I am delighted to be a part of Manatee County Government, Employee Health Benefits, and the Manatee YourChoice Team. Manatee County Government’s robust health and wellbeing programs are a testament to the organization’s value for its staff, not just as employees but as contributing members of our community. What attracts me to this unique position as Health Service Manager is my desire to be a part of a winning team – one committed to employee wellbeing and one that understands the value of data to drive quality improvement in program design. To this new position, I am excited to extend over 20 years of experience in prevention program design, teaching, and team engagement. I vow to be a leader who listens with intent and empathy, acts with integrity, and respects the contributions and opinions each team member brings to the table. Our diversity of culture, generation and intellect is our strength.
My work spans across multiple sectors in the fields of community health and workplace wellness. I have had the privilege of working with multiple local school districts, county governments, chambers of commerce, and community agencies, all with the aim of improving our community’s health and access to resources. My love and dedication for my work stems from a strong educational foundation. I received an Honors Bachelor of Science in Physiology & Anthropology from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Education in Health & Environmental Science from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts in Health Studies & Health Promotion from the University of Alabama.
My professional passion stems from my personal experiences. I have watched so many friends and relatives die prematurely and in great suffering from chronic conditions. I believe lives could have been improved and early deaths avoided had the appropriate resources and supportive social environments been available to them. I also firmly believe that emotions can interfere with one’s ability to care for oneself. Emotions are powerful drivers of health behaviors and we need to take some time to take our emotional pulse, appreciating the intimate connection between our mind and bodies.
Outside of work, most of my time seems to be spent doing laundry, loading and unloading my dishwasher, and sweeping up beach sand found throughout my home. Any spare time I might have is joyfully spent exploring used bookstores and libraries, walking our sandy coastlines and nature trails, shopping vintage and indie markets, and cooking in my VERY tiny house. When I am able to travel again, I hope to spend an autumn week in the Smokey Mountains as well as a summer week in the Azores.
In closing, with 20 years of skill and experience under my belt and I am eager to invest another 20+ more! I ask that you join me on this path to improving health for us all. If you have a question or concern, please reach out to me or my team; our job is to support YOU and to continue on our path of excellence. We have a responsive and talented team of medical and allied health professionals plus an extensive toolbox of resources to assist you. Remember, most lifestyle-related chronic conditions can be managed and even reversed.