Eldonna Chesnut, RN, BSN, MSN, is employed by Johnson County Department of Health and Environment as Division Director of Child Care Licensing since 2001. She is a member of the inaugural class of Kansas Public Health Leadership Institute and served on their advisory board after program completion. Eldonna serves as the JCDHE representative to many county and statewide organizations related to Child Care and to Public Health.
Eldonna has served Kansas Public Health Association as past President, President, President Elect, Director at Large, Section Chair, and Affiliate Representative to APHA Governing Council. Eldonna also served as Conference Committee chair and on the conference committee for several years. Additionally, she served on the Orientation Manual Project Committee, and Membership Committee, which she also chaired for two years. Eldonna received the Samuel Crumbine award, KPHA’s highest honor, in 2012. She is one of the founding members of MINK – (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas Public Health Associations). Under the mentorship of the Great Lakes Region, MINK started meeting by conference call on a monthly basis and in person at an annual spring meeting. The camaraderie, best practice sharing, and support of each other has helped Region 7 become a recognizable name within APHA and with other affiliates.
Within APHA, Eldonna is currently serving as Council of Affiliates as Immediate Past Chair. Additional roles included CoA Chair and Chair Elect, CoA Liaison to Intersectional Section Council Steering Committee, and Region 7 Representative to CoA. She was actively involved in the APHA Joint Membership Pilot (JMP) for 6 years. In 2016, she served on the APHA Executive Board as the CoA representative. During that time she was an active participant in the Committee on Social Responsibly, Executive Board membership committee, and Annual meeting Speaker Vetting subcommittee. She is currently still serving on the APHA EB membership committee as CoA representative. She is an APHA member since 2008 and is currently a member of 3 sections: Maternal Child Health and the Child Care Committee (under MCH Section), Health Administration, and Public Health Nursing, as well as served on Opioid Policy workgroup. Eldonna has attended the APHA Annual Meeting and Affiliate Day every year since 2008.
I would be an outstanding member of the APHA Executive Board. I work in a large local health department that promotes working with a wide variety of partners, including academia, and non- traditional partners to maintain and improve the health of our community. Working in this environment has allowed me to learn and utilize great communication, fiscal responsibility, and leadership skills. I see APHA working with similar groups and with similar goals. I feel my skill set would be beneficial to the APHA board as they help guide the work of APHA to maintain and improve the public health of the nation through advocacy, education, and projects such as Healthiest Nation 2030 and Generation Public Health. I am an active member of my Affiliate, Kansas Public Health Association, and have held many leadership roles including President and Affiliate Representative to Governing Council of APHA. I have served on the Council of Affiliates leadership team for the past three years. In 2015, as CoA chair-elect, I was the liaison to Intersectional Council – Steering Committee, this provided me with great insight and knowledge of how the sections work and the importance of all the components of APHA working together toward a common goal. In 2016, as CoA chair, I served as a voting member of the APHA executive board. This was a “preview” year that convinced me that I wanted to serve as an elected member of the Executive Board to help move APHA priorities and agendas forward. I am a participating member of the Public Health Nursing Section, the Maternal Child Health Section and the Health Administration Section. With my local health department, Governing Council, Executive board, Section, and CoA experience I feel I have the required skills to help lead APHA into the future.