Alumna to lead county health department in Wyoming

April 17, 2014

Dr. Kelly Weidenbach (Photo courtesy of the Casper Journal/Elysia Conner)

Dr. Kelly Weidenbach (Photo courtesy of the Casper Journal/Elysia Conner)

Kelly Weidenbach, DrPH, is the new executive director of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department in Casper, Wyo.

A 2013 alumna of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Weidenbach returned to her native state to “give back” to her community. She oversees the health department’s budgets and its several programs, from family planning to elderly care.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming with a dual major in anthropology and molecular biology.

“[Those two fields of study] go together very well in public health,” she said.

Her background in anthropology served her well as an epidemiologist finding causes of diseases and public health issues. Her training in interviewing people to study human behavior helped her talk with people who were sick with food-borne illnesses.

She became interested in improving health on a population scale through local health departments. Rather than reacting to problems, she wanted to focus on preventing illness. So she earned her doctoral degree through the UNC  Gillings School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

A colleague says Weidenbach’s passion for health is much more than a career. She lives her beliefs by staying active and eating healthily.

Public health is about her, her family and all the people and families throughout the community, Weidenbach said.

“We know that our community plays a big role in the types of outcomes we have as individuals,” Weidenbach said. “So public health is our health.”

This article is adapted from one that appeared April 14 in the Casper (Wyo.) Journal. Read the entire article here


 
Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu.