Tanner Kingery, MPH 2015
Director at Ouray County Public Health Agency
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I love most about my job working in a rural, local public health agency in Colorado is how quickly I can make an impact in my small community. Within a few months of starting my job, I was attending meetings with department heads, city council members, mayors, and county commissioners. Public health is inherently a local pursuit and, being from a rural town myself, I relate to the challenges facing my rural community and the unique barriers to delivering public health services to rural citizens.
What inspired you to pursue an MPH degree?
I believe health needs to be prioritized in order to have a successful society. A skillful public health workforce prioritizes and advances the health status among populations through proper surveillance, analysis, policy-making, programming, and implementation.
Why did you choose Illinois for your MPH?
After serving in the United States Navy, I had the opportunity to use my G.I. Bill to further my education. Being from central Illinois, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree at our state’s flagship institution while reconnecting with friends and family.
What were the highlights of your time in the MPH program?
I had the opportunity to work with two different instructors as a graduate assistant during my MPH program. Getting to know them outside the classroom made for a more enriching student experience.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
My advice for prospective students is to use your time wisely and dive into your program. You get out of it what you put into it. Get to know your instructors because you will lean on them more than you realize.
Photo: Tanner on the Via Ferrata in Telluride, CO
In The News
When Tanner Kingery became the county public health director in tiny Ouray County, Colo., in November 2019, he considered himself ready to tackle just about any issue. Read about Tanner's experience with COVID-19.