Back in October 2022, Jamie Slade, prevention specialist with the Tooele County Health Department, moved up to the health promotion coordinator position.
Slade will also serve as the department’s public information officer.
With a mission to promote health and protect the environment to assure the community’s quality of life, a lot of stuff falls under the category of “health promotion.”
“I do violence and injury prevention, healthy environments, active living, tobacco prevention and control; healthy aging, like falls prevention and things like that,” Slade explained. “I also do car seat classes and seatbelt safety; and harm reduction efforts, like distributing naloxone. There are a lot of different programs with the goal of promoting health within the community.”
Slade’s favorite program she has implemented is the monthly car seat safety classes and fall prevention classes for older adults.
“These are a lot of fun because they are interactive for participants as well as for our health promotion team,” she said. “It’s great to be able to get to know community members and work directly with them.”
As the department’s public information officer, Slade provides accurate and relevant information to members of the media, like the Transcript Bulletin, so that the public can stay up to date and informed on what is happening in the health world.
Along with talking to the media, Slade also manages the health department’s social media.
“My two jobs go hand in hand together, like if we are trying to promote one of our programs, I need to be creating messaging around that and be putting it out to the community through social media or fliers,” she said. “You can’t really separate the two.”
Slade enjoys her job, because she is able to advocate for the health of the community, something she is passionate about.
“I really love that everything we do is to support people, and help them live better and healthier lives,” she said. “If they can develop healthier habits and have the resources they need, it’s setting them up for success in the future. Working in public health is a very fulfilling job.”
Since taking on her new roles, Slade has been working to build her connections with the community.
“Amy Bate, who was in my position for many years, had a wealth of knowledge and all of these connections,and I’m still kind of learning that,” Slade said. “I’m getting caught up and building those connections myself. That’s been a bit of a challenge but I feel like I have a lot of support.”
Bate, who was recently married and has the last name of Hoftiezer, is now the director of Tooele County Aging and Adult Services.
Slade, who was born and raised in Tooele County, began working at the health department in July 2020 as a substance misuse prevention specialist.
“As a prevention specialist, I facilitated a local coalition: the North Tooele Communities that Care which covers Stansbury, Erda, and Lakepoint,” Slade explained. “That is a group of people who are passionate about the health of their communities, especially around substance misuse, mental health, and behavioral health. We would address risk and protective factors that were associated with those types of problems, like focusing on strengthening families and promoting community connection.”
Slade said it wasn’t easy to get the program started, but it was very rewarding.
“I’m excited that in my current position, there are opportunities for me to continue to work with them and collaborate on projects to address substance misuse in our community,” she said.
Although Slade loved her job as a prevention specialist, she ultimately took her current position because she wanted to advance her career and learn more.
“I always want to find more opportunities to grow,” she said.
Since Slade was little, she’s been interested in health.
“Public health is something that I’ve always thought was important,” she said. “Even growing up and when I was in high school, I was part of an anti-drug club. I’ve always been very passionate about people’s health … Public health is kind of a way to address the health of a large population, and offer resources, and services to people who might not otherwise have access to those services, which I think is pretty cool.”
Because of her interest, Slade pursued a bachelor’s degree in community health and education from Utah Valley University. After graduating from UVU, Slade knew she wanted to explore her options for a master’s degree program.
“I’ve always loved traveling and I’ve traveled all over the world,” Slade said. “For my master’s degree, I wanted to look outside of the United States and it turns out that Queen’s University has a really good master’s of global health program, so I applied and I was accepted.”
Slade packed two suitcases and a carry-on bag and headed to her new home for a year.
“I was in class all day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., because it was only a year-long program,” she said. “Here in the U.S, you have different classes with different people, but there you are with the same people all day.”
While in Ireland, Slade’s friends and family came to visit and they road tripped all over Ireland.
“We saw a lot of cool places,” she said.
She was also able to fly to Spain and Venice for short trips.
“The world was accessible over there,” Slade said.
Slade graduated from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland in 2018 with a master’s degree in public health.
After graduation, she moved back to Tooele County and began working as a prevention specialist at Valley Behavioral Health before the program was transferred to the health department in 2020.
Slade has a quote on the wall in her office that reads, “We spend a lot of time talking about the leading causes of death. We also need to spend time talking about the leading causes of life.”
“I really love that, because I am really passionate about life and the things that bring us joy and the things that make our lives fulfilling,” Slade said, referencing the quote. “Let’s talk about those more than the negative and these things that are maybe hurting us. I like that, because it helps us remember to focus on the good parts and the things that bring us joy.”
When she isn’t working, Slade enjoys being outside when the weather is nice.
“I hike a lot in the summers, go camping, canyoneering, and rock climbing,” she said.
Slade also enjoys game nights with friends and family, kickboxing, and reading. Her favorite types of books are mysteries, thrillers, and fantasies.
If Slade could change one thing about the world, she would create more kindness.
“I wish that there was more kindness in the world. I think that would help decrease conflict and violence,” she said.