Mary Echols, DVM, MPH
Palm Beach County Health Department
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Mary Echols, DVM, MPH is an Environmental Consultant at the Florida Department of Health’s Palm Beach County Health Department in West Palm Beach, Florida. She serves as the county health department’s Zoonotic and Vector-borne Disease Program Coordinator and as an advisor on zoonotic diseases and related emergency preparedness issues. She is a member of the Agro-terrorism Subcommittee of the Regional Domestic Security Task Force and serves as a public health liaison at the Palm Beach County Fusion Center.
Dr. Echols received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984 and subsequently earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Florida International University in 2000. She is also certified as a Registered Environmental Health Professional.
Dr. Echols has had a long-term interest in the concept of One Health. She spearheaded the creation of the Florida Department of Health’s quarterly One Health Newsletter: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/community/One_Health/OneHealth.html and serves as the publication’s Editor.
Leadership Development Opportunities
I would like to sincerely thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Heartland Center for the outstanding educational experience provided by the Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute. The opportunity to meet, interact with and learn from such a talented, dedicated group of instructors and fellow professionals has been invaluable and inspiring. I am particularly grateful to my mentor and teammates for their friendship, encouragement and support and to the administrative staff of EPHLI for all of their help throughout the year.
Specific highlights for me included:
· The Systems and Complexity Thinking models that confirmed my belief in the importance of looking at the “Big Picture” and thinking about consequences.
· Exercises that demonstrated firsthand how seeking out and including different perspectives will result in a stronger and more meaningful solution to a problem.
· Learning the use of Inquiry, a very helpful tool to put people at ease and engage them in finding solutions and in solving problems.This has proven to be especially useful in my position of leading without formal authority.
· Gaining an understanding of conflict and how to apply effective conflict management skills. I now look at conflict as an opportunity to move forward in a relationship.
The insights and skills I gained from participating in EPHLI have significantly improved my self-confidence and consequently my ability to inspire and lead others despite the current uncertain economic and political climate.