This Veterans Day, the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions thanks the brave members of our armed forces for dedicating their lives to serving and protecting our country. Here are just two of our PHHP community members making a difference. Read more to see how PHHP Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, Stephen “Brint” Carlton, J.D., M.B.A, M.H.A. (MHA ’05), is advancing access to health services as a U.S. Air Force Reservist, and how Master of Public Health student Melanie Orejuela, B.S., is serving those who serve through her work with the Malcom Randall Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Stephen “Brint” Carlton, J.D., M.B.A., M.H.A.
Stephen “Brint” Carlton is Executive Director of the Texas Medical Board in Austin, Texas. He also is a traditional reservist serving as Commander of the 94th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.
As executive director, he is chief executive of the state agency responsible for protecting public safety through the licensure and regulation of Texas physicians, physician assistants, acupuncturists, medical radiologic technicians and respiratory care professionals. He manages a $14 million budget and 240 state employees.
He previously held positions as the county judge of Orange County, Texas, and a juvenile prosecutor. He was responsible for employee policies for 400 county employees and services to 82,000 citizens. He presided over the five-member Orange County Commissioners’ Court and was responsible for the creation of a $46 million annual county budget.
As a U.S. Air Force Reservist, he is responsible for providing aeromedical evacuation capability in training, exercise and deployed settings. He has held numerous positions during his career, including as a joint medical planner and Pentagon staff officer. He has deployed to Kuwait, Italy, Hawaii and California, and three times to the Republic of Korea. He was selected as the 2008 Air Force Medical Service Group Practice Manager of the Year.
He is married with two children.
Melanie Orejuela, B.S., M.P.H. student
For Melanie Orejuela, a PHHP Master of Public Health student, serving those who dedicate their lives to protecting our country is at the heart of her work.
Orejuela is pursuing her graduate degree with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences, in conjunction with her full-time role as a research project coordinator at the Malcom Randall Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville. Her research aims to reduce health disparities and address gaps in suicide prevention resources for veterans, especially Latinx veterans living in rural areas. Learn more about her work in developing a community suicide needs assessment tool for veterans.
Passionate about minority health, Orejuela was drawn to work that positively impacts Latinx veterans. Pursuing a graduate degree in public health, emphasized Orejuela, was a lifelong dream. Specializing in social and behavioral sciences, she said, was an easy choice.
When she’s not working on cutting-edge research, Orejuela can be found at Patty Cakes drinking a pop-culture inspired coffee or reviewing one of Gainesville’s hidden gems as a proud member of Yelp’s Elite Squad.