WVPHA honors administrator

Linda S. Sanders, administrator at the Randolph-Elkins Health Department, was inducted into the West Virginia Public Health Association Hall of Fame Sept. 19.

The WVPHA Hall of Fame is to recognize individuals who have helped make this nation great by outstanding contributions of the establishment, development, advancement, or improvement of public health in West Virginia. Each nomination must have made their major contributions in West Virginia and should have had a long tenure associated with Public Health.

Each nominee must have demonstrated high standards in accomplishments and merit. Nominations may be made by an individual or organization in West Virginia. A maximum of one inductee will be installed into the WVPHA Hall of Fame in any one year.

Sanders started at the Randolph-Elkins Health Department on June 1, 1965 and has more than 48 years of service in public health in West Virginia.

She has been instrumental in helping her agency and the public health systems in her area thrive. While serving as a member and/or officer of the West Virginia Association of Local Health Department, she has always looked toward the future and focused on being in the forefront of changes in public health.

Sanders is presently vice president and secretary of the WVPHA Professional Clerical Section, after serving two terms as vice president, president elect, and president in the past. In 2009 she received the Outstanding Professional Clerical Award for Dedication and Service in Public Health. She is treasurer of the Administrative Section of WVPHA and served as president and vice president in the past.

She is a member of the West Virginia Public Health Partnership and West Virginia Threat Preparedness Committee. She is vice president of the WVPHA Association of Local Health Departments, after serving two previous terms as vice president, president, past president and one three-year term as member at large. She also serves on several sub-committees in the organization and last year she assisted with the completion of a strategic plan for the association.

Presently she is working on the necessary steps for her agency to eventually apply for accreditation from the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). With the assistance of grants she applied for, the agency completed a Strategic Plan and a Community Health Needs Assessment last year.

They are presently working on a Quality Improvement Plan and staff will be training in Quality Improvement initiatives

Sanders possesses a desire to improve, she does not dwell on mistakes but views them as opportunities to learn and move on. She has a vast knowledge of the agency and how it operates locally as well as the history of the organization. Linda maintains contacts outside the agency and profession that may have certain knowledge and different viewpoints from those within and is able to communicate with key individuals.

She understands how external events will affect the agency and effectively plans, organizes, and solves problems. Sanders is self-confident and loves what she does.

Locally she is on the board of directors for Good Shepherd Ministries, Randolph County Domestic Referral and Training Program, North Central West Virginia Community Action, Inc. and serves as a board representative on the Head Start Policy Council. She is also the administrative and financial lead for the Threat Preparedness 10-county region SPHERE.

She serves as a resource for the counties in her region in human resource information, grant processes, and general public health administration.

She presently serves as an adult Sunday School Teacher at the Elkins Church of God and Family Worship Center. She served in the past as youth director, church camp counselor, taught a teen class for more than 20 years, was active in fund raising activities for the youth and missions, and was director of a youth choir that participated in state competition.

She coached a Bible Quiz Team which won West Virginia state competition four consecutive years and competed in the National Championships, winning third place one year and second place two years.

Sanders is married to George, and has two daughters and sons-in-law, Stephanie and Michael Coberly and Sabrina and Daryl Talkington. Her hobbies are reading, flower gardening and canning.