Don Adams, MPH
What attracted you to the field of public health?
It was an opportunity to use my degree and skills after obtaining my undergraduate degree.
What is your current job title and place of employment?
I work for the Arkansas Department of Health as a Regional Director.
How would you describe a typical work day?
I manage health department field operations and services in 17 counties in the southwest part of Arkansas. As an Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) Regional Manager in Southwest Region, I oversee the services and programs delivered at the local level in the southwest part of Arkansas. These programs and services include environmental health, family planning, maternity, immunizations, WIC, and communicable disease control. We also work at the local level with community partners on health issues, such as chronic disease, injury prevention, and public health emergency preparedness. In addition to the services we provide that affect the general population, in a typical year the local health units in the southwest region provide approximately 200,000 clinical visits.
What is your advice for students considering a similar career path?
In selecting a career, salary is only one consideration. The longer I work the more I realize that benefits, purpose, and working environment are as or more important. In public health you work around other individuals that desire to invest their time and talents in improving people’s lives and society as a whole. It is a very fulfilling career.
What experiences or learning gained at UAMS or elsewhere have you found most beneficial professionally or helped you qualify for what you do?
I had 20 years of public health experience when I obtained my MPH from UAMS. But, my experience was concentrated in a few areas. Obtaining my MPH allowed me to better understand the bigger picture and have a broader perspective to help in making decisions. My first 13 years with ADH was in environmental health as a front line specialist, then as a supervisor. I have a BS degree in education.
What do you find most rewarding about your work in public health?
That my energy, time and talents are being spent on the noble mission of improving other’s quality and length of life.