Ask Me Why I Care
Public Service Stories | Health and Human Services
This issue of the Public Service Stories Videos focuses on nine people who have worked primarily on health and human services issues. Their stories inspire and inform, demonstrating the extraordinary range of opportunities--at all levels of government--to make a difference by creating and managing programs that meet the vital needs of citizens.
If you are driven by a need to help others, if you find the idea of providing healthcare or other essential services appealing--particularly for those least able to help themselves--or if you have an aptitude for math, science, or research with a human bent, you must take a look at these profiles. They could change your life.
Walter Broadnax - former deputy secretary and COO, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Interview recorded in 2014. Interested in the Affordable Care Act? Broadnax talks about its origins.
Mary Ellen Guy – former supervising psychologist at the South Carolina State Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. Interview recorded in 2014. If you’re interested in working with children or adults with mental health issues, take a look at this video.
Dewey Harris – assistant county manager of Catawba County, North Carolina. Interview recorded in 2014. If you’re curious about a person’s path to public service, this video will be helpful.
Brandy Hodge – volunteer services coordinator, Department of Human Services, Johnson County, Kansas. Interview recorded in 2014. Working effectively with volunteers is about building relationships, Brandy shows you how.
Rachel Lyon – park supervisor, City of Independence, Kansas. Interview recorded in 2014. Here’s a great example of a woman thriving in a man’s world. You’ll love her audacity!
Howard Messner – chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency task force in the late 1960s that led to the creation of the agency in 1971. Interview recorded in 2005 by the National Academy of Public Administration. Ever wonder how a federal agency got started? Watch this video for the story of how the EPA came about.
Janet Norwood - The first female commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Department of Labor. Interview recorded in 2005 by the National Academy of Public Administration. This video is a great example of courage and integrity on the part of a high level federal official. Don’t miss it.
Harvey White – professor of public policy and administration, University of Delaware. Interview recorded in 2014. Public service is problem-solving. Take a look at some great examples in this video.
Phin Xaypangna – Organization Development and Learning Consultant, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Interview recorded in 2014. Our apologies about the background noise in this video, but we think this wonderful example of realizing the American Dream is worth watching.
Suggested Assignments for Students
Review videos for one or more of the following:
- What in the speakers’ backgrounds led them to choose public service?
- What career paths did each follow?
- What is the content of the health and human services work they’ve done?
- How does their work fit into public service?
- What is the role of education in their career choice/career path?
- Where did each feel they made a difference in the lives of others?
- What values led them to public service and/or were reinforced by their experiences in public service?
- What surprised you about any of these individuals and their stories?
- Which speaker did you like best and why?
- What are your take-aways from these videos?
- What are the common threads in all the videos?
A Special Thank You
UNO thanks the National Academy of Public Administration for their generosity in providing video interviews of Howard Messner and Janet Norwood for use in this project.