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President's Message - Dom Frissora

As  president of the Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA) I would like to  introduce myself to those who do not know me. I have worked for approximately 30 years in state government and at the Ohio State University in health and public health finance administration.  During this time I felt the dedication and passion of my public health colleagues. I received great satisfaction in working with them and assisting them in  making their programs successful.  As  with Lois Hall, our Executive Director, and many others, this passion for  public health is the reason I  have continued to work with the OPHA after my retirement.  

The  Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA), as we know it today, was founded on November 19, 1925 as Ohio’s first professional organization of Ohio public  health workers, with a mission of protecting and promoting public health in  Ohio.  Since its inception, OPHA has been a trusted leader in the area of public health, working with our public health  partners consisting of government bodies, other public health groups,universities, legislators and news media. 

I  am honored to serve the Ohio Public Health Association as its president and am committed to its mission of protecting and promoting public health in Ohio.  I  have two primary agenda items for the upcoming year.

The  first agenda item is to continue to earn the trust of our public health  partners and assure that our collective voice continues to be heard; to be heard by other public health organizations, to be heard by government  officials, to be heard by our legislators and to be heard by the general public  through the news media.

We  must understand that although we may not see eye-to-eye with these partners on an issue, we share the goal of excellent public heath for the citizens of  Ohio.  We currently have an excellent  relationship with our partners and are committed to keep it strong.

The  second agenda item is to strengthen our membership base and member  engagement.  Due to government cutbacks  and early retirements over the past few years, there are fewer professionals  working for governmental public health organizations.  This downward trend is also reflected in our  membership.  I will work with the OPHA  leadership and existing members to continue to “reach out” to public health  workers, students and retirees in government, academia, and health care  organizations to boost our membership totals.

More  important than increasing membership totals is increasing member  engagement.  I believe that an  organization with 15 members of which 10 are engaged and active is stronger  than an organization with 25 members of which only 5 are engaged and  active.  It makes no difference if a  person can dedicate an hour or twenty hours a month, every bit helps.  Imagine what we can accomplish with over 450  members!

For  OPHA to continue to grow and have an impact on public health in Ohio,  membership participation is critical.  As  I explained earlier, Lois and I are retired, but have continued to work with  OPHA because we believe.  We believe that  public health is a necessity for quality of life.  We believe that public health is often  neglected by the political sector.  We  believe that a larger, more engaged membership will make us stronger.  We believe that WE will make a positive  difference.


 

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