DMU Alumni Association Board of Directors member since 2015; immediate past president
Executive Director, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, Des Moines, Iowa
Alumni engagement is important because we graduates have gained a lot of value and education from DMU. Being involved lets you continue being engaged with the University and also give back by “paying it forward” to students, who are future health care professionals. One way I’ve enjoyed doing that is by mentoring and supervising students in DMU’s College of Health Sciences who have done their internships and capstones at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative.
I’ve always been passionate about health and community health. There are a lot of things we can do to enhance our health, but not everyone has the ability or access to take these steps. As executive director of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, I’m part of a
privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their communities throughout the state. It involves individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector in a broad-based, community-focused effort to enhance the health of individuals and communities.
What I love about my position is the work we do every day touches the lives of Iowans, whether it’s helping low-income individuals and families access healthy fruits and vegetables, working to reduce the stigma of mental illness or providing schools and early care programs resources to promote healthy habits. This work allows me the opportunity to collaborate and connect with partners from different sectors leading efforts to improve the health of Iowans.
My previous roles in state government and the nonprofit sector include serving as executive director for Safeguard Iowa Partnership, senior program manager of the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative for Telligen (formerly Iowa Foundation for Medical Care), and executive director of the Center for Disaster Operations and Response for the Iowa Department of Public Health.
As graduates of Des Moines University, we represent the spectrum of health care in America, from clinicians and administrators to educators, researchers and leaders of professional organizations. In our various roles, we understand the importance of working in teams that leverage our diverse expertise and skills to best serve our central focus – ensuring the well-being of patients, communities and populations. Similarly, we can benefit by keeping the DMU community – fellow alumni, current students, faculty and staff – as the “center” of our alumni activities. The DMU Alumni Association is a great means of doing so.
Just as you turn to colleagues in your career and professional endeavors, you can seek out other DMU graduates who are experts in a wide range of areas. Whether you are tackling a challenge in your organization, want to know more about specific best practices in health care practice and technology, are considering joining professional associations or just want to connect with other alumni in your community, we are here for each other. Together, we make a great team.
My husband, James Peterson, and I enjoy exploring the world both on land as hikers and in the ocean as scuba divers.
The 2014 Des Moines University College of Health Sciences Alumni of the Year, Jami Haberl is a past honoree of the Des Moines Business Record Forty Under 40 program and the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation’s Community Connect: Mentor Program. She served 10 years as a part-time faculty member for DMU’s College of Health Sciences.In addition to her service on the DMU Alumni Board, she is a participant in the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) mentoring program that connects DMU alumni and current students. She and her husband, James Peterson, are members of the President’s Society, which recognizes donors of $1,000 or more annually.