Promoting and Improving     
     Population Health in Kansas

2019 Board Members


Michelle Simmons
Cerner Corporation

Michelle Simmons is the current President-Elect for the Kansas Public Health Association and has served on the board for over six years working on local, state and international projects in public health. Her experience in both public and private sector health care, drives unique partnerships for shared interests in health. As the senior population health strategist at Cerner Corporation, Michelle brings extensive understanding of the evolving health system and regulatory advancement of payment models. The healthcare industry has customarily thought about health care data and individual responsibility as primary influencers of a person's health outcomes. Organizations recognize that alternative drivers, such as economic status, social factors and physical environments are also key influencers in health outcomes. Michelle serves as an advisors for health systems, public health, large employers, and city governments for design of these healthier community innovations. She also conducts academic research in partnership with the University of Kansas for advancement of these models. Most recently, Michelle has been working nationally to drive clinical-community linkage for social determinants of health and adoption of standardized instruments and referral networks across clinical settings. Many Kansas communities have also worked with Michelle Peterson (Wishon) in her previous work with ASTHO, NACCHO and HHS, in emergency preparedness and response at KDHE, and during her local public health work as a regional coordinator in western Kansas.


Daniel Craig

Tammy Walker Cancer Center


Daniel Craig is the Cancer Outreach Coordinator for Tammy Walker Cancer Center.  He has  a strong background in planning and coordinating health promotion and tobacco prevention activities and was chosen as one of WELCOA’s Top 50 Health Promotion Professionals in 2016 Daniel is involved in a number of community coalitions including the Saline County Tobacco Use Prevention Coalition and Live Well Saline County.  He currently serves as the Chair of the Primary Prevention Committee for the Chronic Disease Alliance of Kansas and serves on the Board for Salina Area United Way.  Daniel has participated in Leadership Salina and the Kansas Health Foundation Fellows VIII.

Daniel Craig earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Pittsburg State University in 2004 and a Master's of Science degree in Health Promotion & Wellness Management at Missouri State University in 2006. Daniel competed in track and field at both Pittsburg State University and Missouri State University and currently competes in a wide range of running events ranging from the 5K to the marathon.

Immediate Past President

Becky Tuttle
Wichita City Council


Becky Pattison Tuttle has over twenty years of professional experience engaging community partners through grassroots local coalition efforts focusing on tobacco, physical activity, healthy eating, oral health, fetal infant mortality and worksite wellness.  The majority of the experience has focused on policy and environmental changes to improve the health of the community.

As of January 2019, Tuttle is serving as a Councilmember representing District II for the City of Wichita.  Wichita, Kansas is the largest city in the state and boasts almost 400,000 residents.  Prior to the Wichita City Council, Tuttle served as the Community Development Branch Director for the Greater Wichita YMCA, as well as facilitated the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita.  The Community Development Branch Director provides leadership and management for outreach programs and services including volunteer development, partnership development, fiscal management, financial development, as well as the program and membership experience.  The Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita was established in 2004 and engages community members in healthy eating and increasing physical activity through program and policy implementation.  Prior, Tuttle served as the Project Manager for Health ICT, an affiliate of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County.  Health ICT is a four-year initiative focusing on the prevention of diabetes, obesity, heart attack and stroke.  Tuttle previously served as a Director of Wellness Initiatives for the Greater Wichita YMCA and was responsible for the coordination of numerous programs focusing on chronic disease prevention and management, including diabetes, cancer, youth obesity, arthritis, and worksite wellness.  Tuttle also served at the Sedgwick County Health Department as the Community Health Planning and Performance Improvement Division Director, where she was responsible for public health department accreditation, quality improvement, community health assessment and improvement planning, workforce development, and strategic planning/performance management.  Prior to serving as a Division Director, Tuttle served as the SCHD Health Promotion Coordinator for almost six years, with highlights including the first local health department selected for the NACDD STAR Site Visit process, 2 national “I’m Your Community Guide” awards from the Public Health Foundation and a NACCHO Model Practice designation for the Health Department’s “Business Case for Breastfeeding” initiative.  

Ms. Tuttle currently serves on the Kansas Public Health Association Board of Directors as Past President and was the Awards Committee Chairperson for seven years, Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition Past President, Health Alliance Past Chair, Health & Wellness Coalition Leadership Chair, Tobacco Free Wichita Coalition member, WorkWell Kansas Advisory Board, and has served on numerous local, state and national conference planning committees. Ms. Tuttle is a Kansas Public Health Leadership Institute Scholar, Advance Kansas graduate, Dental Champion, Kansas Leadership Center Champion, Leadership Wichita participant, and Leadership Kansas nominee.  Ms. Tuttle has led a grassroots initiative to educate the community on the importance role that health and public health plays in the community’s vitality, including the development and implementation of a Public Health Sister City Site Visit. Ms. Tuttle is also intricately involved in promoting civic engagement and implemented a “Vote Like a Mother” campaign in the fall of 2016 to encourage young mothers to vote in the upcoming elections.

Her career highlights include numerous local, regional, state, and national awards, including serving as the Coordinator for Tobacco Free Youth Initiative in Indianapolis, Indiana, which received the 2001 American Public Health Association-GlaxoSmithKline Partnership for Healthy Children Award.  She is the recipient of the 2012 Kansas Public Health Association Virginia Lockhart Health Education Award and a 2016 Wichita Business Journal Women in Business honoree.  In 2018, Tuttle was the recipient of the Health Equity Award presented by the National Recreation and Park Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and was nominated by the City of Wichita Park and Recreation Department.

Ms. Tuttle has a Master of Arts from Appalachian State University in Student Development Administration and a Bachelor of Science from the University of South Dakota in Psychology and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies.


Cristi Nance

Oral Health Kansas, Inc. 

With her nearly decade-long of experience in health policy, Christi works at Oral Health Kansas as the Policy Director. Prior to joining the organization, Christi worked as a Policy and Program Specialist utilizing stakeholder engagement and community collaboration to improve the health of Eastern Jackson County, Missouri. In her new role, Christi serves as state representative for DentaQuest Foundation’s Midwest Regional Oral Health Connections Team, as well as, represents Oral Health Kansas at the state house. Christi graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a BS in Business Management and earned a Master in Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center.


Lori Haskett
Board of Pharmacy

Lori Haskett is the Assistant Director for the Kansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program or K-TRACS at the Kansas Board of Pharmacy.  The goal of the K-TRACS program is to improve pain management and reduce diversion by giving prescribers and dispensers access to controlled substances claims history for their individual patients.

Ms. Haskett previously worked at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, as the Director of Injury and Violence Prevention programs.  She is also serving as Treasurer (2nd Term) for the Safe States Alliance, also, Past – President, and has served as a Member – At –Large and Chair of the Finance Committee. Previously she was on the National Child Passenger Safety Board and volunteered at the local level with the United Way and the American Business Women’s Association.

APHA Representative

Megan Foreman

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment

Megan Foreman is a Program Manager at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, where she runs a grant dedicated to the prevention and management of chronic disease. Megan has been in health policy for ten years, most recently as the Policy Director at Oral Health Kansas. Prior to moving to Kansas City in 2012, Megan was a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). During her six years at NCSL, Megan worked on a variety of state health policy issues, served as the content expert on adolescent health, managed a number of grants, and wrote extensively. She also owns and operates ForemanINK, a freelance writing and consulting company which helps non-profit organizations communicate their concepts to policymakers and other audiences. Megan graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in public policy and journalism studies. She joined the KPHA Board in 2015.


Brandon Skidmore
Sunflower Foundation

Brandon Skidmore is a Program Officer at the Sunflower Foundation. Brandon oversees the foundation’s health care programs, including the Integrated Care Initiative. The focus of this program is on attainable and sustainable integration of primary and behavioral health care at the community and statewide levels. Previously, he served as Director of the Bureau of Health Promotion at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, where he worked for more than a decade. He is a Fellow of the Kansas Public Health Leadership Institute and a recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Denise Schuele
Cerner Corporation                        

Denise Schuele is a senior program analyst of Healthy Communities for Cerner Corporation’s Population Health organization.  Denise develops advanced strategies for health systems to know, engage and manage populations to improve the health of workforce and social determinants of health for communities.  She is currently engaged with communities across Kansas and Missouri to identify opportunities available to meet pathways within the population health model that can be applied to their well-being initiatives.

Denise has prior experience in business development, program management and community events since joining Cerner in 2012.  She has most recently organized and executed several Cerner client events for physicians, nurses, executives and other health care IT professionals, overseeing the content and delivery of presentations within several areas of Cerner.

Denise has served on several internal committees within Cerner, developing fundamental training tools for new associates and acted as a mentor to new administrators.  She served on the Executive Women’s International- KC chapter board, as a Cerner representative for more than two years. She currently serves as a member on the Development Advisory Board for the Benedictine Sisters at Mount St. Scholastica.


Charlie Hunt, MPH

Kansas Health Institute

D. Charles Hunt, M.P.H., is a Senior Analyst with the Kansas Health Institute (KHI). Mr. Hunt works primarily on population health strategies, with a focus on improving public health systems through research, development and dissemination of tools and best practices. Mr. Hunt also works on a variety of projects aimed at improving health at the community level, through technical assistance on project design, implementation and evaluation. 

Mr. Hunt’s expertise in public health surveillance and working with a wide variety of public health data help to advance KHI’s mission through research and policy analysis. Mr. Hunt has an extensive background in public health practice, having served as state epidemiologist and director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics at Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) before joining KHI in 2017. Prior to his post as state epidemiologist, Mr. Hunt held served as deputy state epidemiologist as well as senior epidemiologist in the Bureau of Health Promotion at KDHE. Mr. Hunt’s local public health experience includes communicable disease epidemiology, health promotion and community health assessment and planning. 

Mr. Hunt holds an adjunct faculty appointment with the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City. Mr. Hunt earned his master's degree in public health from the University of Kansas. 

Environmental Health Section Chair

Jack Brown
University of Kansas
School of Medicine – Wichita

Mr. Brown, Research Instructor - Preventive Medicine and Public Health, earned his undergraduate degree from Friends University of Wichita, KS and graduate degree in public administration from the Hugo Wall School of Public and Urban Affairs at Wichita State University, Wichita, KS. He is also a graduate of the University of Southern California's Environmental Management Institute, and has completed the Mini MBA certificate program through the Wichita State University Barton School of Business and the Wichita State University Hugo Wall School's Executive Development Institute. He was one of the first groups of environmental health professionals in Kansas to become a registered sanitarian in the field of environmental health. He has 34 years of experience in the field of public health. During his tenure he served for 16 years as the Environmental Health Director and as the interim Director of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Department of Community Health. As director he established and administered local environmental programs in water quality, pollution prevention, environmental remediation, food protection, emergency response and other local environmental programs and projects. Mr. Brown lead the Arkansas River study examining the river's bacterial contamination levels and water quality which lead in part to the development of an advisory system to inform the public about the health implication relating to water conditions in the river and a plan to improve Arkansas River water quality in the future. Mr. Brown has been active in the Department since its inception and has taught the MPH Environmental Health course (PVRM 830) since the beginning of the MPH program. In addition he was involved in the development and teaching of the web version of the Environmental Health course this year and is currently a member of the MPH External Advisory Committee.

  Policy & Advocacy Section Co-Chairs

  Sonja Armbruster

  Wichita State University

  Shirley Orr

  SOCO Consulting

 Infectious Disease Section Chair

 Mary Schwartz 

Kingman County Health Department

Mary Schwartz has been a staff nurse at the Kingman County Health Department for 12 years.  Mary is the primary infectious disease investigator for Kingman County, the role bringing her to the KPHA Board as this year’s Infectious Disease Chair.  WIC, Family Planning, EarlyDetection Works, immunizations, and serving as Public Information Officer for  the Kingman County Health Department are among her other responsibilities.   Mary is also in charge of coordinating school health services with rural Kingman County school districts not able to employ full-time school nurses who usually perform the yearly vision and hearing screens that schools are required to provide to their students.   Prior to her public health nursing career, Mary was a float RN at the Hutchinson Clinic after being a renal dialysis nurse.  Mary graduated from Friends University in 1994 with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology/Human Services and from Pratt Community College School of Nursing in 1997.   

Research & Evaluation Section Chair

Molly Brown, MPH
Wichita State University

Molly Brown, MPH, is the Assistant Dean for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPEC) at the College of Health Professions at Wichita State University.  She serves as a founding board member of the SOPHE Midwest Chapter and as Chapter Delegate for National SOPHE.  She has taught various topics in public health including evaluation, program development and public health administration. As part of the College of Health Professions, she works closely with faculty, staff, students and the health community-at-large to create learning environments that prepare students to provide enhanced quality, safety and person-centered care in interprofessional teams. She has strong interests in using program evaluation, program development and community engagement to reduce health disparities and improve overall health outcomes through effective public health programs and direct client services.  Molly holds a BA from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Master's in Public Health from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at Wichita State University.

Tobacco, Mental Health & Substance Abuse Section Chair 

Kendal Carswell

Kearny County Hospital

Kendal Carswell L.M.S.W, L.C.A.C. has more than 18 years of experience in social and therapeutic.  His passions are social justice and health equity for the underserved and vulnerable populations.  He is the program director for the Pioneer Care Advocacy Team at the Kearny County Hospital in Lakin, KS where he oversees care coordination/social services and leads innovative and transformative services.  He writes grant proposals and assists in managing many of the grants that are awarded.  The primary focus of his work is to address social determinants that affect positive health outcomes.  The program focuses on preventative interventions to reduce non-emergent emergency room use and to reduce hospitalizations.  Kendal began his career providing addiction and mental health services in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Kendal has worked in community corrections and he was a clinical director for Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center, overseeing services in more than 50 western Kansas counties.  He has a strong background in care coordination and has a history of developing programs, especially in western Kansas. 

Kendal was a professor at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) for 7 years, teaching in the social work department.  While at FHSU, he developed an outreach bachelor of social work program, based in Garden City, which addresses an existing professional shortage.  He also developed the online substance abuse counselor education program for FHSU.  Kendal left FHSU to develop and coordinate an outreach master of social welfare program for the University of Kansas that is ongoing in western Kansas.  These programs continue to be major factors in work force development in rural and frontier western Kansas.    

Kendal has served on many past boards and he currently serves on the licensed addictions counselor advisory committee for the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.  He assisted with writing the standards for the legislation, creating licensure for addiction counselors in Kansas.  He is a board member for ABC pregnancy in Garden City, and agency which provides compassionate pregnancy support services.  He is also a member of the Governor’s Behavioral Health Services Planning Council Rural and Frontier Subcommittee.  


Preparedness Section Chair

Ron Starbuck
Wyandotte County Public Health Department

Ron Starbuck is the Program Supervisor for Emergency Preparedness at Wyandotte County Public Health. 

He was born in Topeka, raised in Olathe and has accumulated more than thirty years of preparedness experience in the State of Kansas. He has served in mostly law enforcement and corrections positions with the State of Kansas between 1986 and 2007. The experience at KUMC Police Dept led to positions in hospital security. Security had a strong role in Joint Commission’s Environment of Care domain and overlapped with their Emergency Preparedness program. He then went to Wyandotte County as a Training and Exercise Coordinator in the Emergency Preparedness program. 

Ron attended Washburn University and earned a BA in Criminal Justice and has an MPA in Public Affairs from Park University. He also graduated from the Hospital Emergency Response Train the Trainer, Strategic National Stockpile, and Mass Antibiotic Dispensing Train the Trainer courses at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (Anniston). He earned the Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) certification at the Emergency Management Institute (Emmetsburg), the Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional (CHEP) certification and is a Kansas Certified Emergency Manager (KCEM).

Gary is a retired Fire Captain and EMT with 20 years of service in the city of Lenexa. Gary has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas and is a Certified Health Emergency Professional (CHEP). 

Student Section Chair

Taylor Mitchell

Wichita State University


Taylor has recently become a Master of Public Health student at the University of Kansas, Wichita Campus. She is pursuing a concentration in epidemiology. She received a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management and Community Development from Wichita State University.

During the 2018 – 2019 school year, Taylor worked as an Epidemiology Intern with the                     Sedgwick County Health Department, where she gained a passion for environmental                  epidemiology and environmental justice. Additionally, Taylor worked with KPHA to                               create a KanCare expansion advocacy campaign in an effort to support underserved and                     vulnerable populations in Kansas. 

Aside from course work, Taylor currently holds a position as an Associate at the Wichita                             State University Community Engagement Institute in the Center for Public Health                                 Initiatives. She is heavily involved in her community and loves being a Wichita resident.                               You can often find her spending weekends and free time volunteering with a variety of non-profit organizations, including Positive Directions and Food Rescue ICT. She loves to spend free time reading books, though most of them are about epidemiology and its historical implications. 

While graduation is a few years away, she is looking forward to becoming very involved with the University of Kansas and KPHA. She is excited to see what the future holds. Until then, she is seeking any and all opportunities to help prepare her for this work.

 Communications Committee Chair

 Bridgette West-Williams, MBL

 Baseline Creative, Inc

Community Health Section Chair

Cynthia Snyder
Kansas Department of Health & Environment

Cynthia Snyder is the Director of Special Population Health, Primary Care and Rural Health Office, housed in the KDHE’s Bureau of Community Health Systems. The Office conducts an array of activities to support primary care delivery system by collecting and disseminating information and resources, coordinating statewide activities and providing     technical assistance. Prior to joining Bureau of Community Health Systems in October 2017, Cynthia worked in the Bureau of Health Promotion as the co-manager of the Early Detection Works (EDW) program. During her 4 years with EDW, she served as the lead evaluator, data manager and program analyst.  

  Ex Officio Member

  Sonja Armbruster

  Wichita State University

Sonja Armbruster, MA, joined the Department of Public Health Sciences at Wichita State University’s College of Health Professions in August 2017. In her role as a Health Sciences Educator, her priority teaching areas include Health Administration and Policy, Health Communication and Quality Improvement. Prior to joining the faculty, she was the founding director of the Center for Public Health Initiatives at Wichita State University’s Community Engagement Institute. There she led a team that provides training and technical assistance to the state health department as well as local health departments and other health services agencies across the state. Previously, she worked for 10 years at the Sedgwick County Health Department where she served in a number of administrative roles, including health promotion program management, development of the strategic plan and performance management system, supervision of the quality improvement and accreditation preparation efforts, and leadership of community health assessment and improvement planning.

As a consultant for the Public Health Foundation, Sonja has provided training and technical assistance for state, local and tribal health departments in the areas of performance management systems development, workforce development, and quality improvement since 2011.

Sonja is a member of the Oral Health Kansas board of directors and an Ex-Officio member of the Kansas Public Health Association- where she served as the 2009 board president. She chaired the community health improvement coalition, the Wichita Health Alliance, for six years and continues as a coalition member. Additionally, Sonja serves as a site visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board.

Her formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and a Master of Arts in Communication, both from Wichita State University.

Ex Officio Member & Annual Conference Chair

Erica Anderson

Erica Anderson is a Strategic Integration Leader for Humana in the Office of Population Health for the Kansas City Bold Goal.  Humana has a Bold Goal – to make the communities we serve 20% healthier. Erica drives integration across diverse lines of business, to create a seamless continuum of care while consulting with community stakeholders on strategic policy, systems and environmental interventions that lead to better health outcomes. She is currently engaged with stakeholders across Kansas and Missouri to identify opportunities to improve the health of communities and assist in the development of solutions to address social determinants of health as well as promote.  Erica has over ten years of professional experience engaging community partners through statewide and local efforts focusing on tobacco, chronic conditions, health and wellbeing, and social determinants of health with a majority of the experience focused on policy and environmental changes to improve the health communities. Erica has a Master’s in Public Affairs with a concentration in Health Policy and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Health.

Ex Officio Member

Eldonna Chesnut, MSN, BSN
Johnson County Health Department  

Eldonna Chesnut, RN, BSN, MSN is employed by Johnson County Department of Health and Environment as Division Director of Child Care Licensing since 2001.  She is a member of the inaugural class of Kansas Public Health Leadership Institute and served on their advisory board after program completion. Eldonna serves as the JCDHE representative to many county and statewide organizations related to child care and to public health. 

Eldonna has served Kansas Public Health Association as past president, president-elect, director at large, Section chair, and Affiliate Representative to APHA Governing Council. Eldonna also served as Conference Committee chair and was on the conference committee member for several years.  Additionally was on Orientation Manual Project committee member, and past Membership Chair. Eldonna received the Samuel Crumbine award, KPHA’s highest honor, in 2012.  She is one of the founding members of MINK – (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas Public Health Associations). Under the mentorship of the Great Lakes Region, MINK started meeting by conference call on a monthly basis and in person at an annual spring meeting. The camaraderie, best practice sharing, and support of each other has helped Region 7 become a recognizable name within APHA and with other affiliates. 

Within APHA, Eldonna is currently serving as Council of Affiliates as immediate past chair.  Additional roles included CoA Chair and Chair Elect, CoA Liaison to Intersectional Section Council Steering Committee ,  and Region 7 Representative to CoA. She was actively involved in the APHA Joint Membership Pilot (JMP) for 6 years.  In 2016, she served on the APHA Executive Board as the CoA representative. During that time she was an active participant in the Committee on Social Responsibly, Executive Board membership committee, and Annual meeting Speaker Vetting subcommittee.  She is currently still serving on the APHA EB membership committee as CoA representative. She has been an APHA member since 2008 and is currently a member of three Sections: Maternal Child Health and the Child Care Committee (under MCH Section), Health Administration, and Public Health Nursing, as well as served on the Opioid Policy workgroup. Eldonna has attended the APHA Annual Meeting and Affiliate Day every year since 2008. 

Graduate Research Assistant/Association Manager

Heather Poole
Kansas State University

Heather is recent graduate of the Master of Public Health student at Kansas State University, with a concentration in infectious disease and zoonoses.  

Originally from North Carolina, she received a Bachelor of Science in public health with a concentration in biological sciences from Meredith College. Her main passion is decreasing the prevalence of infectious and zoonotic diseases globally, particularly in underdeveloped countries. Her goal is to be a field epidemiologist researching potential emerging zoonotic diseases in animal hosts before they become a major human health concern.

Aside from course work, Heather currently holds a position in the Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory. She is also working on a project to evaluate and strengthen the K-State MPH program by determining current public workforce skills in Kansas. Heather is the current president of the K-State Student Outbreak Response Team (SORT), a student team that provides surge capacity for the Riley County Health Department during disease outbreaks. During the 2018-2019 school year, she will be completing her program applied practical experience at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment within The Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics branch. Following graduation, Heather hopes to complete a CDC fellowship or find the job of her dreams! Until then, she is seeking all opportunities to help prepare her to be a successful public health practitioner that will leave a positive impact on human and animal populations. 

Vacant Section Chairs:


 Oral Health

2019 Conference Sponsors

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