Newly Elected Board Members for 2022

President-Elect

Jordan Merrill, MA

Jordan Merrill, Community Health Program Manager at Intermountain Healthcare serving St. George Regional, Cedar City, and Garfield Memorial Hospitals. Jordan has worked in the community health field for several years after receiving an education from Dixie State and Southern Utah University. He has served on state and local coalitions including serving as past President of the Healthy Dixie Council, along with roles on Washington County Prevention Coalition, Reach4Hope suicide prevention coalition, and local Opioid Coalition. Jordan works closely with fellow not-for-profit organizations and other community partners to promote prevention, wellness, and access to medical and behavioral health services for low-income, uninsured, and vulnerable people. He appreciates the power that comes from state and local community collaboration working together to accomplish great things. He and his wife, Talia, have four children and reside in St. George Utah.

Secretary

Maggie Plessinger, CHES®

Maggie Plessinger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from BYU in 2021 and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. She is a Health Educator for the Utah County Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. Maggie enjoys watching documentaries and exploring Utah by hiking, mountain biking, and most recently, free skating.

Advocacy Chairman

Josh Pittman, MPP

Josh Pittman is a Health Policy Specialist with the Utah Department of Health’s: Healthy Environment Active Living (HEAL) Program. Josh got his undergraduate degree from BYU in political science with an emphasis in comparative politics. He then went on to obtain a master’s in public policy from the University of Utah. Josh previously worked for the Fourth District Juvenile Court, where he was a recipient of the 2018 Meritorious Award for exemplary performance on the job and a significant contribution to the overall effective operation of the Courts. Josh has a passion for public policy, political processes, and the legislative process.

Professional Development Chairman

Gabriela Murza, MS MCHES®

Gabriela Murza received a BS in Psychology and MS in Health Education and Behavior from the University of Florida. She serves as USU Extension Health and Wellness faculty with the Health Extension: Advocacy, Research, and Teaching (HEART) Initiative, which focuses on the opioid epidemic and other pressing public health issues through education, collaboration, stigma and harm reduction, and resilience development. In her current role, she provides expertise in addressing the role healthy eating, physical activity, resiliency skills, and other healthy behaviors play in decreasing injury and chronic pain, and how developing and utilizing those skills are essential in substance use recovery.

Gabi served as a VP for Professional Development for four years for the Florida chapter of NEAFCS (National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences). In that role, she shared professional development opportunities with faculty; coordinated an annual Professional Development Mini-Grant provided by the chapter, which included sharing application materials and information with faculty, coordinating “reviews and judging” with the PD Committee, and ensuring “winners” received the awarded amount; and hosted a “room” at the annual Extension conference for faculty who were invited to present their work, which involved ensuring that the room was configured properly, presentations kept to the allotted presentation time, and maintaining an accurate schedule of speakers.

Public Relations Chairman

Kristy Russell, MHA CHES®

Kristy Russell is a Healthy Aging Specialist for the Utah Department of Health, focusing on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). In this role, Kristy coordinates the ADRD State Plan and Coordinating Council, where she leads the state’s collaborative efforts on addressing dementia throughout Utah. Kristy provides statewide education and assists individuals in accessing resources available to those with dementia, their caregivers and loved ones. Kristy also assists in producing and maintaining the public awareness campaign for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, Age Well. Kristy has 15+ years of experience in prevention, endoscopy and long-term care and was a personal caregiver for a loved one with dementia.  Kristy has a bachelor’s degree in Health Education from Utah Valley University, a master’s degree in Health Leadership from Western Governors University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

Student Board Member

Gabe Glissmeyer, MPH(c)

Gabriel is currently a Project Specialist at the National LGBT Cancer Network and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His work focuses on LGBTQ tobacco initiatives and helping build and organize coalitions. He is also in charge of increasing resources for transgender and non-binary people who are on the cancer continuum. For over 10 years Gabriel has worked in tobacco prevention and cessation and LGBTQ exercise science. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Augsburg University and is currently working on his Masters of Public Health at Utah State University. Gabriel is passionate about community involvement and during the COVID-19 pandemic volunteered his medical skills with the Salt Lake County Medical Reserve Corps and Meals on Wheels. He is currently on the Utah Pride Center Board of Directors and USOPHE’s Membership Committee. Gabriel’s interests are LGBTQ health, reducing health disparities, and increasing scientific literacy. In his free time, Gabriel enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling.

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