The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is honoring its 2024 Public Health Heroes, who play a vital role in creating a healthier and more resilient community for all. They were recognized during the Board of Public Health meeting on Thursday, April 25.

A Public Health Hero is an individual or organization whose efforts positively affect the health and well-being of our community. SNHD staff nominated this year’s honorees, who are employed by the Clark County School District (CCSD) and Roseman University of Health Sciences.

Clark County School District Health Services Department
Jennifer Budzinski, Employee Occupational Health Strategy Director and Sherri McPartlin, Health Services Director III/Chief Nurse, are being recognized for their work in addressing the active tuberculosis exposures in Clark County School District during 2023. They provided staff, facilities and support, helping SNHD navigate, plan and execute large scale testing. CCSD has developed a close working relationship with SNHD, and its efforts are integral to educating and supporting the community.

Budzinski is a registered nurse who has been in the health care field for 23 years. She began her career in emergency medicine and trauma. For the past 10 years she has worked for CCSD; seven years as a school nurse and three years as Employee Occupational Health Strategy Director. She became a director during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to ensure that students and staff could return to in-person instruction safely after seeing the impact of isolation on students. Along with her duties involving staff health initiatives for all employees, she often collaborates with local, state and federal agencies. Her work with SNHD involves school-related infectious disease cases.

McPartlin is responsible for developing and implementing safe health policies and procedures in all CCSD schools. She directs the activities of the Health Services Department, while serving as a consultant to CCSD administrators as well as community and state agencies in the administration of the school health program. McPartlin has over 27 years of nursing experience, including both critical care and school health.

Clark County School District Risk Management Department
Director Kimberly Krumland and Safety Coordinator Stephen Johnston of the CCSD Risk Management and Safety Department have the responsibility of ensuring that the 300,000-plus students enrolled in CCSD attend schools that meet or exceed the health and safety requirements of the Nevada Administrative Code. As leaders, they supervise a department consisting of 15 staff members who work tirelessly to eliminate or mitigate hazards on school campuses throughout the Valley. In addition. Krumland and Johnston assist SNHD in responding to communicable disease outbreaks by disseminating the knowledge, tools and resources to respond to outbreaks and keep the school community safe.

Johnston was born and raised in Ohio, and his family moved to Las Vegas in 1981. He worked as a plumber and pipefitter for various companies including his family’s own plumbing company until 1995. He joined the Facilities Unit at CCSD later that year, where he and his team worked together to ensure the school district complied with SNHD’s health and safety standards. In 2015, Johnston moved to CCSD’s Risk Management Department, where he serves as the district’s Safety Coordinator. In this role, he works to maintain and improve school safety and health for students and staff.

Krumland has devoted the majority of her professional career to CCSD. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration/financial services from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 1995. Her introduction to CCSD as an intern in the Risk Management Department left a lasting impression and she secured a risk management position at CCSD in Sept. 1996. In her nearly 28 years with CCSD, she has developed and implemented numerous policies and programs involving claims, safety, insurance, health and environmental issues.

Roseman University of Health Sciences
Dr. Andria Peterson, Executive Director, EMPOWERED Program, is being recognized for her outstanding contributions to improving the health and well-being of pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder (SUD). Through her leadership as Executive Director of the EMPOWERED Program, Dr. Peterson has identified gaps in care for infants and new parents affected by SUD and neonatal abstinence syndrome, leading to the development of comprehensive protocols and interventions. Her dedication, innovation, and tireless advocacy embody the essential services of public health.

Dr. Peterson joined the Roseman College of Medicine as executive director of the EMPOWERED program in 2021. Prior to that, she spent 12 years working as a clinical pharmacist in the pediatric and newborn intensive care units (NICU) at St. Rose Dominican Hospital. It was during this time that she co-founded the EMPOWERED program, a care coordination model designed to help pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder navigate the path from recovery to stabilization to resilience. Dr. Peterson is also an assistant professor of pharmacy practice with Roseman University’s College of Pharmacy where she has taught since 2009. Additionally, she serves on Nevada’s Patient Protection Commission and is a Core Team Member of the Nevada Reproductive Health Network.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.