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Featured Member

Audrey M. Stevenson

Audrey is the Family Health Services Division Director of the Salt Lake Valley Health Department (SLVHD).

In her interview, Audrey discusses the innovative ways that the SLVHD has been forging collaborations to better provide for the needs of their community. She talks about her passion for public health and for providing services to her community. She also explains how CCPH has been helpful in providing her with information she needs, “I enjoy the newsletter. It lets me know how others are facing and solving challenges and it shares best practices.”

Briefly, what is the mission of your organization?
What do you most want people to know about the work that you do and the unique characteristics of your organization?
What are you passionate about in your work? What has motivated you to become involved in community-university partnerships?
What is your dream for the future of your organization and/or community-campus partnerships you're involved in?
What wisdom would you like to communicate to others in this field? What advice would you give to a student or professional just entering into the field?
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work and how are working to overcome it?
If you could give advice to a policymaker what would you recommend?
Why did you join CCPH? How would you describe the organization to your colleagues?
What does “community-campus partnership” mean to you?
What value do you see in being a member of CCPH to meet your future goals for your organization and for the field? What is your favorite part of CCPH?
What strengths and talents do you bring to CCPH?
What has been your biggest challenge at work and how have you overcome it?
What keeps you motivated to do the work you do?

Q: Briefly, what is the mission of your organization?

A: The Mission of the Salt Lake Valley Health Department is:

To Promote and Protect Community and Environmental Health

Values

Quality: commitment to excellence with integrity and professionalism

Respect and Understanding: for the diversity of the community and our organization

Prevention: through innovation and education

Communication and Collaboration: with ourselves and the community

Q: What do you most want people to know about the work that you do and the unique characteristics of your organization?

A: W\The Salt Lake Valley Health Department (SLVHD) has been innovative in forging collaborations to better provide for the needs of our community.

Currently the SLVHD has collaborations with the University of Utah Department of OB/GYN for the provision of prenatal care to low income women and women without healthcare coverage, the majority of which are Hispanic women. We also have collaboration with the University of Utah Department of Pediatrics for the provision of pediatric services for uninsured and low income families. The pediatric clinic also provides a residency training program for pediatric residents.

These services are provided at the South Main Public Health Center and provide "wrap around" public health services, including WIC, immunizations, Medicaid, public health nursing, etc. Residents training at South Main receive experience working with a variety of cultures and are provided an enriched experience in working with a public health focus.

The SLVHD also has a midwifery program that is in conjunction with the University of Utah College of Nursing. This program is housed at the Ellis Shipp Public Health Center. Women are served on a sliding fee schedule and are able to receive the wrap around public health services at the same location that they receive prenatal and women's health services.

The geographic locations of the two clinics are in different areas of the valley. In addition to the two clinics mentioned, the SLVHD has 4 other offices providing public health services.

Q: What are you passionate about in your work?

A: I have worked at the SLVHD for the past 18 years. The majority of my career was in direct services. I worked as a Nurse Practitioner providing health care services at the clinic level. I love public health and enjoy working with other community agencies to provide services to the members of the community.

As a county health department, our community includes over 1,000,000 individuals. It has been a challenge continuing to provide high levels of public health services as resources dwindle. The staff of the SLVHD is committed to providing the highest quality public health services to the community. It is an honor to work with so many tremendous public health professionals. The most rewarding aspect of my job is participating in the provision of services that benefit the community in so many ways.

Q: What is your dream for the future of your organization and/or community-campus partnerships you're involved in?

A: We are in the process of building a new public health center. The new building will house the medical collaborations we have for obstetrics and pediatrics, as well as the public health services mentioned above. Dr. Karen Buchi, the Medical Director of the South Main clinical collaboration, has been working with the Teen Mother and Child program at possibly integrating into the clinical collaboration at the South Main Clinic.

My hope is that this and other collaborations can be forged in an effort to continue to improve access to needed public health and clinical services.

Q: What wisdom would you like to communicate to others in this field? What advice would you give to a student or professional just entering into the field?

A: I have been fortunate to work with visionary leaders in both the public health and medical community. The professional relationships fostered with the University of Utah Department of Pediatrics and OB-GYN has been integral in the success of the collaborations. Tireless work on the part of Dr. Buchi who constantly champions the cause of the clinic through the writing of grants and other fund raising efforts has been a vital part of the success. Having visionary leaders within the SLVHD that educate policy makers and others about the value to the community of supporting these types of collaborations has also been key to the continued success of this collaboration. Last, the employees at the South Main Clinic are the heart and soul of the collaboration. They are directly responsible for providing the excellent patient care.

Forging trusting relationships with community partners, being willing to take risks and keeping the needs of the community always in the forefront are the most valuable tools for success.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in your work and how are working to overcome it?

A: Adequate resources to keep programs running is always a challenge. We are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to reduce the costs of programs and keep costs to patients minimized.

Q: If you could give advice to a policymaker what would you recommend?

A: Clinical collaborations between public health and medical providers are an effective way of providing low cost, effective services. With the emphasis on public health, this is an excellent way of providing enhanced services to the community. Therefore, funding streams should be directed at these types of collaborations.

Q: Why did you join CCPH? How would you describe the organization to your colleagues?

A: Dr. Buchi was instrumental in my joining CCPH. CCPH is an excellent resource for community and health partnerships like ours. In addition, CCPH has provided excellent tools and expertise in guiding our collaboration.

Q: What does “community-campus partnership” mean to you?

A: It means a partnership between academics and the community.

Q: What value do you see in being a member of CCPH to meet your future goals for your organization and for the field? What is your favorite part of CCPH?

A: CCPH is a national resource for collaborations between academics and community agencies. CCPH remains on the cutting edge in the provision of training and networking. CCPH is dedicated to providing for the success of such partnerships as ours. I enjoy the newsletter. It lets me know how others are facing and solving challenges and it shares best practices.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge at work and how have you overcome it?

A: My biggest work challenge is initiating change. With a large workforce, change is sometimes difficult to implement. I have found that keeping communication lines open and involving workers at all levels assists the transition.

Q: What strengths and talents do you bring to CCPH?

A: I have worked in academics, medicine and public health. I feel that I have an understanding of all three realms. I have also been in a leadership role for several years and feel that I have knowledge and ability that I can share with colleagues.

Q: What keeps you motivated to do the work you do?

A: I have so much to continue to learn. I love my job and find tremendous satisfaction in providing public health services to the community.

Audrey M. Stevenson MSN, FNP, MPH
Family Health Services Division Director
Salt Lake Valley Health Department
2001 So. State, S-3800
Salt Lake City, Utah 84190-2150
T. 801.468.2756
AStevenson@slco.org
http://www.slvhealth.org


To read about other previous featured members click here.

 

 
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