Lynn Ann (Bethel) Short, MPH, RDH


Lynn ShortAS Dental Hygiene — Cape Cod Community College (Massachusetts)

BS Dental Hygiene and Sociology — Old Dominion University (Virginia)

MPH Behavioral Sciences — Boston University (Massachusetts)

For more than 35 years Lynn Ann (Bethel) Short has worked in health and human services, and for 25 years in public health as a clinician, administrator, and educator. For almost a decade, she worked in a leadership role as the Massachusetts State Dental Director, having statewide responsibilities with high-risk population such as the low income, developmentally disabled, minorities and seniors, as well as collaborating with local, state and national organizations, agencies and institutions. She also helped create policies and regulations to expand access to health care for all residents of the Commonwealth.

For the past 18 years Lynn has worked in higher-education teaching courses in public health, research, policy, and global healthcare. She is currently a full-time faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the School of Community Health Sciences, working with students across the country in the newly established Online Master in Public Health program. Lynn has expertise in promoting community-based prevention programs for rural and urban settings and in 2017; she was involved in a campaign to change Nevada state law to fluoridate Washoe County (population 450,000). Lynn has been involved in workforce development in Massachusetts and Nevada and has spoken nationally and internationally on innovatively using the dental hygiene workforce.

American Public Health Association: A member since 2001, Lynn began her service to APHA in 2006, first as an Oral Health Section Councilor and then as a member of the Action Board, becoming chair in 2011. She was also co-chair of the Joint Policy Committee. After a one-year term as an ex officio member on the Executive Board, Lynn was elected to serve a four-year term. During that time she led the Committee on Social Responsibility and completed her service as chair of the Executive Board in 2016. In 2017, she was appointed to serve on APHA’s Awards Committee for a three-year term.

State and National Leadership: In addition, to being a member of the Nevada Public Health Association and working to establish Nevada’s oral health coalition, Lynn is a former member of the Massachusetts and both California Public Health Associations. Since 2011, she has served as Editor of Oral Health Matters, a publication of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, and also manages their social media platforms. She is the only dental hygienist on the World Federation of Public Health Associations’ Oral Health Working Group. She has held several leadership roles on coalitions and professional organizations including past president of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association and volunteer coordinator for Massachusetts Special Olympics Special Smiles. Lynn is a Master Gardner and currently President of the May Arboretum Society, a multi-million dollar non-profit supporting the Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Reno, Nevada).

Candidate Statement

As our country's health concerns and the global health crisis becomes more politicized, more visible, complex and costly, the American Public Health Association is in a unique position to create and promote a relevant scientific base and model initiatives and policies, while establishing diverse collaborations and coalitions to address these challenges.

While the Administration and Congress provides APHA with unique challenges to respond to these public health needs, especially for the underserved, APHA must respond to the evolving needs of our membership to help them promote and protect the public’s health.

While public health is about knowledge, creativity, and the passion to improve the health of communities locally, nationally and/or internationally, we also need to be contemporary - addressing the challenges facing us in the 21st century with unlikely partnerships, unheard of in the past. When a billionaire investor, banking titan, and an e-commerce giant band together to make a change in the way that healthcare is delivered in our country, it should be a warning that we must do things differently in order to have a meaningful role at the health table.

Having served in many APHA leadership roles, most recently as Chair of the Executive Board, I have seen firsthand the impact that APHA's members, Sections, Affiliates, Caucuses, and SPIGs have through their action oriented policies and initiatives. These efforts must be strengthened so APHA becomes even more relevant and influential.

Serving as APHA president-elect and then president, I will work to assure that APHA utilizes its scientific, professional, and political expertise to:

  • Strengthen, expand and leverage its resources to promote sound policy and effective actions to respond to the public health needs of ALL Americans.
  • Utilize diverse and effective communication strategies and technology, including social media, to strengthen APHA's impact on its members, stakeholders, and our country's decision-makers from coast-to-coast.
  • Promote out-of-the-box partnerships to spread the message that focusing on prevention and return on investment is essential for the sustainability and growth of current and future public health programs and policies.
  • Develop initiatives to inspire our members and attract new members and students – both traditional and online as well as from diverse backgrounds to ensure the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of APHA and the public health profession.

I look forward to your suggestions, support, and involvement to help make APHA a stronger and more influential catalyst, resource, and leader for a healthier nation.

Thank You.

Lynn Ann (Bethel) Short

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)