Letter from New President Tunu Kilebrew

We are amid the year 2021 and are still being ravaged by the pandemic of COVID-19. Public health is standing firm, but as we look back over the last year and look towards the future, the words Reflect-Renew-Rebuild come to mind. In these days our public health profession is so needed and far too often, so misunderstood. But throughout Ohio, public health professionals answered the call. We reassigned our teams and worked countless hours. We joined together to keep our communities as safe as possible. We rolled up our sleeves to give and receive vaccines.

Despite the demands of our day-to-day work, OPHA continued to care, continued to speak, and continued to:

  • Build understanding for Racism as a Public Health Issue, and the importance of Health and Equity in All Policies
  • Speak out against legislation that attempts to eliminate vaccine mandates
  • Host a virtual recognition for OPHA members featuring APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin
  • Promote the value of investing in our public health infrastructure
  • Help strengthen the capacity of our public health workforce.

As the inclusive voice of public health in Ohio, OPHA can continue to play a leading role in these critical initiatives, but we can only do so with your help. We need you! Get involved on a committee or in a section, help grow the membership and continue to pay your dues. Our strength is in our numbers and our professional diversity.

Before closing, I want to thank David Maywhoor for his unwavering and steadfast leadership as our executive director for the last three years. David has decided to retire from his current role but will continue to assist us with our dental equity initiative. Thank you to Alexandria Jones as immediate past president and her continued guidance as we make decisions for OPHA.

For our future, Debbie Wright has taken on expanded responsibilities as our operations coordinator. Angela DeJulius is joining us as the president-elect, and Cheryl Davis has joined our team on an interim basis to assist with our governance and strategic issues.

As the new OPHA President I know that we will only survive together as a team. We are a collective voice for public health in Ohio. We all want better health for all Ohioans. Join us in our advocacy and education efforts for the future of our health.

Tunu Kilebrew
OPHA President