IPAC elects new Chair, announces fond farewell

At the annual retreat in Athens, IPAC elected a new Executive Committee for the upcoming year.

Sue Johanson, who previously served as Vice Chair, has been selected to lead the organization as Board Chair.

“IPAC has reached an exciting point in its development, and I look forward to being a part of the organization's efforts to promote the health and wellness of young children and improve their health care options,” Johanson said. “I also hope to expand the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the IPAC organization and explore a variety of options to make that happen. Initiatives such as a possible new membership structure and the broadening of professional development opportunities are are just a few of the ideas IPAC is considering in addition to our new partnerships in health care coordination. IPAC has been able to move forward due to the tremendous efforts of board members and others invested in our mission and the leadership they have provided. I hope to continue this tradition in my tenure as chair.”

Cindy Birt, outgoing Board Chair, said she is confident the Board selected the ideal candidate for the position.

"2011-2012 has been an extremely challenging and exciting IPAC year,” Birt said. “As a Board, we were determined to define a role and establish a business model for the organization. Last year, we experienced a huge success in finally being able to hire an Executive Director and set up a Pathways hub model of care in SE Ohio. Sue Johanson brings a wealth of experience to the Board in her professional life and in the time she has already spent on the IPAC Board. The great thing about Sue is the way she is always picking apart the subject matter to make sure we have looked at all angles. She wants IPAC to be a success by making good, strong decisions. She will bring great leadership in the coming year."

Johanson is a School Psychologist for the Athens City School District. Her responsibilities include the assessment of children in preschool through high school and working with families, the school district, and area agencies, such as Help Me Grow, as part of the team that identifies and provides services to children in our community. Her previous experience includes directing TOPS and Human Services training and teaching high school-level math. She holds a degree in Mathematical Economics from Brown University, a Masters in Education with a focus in School Counseling from the University of Massachusetts, and a second Masters in School Psychology from Ohio State University. As an IPAC board member, her hope is to improve and expand our region's services for young children and families.

Birt will continue to serve on the Executive Committee as Vice Chair. Noriko Kantake will serve as Treasurer, replacing Sue Meeks. Doug Debrick was re-elected as Secretary.

Remaining board members include Nina Andrews, Dawn Murray, Pam Ramage, Anne Rubin, Sherry Shamblin and Sarah Winters. Ex-Officio members include Kendall Brown-Clovis, Dawn Graham, Jane Hamel-Lambert, Heather Reed and Robert Stewart.

IPAC also said farewell to a cherished member of the organization. Sue Meeks, RN, C, resigned from her position on the board after serving the maximum years allowed under our bylaws. Meeks has been involved since 2003 and is one of the founding members of IPAC. Board members presented her with a plaque in honor of her accomplishments.

She leaves with a heavy heart, but she’s encouraged for the future.

“IPAC was the best endeavors for personal and professional growth that I’ve ever participated in,” Meeks said. “To be part of an organization from the very beginning and watch it grow and build upon every success was very rewarding. For me it was a place to learn, vent frustrations, be encouraged, and learn how to succeed as a group. The recent hiring of IPACs first executive director was a milestone for the organization; IPAC now has staff to move its goals forward at an even faster pace. It’s an exciting time for IPAC-many good things will come for the organization and for our community.”

Through her tireless efforts, Meeks has improved the lives of countless children and their families, said Johanson.

“Her dedication and innovative efforts are a model for us all,” Johanson said. “Her work and leadership as a member of IPAC have clearly improved the health care options for children in our region and in the state of Ohio as she has been instrumental in bringing the message to a broader audience.”

Her passion and drive are about bettering the lives of others, added Dr. Jane Hamel-Lambert.

“As a founding member of IPAC, she has kept us focused on the importance of doing what is right for the families we want to work with,” Hamel-Lambert said. “Personally, she has taught me about the Appalachian culture, about the experience of poverty, the effects of trauma, and I have to admit she has taught me a thing or two about the field of nursing, but what has been most valuable to me is that she has helped keep my 'strategizing for change' focused on meaningful outcomes. As she steps down from the board, I will miss her company in our board meetings, but I have no doubt her 'voice' will continue to infuse our experiences, our growth and our future successes.”