Urban Planning Meets Public Health

Archived-Her Story

Urban Planning Meets Public Health

In this episode, Joanne Conroy, M.D., President and CEO, Dartmouth Health, interviews Leslie Meehan, Deputy Commissioner for Population Health at the Tennessee Department of Health. They speak of the impact…
September 28, 2022

Urban Planning Meets Public Health

Meet Leslie Meehan:

Leslie Meehan is the Deputy Commissioner for Population Health at the Tennessee Department of Health. Previously, she was the Director for the Office of Primary Prevention at the Tennessee Department of Health. She also served as the Director of Healthy Communities at the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. She received a bachelor’s from Emory University and a master’s in public administration from Tennessee State University. 


Key Insights:

Leslie Meehan discusses top public health issues and new approaches to solve them. 


  • Lessons from COVID-19. The pandemic can provide a vision for how public health challenges can be addressed in the future. Public-private partnerships and cross-sector collaboration could help us beat not just infectious diseases, but chronic diseases as well. 
  • Top Issue in Tennessee. The top two issues are housing and childcare. Both have become increasingly expensive due to limited supply, which was further exacerbated by the pandemic. The next biggest issues are transportation access and food systems. 
  • How You Show Up Matters. It’s important to listen and learn the problem, system, and players. First impressions are vital, especially when trying to influence decision-making outside of your field. It’s not just what you know, but also how you communicate.


This episode is hosted by Joanne Conroy, M.D. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Her Story and is the President and CEO of Dartmouth Health.


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