During the National Rural Health Association’s 2017 Health Equity Conference in San Diego, California, I met Alle Mead. As a Web Writer for the Rural Health Information Hub, Mead and I discussed my work as Director of CADCA’s Geographic Health Equity Alliance (GHEA) and how the national network drives tobacco prevention and cessation in rural areas. Featured in her November 2017 piece, Rural Youth Fight for Tobacco-Free Communities in the Rural Monitor, Mead highlighted my take on the power of youth coalitions members playing pivotal roles in successfully executing public health interventions in rural communities. Youth can effectively garner support for policy development and change, have credibility among peers and neighbors which plays a critical role in educating the community, and provide insight about their generation that powerful data analytics may miss or otherwise improperly contextualize. In her article, Mead also shared perspectives of other public health professionals focused on addressing rural health issues.
To learn more about how youth overall and young coalition members in particular can catalyze community change, click here.
I am committed to a person who loves me for who I am. He and I have two dogs. Cascadia is home for us. I know for sure no one makes it alone; bootstrapping is a cliched dog whistle. I surround myself with truth tellers. I am healthy and grateful for what I have (on most days). I wholeheartedly believe reading gives us super powers. Vote. Exercise. Eat Healthily. Sleep Soundly.