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Wade Sparkman

Environmental Health Director

Florida Department of Health

Nassau County Health Department

Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

Biography

Wade Sparkman was first introduced to the field of environmental health through the employment by the USDA Soil Conservation Service as a Soils Technician in 1984. For one year responsibilities included soils mapping of Nassau County, Florida, dairy waste lagoon design, and environmental/agricultural site management. At the same time, the State of Florida passed new legislation requiring the Florida Department of Health to implement the use of the USDA Soils classification system into the design of onsite sewage disposal systems, thus creating the need for experienced soils technicians.

 

Over the last 20 years, Wade sought additional knowledge, skills and abilities as well as multiple certifications, which led to his current position of Environmental Health Director. For the last 22 years he has served the State of Florida within the Nassau County Health Department holding additional duties as Disaster Coordinator, Safety Coordinator, and the departments PIO. Wade is a graduate of Valdosta State University (1982). Wade is currently enrolled in a MPA program with Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.

What I Learned at EPHLI

The EPHLI has allowed personal and professional development. Through the MBTI, the Skillscope 360 survey, and the Change Style Indicator insightful feedback on job related strengths, weaknesses, and preferred styles were identified which have been used by the Fellows which have been used to improve relationships both professionally and personally.

 

The introduction to Systems Thinking was intriguing which allowed me to develop my ability to approach complex problems systemically. The use of archetypes, developing creative tension theories, and mental models allowed me to “think outside the box”. The implementation of these tools was a tremendous aid in the ultimate goal of systems thinking which is to promote organizational change.

 

Overall, the experience of participating in the EPHLI has been invaluable. The opportunity to be exposed to the expertise of today’s leaders of public health has been refreshing and has revitalized my personal interest, goals, and objectives in environmental health for my community. The friendships, contacts, and resources that have been established and made available through the EPHLI will allow for continued professional growth.

 

Thank you for such a wonderful experience.