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Mary B. O’Connor, MS

Coordinator, Community Environmental Services

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Anchorage, Alaska  99508


Mary O’Connor has worked with rural Native communities in Alaska for over ten years, and has previously worked with the Indian Health Service in northern Wisconsin as a field sanitarian.  She is a commander in the U.S. Public Health Service and has been a registered environmental health specialist for fourteen years.


She has recently accepted a position with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Anchorage and will be working with the Aviation Safety program.  This move will allow her to continue to assist in making Alaska safer for all the people who live and work in rural areas. 


Leadership Development Opportunities

I have been fortunate to be selected to participate in this program and to meet and learn from so many influential leaders in environmental public health. This program helped me to assess my skills and weaknesses honestly and to provide me with tools to enhance my leadership abilities. The leadership skills I have already gained will stay with me throughout my career and my life. The amazing resources that were available to us have inspired me to strive to continue to develop new leadership skills and become a catalyst for positive change.


This year has been both challenging and rewarding, I have appreciated the opportunity to meet and work with so many talented environmental health practitioners, and to learn so much about the many different issues affecting them. The institute has definitely made me aware of how large and all encompassing the field of environmental health truly is.  The concept of a systems approach was new and has enabled me to evaluate situations and issues in a new light. This experience with the Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute has provided me with the knowledge that no problem is insurmountable with collaboration, cooperation and a dedicated team who can analyze it using a systems approach.


In addition to the great staff that have presented to us and mentored us, I have met some dedicated staff working behind the scenes to make sure all of the sessions were successful. Thank you to all of them.