Alfredo García-Pérez, PhD
Administrator & Environmentalist
LaGrange County Health Department
LaGrange, IN 46761-1319
Alfredo holds a bachelor degree in Biology from Universidad Industrial of Santander (Colombia). He received his master’s from University of Puerto Rico thanks to a fellowship from the Organization of American States, who selected him from a national wide pool of applicants of his native country of Colombia. After finishing his master, Alfredo returned to Colombia where he was in charge to run the aquaculture/pisciculture extension services program for the government of Department of Santander. Later on, University of Puerto Rico granted him an assistantship to pursue his PhD degree in sciences. Aquaculture production of fish and shrimps was the topic of his dissertation.
During the last 12 years, he has being working as Environmentalist for the LaGrange County Health Department in Indiana. In 2006, Alfredo was promoted to administrator, and he is still in charge of running the county wastewater program. During the last 20 years, he has teach sciences course from A (aquaculture) to Z (zoology) passing by biology, and other environmental and sciences courses. Also, he has being doing applied research in aquaculture, invertebrates, water quality, engineered technology to treat sewage onsite and environmental research projects in Colombia, Puerto Rico and USA. He has almost a dozen of peer review sciences and environmental publications in different worldwide journals.
He discovered and named a new freshwater shrimp species from the Andes Mountains of Colombia: Zootaxa Journal 2061: 61-68, and after he took the environmentalist position in Indiana; over 200 constructed wetlands to treat sewage on site have being installed in LaGrange County: http://lagrangecountyhealth.org/constructedwetlands.
Leadership Development Opportunities
The Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute fellowship was completely different as I visualized when I decided to apply. However, I consider that the program is an excellent tool to get different leadership approaches to how local government and private entities can improve public health around its communities. Each community is unique and LaGrange County is not different. Amish community makes LaGrange County unique and this also creates a leadership challenge to work with them. Here is where all the lectures, books, meetings and information provided by the EPHLI program are important not only to improve the performance of our leadership skills but to develop and implement projects to solve public health issues of the local communities. Sometimes rules to follow are important but most of the times common sense approaches can provide better long term results.
Personally, I think the EPHLI fellowship is an excellent program to give you for a full year a better knowledge about yourself, your leadership skills and what kind of leader you really are and how high you can put and reach your goals no only professionally but in our daily aspect of life. The MBTI, the skillscope, the change style indicators, systems thinking approach to solve problems, the management courses and the individual development plan in unison with the coach, mentor, faculty, speakers, cohort and team members help me to create a new individual social group which was completely inexistent one year ago. Now as colleagues, the idea is to grow as human network to solve our environmental public health issues to protect the place where we live. Thank you to my “Fantastic Four” team members: Daniel Wilusz, Julianne Price, Kendra Kauppi, and Lee Gary for the good time shared and the feedback provided on my project.