Mary Mincer Hansen has benefited many in her careers: individual patients, when she worked as a nurse; residents of underserved communities, via her global health work; millions of Iowans, as director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH); and millions of Americans with her advocacy for public health. She will benefit many more to come as she teaches and mentors DMU students, fellow faculty and colleagues in public health, health care policy and global health.
“I’ve been fortunate in that every position I’ve held has been exciting and rewarding,” she says. “Serving on the Institute of Medicine committee is something I’m very proud of. And being on DMU’s public health faculty, hearing our students talk about the difference we’ve made in their lives, and seeing them go on to make a difference in other people’s lives is incredibly rewarding.”
For her distinguished and diverse leadership in public health, in April Hansen received the 2012 Henry Albert Memorial Award from the Iowa Public Health Association (IPHA). The award is named in honor of the IDPH commissioner from 1926 to 1930.
In 2010, Hansen was one of 15 individuals appointed to the National Health Workforce Commission by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which serves as a resource to Congress and the GAO. From 2009 to the present, she has been a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Public Health Strategies to Improve Health.
Hansen served as IDPH director from 2003 to 2007; she remains an active advisor to public health professionals. She was president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in 2006 and currently is president of the ASTHO Alumnae Society.