vulnerable and underserved populations. Prior to coming to UWT, he was a Health Services Administrator with the Department of Public Health – Seattle & King County in the Health Services Division.

Dr. Reyes received his Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Masters’ degrees in Nursing and Public Health from the University of Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1983) from Seattle University. He is board certified in Advanced Public Health Nursing.

 

 

TREASURER

Sharon Beaudoin, MPH, RDN
Chief Strategy Officer, WithinReach

Sharon Beaudoin is the Chief Strategy Officer at WithinReach where she oversees programs, communication and public policy efforts that help make the connections Washington families need to be healthy. During her 14 years at WithinReach, Sharon has fostered enormous growth for the organization including growing the reach and depth of services offered such as food and nutrition support, health insurance enrollment and access, and immunization policy development. Most recently she has played a big role in helping Washington build and implement the national Help Me Grow model which improves developmental outcomes by increasing access to child health care, early education, and community resources for young children.

Sharon has a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington and is a Registered Dietician. Prior to joining WithinReach, she worked for the WIC program at Public Health – Seattle & King County.

 


SECRETARY

Seth Doyle, MA
Manager, Community Health Improvement Program, NW Regional Primary Care Association

Seth Doyle is Manager of the Community Health Improvement Program at Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA), a membership organization for Community Health Centers in federal Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington). In this role, Seth leads NWRPCA’s efforts around social determinants of health and health equity, Community Health Worker workforce development, outreach and enrollment, community partnering and coalition building, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)/trauma informed care.

Seth joined NWRPCA in 2007 as Migrant Health Coordinator, providing training and technical assistance to migrant health grantees in region X. Prior to joining NWRPCA, he worked as a Health Educator and Case Manager for the Urban League of Rhode Island. Seth holds a master’s degree in Latin American Studies with a Public Health minor from the University of New Mexico. Seth’s research interests include migration, health, and human rights and he has studied and conducted field research in Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico.


DIRECTORS

Anne Burkland, MPA
Government Relations Specialist, Public Health – Seattle & King County

Anne Burkland has been in legislative politics for almost a decade. She worked at the State Legislature developing messaging and implementing media plans to advance the policy goals of multiple legislators.
Burkland continued this work while working for King County Councilmember Joe McDermott who chaired the King County Board of Health. It was there that she began working on public health policies. Burkland has also lobbied state government on different policy priorities to improve the public’s health. She appreciates the community based approach public health takes to improve our region’s health.

 


 

Adrian Dominguez, MS
Scientific Director, Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health Board

Adrian Dominguez is a Los Angeles native. He received his undergraduate degree in 1989 in Physiology/Cell Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1988 he was awarded the Harvard University Health Professionals fellowship to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he studied Neurology and was introduced to Public Health. He received his Masters of Science in Epidemiology and Bio-statistics from the School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1992.

Adrian has worked in AIDS Epidemiology, quality and risk management for acute and long-term care hospitals, community health assessment and evaluation. Adrian has been the Scientific Director at the Urban Indian Health Institute since 2015 where he is responsible for the oversight of scientific research and projects that impact the American Indian/Alaska Native population nationally.

 

 

Debra French, RDN, CD
Executive Director, Washington State Dairy Council

Debra French is the Executive Director for the Washington State Dairy Council, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of lifelong health and enjoyment of food through leadership in nutrition education. Go to EatSmart.org and discover this amazing resource. She is also the Senior Director of Nutrition for the Dairy Farmers of Washington where she is responsible for the development and implementation of dairy nutrition marketing programs such as the Seattle Mariners radio promotions and nutrition advertising, the Seattle Seahawk "Fuel Up To Play 60" partnership and "Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids" media campaign.A registered dietitian and nutritionist, Debra French believes strongly in communicating the value of nutrition and an active lifestyle with the public.

Debra has authored numerous nutrition education programs, resources and curricula not only for the Washington Dairy Council but for other foods and food groups as well. She has created over 100 printed consumer resources, written articles for various publications and has provided radio and TV interviews on nutrition-related topics. She is both nationally and locally known for her presentations and is a nutrition reviewer for several organizations such as the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.


Jan Olmstead, MPA

Private Consultant

Jan Ward Olmstead, Chumash, MPA, serves as the Senior Public Health Policy and Project Advisor to the American Indian Health Commission (AIHC) for Washington State. In partnership with Tribal Leadership, Tribal Health programs, and community members, Jan helps create Native approaches that draw on unique cultural resources, community vision, and the engagement of Tribal elected officials. She brings an understanding of evidence-based public health knowledge from working with tribal communities. Jan has over 40 years of experience in health policy, public administration, and Tribal and intergovernmental affairs. Her experience includes development of models and curriculum to support culturally grounded strategic thinking and program development. Jan earned a master’s degree from The Evergreen State College, Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Tribal Governance-management, policy, and leadership for Indigenous organizations. She has served as adjunct faculty in the MPA Tribal Governance and General Cohorts at The Evergreen State College. Jan is a certified master trainer in the Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experience and Resilience. She applies a historical and cultural context in trauma informed approaches as a path to healing through Seven Generation Strategies, acknowledgement of intergenerational core strengths, and self-determination. Jan serves on multiple boards and committees to address systemic racism, support equity, and community-driven capacity building in American Indian and Alaska Native health and wellness. Together, Jan and her husband Roger, have four grown sons, their partners, and their first grandchild.

 

Jo Ann Walsh Dotson, PhD, RN

Associate Professor at Washington State University College of Nursing

Jo Ann Walsh Dotson is an Associate Professor at Washington State University College of Nursing in Spokane, WA.  Her research interests include public health, with a special focus on the maternal child health population and rural health promotion. Her dissertation topic was evaluation of home visiting services for high risk pregnant women. Dr. Dotson’s career includes staff and leadership positions in maternal child health settings, including nursery, NICU, PICU, ER  and public health settings in Texas, Colorado and Massachusetts and Montana. She worked in Montana state government from 1990 - 2010, serving in the Maternal Child Health Bureau and Primary Care Office and for the last 13 years as the Title V Maternal Child Health Director for the state. Dr. Dotson was a faculty member at Montana State University and Carroll College before moving to Washington state. She is the director of the BSN Program at WSU CON.

Dr. Dotson Received her PhD in Nursing from Oregon Health & Science University, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Baylor University in Texas.

 

Mohamed Ali, MS, MPH

Program Manager at Public Health Seattle & King County – Hazardous Waste Management Program

Mohamed Ali is currently a Program Manager at Public Health Seattle & King County – Hazardous Waste Management Program (PHSKC-HWMP) where he manages the Residential Service Program. Prior to his current position, he worked at School of Medicine, University of Washington, infectious disease prevention, emergency preparedness, zoonotic diseases program as well as community health programming. 

Mohamed is an innovator, systems thinker and change maker with passion and experience in the areas of health equity, social impact, and community resilience. Mohamed is skilled at developing partnerships between community-based and governmental organizations and facilitating the identification of systemic challenges, incubation of solutions and building momentum for collective action. He is a founding member of the Somali Health Board and played a role in the formation of a Coalition of Community Health Boards in King County. A coalition of under served communities working to promote and implement best practices in the South Puget Sound region.

In 2012, Mohamed had the honor of receiving the National Community Hero Award from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the White House Champion of Change Award in 2013. This was due to his efforts in reducing the impact of carbon monoxide poisoning in the refugee and immigrant communities of South King County. Mohamed is diligent and he enjoys giving back to his community. Besides his involvement in his community, Mohamed is also a proud father of 5 children and has a loving and supportive spouse. This has and will always be his motivation to continue to work harder.

 

Lauren Jenks, MPH, CHES

Assistant Secretary for Environmental Public Health at the Washington State Department of Health and Chair of the Washington State Institutional Review Board

Lauren Jenks, MPH, CHES, is Assistant Secretary for Environmental Public Health at the Washington State Department of Health and Chair of the Washington State Institutional Review Board. She is passionate about public health, environmental justice, and health equity. Lauren has a broad public health background, including post-graduate training from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Prevention Service, a program designed to create public health generalists with an ability to work within the whole public health system and lead a variety of public health programs. Lauren cares deeply about people. She has a calm, assertive leadership style, with a focus on respect, trust, and continuous learning. She brings a deep understanding of public health data systems, using data for decision making, and evidence based approaches and interventions. She tries to live her public health values by occasionally slowly jogging and commuting to work on an electric bicycle. At work and at home, she encourages people to act boldly, make a difference in the world, and to do so with a joyful heart. She lives in Olympia with her spouse, 12-year-old son, and 10-year-old daughter.

 

 

WASHINGTON STATE ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS REPRESENTATIVE (EX OFFICIO)

Dorene Hersh, RN, MN

Chief Nursing Officer at Public Health - Seattle & King County

Dorene Hersh, RN, MN, is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Nurse Leader who has spent the last two decades investing her public health and clinical expertise in improving the health and well-being of communities in the broader Seattle area.  As co-chair of the Washington Nursing Action Coalition, former President of the Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials, and co-leader in the Washington State Foundational Public Health Services Initiative, among other leadership positions, she has extensive experience in tackling complex problems at the intersection of the health care system and community.  Her tenacity, innovation, and strategic visioning skills have contributed significantly to the cutting edge landscape of public health in Washington State.

 

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH REPRESENTATIVE (EX OFFICIO)

Maria Courogen, MPH

Special Assistant, Systems Transformation, Office of the Secretary

Maria Courogen, MPH, is a strategic health leader working with partners and communities to achieve equity and optimal health for all. As the Special Assistant for Systems Transformation at the Washington State Department of Health, she sits on the Executive Team of the agency and leads a group that works to help public health transform through its Foundational Public Health Services work as well as adapt to transformation of the health care delivery system. 

Prior to this role, Maria worked in infectious disease, starting as an epidemiologist in the HIV/AIDS program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She went on to lead infectious disease assessment and program work at the Washington State Department of Health, overseeing epidemiologic studies, becoming the director of the Office of Infectious Disease and the AIDS Director for Washington State, and contributing as one of the architects of the state’s End AIDS initiative. She had the opportunity to travel to India, Zambia, Trinidad, Haiti, and the Republic of Georgia to work with colleagues on HIV reporting and program management activities.

Maria obtained her Master’s of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Science from Boston University.


FOUNDATION FOR HEALTHY GENERATIONS REPRESENTATIVE (EX OFFICIO)

Julie Peterson

Senior Director of Policy, Foundation for Healthy Generations

Julie is responsible for the vision, leadership, planning and implementation of a Public Affairs plan that promotes Foundation for Healthy Generation’s mission through public policy. Julie’s public policy advocacy and legislative work is recognized by Philanthropy Northwest, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the National Network for Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities.

Currently, Julie serves as the past president of the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention. Prior to her arrival at Foundation for Healthy Generations, she was the deputy director of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission. She served as the agency’s legislative liaison and a member of the inter-agency work group on drugs.

 


STAFF

Jefferson Ketchel, MA RS
Executive Director

Jefferson Ketchel is the Executive Director. He manages WSPHA’s communications, operations, programs, and supports the new strategic direction. He has an MA in Policy Studies from the University of Washington and is a registered sanitarian. Jefferson is also a graduate of the CDC's Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute and Harvard University's National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Executive Education Program. Prior to joining WSPHA, he was the administrator of the Snohomish and Grant County Health Districts. Jeff has served as president of the Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials and chair of the Washington State Board of Registered Sanitarians.

A lifelong Washingtonian, Jeff lives in Everett with his wife Emily and their three children Harrison (11), Marjorie (9), and Ruby (5). He enjoys mentoring and leadership development, as well as walking down the block to visit friends or flying off to experience other cultures and places. 

 

Jenna Wilson
Administrative Coordinator

Jenna Wilson is the Administrative Coordinator for the WSPHA, where she supports the Board, Executive Director, and WSPHA membership. Jenna graduated with an American Cultural Studies degree and a self-designed Culture and Creative Expression in Education degree from Western Washington University, and her background is in supporting educational organizations, such as public libraries, children's museums, and public and private schools. She is passionate about ensuring equitable access to information and education, and is thrilled to be joining the WSPHA in this role where she can support public health workers and communities across Washington.

Jenna lives in the greater Seattle area, and enjoys traveling, reading, and a good cheese plate. In her free time, you can most likely find her with a book in hand and her dog Murphy on her lap.