Russ is the director of Central District Health Department, which serves a population of about 475,000 people.
“Our mission is partnering to promote, protect and preserve health in our communities,” Russ said. This led to a natural partnership with United Way of Treasure Valley.
“I have a strong commitment to improve the health of our communities and recognize that there are so many opportunities to do so,” he said. “I started volunteering for United Way because I was impressed by their strategic approach to changing the odds for members of our community through education, health, and financial independence.”
United Way has three Vision Councils for the three pillar areas. These Vision Councils feature volunteer community members who are expert in their fields.
“Our responsibilities include making funding recommendations to United Way’s Board, and we make sure projects and programs we recommend be funded are in alignment with the goals from the United Way Community Needs Assessment,” said Russ, who serves as the chair of the Health Vision Council and is an advocate of United Way’s community-wide, cross-sector partnerships.
“Working for a local government agency, I know first-hand how important developing partnerships can be to leverage our limited resources in our quest to make our communities healthy.”
Russ sees value in United Way’s approach to improving health by linking health outcomes with economic stability and education, two key factors that determine a person’s ability to be healthy.
“When donating to United Way of Treasure Valley, I am confident that the funds will be used to meet our community’s greatest needs through partnerships with organizations that truly have the ability to influence positive outcomes for children, adults and families,” said Russ.