PHII welcomes Senior Informatics Analyst Erin Roche
PHII is pleased to welcome Erin Roche, MPH, to her new role as a Senior Informatics Analyst. Erin is no stranger to PHII, having served as a consultant on PHII projects for a year prior to joining as staff. Erin transitioned from a consultant to a team member in late October.
Erin first encountered the field of public health in college, when she changed her major from biology to a new program that caught her interest. “I knew I was interested in science and health care but I didn’t necessarily want to spend my time in a lab or in direct patient care,” says Erin. “When I came across the community health education major, it seemed like a perfect fit—an opportunity to apply a variety of disciplines to the work of improving the health of populations instead of individuals.”
Committed at this point to a career in public health, Erin went on to earn her MPH from the University of Minnesota several years later. “Like so many public health professionals, I am passionate about the opportunity and potential public health provides to effect positive change across populations,” says Erin. “So much of the work of public health is invisible—and yet it acts as a safety net that works to protect, maintain and improve the health of individuals and communities every single day.”
“So much of the work of public health is invisible—and yet it acts as a safety net that works to protect, maintain and improve the health of individuals and communities every single day.”
- Erin Roche
After completing her education, Erin began a decade-long career at the Minnesota Department of Health. In her first role of many at Minnesota’s health department, Erin blended the skills she’d gained in her undergrad and MPH studies to serve as a communicator and health educator. It was in this role that she first encountered immunization information systems (IIS), when she collaborated with IIS staff to design training materials for the state’s system.
“I enjoyed the challenge of making something that was seen by many as intimidating and foreign into something that was accessible and relevant,” says Erin. Shortly after, she transitioned to a project coordinating role for the state IIS. Within a few years, she was promoted to managing the state’s IIS, where she managed a team of eight staff. Shortly after this promotion, Erin attended the CDC-funded new IIS manager training hosted at PHII, where she connected with PHII’s staff.
When Erin later transitioned to independent consulting on IIS and data quality management, she worked with PHII on several projects, lending her expertise to support IIS practice. During this time, a Senior Informatics Analyst staff position opened up at PHII, and Erin decided to pursue it.
In her new role, Erin will be continuing to lead technical assistance strategies for IIS projects and serving as an expert for workforce development materials developed by the Informatics Academy. She’s looking forward to leveraging her work to promote effective public health data exchange. “It is an exciting time to be involved in public health informatics,” says Erin. “There are opportunities to collaborate with partners across sectors and leverage these partnerships and new data sources to continue to protect and advance the public’s health.”
When she’s not leading PHII initiatives, Erin is keeping up with her three sons and spending some quiet time in her garden, weeding and finding homes for new plants she couldn’t resist at the nursery.