This committee oversees the awards presented at the Celebrate Public Health dinner, which is held one evening during the Annual Combined Public Health Conference. The Committee Chair issues and receives requests for nominations.  Committee members are provided the nominations via email prior to a conference call during which the committee discusses each award and the nominations and determines which candidate most exemplifies the attributes of the award for which they were nominated.  The Chair shares the results with the OPHA Governing Council prior to working with the OPHA Executive Director to get plaques engraved for each of the recipients.  The committee chair provides information about each of the award winners for inclusion in the Celebrate Public Health dinner program. Time commitment for committee members is 1-2 hours to review the nominations and 1-2 hours for the conference call to select award winners. Contact: Olivia Biggs, Chair 740-346-6488


The OPHA Governing Council is the leadership body of the organization. Comprised of an elected Executive Board and members at large as well as committee and section chairs, the group meets approximately monthly throughout the year to review, update and evaluate progress in implementing its work plan, discuss and develop policy platforms and direction, and to develop educational opportunities for its members, partners and the public. All members are encouraged to attend Governing Council meetings and to participate on committees and/or work groups and in sections. For information about specific meetings, please contact us.

Contact: Joe Ebel, Chair 740-349-6535

Celebrate Public Health Awards Dinner

The Annual Dinner was quite a success this past May. We originally had 85 people register for the dinner. with over 92 that eventually came. The next Annual Dinner is scheduled for May 16, 2017. Any help on the planning committee would be greatly appreciated. We also need Corporate/ Academic/ Philanthropic sponsors, donations for the raffle, printing of the brochures, and help the evening of the event.

As a side note for next year’ s dinner, please register at least a week before. They need to order the food in advance.

Contact: Peter Denkowski, BSN, RN, MS, Chair 740-403-7689


The Communications Committee is tasked with conveying OPHA’s mission through various media to outside audiences as well as among internal sections and committees.  It oversees news, information and documents posted on the web site and social media. New committee member as well as original news items are always welcomed!

Contact: Jenny (Lin) Leal, Chair 614-330-2667

Education and Programs

Contact: Mike Smeltzer, MPH, Chair 614-766-7789


The Finance Committee is charged with the development of the Association’s annual budget and with making recommendations on fiscal related policies such as disposal of outdated equipment, types of fund raising activities, etc. The Treasurer chairs the Committee and membership is open to all interested members.

Contact: Claire Boettler, Chair 216-201-2001 x1300

Health and Equity in All Policies

The Health and Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) standing committee was established in 2015 for the purpose of “promoting the inclusion of health and health equity in all decision making throughout Ohio.” The Committee formulates goals and strategies that aim to position the Association as a leader in addressing local and statewide policies that impact public health.

Contact: Robert Jennings, Chair 614-354-5342


Ohio’s oldest statewide professional public health association is also its largest and collectively represents public health disciplines, friends of public health, and those interested in public health issues. As a professional society for those engaged or interested in public health, the Association exists to promote an understanding and appreciation for public health among the general population and to build a sense of unity among the public health disciplines.

It is OPHA’s mission to be an inclusive voice for public health and to enable the achievement of optimal health of every Ohioan.

Contact: Wally Burden, Chair 740-947-7721

Public Policy

This committee is established to assist the organization and the members in formulating coherent and well researched policies addressing current, important public health issues. In addition this committee follows Ohio statehouse legislation that impacts public health making recommendations to Governing Council regarding support or opposition to various legislative initiatives. We also serve as a liaison to the American Public Health Association for promoting action on national public health issues. Members of the committee are the organizations active voices for informing the public and policy makers about public health matters of importance.

The Policy Committee has monthly meetings/calls and publishes a monthly Legislative Update.

Contact Co-Chairs: Joe Ebel or Mike Smeltzer, 614-766-7789

Contact: Mike Smeltzer, Chair 614-766-7789

Strategy and Planning

The Strategic Planning Committee is facilitated by the Past President and is responsible for monitoring progress toward completion of the strategic plan’s goals and objectives.  The Past President provides progress updates to the Governing Council on a quarterly basis.  The process for developing a new strategic plan occurs at least every five years.

Contact: Joe Ebel, RS, MS, MBA, Chair 740-349-6535