This past Friday, the PHAST team had one of its monthly meetings and at this particular meeting, I saw a familiar face from the NACCHO conference I attended in July this year, Lisa VanRaemdonck.
An alum of HBHE, she also received her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from UM and is now Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials and Public Health Alliance of Colorado and the Co-Director of the Colorado Public Health Practice-Based Research Network. Whew… Even typing that was a lot of work !
During her discussion of her background and experience with state and local level public health, she dropped some brilliant “nuggets” of advice and information on us. Here are a few of those nuggets:
1. Networking — Yeah, this seems to be emphasized everywhere and it can be a struggle .. but Lisa talked about her transition in moving to Colorado, knowing very few people, and connecting with many more individuals due to her relationship with the Associate Director of the Office of Public Health Practice at UMSPH, Rebecca Head, PhD, DABT.
She also mentioned how she almost never goes into a meeting without one person from Michigan sitting at the table. As we network, we should seek out these people from the mitten – we will find a “strange loyalty” amongst Michiganders/Michiganians.
Lisa also stressed the importance of diving deep in conversations with the people you work with – you never know what their background is, given the multidisciplinary nature of the field of public health and you may be pleasantly surprised! Lisa, for example, went to Michigan State for undergrad (like me!) and has a background in marketing as well.