M.P.H. Alumna Named to “Forty Under 40” List

Reasons Rebecca Goldsmith Is a Forty

She was Miss Iowa USA in 2011 and dedicated the year to volunteerism throughout Iowa. She is an advocate for resilience and overcoming childhood adversity and provides community training on adverse childhood experiences.

She serves as a board member of MS Moments. She is the head coach of track and field and cross country for middle school girls in Des Moines’ Roosevelt school system.

Rebecca Goldsmith, M.P.H.’13

What Are Your Goals in Your Role at Your Company?

I work on a federal COVID-19 health disparities grant at DHHS through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We aim to reduce the impact of COVID-19 throughout Iowa, with a special focus on rural areas as well as populations that are often underserved.

What Are Your Goals for Your Community Involvement?

In my role as a board member with the MS Moments nonprofit, I work on finding grant opportunities to assist with keeping the program sustainable. We help lighten the financial burden for Iowans diagnosed with multiple sclerosis by partnering with local resources to provide services such as housekeeping, massage, acupuncture and gym memberships.

What Is it That Drives You?

I grew up in Chariton, Iowa, where my parents have always been dedicated professionals and very involved in the community by sitting on boards and councils, planning local events, coaching and volunteering. They set a great example for me to pursue similar opportunities as an adult in my own community.

What’s Your Biggest Passion, and Why?

My passion is mentoring young women, specifically regarding gender equality in sports. As a coach for Des Moines Public Schools and a former college coach, I empower women to achieve athletic success. I hope to see women’s sports grow in popularity, the gender wage gap decrease and ultimately for women to be seen as equal to men in athletics.

What Are Your Future Aspirations?

I plan to continue to pursue passions in public health and coaching. I also have an entrepreneurial mindset and hope to marry that with my work in public health, coaching running or something creative at some point.

What’s One Piece of Advice That You Would Give to a Young Professional?

As an alum of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, which is now Lead DSM, (’19 – best class ever) and a current member of Leadership Iowa (also best class ever), I highly recommend each of these programs. They opened my eyes to important issues in our community and state and helped me become connected to other leaders.

Editor’s Note

Rebecca Goldsmith, M.P.H.’13, is a program planner with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. This spring she was chosen for the Des Moines Business Record’s “Forty Under 40” list, which highlights local business leaders under the age of 40 who have demonstrated “impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement.” She was nominated for the honor by Samra Uzunovic Hiros, M.P.H.’16, rural health programs manager in the DHHS.

Also among this year’s “Forty Under 40” honorees was Candice Revita-Ramirez, assistant director of events in DMU’s development and alumni relations department.

This excerpt from the Business Record is reprinted with permission.

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