Last week, ASHA announced a major new agreement with Indiana University (IU). The agreement provides for staff at IU to work with ASHA on such activities as conference planning, member engagement, and supporting the work of ASHA’s operating committees. Today, we start a multi-part series of blog posts introducing you to the staff at IU who will be working with ASHA. First up:
Jeanie is no stranger to ASHA. In fact, astute readers of this blog will recognize Dr. Alter as a past ASHA Board Member, Chairperson of the Professional Development Committee, and Fellow of our Association. For nearly 15 years, she has served ASHA with distinction as a volunteer. Now, as part of our agreement with IU, Jeanie takes on the role of ASHA’s Chief Staff Executive. In this capacity, Jeanie will dedicate her time to ensuring that all the tasks in the deliverables-based contract with IU are carried out on time, and on budget. Dr. Alter will be responsible for supervising other staff working with ASHA, coordinating all tasks assigned to IU, and representing ASHA at the national level when volunteers are not able to serve. Here’s a little more about her background:
- Alter holds a PhD in Health Behavior from Indiana University, a M.A. degree in psychology from Wake Forest University, and a B.A. in psychology and Spanish from Butler University.
- She is a Certified Prevention Specialist (ICRC) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (NCHEC).
- She has published peer-reviewed journal articles and presented at several professional meetings on topics related to adolescent substance abuse prevention and coordinated school health.
- Alter has worked at Indiana University since 2000. Her background includes extensive work with community-based prevention efforts and the provision of technical assistance to assist in identifying, analyzing, and addressing community needs. She has a firm understanding of the principles of best practice, the importance of evidence-based interventions, and program evaluation.
Jeanie lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband (Dave Bell) and son (Brody). When she is not working hard to support ASHA, she enjoys hiking, horseback riding, organizing (closets, drawers, anything really), and scaring people (Boo!).
Dr. Alter, and other IU staff working with ASHA are housed at the Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC), located in Bloomington. The IPRC is part of the Department of Applied Health Science and School of Public Health at Indiana University-Bloomington. Established in 1987, IPRC’s original mission was to assist Indiana based alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) prevention practitioners to improve the quality of their services. In recent years, their purview has expanded to include problem gambling prevention and ATOD treatment among other health behaviors, especially among school-aged children. Their staff is comprised of highly skilled and educated individuals with expertise in health behavior, education, mental health, policy, and research.
The ASHA Board of Directors believes that IPRC is a perfect partner for spreading the message of the importance and value of school health to the lives of students, schools, and communities. Their work involves providing expert guidance and support to public health professionals in the field through the provision of technical assistance, research translation, data collection and interpretation, professional development, and advocacy. Though this is important and impactful, it is often difficult to explain to others and impress upon them the value of what we do. The members of ASHA have a similar challenge in the work they do every day. School health is much more than health or physical education, but it can be difficult to describe all the important aspects that it encompasses that are vital to youth and adolescent success. The experience and perspective that IPRC and Dr. Alter bring to the table will be valuable as ASHA continues to move forward in the year ahead. You can reach Jeanie by phone (202-854-1721) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).