Part 1 features AEHA’s new President Elect – Leif Albertson. Stay tuned for more AEHA board member bios in the near future!
While I have known many of you for years, I would like to take a moment to tell you a little more about myself. I have long been a member of AEHA, but this is my first time on the board. This organization has been a valuable resource for me as my career in environmental health has progressed. In additional to professional development through educational opportunities, I have benefited greatly from the networking opportunities, both within our state and nationally. The opportunity to collaborate with members from different agencies and specialties has bolstered both the quality and credibility of my work. I am really looking forward to carrying these traditions forward through a leadership role in our organization.
A little about myself: I graduated from East Anchorage High School and, after college, moved to Bethel in 2002. I worked for the State of Alaska as a disease investigator focusing primarily on sexually transmitted disease. After a brief hiatus on the east coast to collect my master’s degree, I returned to Bethel and worked in the Health Aide program at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. Since 2008, I have worked for the University as a cooperative extension agent. My work with the University focuses on delivering research-based health information on topics of rural/remote environmental health. I offer public education and outreach on diverse topics ranging from food safety and preservation to indoor air quality and healthy homes. More recently I have been working on issues of lead exposure in rural Alaska.
My personal life centers around my family and community. My wife, Jennifer, and I are raising 2 budding public health advocates (ages 1 and 3). I have been on the Bethel city council for just over 4 years. I am a volunteer with the Bethel Fire department where I serve as both a firefighter and paramedic. I participate in several local sports groups and, every June, my wife and I host Bethel’s premier mid-distance foot race, the Bethel Half Marathon (ask me about it!)
As Alaska faces a difficult and uncertain financial future, the opportunities for cross-disciplinary education and networking are more important than ever before. As president elect, I look forward to working with the rest of the board, and our diverse membership, to maintain the Alaska Environmental Health Association as the premier organization advancing the practice and profession of environmental health in our great state.
– Article contributed by Leif Albertson, AEHA President Elect