Current Leader

Michelle Lemming

Michelle Lemming
Location: Denison, Texas Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Built Environment/Housing/Planning, Communications, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Food Systems and Nutrition, Health Care Access, Leadership Development, Public, Population and Community Health, Social Sector/Non-Profit Population Served: Rural Communities
Texoma Health Foundation

Michelle is working alongside a diverse group of public and private stakeholders to establish a Culture of Health that will serve as the fabric of everyday living in her four-county region of North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. To achieve a Culture of Health, she firmly believes that we must own a shared definition that encompasses mental wellness and is grounded with a foundation of equity. Understanding and addressing social determinants of health, providing equitable access to healthy choices and health care services, and ending the barrier of mental stigma are among her top priorities to assure all residents have the opportunity for a longer, healthy and happy life. “I am so very proud of what has already taken place and am so passionate about our work ahead,” she says.

Michelle grew up in the small East Texas town of Kilgore. Soon after graduating from the University of Louisiana, Michelle served as a young executive director leading the first rural collaborative/network funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in Louisiana. She shares that the opportunity was instrumental in her ability to identify and connect to her passions. She quickly learned the skills and power of collaborative efforts, surrounded by servant mentors and leaders. Their work in Southern Louisiana would ultimately be modeled and replicated in rural communities across the nation. Prior to serving in her current role as the founding CEO of a “new” public foundation established in 2007, she led the Health Services Recovery Council, created to move recovery efforts forward in nine rural parishes most devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Throughout her career she has maintained and implemented a continued passion for equity and developed a devotion to creating a culture of mental wellness in rural populations. She shares that Culture of Health Leaders is one of the best experiences in her career and looks forward to the continued work ahead.

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