Skip to main content

Heidi Niedfeldt - Class of 2020


  • I graduated with my MPH in 2020 (a.k.a. right at the beginning of COVID). It was a crazy time to enter the workforce! I got a full-time position at Weber-Morgan Health Department in the tobacco prevention and control program (TPCP). However, even though TPCP was my official position, I actually worked for my first full year primarily in COVID mitigation. It was certainly a wild ride, but also one that provided a lot of skill development and opportunities. After a year I was promoted to Program Manager of the TPCP program. I have been a manager for over 2 years now and I absolutely love my team. Recently I also became the manager over the Health Equity and COVID grants. All-in-all I'm managing about 4 million dollars of grants for the Weber and Morgan areas. My teams are responsible for building community partnerships, improving health equity among underserved populations, enforcement of tobacco laws among retailers, collaborating with school districts on evidence-based risk and protective factor programs, and many other things. Our focus is almost entirely upstream/prevention based and I wouldn't have it any other way!
  • I will be the first person to tell you that tobacco was not my goal subject area after I graduated with my MPH. However, it is such a necessary and relevant issue in our communities and I have really enjoyed the work. One of the best parts of my job is that we focus heavily on risk and protective factors. This upstream work means that even though I am being funded by tobacco grants, the work we are doing is impacting way more than just substance use. The programs we use also impact mental health, academic success, community laws and norms, and many more factors. I love that I get to help change people's futures by giving them tools today.
  • The first thing that came to mind is the ability to collaborate. It sounds so obvious! However, after years of public health work, I can tell you that it is easy to be territorial of your work, your communities, and your programs. However, being territorial is also the fastest way to keep public health work from progressing. Public health is nothing without partnerships. If we are working as individual entities, whether government, nonprofit, etc..., we are never going to make real progress in improving the health of our communities. We can only succeed if we let go of our silos and work in conjunction with our other community partners. This sort of collaboration can be hard with every organization having their own priorities and objectives, but is is absolutely necessary if we hope to make lasting change.
  • I use the skills I gained during my MPH all the time in my work! Whether it is finding evidence-based programs, creating logic models, doing community assessments, or whatever else it may be, I am regularly reflecting back to my MPH. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get my MPH, and I am grateful for the skills and connections I made there that continue to help and support me to this day!