Jill Ness, MPH [Preceptor]

Jill Ness is the Deputy Director at Health First Wisconsin, and she is currently preceptor to Carly Hood.  Health First Wisconsin advances policy solutions to make our state a healthier place. Health is not something that begins in a doctor's office. It starts in our homes, schools, workplaces and in our playgrounds and parks. It's in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Viewing health in this way, offers a unique and effective opportunity to improve health before the onset of disease.

Jill earned her BA from Luther College in Decorah, IA, in Political Science, Sociology and Russian Studies and her MPH from University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. Jill’s main interest has always been at the intersection of politics and health, and her career has centered on facilitating healthy, community-level changes through the democratic process.
Her first public health job was with Hennepin County (MN) Health Department where she worked as a tobacco control coordinator in the western suburbs of Minneapolis before moving to Madison to join the team at SmokeFree Wisconsin. Initially Jill worked with communities around the state as they pursued local smoke-free workplace ordinances and provided technical assistance on grassroots organizing and coalition building for statewide policy efforts, such as cigarette tax increases and preserving funding for the state’s tobacco control program.

In 2011, SmokeFree Wisconsin became Health First Wisconsin in order to incorporate other pressing public health issues into its agenda. With the organizational realignment, Jill’s role shifted to oversee a staff who offers policy and grassroots technical assistance in the areas of tobacco prevention, alcohol abuse prevention, healthy eating, and physical activity.

Jill lives in Madison with her husband, two sons, and two cats. She spends her free time wrestling with such important questions as: “Which part of the yard should we convert to a vegetable garden next?” and “When is our next trip somewhere cool, and which friends will be coming with us?” and, “What’s for dinner tonight, anyway?”