Familiar Routes in Florida

Heather MurphyWith spring new leadership emerges within the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership) Florida Network. However, to some this “newness” may be a bit familiar.

My name is Heather Murphy and as of April 22, 2013, I am the “new” Florida Advocacy Organizer for the National Partnership. This role was recently held by Carol Pulley, and before that, by me! Yep, I was the Florida Network Organizer from January 2010 through December 2011, which is when the Florida Network was launched! 

Based on the great work done by the Florida Network during those initial two years, Florida became a staff position with the National Partnership in January 2012 (as part of the National Partnership’s seven state network project that is generously funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through 2014). Since this time I have I stayed involved as a Network member, while also working as an independent consultant with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), specifically on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Action  Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental changE (ACHIEVE) Initiative.  

Prior to my work with the NACDD ACHIEVE Initiative, I worked for the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Tallahassee, Florida for 14 years; the last eight years in chronic disease prevention, managing and providing over site for a federally funded program. The latter years were spent working in obesity prevention and worksite wellness. Prior to my work with the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, I worked with the Florida Tobacco Pilot Program, which is a youth-based program focused on tobacco prevention. In this role I served as a consultant to county community partnerships within the state, providing technical assistance, and monitoring for compliance with polices related to tobacco prevention. In addition, I provided support to communities regarding the development of local partnerships, program policies and professional education. When I began working as an independent consultant for NACDD, I initially provided oversight for the Safe Routes to School Florida Network as outlined above. I am excited about the possibilities that come with this new, but familiar role for me. I will continue to expand upon the forward momentum of the Florida Network. I look forward to developing new partnerships across Florida while rejuvenating existing ones, creating opportunities for collaboration on all of our Safe Routes to School goals and objectives (especially in lower-income communities), and expanding our social media presence. 

I am excited about working with all our Network partners on Safe Routes to School efforts across Florida. I would love to hear from you and encourage your active participation in the Florida Network. So, if you have some ideas that will forward our Safe Routes to School efforts in Florida or just want to say hello, please email me at heather@saferoutespartnership.org. I look forward to hearing from you!

P.S. Don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook page @Safe Routes to School Florida Network and mark your calendars for our next Florida Network call on May 21st from 10-11am ET.

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