OPHA Leadership

Governing CouncilExecutive BoardCommitteesSections

Governing Council

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. The whole Governing Council meets every two months. For information about specific meetings, please contact us.







Governing Council 2018-19 99.18 KB 133 downloads



Contact: Ohio Public Health Association,

Executive Board

The OPHA Executive Board is comprised of five key officers, those being the President, President-elect, Past President, Treasurer and Affiliate Representative to the APHA Governing Council (ARGC).  These five leaders provide broad oversight for the organization, work with the Governing Council to develop and implement the strategic plan, and to craft and monitor annual budgets.  The Executive Board serves as the primary “face” of the organization, by representing the organization at the state and national levels in both meetings, in providing legislative testimony and in communications with the media.  The Executive Board also provides direction to the OPHA staff.






OPHA Officers 2018-2019
President Natalie DiPietro Mager, PharmD, MPH
Past President Joe Ebel, RS, MS, MBA
President-Elect Robert Jennings
Treasurer Claire Boettler, MPH, RN

ARGC Rep: Rosemary Chaudry, PhD, MPH, MHA, MS

Contact: Ohio Public Health Association,


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 inititives. 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: Mike Smeltzer, Chair 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

Academic Section

Chiropractic Health

Clinical Health

The mission of the Clinical Health Section is to provide a forum for diverse health professionals to explore and address the pertinent and emerging issues which intersect clinical health with public health.  Areas of interest include improving the relationship and communication between interdisciplinary team members providing clinical public health services; anticipating future clinical public health issues; embracing new technologies into public health practice; working with clinical partners within the community to assure better and more efficient care for individuals; and increasing the understanding and awareness of the opportunities to impact clinical health through public health strategies.  We encourage any individual involved or interested in clinical health, especially how it intersects with public health, to join the Section. All health professions and students studying in health disciplines are welcome.

Go to Clinical Health Section page

Contact: Jennifer Kowalsky MS, MPH, PHD, Chair 740-591-9197

Environmental Public Health

The OPHA Environmental Public Health section consists of professionals representing various public health specializations. The overarching focus of the section is to objectively and collaboratively address issues related to the interface of environmental quality and human health. Issues include, but are not limited to, increasing understanding and/or addressing concerns regarding: physical, chemical and biological agents or contaminants in various matrices such as air, water, soil and food; influence of the built environment; potential impacts of climate change; awareness and roles of the environmental public health profession; and, applicable programs and policies.

Go the the Environmental Public Health Section page

Visit the Climate and Health page

Contact: Nichole Lemin, Chair 614-525-3852


Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems.

The OPHA Epidemiology Section seeks to advance the personal and professional growth of those studying and working in the field of epidemiology and to promote effective, evidence-based public health practice by connecting those with epidemiological expertise with users of scientific information.

Participation in the Epidemiology Section offers epidemiology students and practitioners, as well as consumers of epidemiological data access to a variety of activities including:

  • Attending educational opportunities to learn more about epidemiological data and topics
  • Conducting collaborative research relevant to health in Ohio, and
  • Networking with others interested in Epidemiological work

Membership in the section is open to all OPHA members, whether formally working and studying in the field or just interested in building their epidemiological skills.

Contact: Ross Kauffman, Chair

Public Health Education

The mission of the Public Health Education Section is to enhance the Public Health profession by strengthening the professional preparation and practice of Health Education through encouraging professional development, while promoting and sustaining a credentialed body of Public Health Educators and Practitioners. The proposed goals are to recognize and support professional excellence and interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of Public Health Education; to promote professionalism, diversity, and cultural competence of Ohio Public Health Educators, and to inform Ohio communities and other professionals about the importance of Public Health Education. These goals are achieved through the following objectives:

1. Recruit a diverse assembly of Public Health education leaders throughout Ohio

2. Innovate the field of Public Health education through interdisciplinary collaboration, opportunities for professional development, and community involvement

3. Disseminate the latest evidence-based practices within the field of public health and health education

Go To Public Health Education Section page

Contact: Vacant, Chair

Public Health Nursing

The mission of the Public Health Nursing Section is to promote the public health nursing workforce, support competent public health nursing practice, influence and inform public policy and to develop, provide and promote leadership within public health nursing. The group’s additional goals include strengthening relationships with Ohio’s Colleges, Schools of Nursing and Schools of Public Health, as well as strengthening communication with public health organizations and other collaborative partners. The group meets quarterly in the Columbus area, with teleconference meetings in the remaining months, and plan an annual Public Health Nursing Conference typically held in December in the Columbus area. For more information or to become a member, please contact us.

Go to Public Health Nursing Page

Contact: Kelly Engelhart, RN, BSN, MPH, Chair 330-627-4866


In 2016 OPHA created a specific Student Section, to fully recognize the importance of students in various Public Health and health-related fields of study.  This section will coordinate Public Health awareness events/programs across our state by involving members from many academic institutions.  The Section will also work to increase the opportunities for internships, mentoring and communication among students across Ohio.

Go to Student Section page

Contact: Austin Hilt, Chair 740-513-6239

Vision Care

The Ohio Public Health Association Vision Care Section is an interdisciplinary group of clinicians, public health professionals, educators, and advocates.  The mission of the OPHA Vision Care Section is to promote vision health across all ages, recognizing that vision impairment is a considerable public health concern that can occur through many different mechanisms at any age.  The goal of the OPHA Vision Care Section is to improve awareness of vision health through policy and educational advances.  Expertise in the vision care section facilitates extensive cross-disciplinary engagement to advance a common goal of optimal vision health for all.  Efforts by the OPHA Vision Care Section have been instrumental in state and national advocacy campaigns, resulting in increased awareness of vision impairment as a critical public health threat, allowing us to effect change.

Go To Vision Care Section page

Contact: Dean VanNasdale, OD, Chair 614-688-1314

Vital Statistics

The goal of the Vital Statistics Section is to assist all registrars and deputy registrars throughout the state of Ohio in whatever means possible. The focus is to be a liaison between the local health departments and the Bureau of Vital Statistics as well as to provide input with legislation when possible. This section is moderated by a chair and co-chair which are elected by all section members. The group meets monthly via webinar to stay up-to-date on current issues. We further gather yearly by way of an annual conference which informs local health departments vital statistic staff members with information that is viable to each local office.

Go to the Vital Statistics Section page

Contact: Tunu Kinebrew, MPA, Chair 513-352-2914