STAFF AND BOARD
Lina Tucker Reinders, MPH – Executive Director
Lina Tucker Reinders is the Executive Director of IPHA. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human services, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota. Prior to serving as IPHA’s Executive Director, Lina began her career in public health as an AmeriCorps VISTA community organizer in Minneapolis, later becoming the legislative liaison for tobacco control at the MN Department of Public Health, and a member of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Since returning to the US, Lina has spent her time consulting on various public health projects ranging from social protection, global health system development, and maternal/child health, always with a focus on health equity. She became an active member of IPHA upon moving to Iowa in 2013, saying in her introductory speech as Executive Director, “I knew that if I wanted to be a part of the public health community in Iowa, I needed to join IPHA.”
Kim Novy – Administrative Assistant
Kim Novy is the Administrative Assistant at Iowa Public Health Association. As a non-profit administrative professional, she serves as the website administrator and oversees IPHA’s membership database. She coordinates volunteer committees, prepares monthly reports, facilitates meetings and is actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization. Kim is a skilled event planner and coordinates all IPHA events, workshops, and conferences from start to finish. Kim serves on the Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Foundation Iowa and serves as the Advocacy Committee Co-Chair. Kim’s passion for public health can be found in her advocacy for individuals/families with special healthcare needs. As a parent of differently-abled adult children, Kim has spent countless hours advocating for access to healthcare, services and most importantly, inclusion. Kim values IPHA’s strong advocacy in health equity for ALL Iowans.
Elizabeth Faber – Facilitator to Iowa Immunizes Coalition
Elizabeth Faber is a public health consultant currently working with IPHA as the facilitator of the Iowa Immunizes Coalition. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health science from Truman State University in 2000 and a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in 2003. Elizabeth is also the coalition consultant for the Lifelong Smiles Coalition, which is dedicated to increasing oral health access to Iowa’s aging population. Prior to independent consulting, Elizabeth served as the Iowa Region 2 Public Health Emergency Preparedness Director. Elizabeth also served as an IPHA board member from 2008 to 2014. “IPHA has provided me with professional growth, networking opportunities, and has also introduced me to many like-minded friends. I’m thankful for the support and expertise that the IPHA membership provides.”
Brett Norris – AmeriCorps VISTA, Membership Coordinator
Brett Norris is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving as the Membership Coordinator at IPHA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and English from Grand View University in 2020. Prior to his role as Membership Coordinator, Brett worked as a tutor in the Writing Center at Grand View, and as an intern in legislative research for the Iowa Department of Human Rights and Vote Smart. He has been with IPHA since late 2020, and values its commitment to protecting the health of Iowa’s communities through representation and advocacy.
Mary Jonas – AmeriCorps Student Liaison
Mary is a student liaison at IPHA, connected through the Campus Compact AmeriCorps Program at Drake University. She graduated high school from the British International School of Houston in 2020 where she earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Mary is currently a freshman at Drake University completing a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology. She plans to graduate in 2024. Through her term of service at IPHA, Mary aims to increase student engagement in public health. She plans to pursue a career in healthcare, and IPHA has helped her gain valuable experience to be successful in that pursuit.
Board of Directors
Jeremy Whitaker, EdD, MPH – President
Dr. Jeremy Whitaker is the public health program director at both Wartburg College in Waverly and Allen College in Waterloo. He earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Iowa in 2005 and a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Health Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 2017. Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Whitaker worked at Shasta County Public Health (California), the Iowa Department of Public Health, Wellmark, and the Iowa Hospital Association. Prior to his career in public health, he served in the United States Air Force as an air traffic controller and meteorologist. He has been a member of IPHA for five years, and values its role as an independent voice in Iowa, which allows it to join the fight to represent public health when other organizations cannot get involved.
Kady Reese, MPH – President-Elect
Kady Reese is the Director of Physician, Patient & Clinical Engagement at the Iowa Medical Society. She earned a bachelor’s degree in personal health studies from Iowa State University in 2007, and a Master of Public Health with graduate certificates in public health education and promotion, and health management and policy from Benedictine University in 2013. Prior to her role at the Iowa Medical Society, Kady worked for the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise.
Jacob Riley, MS – Secretary
Jake Riley is a Disease Prevention Specialist at Johnson County Public Health. He earned an MS degree in epidemiology from the University of Iowa College of Public Health in 2014. Jake has been a member of IPHA since 2015 and has previously served as a co-chair on the Education/Programming Committee.
Virginia Barrette, MHA – Treasurer
Virginia Barrette is an independent consultant for Iowa Chronic Care Consortium and Oral Health Iowa. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa in 2006, and a Master of Health Administration from Des Moines University in 2010. Prior to her work as a consultant, Virginia worked at Iowa Primary Care Association, American Cancer Society, Iowa Medicaid, American Cancer Society, and in financial services. She knows that public health impacts each and everyone of us, and works to help tell the story and promote the work we do. Virginia has been a member of IPHA since 2012.
Chris Espersen, MSPH – Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council
Chris Espersen is a safety net consultant at Chris Espersen Consulting. She earned a Master of Science in Public Health, and a certificate in global health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008. Prior to her role as a consultant, Chris was a primary health care quality director, and an IPAS research associate. She values what IPHA does to support, encourage, and amplify the voices of public health professionals who work passionately to improve the lives of Iowans. Chris has been a member of IPHA for two years.
Angie Doyle Scar, MPH – Member-at-Large
Angie Doyle Scar is the leader of the Office of Healthcare Transformation (OHCT) at the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Upper Iowa University, and a Master of Public Health from Des Moines University. Prior to her work with the OHCT, Angie worked as the Statewide Hawk-i Outreach Coordinator at IDPH, and as a member of the State Public Policy Group (SPPG).
Anjali Deshpande, PhD, MPH – Member-at-Large
Dr. Anjali Deshpande is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 1990, a Master of Public Health from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1995, and a Doctorate from Emory University in 2000. Prior to her role at the University of Iowa, Dr. Deshpande was a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, a communicable disease epidemiologist at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, and a Consultant Epidemiologist in Chronic Disease at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She values IPHA’s role as a “place” where she can learn new things about public health, talk to colleagues about changes and challenges to public health, connect with public health practice, and meet people with whom she can contribute to make a significant impact. Dr. Deshpande has been a member of IPHA since 2016.
Arlene Prather-O’Kane, MA, RN – Member-at-Large
Arlene Prather-O’Kane is a medical needs assessment coordinator and caseworker at Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC). She earned an AA in nursing from Maryville College in 1974, a BA in psychology from the University of Missouri in 1992, and an MA in youth and human services administration from the University of Northern Iowa in 2010. Prior to her work at EMBARC, Arlene taught at Wartburg College and the University of Iowa, and worked at Pathways Behavioral Services and the Black Hawk County Health Department. She values IPHA’s contribution to maintaining up-to-date public health data, education, and policies to help move in the right direction now and for future generations. Arlene has been a member of IPHA for over 20 years.
Jessica Williams, DMD – Member-at-Large
Dr. Jessica Williams is a dentist at River Hills Community Health Center. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Afro-American Studies from Howard University in 2010, and a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Dentistry in 2018. Prior to becoming a dentist, Dr. Williams served as an intern at Oral Health America. She values IPHA’s commitment, drive, integrity, and passion for positively impacting the lives of all Iowans. Dr. Williams has been a member of IPHA since 2019.
Mary Mincer-Hansen, PhD, RN – Member-at-Large
Dr. Mary Mincer-Hansen is a retired IPHA member with a background in nursing and education. She earned an R.N. License from the University of Iowa in 1970, an M.S. in nursing education from Texas Women’s University in 1981, and a Doctor of higher education from Iowa State University in 1993. Prior to retiring, she worked in higher education in both nursing and public health programs, and she served as the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Dr. Mincer-Hansen values IPHA’s advocacy for public health professionals and the people and communities they serve. She recognizes the importance of ensuring that the work professionals do is valued, recognized, and supported. Dr. Mincer-Hansen has been a member of IPHA for 10 years.
Peter Wallace, MD, MS – Member-at-Large
Dr. Peter Wallace is the Medical Director and Chair of the Johnson County Board of Health. He earned a BS from Grinnell College in 1965, an Doctor of Medicine from the University of Iowa in 1969, and a Master of Science in Administrative Medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. Prior to his work at the Johnson County Board of Health, Dr. Wallace served in the U.S. Navy, ran a private practice of general pediatrics, served on the Iowa City Community School Board, and worked at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. He values the camaraderie and subsequent sharing of experiences that come with involvement in IPHA. Dr. Wallace has been a member since 2011.
Rachel Schramm, MS, CHES – Member-at-Large
Rachel is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at the Iowa Cancer Consortium. Rachel earned a Bachelors in Kinesiology (2010) and a Master of Science in Community Development (2016) both from Iowa State University. Rachel has also been a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) since 2010. Previously Rachel worked for Linn County Public Health and at the Iowa Department of Public Health. Rachel loves all things public health and enjoys having IPHA as an outlet for that love. She has been on the Board of Directors since 2018, serving as a board member at large, the APHA Affiliate Rep, and participating in the Conference Planning Committee, and the Communications Committee during her tenure. Rachel has been a member of IPHA since 2012.