City planning meets health
When Donna Martin assumes her role as the new Leavenworth County Health Department Administrator on Friday, she'll already be somewhat familiar with how the agency operates.
For the past year, Martin has worked hand-in-hand with the health department as the Cities Readiness Initiative Coordinator for the Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City, Mo.
"Basically, I work with six counties' health departments on the Kansas side of the metropolitan area to try to make sure their plans - especially emergency prophylaxis, or distributing medicine to prevent disease - are up to what CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the state requires," Martin said on Tuesday, her last day on the job.
"I've been in very close contact with Leavenworth County at MARC : and I want to continue strengthening that relationship. I feel like the region as a whole, making connections, is a huge benefit for Leavenworth County."
A graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in public health and planning, Martin also worked for five years as a planner for the city of Olathe.
She said the dual degrees actually fit together more than most people would think.
"There is a direct connection with how we plan and build our cities and the health of the people," Martin said.
Now, Martin looks forward to more fully utilizing her public health background as head of the health department.
"I'm getting to the point where I'm really excited about starting," she said. "I'm interested to hear from the employees and to learn more about how I can help them meet their challenges."
NAME: Donna Martin
ADDRESS: Prairie Village
OCCUPATION: New Leavenworth County Health Department Administrator
FAMILY: Todd, husband; Clara, 10, daughter; Jacob, 8, son
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE AREA, AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? "I was born and raised in Johnson County. After going to school, then graduate school, I've been back for 12 years."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LEAVENWORTH COUNTY? "I guess coming from an emergency preparedness position and working closely with the Leavenworth County, I saw - number one - that they had lots of potential in the health department and the county in general. Leavenworth has some very unique aspects that other places don't have."
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN? "I like to sing. I sing in the church choir. I like to read, play with my kids and travel."
WHAT MIGHT SURPRISE PEOPLE ABOUT YOU? "One thing is that my two different masters degrees are in planning and public health."
WHAT CLUBS OR ORGANIZATIONS DO YOU BELONG TO? Member of the Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association and member of the American Institute of Certified Planners