Salute to Women 2021: Meet the Honorees – Amanda Balser & Khala Hochstedler

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Salute to Women 2021: Meet the Honorees – Amanda Balser & Khala Hochstedler

Categories: Empowering Women, News

Salute to Women Class of 2021 Amanda BalserAmanda Balser is a 2000 graduate of Twin Lakes High School and attended St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. She is a resident of West Lafayette and has lived in Tippecanoe County for the past ten years. As a six-year employee of the Tippecanoe County Health Department (TCHD), she has grown into the role of Executive Assistant. Amanda looks forward to continue serving this community through her role at the Health Department.

While working for TCHD, Amanda has secured over $1.5 million in grant funding. Grant funding plays a major role in her position with TCH as she is in charge of grant writing, management and all financial reporting. These tasks, along with more than a few others including managing the social media pages for TCHD, fill most days.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Amanda’s positions is building community partnerships. All TCHD-operated programs require many community collaborations to make them successful. The biggest partnership Amanda is involved with is the relationship between public safety and public health. In 2020, Amanda along with her peers were asked to present at the 2020 Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP) National Forum: United We Stand, in Washington, D.C.  This was a great honor and privilege to show others around the nation the strong collaboration Tippecanoe County has built between the public and public safety.

Amanda also oversees the internship program for TCHD. Teaching and guiding students who are the next generation of public health is very rewarding. Interns come from all over the world to work with TCHD, and this program helps build the future of public health.

Gateway to Hope and Naloxone Distribution are a few of the programs that Amanda has helped build since beginning with TCHD. Both programs are helping the community save lives in many different forms. These programs have a lot of heart and soul built into them and continue to operate today.

When not working, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, especially outdoors at the lake or taking the dogs on a stroll around the neighborhood. You may even catch her trying to sneak in a good read.

“It is an honor to be nominated for this award, and I am humbled to be sharing the stage with so many amazing women, especially two of her teammates Khala Hochstedler & Grace Paton!” – Amanda Balser

 

Salute to Women Class of 2021 Khala HochstedlerKhala Hochstedler serves as the Administrator for the Tippecanoe County Health Department (TCHD), where she is responsible for coordinating and supervising health department divisions, researching and writing grant proposals, budget considerations, and ensures proper enforcement of all governmental laws, ordinances and statutes relating to public health. She also serves as the Public Information Officer for TCHD, acting as the department’s liaison to various agencies and media organizations. Previously, Khala was the Nursing Supervisor for TCHD, where she gained experience with staff management and overseeing clinical settings.

When starting at TCHD, Khala began to focus on community outreach including mobile vaccine clinics, onsite school immunization clinics and offsite STD/STI testing. Additionally, Khala has been instrumental in TCHD’s outreach to community partners, working in tandem with organizations such as Lafayette Transitional Housing to reduce barriers to care.

Khala’s passion for public health reaches the lives of every member of the community. From tirelessly working to vaccinate the community against COVID-19, ensuring that Tippecanoe County’s food establishments are following policies and procedures, to working with at-risk populations – Khala does everything she can to meet the public health needs of Tippecanoe County. In 2017, she began Tippecanoe County’s Syringe Service Program, Gateway to Hope. Gateway to Hope’s initial mission was to prevent outbreaks of Hepatitis C and HIV in the community. This has led to a passion for harm reduction. Her advocacy has resulted in honors including Immunization Advocate Award (2015) and the Public Service Award (2018) from Vaccinate Indiana.

Born and raised in Grant County, Indiana, Khala relocated to West Lafayette in 2007 with her husband. Khala graduated from Indiana University – Kokomo with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Khala began her nursing career at Franciscan St. Elizabeth. She then began work in the Allergy & Immunization Clinic at Purdue University Student Health Center.

Outside of work, Khala is active in her church, First United Methodist Church of West Lafayette, where she has been involved in anti-racism, LGBT advocacy and social justice programs. Khala also enjoys spending time with her family (sons Grayson and Parker, husband Reid and dog Bella), traveling, outdoor recreation and all things True Crime.

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