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Vermont public health association

  Admin and Board of Directors

Dan Olson Executive Director

Dan Olson joined the Vermont Public Health Association as Executive Director in March of 2023. Over Dan’s 20-plus year career, he has held various roles in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, all with a focus on improving the health of human and natural communities. Dan served as the Executive Director of the Colorado and New Mexico-based environmental advocacy organization San Juan Citizens Alliance. He also held multiple product management roles at Ecova (now ENGIE Impact), including Director of Product Management, leading the organization’s carbon accounting, waste, water, and strategy and engagement services. In addition to these roles, Dan was the founder of a consulting business that served the sustainable operation needs of small and medium-sized businesses in the Intermountain West, pioneered the use of environmentally-beneficial loan funds at Harvard University, and has served as a volunteer and board member of numerous nonprofits. In his off-time, Dan and his family enjoy exploring the many and varied wonders of the Northeast and beyond.

Kenneth Allen Ed.D., MBA (Burlington, VT) - President (2021 - 2022)

Kenneth is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biomedical and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont. Prior to moving to Vermont, Kenneth worked for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California as a clinical education coordinator, project manager, and director of imaging services. His work has often focused on regulatory compliance and advocacy, addressing inequities in the delivery of healthcare, and quality improvement in the delivery of diagnostic services. Kenneth received his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont in 2016. His research interests include college matriculation patterns of students who are typically underrepresented in the healthcare workforce and the safe and effective use of radiation in diagnostic imaging. His teaching focus is in the areas of healthcare finance, management, and sustainability. Kenneth is a past President Elect of the VtPHA (2020 - 2021). 

Theo Kennedy, Esq., M.P.H. (Middlesex, VT) Vice President/President Elect (2021 - 2022)

Theo Kennedy, Esq., M.P.H. has broad experience in education, policy, environmental policy, public policy and governmental affairs, consumer affairs, statutory and regulatory affairs, and healthcare administration. Theo described his public health philosophy: “Prevention matters. Facts matter. Kindness matters. It’s not us and them, just us. Never give up.” Theo has previously served as the Director of Planning, Policy and Regulation at Vermont Department for Children and Families, Agency of Human Services, and as the Director of Health Rates and Forms at Vermont Health Care Administration, Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration. Theo is currently a partner in Otis & Kennedy, L.L.C., Montpelier, Vermont, where he performs public policy law with a focus on governmental and legislative affairs in addition to general practice.

Sally Kerschner, RN, MSN (Ferrisburgh, VT) – Secretary (2020 - 2022)

Sally Kerschner, MSN, RN has been involved with the Vermont Public Health Association for over twenty years and served as President 2017- 2020. She recently retired from the Vermont Department of Health as the MCH Injury Prevention Coordinator, Division of Maternal and Child Health. She has worked at VDH since 1983 in a variety of supervisory and management positions for programs addressing community health and Maternal and Child Health. Professional interests include population health planning, systems development, public health policy, and maternal and child health issues such as environmental, periconceptual health, injury prevention, and rural health. Sally is presently working with the Vermont Public Health Association and the Vermont Public Health Institute on implementing the CDC Health Equity grant deliverables for the Vermont Community Health Equity Project. 

Denise Smith, (St. Albans, VT) – Treasurer (2022 )

Denise Smith is a value-driven, systems level collective impact leader with 20+ years of experience at the intersection of planetary and human health and wellbeing. She has spent a large degree of her service in executive roles with environmental, healthcare, and economic development organizations. Denise recognizes the importance authentic leadership plays in the meaningful transformation of systems and believes that communities possess the self-organizing abilities to redefine their futures. She is focused on improving population health in Vermont and is a value-based care professional. She currently works as the Director of Population Health Programs and Strategy at Northwestern Medical Center, which serves Franklin County and Grand Isle Counties, where she works at the intersection of clinical quality outcomes, health equity, prevention, and collective community initiatives that improve the health of her friends, neighbors, and family members. She attended the University of Vermont as an undergraduate and served in the Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa shortly after graduating. She returned to Vermont with the hopes of providing leadership and community organizing strategies that she developed during her oversees service. She is a 500+ Certified Yoga Teacher accredited through the Original Hot Yoga Association. In 2018 she received her Master of Science in Leadership for Sustainability from the University of Vermont. She is currently the Chair of the St. Albans City Planning Commission, Vice Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Lake Champlain, and serves on the Board of the United Way of Northwest Vermont, and the Healthy Roots Collaborative Advisory Committee. She lives in an old house that she and her husband are remodeling room by room in St. Albans with her three children, their two dogs and two cats.

Burton Wilcke, PhD (South Burlington, VT) - Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council (ARGC) (2020 - 2022)

Burton Wilcke, PhD is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Health Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont. Currently he is engaged in Global Health consulting work focusing on leadership training for laboratory directors in developing countries. He has over twenty-five years of public health practice experience at the state and local level in California, Michigan and Vermont. In 2002 he became the Chair of the Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences (now Biomedical and Health Sciences) at the University of Vermont (UVM). Prior to joining the faculty at UVM he was the Director of Health Surveillance for the Vermont Department of Health. His experience covers a range of areas spanning infectious diseases, microbiology, public health practice, the health workforce and global health. He has previously served on committees and boards of national health and public health organizations such as the American Public Health Association, the American Society for Microbiology, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) serving as its President, and the Institute of Medicine. He has also served on the Editorial Board of the Emerging Infectious Diseases and Public Health Reports. He is a Past President of the Vermont Public Health Association.

Isabelle Boutin (Burlington, VT)

Isabelle is a senior Health and Societies major with a Political Science minor at the University of Vermont. She is currently the president of the Vermont Student Assembly for Public Health. She has previously interned with the Vermont Public Health Association (VtPHA) and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE). In conjunction with her work at VtPHA, Isabelle was a part of the New England Public Health Training Center’s Health Equity Intern program. Entering her senior year, Isabelle is writing an Honors thesis in an area that she is particularly passionate about; health policy.

Katina Cummings (St. Johnsbury, VT)

Katina holds a wealth of experience in organizational management and leadership, policy and project planning in the public health, mental health and social service arenas.  Since 2019, she has served as the Health Workforce Program Manager at the Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC), where she leads the continuing education program for health professionals, and the organization’s work in advancing equity-oriented health care.  She also provides support to UVM medical and other health professions students in their rural community health improvement projects.  Katina is active on the State’s Community Health Worker Steering Committee and participated for several years on the VT Farm Health and Safety Coalition. For 3 years, she developed community-based initiatives in KY as the Refugee Health Promotion and Education Coordinator to improve the health and wellbeing of newly arriving and resettling people across the state. A trained and experienced educator in diverse service settings, Katina has provided technical assistance and training for interprofessional service teams in trauma-informed and culturally and linguistically appropriate health care service delivery.  Her professional interests include enhancing cross-disciplinary initiatives to eliminate health disparities for minority and underserved populations. She holds a B.S. degree in Political Science and History and a Master’s Degree in Planning from M.I.T.  In 2015, she volunteered with Mercy World Wide and Doctors of the World at the Moria Refugee Camp in Lesvos, Greece.

Joyce Gallimore, CPHQ, MPH (South Burlington, VT) 
Joyce Gallimore provides consulting on a variety of health related issues including quality improvement projects, healthy lifestyle choices, consumer education, and health care delivery. She was the Director of the Accountable Care Organization formed by the Vermont federally qualified health centers, with administrative support from Bi-State Primary Care. She implemented quality improvement and consumer protection initiatives for MVP Health Care in Vermont for 10 years. Prior to this, she directed review, licensing and surveillance activities for the New York Department of Health. Joyce earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Currently she is pursuing creative projects including writing and singing, and work that supports active and sustainable communities. Joyce is a Past President of the VtPHA (2020 - 2021). 

Molly Lawrence, MPH (Burlington, VT)

Molly Lawrence is a public health professional who currently leads Community Benefit initiatives at the University of Vermont Medical Center, aiming to collaboratively address community-driven health priorities through an equity lens. Molly’s professional experience spans the non-profit and healthcare sector, focused primarily on researching, developing and implementing programs that address the social determinants of health. Molly highly values formative public service experiences, including as an Initiative on Cities Fellow with the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, and serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Additional professional interests include: facilitating authentic community engagement, environmental health justice, and food sovereignty.

Molly earned her Master's in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences and focus area in Health Disparities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Social Behavior and a Minor in Psychology from Lesley University.

Maureen Leahy, M.Ed (Burlington, VT)
Maureen Leahy is the Director of the University of Vermont Medical Group and provides management leadership for multiple clinical sites such as Neurology, Psychiatry, Children’s, Women’s and Orthopedics services. Maureen earned a M.Ed and also a Certification of Advanced Management Studies from St. Michael’s College. In addition to her extensive background and expertise in health care management, she also serves as the President of the VT Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Assn. Maureen taught emergency medical response at the University of Vermont and was Fire Lieutenant of the South Burlington Fire Department.

Tanya Wells, MS.Ed, CHES (Georgia, VT)

Tanya Wells is a dedicated public health professional with over 15 years of experience in worksite wellness, community health and chronic disease prevention. She currently serves as the Tobacco Control Program Manager for the Vermont Department of Health, where she has worked for over 10 years. Tanya has a strong interest in continuous improvement and performance management and is certified as a Continuous Improvement Green Belt by the State of Vermont. She has served in many leadership roles throughout the years and was most recently elected to the National Tobacco Control Network Executive Committee.

Tanya received her Master of Science in Health Promotion from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she also received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree with a focus on Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

About the association

VtPHA is a membership organization which facilitates collaboration among people who care about public health and are interested in protecting and promoting the health of Vermont residents.

VtPHA is an Affiliate of the American Public Health Association (APHA). APHA is the national voice of public health and champions the health of all people and all communities. They are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health and a member community from all public health disciplines and over 40 countries. Learn more at www.apha.org.


Vermont Public Health Association
P.O. Box 732
Burlington, VT 05402-0732

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