Sheila Sjolander

/Sheila Sjolander

About Sheila Sjolander

Sheila Sjolander is the Interim Deputy Director of Public Health Services overseeing the divisions of Preparedness, Licensing, and Prevention. Sheila has been serving as the Assistant Director for Prevention Services for the past 11 years. In this role, she oversees more than 60 public health programs, including injury prevention, maternal and child health, nutrition and physical activity, and chronic disease. In her 21 years at ADHS, Sheila has been a leader in integrating prevention programs, strategic planning, and the state’s work to reduce opioid overdoses. Sheila received her Master of Social Work degree from Temple University, and previously held strategic planning positions in Oregon and Wisconsin. Sheila received the Outstanding Achievement in Rural Women’s Health from the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Association in 2016, and the CHW Champion Award from the Arizona Community Health Worker Association in 2017.

Before and during pregnancy, take steps to reduce the risk of birth defects

By | January 26th, 2023|General, Prevention|

Across America, one baby in every 33 is born with a birth defect. In Arizona, that translates to about 2,400 children each year born with any of a number of diagnoses, including Down syndrome, heart defects, cleft lip and cleft palate, and spina bifida. Many causes of birth defects, such as changes in genes and [...]

Supporting the physical and mental health of new and expectant mothers

By | January 25th, 2023|Prevention|

Maternal health is a key priority at ADHS. During the week when we mark Maternal Health Awareness Day, I'm highlighting two recent initiatives aimed at improving the health of pregnant women, postpartum women, and newborns. One is a recent report summarizing data on maternal mortality related to mental health conditions and substance use disorder. It [...]

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Great American Smokeout: Ending dependence takes time, planning, and patience

By | November 17th, 2022|Prevention|

"Milestones," an award-winning public service announcement from the Arizona Smokers Helpline (ASHLine), begins with one man's decision to end dependence on commercial tobacco. It then follows the health benefits that multiply in the years after that last cigarette.  This year's Great American Smokeout focuses on what gets someone to day one of life without commercial [...]

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Community Health Workers: Uniquely positioned to make communities healthier

By | November 7th, 2022|Prevention|

No one knows a community better than the people who live there. Someone who has spent a lifetime in Tuba City, Seligman, or Yuma knows the people who live there, what makes the community unique, and what health care solutions are needed. That's the idea behind the Community Health Worker movement, which has roots in [...]

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Teal pumpkins promote safe spaces for kids with allergies

By | October 26th, 2022|Prevention|

For most children, trick-or-treating is a fun way to dress in costumes and collect their favorite candy. But for children with food allergies, this weekend's festivities can present a tempting danger. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a simple way to make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive for the one in 13 children living with food [...]

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The Unvape Generation keeps on growing

By | October 25th, 2022|General|

"I don't vape, because there's no point to it and I have better things to do with my life."  That wisdom comes from Serenity, a pilot who is part of the Unvape Generation you'll meet at unvape.org. She joins other young people who, unafraid of a future without nicotine, share on the ADHS YouTube channel [...]

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Positive experiences help children bounce back from adverse events

By | October 19th, 2022|Prevention|

You may have heard about adverse childhood experiences, potentially traumatic events that could have lifelong health consequences. But there is increasing attention focused on positive childhood experiences that help children build resilience and recover from significant adversity or trauma. Researchers have noticed that children with resilience have better health outcomes and develop the ability to plan [...]

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‘Together We Rise’: Ensuring access to breast cancer screenings

By | October 13th, 2022|Prevention|

With breast cancer, as with other cancers and many other diseases, early detection makes a positive outcome more likely. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Arizona, with an estimated 6,110 cases expected to be diagnosed in 2022, according to the American Cancer Society.  It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which promotes educating yourself and [...]

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Smoking cessation PSAs win Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards

By | October 3rd, 2022|Prevention|

Following up on a recent blog, I'm pleased to share that two public service announcements developed for our Arizona Smokers Helpline (ASHLine) won Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards over the weekend.  “The Run,” produced by True Story Films, won in the Single Spot Commercial category. “Milestones,” produced by Matter Films and OH Partners, won for Health/Medical [...]

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Working to achieve a goal of zero suicides

By | September 21st, 2022|Prevention|

As we mark national Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I’m highlighting the new suicide prevention website at azhealth.gov/PreventSuicide that connects people with information and help.  Resources include:  Details on groups that are disproportionately affected groups including LBGTQ, older adults, teenagers, veterans, American Indians, and those who have survived previous attempts at self harm Local and national [...]

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