Public Health

External Advisory Board

The MU Department of Public Health External Advisory Board (EAB) provides input from external stakeholders about the department’s public health curricula, preparation of graduates for the public health workforce; department vision, mission, value, and goals; and evaluations plans. The EAB also identifies public health workforce training needs that can be addressed through department degrees and programs. The EAB is critical to ensuring the MU Department of Public Health meets its land-grant mission to provide accessible public health education, generate new public health knowledge, and engage Missouri communities about public health issues.

Cody Minks, Chair

Senior Biothreat Reduction Specialist with Noblis & supports health security work for the U.S. Government

Prior to his current role, Cody served as the Emergency Management Program Manager for SSM Health’s Greater Midwest Region. In this role, he assisted senior leadership in leading the COVID-19 response for the region and the four-state hospital system. Cody was also the Regional Public Health Emergency Planner for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cities Readiness Initiative in St. Louis, MO, leading the regional planning group in preparing for public health emergencies. Cody also serves as an adjunct for the University of Missouri’s Master of Public Health program, teaching Principles of Emergency Preparedness.

Cody is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, the University of Missouri and the Naval Postgraduate School earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health, a Master of Public Health in Veterinary Public Health, and a Master of Arts in Security Studies. Cody is currently a Doctor of Public Health candidate at Johns Hopkins University with a focus in health security.

Dr. Shannon Canfield

Assistant Research Professor at the MU School of Medicine

Dr. Canfield’s research agenda includes health promotion and equity, emphasizing women’s health, particularly mental health in the reproductive period, and improving access to care. Her research program includes three overarching areas: 1) developing and implementing interventions to support the needs of women and families throughout the perinatal period, 2) exploring the efficacy of using technology-mediated interventions in health promotion, 3) engaging in health equity research prioritizing community engagement and access to care.

Dr. Canfield is experienced in health disparity and implementation science research. She has had the opportunity to work with multidisciplinary teams, resulting in successful community initiatives and health care innovations. She has contributed to numerous mixed-method research projects using information technology to improve chronic disease management and programmatic, policy-oriented or educational approaches designed to promote health equity for marginalized and underserved populations. Her current research explores ways to improve care and health outcomes for women and families throughout the lifespan by focusing on perinatal policy and health care practices.

Scott Clardy

Administrator of the Cooper County Public Health Center

Scott Clardy has over 35 years of experience in Missouri’s public health system.  He was with the Missouri Department Health and Senior Services (DHSS) for over 24 years where he worked in the following fields:  chemistry analysis at the State Public Health Laboratory, examining health impacts on communities living around hazardous waste sites, conducting exposure studies of children living in former lead mining communities, environmental public health, communicable disease control and prevention, health informatics, vital statistics, immunizations, veterinary public health, and epidemiology.  After leaving DHSS, he served as the Assistant Director of the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services for over nine years where he oversaw units dealing with environmental public health, clinic services, communicable disease control and prevention, WIC and nutrition, animal control, and social services. During this time, Mr. Clardy served his first term on the MU Public Health External Advisory Committee.  Mr. Clardy served as the Deputy Director at both the Cass County Health Department and the Kansas City Missouri Health Department before taking his current position as the Administrator of the Cooper County Public Health Center.  Mr. Clardy is a volunteer site visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board and has served as on the boards of the Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence and Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies (MoALPHA).  He has also served as the chair of the MoALPHA legislative sub-committee.  Mr. Clardy has presented nationally and internationally on his public health work.  Mr. Clardy holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from the  University of Missouri-Columbia.

Alex Denning

Senior Manager at ECG Management Consultants

As a Senior Manager, he works alongside hospital administrators, physician practices, and health system leaders to provide informed guidance on their provider transactions and agreements. Before joining ECG, Alex was a market research analyst and program manager at Kindred Healthcare. In this role, he assisted senior management in developing strategic plans, optimizing operational efficiency, analyzing market trends, and evaluating clinical quality metrics.

Alex graduated from the University of Missouri, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology, followed by a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Promotion. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School. 

Kate Okker-Edging

Doctoral student and graduate research fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania

Prior to her doctoral studies, Kate received two degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia: a Master of Public Health in Health Policy & Promotion (2020) and a Master of Arts in Journalism (2021). After finishing her studies at Mizzou, Kate worked as a health communication researcher for a market research firm. At Penn, Kate researches how we can leverage digital/social media to improve heath outcomes, with a specific focus on mental health and tobacco use among youth and young adults. 

Kayla Riel

State Coordinator for the Missouri Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (MO CARES)

In her line of work, Kayla has acquired a special interest in integrating the principles of EMS and public health to collaborate and offer improvements for patient care and health outcomes related to cardiac arrest prevention and rehabilitation. Kayla has a broad background in public health practices, with specific training and expertise in epidemiology and health promotion.

Andrew Warlen

Director of the Platte County Health Department (PCHD)

Andrew Warlen, MPH, has worked in Public Health for over 29 years.  Prior to coming to PCHD, Warlen led the Cass County Health Department through the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other experience includes 17 years with the City of Independence Health Department (the last three as Director), a short stint with Mid-America Regional Council in Emergency Services, and seven years of working in communicable disease control with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as an Epidemiology Specialist and with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department as a Public Health Specialist.

Jeff Wenzel

Chief of the Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Jeff Wenzel received a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri–Columbia in 1997.  Jeff has worked for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for 22 years where he has served in a variety of roles including laboratory scientist, environmental specialist, and epidemiologist.  For the last 6 years, Jeff has served in his current role as the Chief of the Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology. 

For the last 7 years, Jeff has been a member of the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council’s (ITRC) Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Team.  For several of those years, he co-leading the History and Use and Nomenclature Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Group.  Starting in 2024, Jeff was chosen to be one of three co-leads for the larger ITRC PFAS team.

Emma Wickland

Research Associate for the National Cancer Policy Forum at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

As a Research Associate, she supports research and convening activities that address issues in science, clinical medicine, public health, and public policy that are relevant to reducing cancer burden, elevating evidence-based research and interventions in the oncology realm and improving health care systems for clinicians that treat cancer and patients at risk for and diagnosed with cancer. Operating within the Board on Health Care Services as a member of the NCPF staff team, Wickland and her National Academies colleagues aim to help shape the direction of health care in the United States and abroad through activities pertaining to organization, financing, effectiveness, workforce, and delivery of health care with clinicians, researchers, experts, patients, and patient advocates.

Prior to joining the National Academies in Washington, D.C., Wickland worked for the University of Missouri Health Care system and the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute in clinical research and patient care roles, the Missouri Immunization Coalition as a Summer 2022 MPH Intern, and the University of Missouri-Columbia Department of Public Health as an Undergraduate Research Assistant and Graduate Research Assistant supporting HIV and COVID-19 research projects and admissions, advising, recruitment, student support, administrative, and programming efforts for Mizzou DPH.

Wickland received dual degrees in Sociology and Public Health in 2021, a Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology in 2022, and a Master of Public Health in Health Promotion & Policy in 2023 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Following the completion of her MPH degree from Mizzou, she achieved her Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) credential.

Jenny L. Workman

Community Wellness Manager at Boone Health

After holding leadership roles in private and public sector organizations, Workman is a seasoned professional in managing employee and community wellness programs. Her career has included a commitment to fostering health and well-being among individuals and communities alike.

The MU graduate’s journey began in the heart of her community, where she spearheaded initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. Her ability to connect with diverse populations and engage stakeholders has been instrumental in the success of the various programs she has managed. Her career evolved, from managing The School of Health Profession’s Health Connection and then was instrumental in developing and managing the University of Missouri System’s Employee Wellness Program. After her time at the University, she developed the employee wellness program with the City of Columbia.

Her approach to wellness program management is rooted in evidence-based practices and she recognizes the importance of addressing the unique needs and preferences of individuals, tailoring programs to ensure maximum participation and effectiveness.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Workman has volunteered her time and expertise to various nonprofit organizations, serving on boards and committees dedicated to promoting health equity and access to wellness resources for all.

Throughout her career, Workman has developed the ability to inspire positive change and mobilize resources. Workman remains steadfast in her commitment to advancing the field of employee and community wellness. With over 25 years of experience behind her, she continues to have a passion for making a difference, she continues to drive innovation and positive change in pursuit of a healthier, happier community.