Mae Tanner, MPH

Chamberlain University College of Health Sciences

Originally from the western states of the US, I currently live on a lush wooded hillside in rural Massachusetts. Our town boasts just over 1,000 residents, and I am fortunate to serve the community as a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT-B), along with my position as a voting member on the Board of Health. For the past two years, I have been involved in our region’s public health emergency planning and response as a steering committee voting member, through which I represent a three-town coalition. I also volunteer for the Western Massachusetts incident management team as the Medical Unit Leader (MEDL; in training), a team with which I truly enjoy working. In my spare time, I spend as much time as I can out-of-doors–no matter the weather–and I am often tromping around the nearby trails with my trusty dog in tow, or digging around in the dirt in an attempt to grow vegetables and herbs in my garden.

I knew I wanted to be of service in the public health sphere for quite some time, but I discovered my true purpose during my public health graduate program. I was working through some particularly challenging coursework in biostatistics and epidemiology when I recognized that I wanted–needed–to be entrenched in the spaces where emergency response and public health intersect.

My interest in working in public health stems from my roles involving community emergency response. I believe that we are only as healthy as our least healthy community members; thus, if we can build connections, strengthen services, and thereby fill resource gaps whenever possible, then the community as a whole benefits.

As an EMT-B on my tiny rural town’s emergency services ambulance crew, I have experienced many instances in which our patients (or would-be patients) were in need of services and/or resources beyond or in addition to pre-hospital care and transport. I am highly motivated by the process of learning, understanding, and connecting people with identified resources that hold the potential to improve their life conditions. I have found this to be my wheelhouse, and I am excited to learn and grow in this arena.
During the Fellowship program, my aim is to strengthen the skills and experiences needed to help build community resilience and response on a wider scale beyond the one person/one connection realm of EMS. I will continue to serve my community as an EMT, and yet engaging on a broader scale to improve public health outcomes is where I hope this Fellowship will take me as I learn.

My Fellowship will be focused on a project entitled “Building and Implementing a Public Health Response Readiness Framework.” Through this project, I will be assisting with the research, analysis, strategic planning, and coordination of activities related to the 10 PHEP Program Priority Areas to inform the development and implementation of the 2024-2029 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement, as well as the ongoing refinement and implementation of the Public Health Crisis Cooperative Agreement, and the work and organization of the CDC’s Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR).