UI College of Public Health graduates are leaders throughout Iowa, across the United States, and around the world as they work to improve the health and well-being of people where they live and work. Learn more about the varied career paths of our alumni.
Peggy Brinkman, 09MPH
Brinkman earned a Master of Public Health degree in the practicing veterinarian program in 2009. “Public health is a great extension of veterinary medicine,” Brinkman says. “It is amazing how much overlap there is between human and animal diseases.” Her public health degree has given her a better understanding of food safety, workplace safety, and public health administration that she uses to help her clients provide a better-quality product in a safe environment.
Stephanie Kliethermes, 09MS, 13PhD
Kliethermes, Research Director at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in Madison, Wisconsin, credits her CPH biostatistics professors with helping her get to where she is today. With their guidance, she was able to identify her strengths, get experience, and discover the numerous career paths in the field of biostatistics. She says, “They gave me confidence as well as the ability to knock down doors and create my own path.”
Chris Klitgaard, 99MHA
An internship at UI Hospitals and Clinics while pursuing a Master of Healthcare Administration degree, gave Klitgaard the insight to create MediRevv. The company educates customers about their bills and payment options, and works with insurance companies to maximize insurance-covered payments. “We basically found out there was a huge opportunity for improvement in the service providers,” Klitgaard said. Published in The University of Iowa Entrepreneur: 101 magazine, produced by the Corridor Business Journal, September 2015.
Elise Klopfenstein, 11MPH
As a Registered Dietitian at Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Klopfenstein’s primary role is education. She focuses on changing food environments and helps define “healthy” for her clients. She says, “My hope is that my clients walk away empowered with knowledge, not blindly following my advice, but informed to make healthy choices.”
Jill Kluesner, 12Certificate
As a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Kluesner teaches an 8-hour course that provides training on how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Kluesner says, “What excites me most about this work is when a past training participant says, ‘Thank you, your class gave me the confidence to reach out and help someone in my life.'”
Tim Link, 05Certificate
An Environmental Sanitarian at the City of Dubuque Health Services Department for over 20 years, Link says, “I enjoy interacting with people and teaching them about public health to avoid an illness or injury.” While working in the City of Dubuque Health Services Department, Link chose to broaden his knowledge by obtaining a Certificate in Public Health in 2005.
Danielle Pettit-Majewski, 10MPH
As the Public Health Administrator for Washington County, Iowa, Pettit-Majewski might be educating the public about the importance of vaccines one day and making a presentation about distracted driving the next. “There are so many public health aspects of daily life that people don’t often see or think about,” she says. “I love seeing the impact we’re able to have on the community.”
Mark Richardson, 83MA
As President and CEO of Great River Health Systems (GRHS) in West Burlington, Iowa, Richardson’s tenure has seen the creation of more than 1,000 jobs and his organization has become the largest employer in Southeast Iowa. GRHS is a regional health system that includes a 378-bed hospital, retail pharmacies, retail medical equipment and supplies providers, and over 20 physician clinics. “I have been a hospital CEO for over 30 years and I can’t imagine another job that could be so self-fulfilling,” he says.
Krista Scott, 08MS
As an Industrial Hygienist at EMC Insurance Companies in Des Moines, Scott helps clients create policies and procedures to fill in the gaps in their own safety and health programs to prevent future problems. “If I can prevent a person from becoming ill or injured, rather than responding solely when an injury or illness does occur, then I have definitely accomplished something,” she says.
Kristin and Philip Van De Griend, both 07MPH
As a physician in the Departments of Family Medicine and Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine in the Orange City Area Health System, Phillip says, “I’ve been fervently trying to educate patients on viral spread and help my hospital and clinic plan on how to prevent or slow the novel coronavirus.” Kristin, an assistant professor of sociology and the assistant director of the Kielstra Center for Research and Scholarship at Dordt University in Sioux Center, says “My public health education was an excellent foundation that helped me connect my passion for social justice and health,” she says.
Greg Woods, MPH 2015
As a program specialist with the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Woods helps fellow Iowans cope with some of life’s most challenging circumstances. Many of those Iowans meet Woods face-to-face, while some simply hear his voice on the weekly radio show he hosts. “While I was in school I studied a number of issues pertaining to rural Iowa, but learning community outreach, how to foster grassroots efforts, crafting messages to reach different populations, those have all been extremely helpful skills to have,” he says.