President's Message

photo of Christian WilliamsI am excited and humbled to serve as your 2021-2022 TPHA President.  I have been a member of TPHA since 2008 when I started as a student member. I can still clearly remember the excitement of attending my first annual conference in Franklin, TN.  That sense of anticipation, possibility, and enthusiasm is what I hope each of you felt during our 2021 annual conference.  Though we were not able to connect in person, I hope each of you found the speakers and information presented to be salient and inspiring.  It has been a difficult 20 months to be in public health and I know many of you are experiencing high levels of stress and burnout.  This is where the importance of TPHA comes in.  Our Association is the voice of public health in Tennessee and there has never been a time when that voice is more needed.  Our new strategic plan, debuted by Immediate Past President Dr. Alisa Haushalter at the conference closing session, focuses on four pillars - Organizational Infrastructure, Membership Recruitment and Retention, Public Health Workforce, and Health Policy and Advocacy.  Each of these pillars is key to the Association's relevancy, sustainability, and future.  Over the next year as we implement this strategic plan, I will be highlighting each pillar in my role as President. 

I am beginning my term as TPHA’s president with a focus on membership recruitment and engagement and invite you to join me in this effort.  Because our members – you – best reflect the values and benefits of belonging to TPHA, I ask each of you to help us recruit new members and engage current members by getting actively involved in the following three ways beginning today: (1) reach out to colleagues and professional associates and simply ask them to join TPHA; (2) consider how you can be a larger part of the Association by completing the new Interest Inventory found on the Member Welcome page of our new member database.  The inventory will be used to connect members to volunteer positions based on skills and talents; and (3) attend the new networking events we’ll be announcing in early 2022.    These are three important ways that you can help us foster excitement and optimism in all our members – and rekindle that feeling of being a part of something bigger that so many of us felt when we first joined TPHA.  I cannot wait to see what we accomplish over the next year as we continue to work together to elevate public health in Tennessee. 

Have an idea of what you would like to see or do over the next year? Please let us know by sending your thoughts to [email protected] or Kim Harrell at [email protected]

Christian Williams, DrPH, MPH
President, Tennessee Public Health Association