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Population Health Staff Meeting: Getting Ready for the Future!

By Linda Poynter, Oral Health Program Manager

The Population Health staff was able to come together and interact on Dec. 13 at the Boone County Library for the division’s annual staff meeting.

After an inventive ice breaker game where we learned a lot of new, fun, and even odd things about each other, Population Health Director Stephanie Vogel gave a “State of Population Health” address where we were updated on our different programs’ great work. We were then able to view blueprints of the new District Office in Florence, see where our office spaces would be, look at colors and materials, and watch videos of the interior.

Dr. Saddler visited to describe accreditation efforts and Population Health’s role, and to hand out service awards to our deserving staff. Melissa Dalhover and Greg Swan were recognized for their 10 years of service, as were our 15 year veterans Marsha Bach, Amanda Beck-Myers and Clint Ibele!

Emily Vollmer and Dr. Robert Shapiro of Joining Forces for Children were our first guest speakers of the day. They gave an enlightening presentation about Adverse Childhood Experiences, which explained the effects of early childhood experiences and how those can result in physical and mental health problems and propensity for violence into adulthood.

Next, Theresa Cruz of 4C for Children, spoke about the Kentucky Strengthening Families Program, and gave evidence that six protective factors practiced as a parent or caregiver can lead to prevention of child abuse and neglect and promote school readiness

For more information on these two topics, go to http://www.joiningforcesforchildren.org

The focus of the day was our interactive topic of Workplace Development and Innovation. Community Health Promotion Manager Paul Trickel gave the group background information regarding “The Public Health T – Complementing Specialized with Strategic Skills.” Using feedback received from all Population Health staff, the managers determined specialty skills that we focused on as groups. Then, each person decided which strategic skill would be needed to develop specialty skills, such as obtaining a living wage, addressing staff turnovers, and loss of public health funding. The exercise allowed us both individually and as a group to envision what skills we will need to address future workplace needs. Paul summed up the exercise by demonstrating the different hats (or wigs, in his case) we will need to wear in order to develop and maintain a capable and innovative workforce.

Physical stretch breaks were interspersed throughout the day to keep us fresh and ready to learn. The day ended with a farewell to our old buildings—the places and spaces where our staff have spent a good part of their lives. Onward to our new building, where we can work together and be an even more cohesive Population Health division!