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 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 populations including 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 state policies expanding access to health care for all Massachusetts residents.

For the past 18 years Lynn has worked in higher-education teaching courses in public health, research, policy and global healthcare and is a full-time faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Community Health Sciences. Lynn has expertise in promoting community-based prevention programs for rural/urban settings and in 2017, was active in a campaign to change Nevada law to fluoridate Washoe County. Lynn has been involved in workforce development on both coasts and has spoken nationally/internationally on the dental hygiene workforce.

American Public Health Association: A member since 2001, Lynn began her service to APHA first, as an Oral Health Section Councilor and then as a member of the Action Board, becoming chair in 2011, and 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.

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. She is the only dental hygienist on the World Federation of Public Health Associations’ Oral Health Working Group. She has held 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 President of the May Arboretum Society, a multi-million dollar non-profit supporting the Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden (Reno, Nevada).

Candidate Statement

While public health is about knowledge, science, and the passion to improve the health of communities near and far, we also need to be creative and 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 healthcare is delivered in our country, it should be a wake-up-call 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 our 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 resources to promote sound policy and effective actions to respond to the public health needs of ALL Americans.
  • Promote out-of-the-box partnerships to spread the message that focusing on prevention and a return-on-investment is essential for the sustainability and growth of current and future public health programs and policies.
  • Utilize diverse, effective communication strategies and technology to strengthen the Association’s impact on members, stakeholders, and our country's decision-makers.
  • Develop initiatives to inspire our members, attract new members and students – both traditional and online as well as from diverse backgrounds to ensure the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of this Association and the public health profession.

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

Lynn Ann (Bethel) Short

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)