We’re talking about rural Veterans and their families. We’re having that conversation with Carter Florence, the Director of Strategy and Impact with Meals on Wheels America, and David Albright, the Hill Crest Endowed Chair in Mental Health with the University of Alabama School of Social Work. Both Carter and David are 2018-2019 Rural Health Fellows with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), where they focused on rural Veteran policy, culminating in a Policy Paper presented to and adapted by the NRHA Rural Health Congress.
“When we really understand the complexity of the community, we can identify the levers that can be pulled to create opportunities for improving health holistically.”
Carter is a problem solver and proficient in developing, implementing, and managing strategies and solutions that leverage community assets and readiness for health improvement. With a strong record of forging and developing relationships with diverse individuals and strategic partners for system-level approaches to public health, Carter accomplishes community engagement by utilizing theory-based and evidence-informed practices while implementing solutions for dynamic population level health problems. She has an outstanding academic, professional, educational, and community-based practice background in the United States, with an emphasis in rural Appalachia.
“I worry a little bit about rural health and rural veterans being overly politicized…”
As Director of Strategy and Impact at Meals on Wheels America, Carter provides direction and organizational support for facilitation of strategic plans as well as evaluation of current programs. She serves as a subject matter expert on in-home safety and fall prevention for older adults, and manages the Helping Homebound Heroes grant project. Carter also oversees the development of internal data streams.
David is a military Veteran and former research fellow with both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the RAND Corporation’s Center for Military Health Policy Research. Dr. Albright works to produce research that is useful for communities, Veterans Service Organizations, health care providers, and policymakers as they work to address and improve health and wellness-related determinants and outcomes among military personnel, Veterans, and their families.
The Governor of Alabama appointed Dr. Albright to both the Alabama Executive Veterans Network, in which he serves as the Education and Research committee chair, and to the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council, in which he serves as the Community Engagement chair. He also leads a state task force to identify and develop recommendations for the Alabama Veteran population on opioid addiction and treatment, both within and outside of the Veterans Health Administration health care system.
Dr. Albright holds an appointment on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families, and currently serves both on the Rural Veterans Task Force and Health Equity Council. He serves as a rural social work consultant to the National Association of Social Workers; serves as the Delegate of the Delegate Assembly for the NASW, Alabama Chapter; and is on the Board of Directors for both the Alabama Rural Health Association and the Alabama Rural Health Coalition for the Homeless.