Iowa Public Health Association

IPHA Board of Directors

Deb Vander Plas, Affiliate Representative to the APHA Governing Council

Deb Vander Plas, Affiliate Representative to the APHA Governing Council.

Deb completed her nursing degree at St. Luke’s School of Nursing in 1979 and obtained her BSN degree from the University of Iowa in 2004.


Deb has worked at the public health agency in Sioux County for 28 years.  She began her public health career as a home health nurse which included public health responsibilities.  When Deb became the immunization program coordinator, she implemented school based immunization programs and community based influenza vaccination programs to improve accessibility to immunizations.  She also implemented a state funded STI screening program to address gaps in services.

In 2008, Deb assumed the role of Community Health Services Director of the agency.  She oversees programs in tobacco use prevention, communicable disease prevention, immunizations, health promotion, lead poisoning prevention and emergency preparedness and response.  Deb helped establish an environmental health department in her county.  In addition, her agency has taken a lead role in facilitating a comprehensive community health needs assessment with the four hospitals in her county. 

Deb is a 2013 scholar of the Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute at the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska.   She also was the first cohort of BSN prepared nurses to obtain the Certified in Public Health certification from the National Board of Public Health Examiners in 2015.

In her community, Deb leads the implementation of a walking trail to improve walkability and is their representative on the Sioux County Walking Trail Council.  

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