Lela Shepard
Florida Office of Rural Health
NOSORH Member since 2019

What are you working on right now: What am I not working on.

What led you to a career in rural health? Happy accident.

Favorite thing about working at a SORH: Everyone is so generous with their time and sharing what works. I have never known such kind colleagues.

What advice do you have for new NOSORH members? Keep going, you will get there. There is lots to learn and you will not figure it all out on your first read, attempt or go around. But your peers in other states and at NOSORH are here to help.

People would be surprised if they knew: I know how several martial arts, including Kali Eskrima (Arnis). My step-father teaches it, so I learned as a teenager.

My top 3 goals for 2021: Hire for our new positions, empower staff to take on new challenges and encourage our rural stakeholders after a tough year with COVID-19.

What I’m currently reading: I just finished “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

If I weren’t doing this, I would be…doing a camping tour to all the national parks.

The SORH work that I am most proud of: The hard work of my staff. We have been through a tough two years, but the Office would not have the new staff and ability to spend all our grants if it was not for their tenacity and skill.