Dr. Wilma Wooten has been with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency since 2001, initially as Deputy Health Officer and, since 2007, as the Public Health Officer. Trained in family medicine, public health, and preventive medicine, she has oversight for almost 500 employees and a budget of over $100M, serving a county of 3.1 million residents.
In addition to being a member of PHAB’s Board of Directors, Dr. Wooten is president of the Health Officers Association of California. She also serves on the Board of the California Conference of Local Health Officers, currently holding the role of immediate past president and co-chair of its Chronic Disease Committee. From 2009-2011, she served on the board of directors of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
Dr. Wooten began her career in 1990 when she completed a Preventive Medicine Residency with an emphasis in sports medicine in the joint San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health/ University of California, San Diego, program. From 1990 to 2000, Dr. Wooten practiced medicine as a faculty member in the University of California San Diego Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. She remains a volunteer Associate Clinical Professor in the department and is an Adjunct Professor at San Diego State University/Graduate School of Public Health.
Dr. Wooten is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she obtained a master’s degree in public health in 1981 and a medical degree in 1986. She completed her residency training at the Georgetown/Providence Hospital Family Practice Residency Program in Washington, D.C. in 1989.
Vice Chair, Claude A. Jacob, DrPH(c), MPH
Public Health Director, City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
Claude A. Jacob is the Public Health Director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District where he is responsible for a jurisdiction of over 2 million residents. His previous work experiences include serving as a senior health administrator at the Cambridge Health Alliance, Illinois Department of Public Health, Baltimore City Health Department, and Sinai Health System in Chicago. Mr. Jacob is a Past President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials and serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Health Accreditation Board.
Mr. Jacob received training at the National Public Health Leadership Institute and is currently a doctoral candidate in public health leadership at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Immediate Past Chair, Rex Archer, MD, MPH
Director, Population and Public Health Professor, Curriculum and Integrated Learning College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University.
Retired from KCMO after 23 years as Director of Health for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. He was responsible for safeguarding the public health of nearly half a million residents and a daytime population of almost one million. Presently serves as Chair of the international Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and a member of the Past President Council of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Dr. Archer has served on numerous national committees involved with public health including most recently the Council of Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice, Public Health Foundation.
Under Dr. Archer’s leadership, the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department is, to date, the only health department in the country to win NACCHO’s Local Health Department of the Year award more than once! They are also one of a handful to have earned both PHAB national reaccreditation, and to have led their community to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize.
Dr. Archer completed his medical degree at the University of Kansas and his General Preventive Medicine Public Health Residency and Master’s in Public Health degree at the University of Michigan. He is recognized as a Public Health Leadership Institute Scholar by UCLA/CDC. He has served as Physician in Charge of Employee Health Programs for the Ford Motor Company and has held local and state public health positions in Maryland.
Dr. Archer continues to work with religious and faith-based community organizations to address and improve social and environmental factors that impact public health. He served four years on the United Methodist Church’s Missouri Conference Social Justice Team and is a member of Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) Clergy Caucus. Communities Creating Opportunity recognized Dr. Archer as the 2015 Soul of the City Award recipient. Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2) recognized Dr. Archer as the 2012 Equity Partner of the Year and the 2017 Health Trailblazer award from Calvary Community Outreach Network. In addition, he has received NACCHO’s Model Practice Award for partnership between public health and community organizers.
Research America recognized Dr. Archer as a Public Health Hero for his support of smoke-free legislation in Maryland, Michigan and Kansas City, and for increasing cardiac survivability through improvements in the CPR protocol for Kansas City.
Dr. Archer was the recipient of the 2013 Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work. The award is the top honor given annually to a local health director by the more than 25,000 members of the American Public Health Association.
In July of 2018, Dr. Archer received NACCHO’s Maurice “Mo” Mullet Lifetime of Service Award for noteworthy service to NACCHO that has reflected the commitment, vigor, and leadership exemplified by Mo Mullet’s distinguished career.
Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN
President and CEO, Public Health Accreditation Board, Alexandria, Virginia
Dr. Paul Kuehnert is President and CEO of PHAB, where he oversees all aspects of PHAB’s mission and work, including accreditation-related strategies, partnerships, long-range planning, PHAB’s Board of Directors, committees/think tanks, and student opportunities. Dr. Kuehnert’s career spans nearly 30 years of providing executive leadership to private and governmental organizations to build and improve systems to address complex health and human services needs. Immediately prior to joining PHAB in January 2020, Dr. Kuehnert served for seven years at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in Princeton, NJ, most recently in the role of Associate Vice President for Program. Prior to joining RWJF in 2012, he spent five years as the County Health Officer and Executive Director for Health for Kane County, Illinois, a metro-Chicago county of 515,000 people. In that role, Dr. Kuehnert provided executive leadership and oversight to four county departments: Health, Emergency Management, Community Reinvestment and Animal Control. Earlier, he served as Deputy State Health Officer and Deputy Director of the state of Maine’s Health Department. Dr. Kuehnert is a pediatric nurse practitioner and holds the Doctor of Nursing Practice in executive leadership as well as the Master of Science in public health nursing degrees from University of Illinois at Chicago. He was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow in 2004, a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice in 2010, and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2015.
Secretary/Treasurer, Chris Atchison, MPA
Director Emeritus of Iowa’s Hygienic Laboratory and Clinical Professor Emeritus in Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health
Christopher Atchison, MPA, is the director emeritus of Iowa’s Hygienic Laboratory and clinical professor emeritus in Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Mr. Atchison held secondary appointments in the College of Nursing and the Public Policy Center, and also served on the Iowa Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council, co-chaired the Partnership for Better Health, and was on the Board of the Child and Family Policy Center and on the Steering Committee for the National Academy of State Health Policy. Mr. Atchision was also Secretary-Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Association of Public Health Laboratories. He served as Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (1991-1999) and was the inaugural chair of the Iowa Child Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). He was vice-chair of Healthy Iowans 2010, the Long Term Care Coordinating Council and was a member of the Governor’s Health Care Reform Task Force and the Iowa Empowerment Board. Mr. Atchison was President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in 1994-1995. In 1998 he received ASTHO’s Arthur T. McCormack Award for his contributions to public health practice. He served on the PHAB Accreditation Committee for eight years.
Director At-Large, Ron Chapman, MD, MPH
Past Director and State Health Officer, California Department of Public Health Past Health Officer, Yolo and Solano Counties, California
Dr. Ron Chapman, MD, MPH, serves as Health Officer for California’s Yolo County. He is also a Health Strategist consultant focused on helping health departments build quality improvement and performance management systems. Prior to assuming his position in Yolo County, Dr. Chapman served as Director and State Health Officer of the California Department of Public Health, a position he held from June 2011 until January 2015. His career also includes serving as the chief medical officer of Partnership HealthPlan of California, a managed care Medi-Cal plan serving Yolo, Solano, Napa, and Sonoma counties. For six years prior to that, Dr. Chapman was the public health officer and deputy director of public health in Solano County, California. From 1998 to 2004, he worked at the California Department of Health Services as the founding chief of the Medicine and Public Health Section. Dr. Chapman holds a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor of science degree from the University of California, Irvine. He has completed fellowships in academic medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and graduated in the inaugural class of the California Health Care Foundation’s Health Care Leadership Program. Before entering public health practice, Dr. Chapman was on the faculty at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. He is the winner of the American Medical Association’s 2008 “Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service.” A board-certified family physician, he has dedicated his career to public health and medicine, caring for the uninsured and underinsured in California.
Director At-Large, Colleen Svoboda
Partnerships & Assessment Manager College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Colleen is an experienced facilitator, planner, community health advocate, and performance improvement specialist. Colleen started her public health career providing technical assistance and training to local health departments in Nebraska. She led a team of six to coordinate a successful accreditation effort at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services requiring a focus on community health assessment, strategic planning, health improvement planning, quality improvement, performance management, and workforce development. Colleen was a Program Coordinator at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center managing community grants, implementing community health needs assessments, and coaching community organizations in their efforts to prevent childhood obesity. Currently, she is the Partnerships and Assessment Manager at the UNMC, College of Public Health.
Bruce Dart, PhD, MS
Executive Director, Tulsa City/County Health Department Tulsa, Oklahoma
Dr. Bruce Dart has served five local health departments in three states during his 34-year career in public health. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Tulsa City/County Health Department (THD), a local public health agency of 340 team members serving a county of over 600,000 people in Oklahoma. Dr. Dart serves in a leadership role as a member of several National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) work committees and is a NACCHO Past-President and former Board member. He also serves on PHAB’s Accreditation Committee. He is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and former Nebraska Environmental Health Administrator of the Year. He is a Year 15 graduate of the National Public Health Leadership Institute and his team was co-winner of the Martha Katz award for best project. He has received an appointment as a Visiting Associate Professor in the Oklahoma University College of Public Health and serves on the CASA, MyHealth, and Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Board of Directors in Tulsa. He also chairs the Oklahoma State Health Department’s Obesity Prevention Committee as part of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Drury University (MO) in 1977, his MS in Administration (Health Services) from Central Michigan University in 1989 and his PhD in Health Services from Walden University (MN) in 2005.
Megan McClaire, MS
Chief Deputy Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Megan McClaire is chief of staff of the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, where she oversees the Center of Health Equity and Office of Planning, a program rooted in community engagement and crosssector collaboration to address health equity issues impacting county residents. She also directs implementation efforts for priority initiatives within the department. Previously, Megan was at Advancement Project California, a next-generation, multiracial civil rights organization. In that capacity, she led efforts that used community-driven and data-informed approaches to address social and health inequities affecting California residents. She has also worked at the Boston Public Health Commission.
Megan graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned both a BS in health planning and administration and an MS in public health.
Megan developed and led the Health in All Policies and Boston Fit City initiatives — cross-programmatic and interagency efforts to incorporate health equity and obesity prevention into city policies and practices. In that role, Megan co-led the completion of the first city-sponsored health impact assessment. She also acquired funding and co-managed a health impact assessment on Boston’s living wage ordinance, which demonstrated to city leadership how economic policies serve as a social determinant of health.
Dr. Renée Branch Canady serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MPHI; a unique public trust dedicated to advancing population health through public health innovation and collaboration. In this role she leads the strategic direction of the organization as they strive to build a world-class infrastructure to support the Institute’s diverse and progressive program areas and projects, while establishing and maintaining stakeholder relationships.
Prior to joining MPHI in 2014, Dr. Canady served as Health Officer and Director of Ingham County Health Department, located in Lansing, Michigan. In that role she oversaw the county’s statutory responsibility to protect and promote the health of county residents and lead the expansion of the innovative and nationally known, Ingham County Health Equity Social Justice program.
Dr. Canady has held faculty and leadership positions within the College of Nursing and the College of Medicine, Program for Public Health at Michigan State University where she developed a research trajectory in health disparities and continues to serve as an assistant professor in the Division of Public Health.
Dr. Canady has been recognized as a national thought leader in the areas of health inequities and disparities, cultural competence, and social justice. She has published and presented broadly on these topics and her passion for this work is evident in her personal, academic, and professional life. Dr. Canady has been highly influential in broadening the discussion of health equity and social justice while serving on numerous national boards, review panels, and advisory groups. She has served and currently serves on numerous advisory boards including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) County Health Rankings Scientific Advisory Group, the National Collaborative for Health Equity Advisory Committee, the Institute for Alternative Futures Public Health 2030 project Advisory Group, and the National 10 Essential Public Health Services Task Force, whose charge is to update this foundational public health framework.
Dr. Canady serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and as vice-president on the Ascension Health System Michigan Market Board. In addition, she serves as a member of the Ingham County COVID-19 Special Populations Workgroup, and
most recently was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to serve on the State of MI Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. Dr. Canady has been an outstanding public health advocate, researcher, educator, and facilitator. She earned her PhD in Medical Sociology from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Julie Willems Van Dijk
Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Julie most recently served in Governor Tony Evers’ administration as the Deputy Secretary and State Health Officer for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. From the beginning of the pandemic until her retirement in September 2021, she led the Department’s COVID-19 response, building an infrastructure for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and vaccination to control and contain disease spread. Committed to data transparency and data-driven policies, she communicated with the public as one of the Department’s primary spokespeople, providing regular updates about the course of COVID-19, the state’s response, and the actions Wisconsinites could take to protect themselves.
Prior to joining the Evers Administration in 2019, she was a Senior Scientist at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), and served as the Director of County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a national collaboration between the UWPHI and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, providing data, evidence, and guidance to over 3,000 counties who are building a culture of health. She also directed the RWJF Culture of Health Prize program, recognizing communities across the nation who were advancing health and health equity.
Julie’s ability to lead at the state and national level was built on her strong foundation in local public health where she served for 21 years as a public health nurse, director of nursing, and a health officer for Marathon County Health Department. In addition to her traditional public health work, Julie has served on the boards of Aspirus Wausau Hospital Board of Directors, Bridge Community Health Clinic, and as an elected member of the Wausau School District Board of Education.
Julie received a PhD in Nursing with an emphasis in Public Health Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellows program, the National Public Health Leadership Institute, and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
Mariah R. Pokorny
State Registrar and Director of Office of Vital Records, South Dakota Department of Health
Mariah R. Pokorny is Director of the Office of Vital Records and Accreditation Program Coordinator for the South Dakota Department of Health. Under her direction, the South Dakota Office of Vital Records was the first vital records and health statistics unit in the nation to gain accreditation.
A veteran of the banking industry, Pokorny has focused resources on regulation and customer service in her plan to ensure quality and consistency in the collection of valuable health information used to plan and evaluate public health programs and measure the health of South Dakota’s population. She is currently leading efforts to focus on data timeliness and modernization and to remove silos within state health programs.
Pokorny is a leader in the nation’s vital records community, serving as the State Registrar for twelve years and sits on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS).
As a newly-named Accreditation Coordinator, Pokorny leads the South Dakota Department of Health in an accreditation journey, focusing on the state health assessment and creating new initiatives and programs to address health improvement planning, quality improvement, performance management, and workforce development.
Dr. Benjamin is the executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of public health professionals. He previously was the secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, from 1999 – 2002 following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. For the last 20 years he has been actively practicing public health at the local, state, and national level with expertise in the areas of emergency preparedness, administration and infectious diseases. Dr. Benjamin serves as publisher of the field’s premier journal, the American Journal of Public Health, The Nation’s Health Newspaper and the APHA’s timeless publication on infectious diseases, the Communicable Disease Manual.
Dr. Benjamin is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians; he also is a Fellow Emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians; an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health; a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Stacy Bohlen (Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) is the Executive Director of the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) in Washington, D.C. She is responsible for implementing the NIHB strategic plan, building a strong national presence, and fulfilling the organization’s mission of advocating on behalf of all tribal governments and American Indians/Alaska Natives in their efforts to provide quality health care.
Ms. Bohlen has more than 20 years of national level legislative, policy and advocacy experience, and previously worked as the Director of Federal Relations for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Mich., and a Master of Arts in government from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Fraser is the executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), a role he has held since August 2016. Prior to joining ASTHO, Dr. Fraser served as the executive vice president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Medical Society in Harrisburg, PA. During his tenure he worked with physician leaders to transform the Pennsylvania Medical Society into a dynamic, relevant and effective membership organization representing all of the state’s physicians.
In addition to nationally recognized work at the Pennsylvania Medical Society to address the state’s opioid misuse and drug abuse crisis, Dr. Fraser has been a distinguished leader in public health for more than two decades. He served as CEO of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) from 2007 to 2013, where his leadership was recognized nationally by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Director’s Award in 2014. In addition the American Public Health Association’s MCH Section awarded AMCHP the Outstanding Leadership and Advocacy Award. Prior to joining AMCHP, Fraser was the deputy executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials from 2002 to 2007, and served in several capacities at the US Department of Health and Human Services, including positions at the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Fraser received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in May 1997 and his M.A. in sociology in 1994.
Effective May 1, 2018, Lori Tremmel Freeman, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Prior to joining NACCHO, Ms. Freeman served as the CEO of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) since 2014 where she was responsible for ensuring the success of all AMCHP’s operations.
Prior to AMCHP, Lori served as NACCHO’s Associate Executive Director for Administration and Advancement from 2010-2014, providing vision and leadership in engaging, serving and advancing the interests of governmental local health departments (LHDs) and the public health community. By building strategic partnerships with LHDs and other key organizations, she ensured that NACCHO was a relevant, responsive, member-driven and fiscally sustainable organization. Ms. Freeman also was responsible for strategic membership development; targeted and relevant outreach; developing superior communications, events, products and services; research and evaluation activities; and ensuring sound and strategized information technology infrastructure including database, website, software, and hardware management.
Ms. Freeman has developed and overseen cooperative agreements and grants with a variety of government agencies and private foundations including procuring, planning, developing and implementing annual and multiyear grant proposals. Throughout her tenure in nonprofit management, she has contributed widely in senior managerial roles in strategic planning and visioning, building relationships and partnering opportunities, membership and new business development, foundation start-up and fundraising, the creation of benefits and services, use of technology to advance organizations, event turnaround, and program management.
Ms. Freeman received a Bachelor of Science degree in management sciences from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania and went on to complete a Master’s Degree in business administration with a marketing minor from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After completing her education, she relocated to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and began a 30-plus year career in nonprofit management, holding senior management positions with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI); the American Public Health Association (APHA); the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM); Grant Thornton LLP; the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI); the International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA); NACCHO; and most recently, AMCHP.
She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, Dan, and twin children Ariana and Tristan.
Mr. Eric Ostermann, MPP, is the Founder and President of Badger Bay Management – an association management company based in Wisconsin. Since its start in 2006, Badger Bay has grown to serve more than 10,000 individuals across a variety of different local, state and national organizations – and works exclusively with medical professional societies and public health associations. Badger Bay has a history of working closely with PHAB partners having co-hosted the 2008 NALBOH Conference, managing two of the NACCHO Survive and Thrive Projects, and consulting for both APHA and several state public health associations as part of the Kellogg-funded APHA Affiliate Capacity Building Initiative.
Mr. Ostermann and his team have worked directly with NALBOH since January 2014 and are responsible for the business planning, budget management and the day-to-day operations of the Association. Together with the Board, Badger Bay has facilitated and implemented a new strategic plan that aims to build on NALBOH’s rich history and tradition as the voice for local board governance.
Prior to creating Badger Bay, he served as the coordinator of a 10-department emergency preparedness consortium in Wisconsin from 2003-2006; and served as the Vice President of Membership and Professional Services for the Wisconsin Medical Society from 1996-2003. He was part of the senior leadership team that helped the Society grow record membership. He holds a Masters of Public Policy Degree from the Robert M. LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a graduate of the Midwest American Regional Public Health Leadership Institute (MARPHLI).