In our Alumni Career Spotlight series, you will meet some of our alumni and learn about the important work they are doing to create a healthier nation and world.
Employer: LifeSpring Health Systems
Current position: President/CEO
Location: Louisville, KY/Southern Indiana
Degree(s): Doctor of Public Health, 2021, Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University
Why did you choose your major/program?
I wanted a degree that focused on practice-based principles. I believe the DrPH provided significant benefit to my career.
Briefly describe your career path.
I began working in the criminal justice system, believing I would go to law school and become a prosecutor. In order to create programming, I began writing and administering grants, and was exposed to the value of systems integration, specifically the behavioral health and criminal justice systems working together to improve the outcomes of individuals with substance use disorder.
I eventually accepted a position as a grant writer for a community mental health center. Over time, my position grew to include running the agency’s federally qualified health center program, and eventually I was selected as president/CEO.
Describe what an average day for you might be like.
My days are never the same. I could spend the day visiting rural and urban outpatient clinical settings, working with the legislature on issues that impact our patients and our practice, or sitting in my office meeting with staff and stakeholders. I have the privilege of working with incredible clinical and non-clinical staff, and other community organizations, to improve the health outcomes of our community.
What advice would you give your college self about pursuing your current career path or industry?
I wish I had found public health sooner, but I firmly believe you end up exactly where you are supposed to be. I really thought I was law school bound, and ultimately found my place in community health. My advice to my college self would be to keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep making the next best decision. It’s OK if you don’t have it all figured out. Keep moving forward.
What is a lesson learned at FSPH that you have been able to apply to your career?
At FSPH I made incredible connections across healthcare industries. I was able to see even greater intersectionality between systems than I saw before. You can never have too many connections, and you can never stop networking.
What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
After defense and graduation, I was able to read books that I wanted to read. Also, I was selected as my agency’s president/CEO.
What’s next for you?
I am working to continue to improve safety net healthcare in our communities.
What is your favorite IUPUI/FSPH memory?
My favorite memory from our DrPH program were the residencies. A few of us used to stay together in an Air BnB and we would have so much fun. Once we found this little dive restaurant/bar and brought along our professors who were visiting from the Netherlands. There was a band playing some American country songs and they sang along, but the words were all wrong, and it was the best night.