Promoting and Improving     
     Population Health in Kansas

Annual Conference Committee Chair

Erica Anderson
Committee Term: 2018

Erica Anderson is a Population Health Strategist for Humana. In her current role, she works to advance policies, practices and programs that improve population health in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. She serves Humana by engaging with community stakeholders in efforts to build and reinforce systems, policies and environments that support population health for all.

Erica served in the role of president in 2016 and immediate past-president in 2017 for KPHA.


Policy & Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs

Shirley Orr, MHS, APRN, NEA-BC
SOCO Consulting
Committee Term: 2018

Sonja Armbruster
Wichita State University           Committee Term: 2018

Shirley Orr serves as a public health consultant and President of SOCO Consulting, after providing 30 years of service in professional and leadership roles for public health and health care organizations. She previously served as Director of Local Health and Chief Public Health Nurse for the Bureau of Local and Rural Health, Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Shirley is a 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellow. Her consulting clients include RWJF, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), state and local health departments, and the Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care. Shirley is a founding Co-Director of the Kansas Public Health Leadership Institute, and the Kansas WALD (Workforce and Leadership Development) partnership. She is an adjunct faculty member for the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita and a lecturer for the Wichita State University School of Nursing. Shirley received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Nursing and Health Services Administration from Wichita State University. She holds Kansas licenses as a Registered Nurse and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. Shirley is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Nursing Administration at the advanced level. She is a graduate of the National Public Health Leadership Institute. Shirley has served two non-consecutive terms as president of the Kansas Public Health Association and currently serves as the Kansas Affiliate Representative to the APHA Governing Council and as Region VII Representative to the APHA Council on Affiliates. She is also currently president-elect of APHN.


Sonja Armbruster, MA, joined the Department of Public Health Sciences at Wichita State University’s College of Health Professions in August 2017. In her role as a Health Sciences Educator, her priority teaching areas include Health Administration and Policy, Health Communication and Quality Improvement. Prior to joining the faculty, she was the founding director of the Center for Public Health Initiatives at Wichita State University’s Community Engagement Institute. There she led a team that provides training and technical assistance to the state health department as well as local health departments and other health services agencies across the state. Previously, she worked for 10 years at the Sedgwick County Health Department where she served in a number of administrative roles, including health promotion program management, development of the strategic plan and performance management system, supervision of the quality improvement and accreditation preparation efforts, and leadership of community health assessment and improvement planning.

As a consultant for the Public Health Foundation, Sonja has provided training and technical assistance for state, local and tribal health departments in the areas of performance management systems development, workforce development, and quality improvement since 2011.

Sonja is a member of the Oral Health Kansas board of directors and an Ex-Officio member of the Kansas Public Health Association- where she served as the 2009 board president. She chaired the community health improvement coalition, the Wichita Health Alliance, for six years and continues as a coalition member. Additionally, Sonja serves as a site visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board.

Her formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and a Master of Arts in Communication, both from Wichita State University.


Communications Committee Chair

Travis Rickford

Community Engagement Initiative
Office Phone: 202-735-0502         Committee Term: 2018

Travis Rickford is the Kansas State Director for the Kansas Health Foundation’s Community Engagement Initiative. Travis has over eight years of experience working in community public health. As a community public health advocate, Travis works with communities to build their capacity to address the social determinants of health through evidence-based policy, system, and environmental changes. This includes activities such as community assessment, sustainability planning, media engagement, and project management. Travis holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Fort Hays State University. In addition to KPHA, Travis is a member of the American Public Health Association. He also serves as an advisory board member for the Kansas Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration. Travis resides in Hays, Kansas with his wife Melissa, son Ashton, and daughter Olivia.


Membership Committee Chair

Michael Showalter

Lawrence Douglas County Health Department
Committee Term: 2018

Michael Showalter is a 6th generation Kansan and has worked as a Health Promotion Specialist at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department (LDCHD) in Lawrence, Kansas since 2015. His current work focuses on the intersections between health and the build environment, and affecting health outcomes by advancing multi-disciplinary physical activity and nutrition-related public health policies.

Michael began his career in public health working at a non-profit community AIDS project in Springfield, Missouri. After graduating from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, Michael served for over two years as a Community Health Coordinator with the United States Peace Corps in Cameroon, West Africa. In this role, he collaborated with international aid organizations and government agencies to develop a culturally-relevant comprehensive HIV prevention and sexuality education curriculum for 17 rural government health centers. He also served as chairman of the Cameroon HIV Prevention Steering Committee and administered several grant-funded initiatives aimed at increasing HIV testing rates, and increasing patient access and adherence to prescribed drug therapies. Michael lives in Lawrence with his fiancé Benet, the executive director of a state-wide nonprofit advocacy organization, and their three dogs, Bruce, Kristoff, and Winnie. They spend their free time gardening and developing their amateur bee-keeping skills.


Awards Committee Co-Chairs

Becky Tuttle
Greater Wichita YMCA 
Committee Term: 2018

Dr. Nikki Keene Woods                         Wichita State University                                Dept. of Public Health Sciences                        316-978-5637              Committee Term: 2018

Becky Pattison Tuttle has over twenty years of professional experience engaging community partners through grassroots local coalition efforts focusing on tobacco, physical activity, healthy eating, oral health, fetal infant mortality and worksite wellness.  The majority of the experience has focused on policy and environmental changes to improve the health of the community.

As of June 2017, Tuttle is serving as the Community Development Director for the Greater Wichita YMCA, as well as facilitating the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita.  The Community Development Branch Director provides leadership and management for outreach programs and services including volunteer development, partnership development, fiscal management, financial development, as well as the program and membership experience.  The Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita was established in 2004 and engages community members in healthy eating and increasing physical activity through program and policy implementation.  Prior, Tuttle served as the Project Manager for Health ICT, an affiliate of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County.  Health ICT is a four year initiative focusing on the prevention of diabetes, obesity, heart attack and stroke.  Tuttle previously served as a Director of Wellness Initiatives for the Greater Wichita YMCA and was responsible for the coordination of numerous programs focusing on chronic disease prevention and management, including diabetes, cancer, youth obesity, arthritis, and worksite wellness.  Tuttle also served at the Sedgwick County Health Department as the Community Health Planning and Performance Improvement Division Director, where she was responsible for public health department accreditation, quality improvement, community health assessment and improvement planning, workforce development, and strategic planning/performance management.  Prior to serving as a Division Director, Tuttle served as the SCHD Health Promotion Coordinator for almost six years, with highlights including the first local health department selected for the NACDD STAR Site Visit process, 2 national “I’m Your Community Guide” awards from the Public Health Foundation and a NACCHO Model Practice designation for the Health Department’s “Business Case for Breastfeeding” initiative. 

Ms. Tuttle currently serves on the Kansas Public Health Association Board of Directors as President and as the Awards Committee Chairperson, Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition Past President, Health Alliance Chair, Health & Wellness Coalition Leadership Chair, Tobacco Free Wichita Coalition member, WorkWell Kansas Advisory Board, and has served on numerous local, state and national conference planning committees.  Ms. Tuttle is has also been appointed by the City of Wichita Mayor to serve on City of Wichita District II Advisory Board, City of Wichita Park Foundation Board and City of Wichita Sister City Board.  In addition, Ms. Tuttle has served as the Wichita Aero Club Gala Co-Chair for five years, raising funds for scholarships awarded to students interested in a career in aerospace.  Ms. Tuttle is a Kansas Public Health Leadership Institute Scholar, Advance Kansas graduate, Dental Champion, Kansas Leadership Center Champion, Leadership Wichita participant, and Leadership Kansas nominee.  Ms. Tuttle has led a grassroots initiative to educate the community on the importance role that health and public health plays in the community’s vitality, including the development and implementation of a Public Health Sister City Site Visit.  Ms. Tuttle was also intricately involved in promoting civic engagement and implemented a “Vote Like a Mother” campaign in the fall of 2016 to encourage young mothers to vote in the upcoming elections.

Her career highlights include numerous local, regional, state, and national awards, including serving as the Coordinator for Tobacco Free Youth Initiative in Indianapolis, Indiana, which received the 2001 American Public Health Association-GlaxoSmithKline Partnership for Healthy Children Award.  She is the recipient of the 2012 Kansas Public Health Association Virginia Lockhart Health Education Award, 2016 Wichita Business Journal Women in Business honoree, 2017 Kansas Public Health Association President’s Award and 2017 Sedgwick County National Public Health Thank You Day Award Recipient.  In 2016, Tuttle was a finalist for the Health Equity Award offered by the National Recreation and Park Association and was nominated by the City of Wichita Park and Recreation Department.

Ms. Tuttle has a Master of Arts from Appalachian State University in Student Development Administration and a Bachelor of Science from the University of South Dakota in Psychology and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies.


Dr. Nikki Keene Woods is an Assistant Professor at Wichita State University in the Department of Public Health Sciences. She has earned master degrees in Behavioral Science and Public Health, and a PhD in Behavioral Psychology from the University of Kansas. Dr. Keene Woods teaches Community Health, Social and Behavioral Public Health, and Epidemiology courses in the Department of Public Health Sciences. She is a maternal, infant, and child health researcher and educator with an emphasis on addressing health disparities. Her work is community-based and collaborative in nature utilizing mixed methods to answer specific community health questions. She is currently active in local and state groups working to improve birth outcomes for infants and mothers in Kansas. Her experiences are shared with students through undergraduate and graduate coursework and service-learning opportunities.


Board Committees 

Board Term: 2018 

Executive Committee : (see Board member bios)

Becky Tuttle, Dr. Bob Moser, Michelle Peterson, Cristi Cain, Miranda Steele, Megan Foreman, Brandon Skidmore

Nomination Committee : (see Board member bios)

Michelle Peterson (president-elect), Miranda Steele (secretary)


2018 Conference Sponsors

Interested in becoming a KPHA Conference Sponsor? Visit for more information.


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