Dr. Redmond has been involved in public health practice with an interest in leadership since 2003 when she worked for the Kentucky Cancer Program, a community comprehensive cancer control program. Since 2006, she has served as Program Director for the Kentucky Cancer Consortium, which is Kentucky’s state comprehensive cancer control coalition. In this role, Dr. Redmond facilitates large and small groups focused on planning, revising, implementing and evaluating the Kentucky Cancer Action Plan. She also provides oversight for multi-functional program activities involving a broad and complex range of public health programs across the continuum of cancer at state and multi-regional levels. She has her B.A. in communications, MPH in epidemiology and DrPH in Health Services Management.
Questions and Answers
I am particularly excited about the policy systems change work we have underway in Kentucky.
We have several efforts focusing on local and statewide smoke free policies and are working with a statewide coalition of folks dedicated to this work.
We are working with our state cancer coalition to examine "systems barriers" to colorectal cancer screening. Specifically, we are looking at issues of insurance, access and capacity and working across the coalition to identify the best way to address these issues.
Our third undertaking is new. We are looking across the state to increase "joint use" agreements with schools in order to provide safe places for physical activity for children and families. This is a big piece of our primary prevention efforts around obesity and is an exciting undertaking. Currently, we are collecting baseline data on which school systems have joint use agreements in place to see how we can expand and adopt it throughout Kentucky.
Our state cancer coalition's survivorship committee workgroup has been working to assess what services and opportunities are available for cancer survivors. There are many groups working on this issue across the state and we are looking to bring them together, see what is going on across the state and identify what gaps in services remain.
Finally, we are ramping up our evaluation efforts. In addition to our annual evaluation plan from CDC, we are looking at adding specific questions around partnerships and assessing the "mutual benefit" derived from partnerships. We have implemented a new methodology to assess our "stop smoking" efforts and are looking forward to collecting and analyzing this information and beginning to aggregate the data.
My favorite success story stems from our State Dialogue for Action on Colon Cancer. In 2008, Kentucky became a Dialogue for Action state through the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Over the course of this initiative we engaged more than 100 individuals in efforts to reduce the incidence and mortality of colon cancer in Kentucky by pooling information, ideas, skills and strategies.
Together, we determined that our priority would be a statewide public awareness campaign that would deliver a consistent, unified message around colorectal cancer screening. our part, the Kentucky Cancer Program held focus groups throughout the state. These generated wonderful conversations and helped us finalize our message. We then worked with groups all across the state that took the materials and messages and personalized them. By working together, we realized the importance of having a message we could all share.
The highlight of this project for me was that we were able to find the best “fit” and the best role for each organization. By working together, state and local groups, public and private organizations were able to take off their organizational “hat” and determine what we could do together to benefit all. It taught me the importance of “owning” our personal and professional agendas. By acknowledging the agendas already on the table, we were able to find mutual ground and achieve so much more together.
I love to read. I recently finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I read it as part of a mini-book club on health equity and race issues. We had an interesting discussion about the book. Personally, it was a reminder that you never know what someone’s story is – yet we all have a story. We had an eye-opening conversation about race and economic injustice. It was a fascinating book.
I just finsihed my doctorate in public health with a focus on leadership so there are two books I keep coming back to: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis and Annie McKee. These books truly inspired me for my dissertation work and I recommend them to anyone working in public health.