Application for Legislative Commission for Stephanie Zaza

Contact Information

Full Name

Stephanie Zaza

Party Affiliation

Democrat

Occupation

Self-employed public health consultant - curriculum vitae/resume attached

Educational Background

• Bachelor of Science (Combined Sciences), Youngstown State University (Youngstown, OH) - degree awarded jointly with MD 1990 • Medical Doctor, Northeastern Ohio Medical University (Rootstown, OH) - degree awarded jointly with BS 1990 • Masters of Public Health (Epidemiology), The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health (Baltimore, MD) - degree awarded in 1995 • General Surgery Residency (Swedish Hospital Medical Center, Seattle WA, 1990-91, internship only) • Epidemic Intelligence Service (2-year in-service training, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1991-1993) • General Preventive Medicine and Public Health Residency (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Hawaii State Health Department (1993-1995, inclusive of time earning MPH at Hopkins) • Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine, board certification 1995-present • Ohio medical license 1991-2017 (now inactive) • Colorado medical license 2017-present (active)

Zip Code

81623-9771

Background

Professional Background

Upon moving to Colorado, I became an active member of 4 volunteer music organizations – the Cowboy Corral, Symphony in the Valley, the Aspen Choral Society, and High Country Sinfonia. In each, my goal was to serve as an outstanding musical contributor. With Aspen Choral Society and High Country Sinfonia, I quickly became more deeply involved in the organizational and business aspects through appointments to the Boards of Directors. I joined the Board of the Aspen Choral Society at a time when many important organizational changes were occurring. I quickly recognized that the Board would benefit from having the bylaws updated and a more aggressive public relations and fundraising posture. I led the revision of the bylaws, facilitated the entire board in reviewing and discussing options for important changes, identified a volunteer to serve as our general counsel for review and advice, and assisted the Board President with socializing and approving the new bylaws among the full board. I also worked closely with a public relations contractor to develop press releases and a more active social media presence. Behind the scenes, I provide guidance to the Board President based on my previous experience and training as a member of a board for a large national organization. High Country Sinfonia appointed me to their Board in 2020 to assist with their efforts to become a registered non-profit organization in the state of Colorado. That work is ongoing and draws from my experience developing the bylaws and procedures for Aspen Choral Society. My approach to organizing, representing, and advocating for both organizations is to serve the three “duties” of a board member – duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. My aim is to improve their business operations through careful shifts in policy and activity, while honoring the long local traditions of each organization and the deep relationships among and between the long-standing members, board members, and the community members who are our donors and audiences. A second way I actively consider the interests of Colorado organizations is my professional consulting work in public health and strategic planning. I have worked with several governmental organizations or associated entities within Pitkin County including the Board of County Commissioners, the Department of Public Health, the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority, and the Pitkin County Elected Officials Transportation Committee (including the Pitkin BoCC, the Aspen City Council, and the Snowmass Village Town Council). In each engagement, I have strived to build rapport, guide the group to a strategic solution, and identify and resolve areas of disagreement all while adhering to the parameters provided by the sponsor/client. This work has given me deep insight into the political structures, realities, and foibles of the government entities within one county and, critically, how those entities relate to their neighboring counties of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Past Political Activity

During a 25-year career as a Federal uniformed services medical officer (1991-2016), my political activity was limited due to Hatch Act restrictions. Following my retirement (September 1, 2016), I participated in house-to-house canvassing during the 2016 general election. During the 2018 election, I did a small amount of letter writing for the Diane Mitsch Bush campaign (CO-3). During 2020, I have participated in the Eagle County Democratic Caucus and as a district/state delegate in March, served as an Eagle County citizen election judge during the June primary, and briefly volunteered for and participated in one meeting of the Eagle County Democrats this summer. Because of ongoing public health consulting work related to the pandemic, I have not been able to continue my volunteer activities at this time. As I wind down these consulting activities, I plan to serve as a citizen election judge again for the general election in November. My husband and I jointly made small ($10-25) donations to the Hillary Clinton campaign (2016), the National Democratic Party (2018), and the 2018 and 2020 Diane Mitch Bush (CO-3) campaigns.

List of Political and Civic Organizations belonged to

• American College of Preventive Medicine (a 501c3 national professional medical society, member since 1996; Fellow since 2004; Board of Regents President-Elect 2017-2019, President 2019-2021, CEO Search/Selection Committee Chair 2018) • US Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Association (member, 1991 - present) • Aspen Mountain View Homeowners Association (homeowner, 2016-present) • Aspen Choral Society (singer and member of the Board of Directors, 2017-present) • Eagle County CO Democrats (volunteer, 2020) • Symphony in the Valley (Glenwood Springs, CO, musician, 2016-2019) • High Country Sinfonia (Basalt, CO, musician 2017-present, board member 2020-present) • Valley Gardeners (Carbondale, CO, member 2017-present) • Cowboy Corral (singer, 2016-2019)

Statement

I love solving big difficult problems. During my time at CDC, I was routinely called upon for special assignments – establishing high-profile programs, leading rapid decision-making units during pandemics, rescuing and rehabilitating programs decimated by political budget cuts. After retirement, I committed to myself that I would use those skills and that passion to help find solutions in my own community and state, rather than just at the Federal government level. I have long been interested in Congressional processes. During my time at CDC, I had the privilege to meet regularly with members of Congress and their staffs to educate them about our programs and answer their questions. I love the idea of democratic representation and finding ways to make that representation really work. Spending the bulk of my career living in a state that was heavily gerrymandered (Georgia) was exceptionally frustrating and something I vowed to take seriously when I was free of the Hatch Act restrictions I was placed under as a Federal uniformed services officer. When I retired and moved to Colorado in 2016, I knew I was moving to a state with many fewer Congressional districts, and that the population size and distribution was the largest determinant of how those districts are structured. The degrees of freedom for creating districts are extremely limited because of this. But the issues facing voters in CO-3 – one of the largest geographical districts in the nation with a relatively small population – must be considered and forcefully advocated for during the redistricting analysis and decision-making. I want to represent that perspective while also recognizing that the commission must make the best decisions for the good of the entire state. I want to apply my analytic, strategic, and negotiation skills to this big, difficult challenge to help the commission succeed in its work.

Statement on Working with Consensus

In my facilitation and strategic planning work, I use several techniques to promote consensus. Chief among these is to ask questions to make sure I fully understand the perspective and contribution of the group members. I also make sure that I carefully draw out both the explicit and implicit criteria people are using to make decisions so that I can find areas where negotiation is possible. I always try to understand my own and others’ self-interests. I also work to reframe conflicts – what is it we already agree on? How can we use those points of agreement to find solutions to meet the enlarged interests of the group – in this case the entire state? When disagreement continues it is usually because the “right” solution has yet to be found. Being creative and drawing on the entire group’s creativity is key. And finally, I aim to always articulate how the group came to its recommendation or solution and what the criteria were. This contributes directly to communications that generate buy-in among stakeholders and so that each member of the commission can faithfully and enthusiastically promote the results of the work. My training as a scientist, manager and leader and my experience in the highly politicized environment of Federal public health instilled in me the need for fairness and impartiality. One cannot lead a team without being fair. Serving as the steward of a Federal budget requires one to be impartial. Federal procurement rules build fairness and impartiality directly into the systems within which I was trained. It is my instinct – through disposition and training – to make decisions based on facts, after considering the pros and cons of all the options, while making the decision criteria explicit, and with a deep understanding of how all stakeholders will feel about the decision. Finally, the most important aspect of promoting consensus and contributing to a fair, impartial and agreeable process is getting to know and appreciate the perspectives of my fellow commissioners. Learning about each other – including who we are and what we value – will be key to the commission’s success.

Relevant Analytic Skills for Commission

Medical and public health academic work and applied General Preventive Medicine and Public Health medical residency training all focus on analytic skills. I have an extensive background in conducting analytic studies documented by my publication record (see CV). As a supervisor and manager, I was also responsible for reviewing and approving analytic studies using numerous statistical data sets (including census data). In approaching problems of all kinds, I first look to the available data, seek other sources of information, and apply the strategic negotiation and planning skills described above to best analyze, generate options, and solve a problem.

Demographics

Racial categories the applicant identifies with:
Caucasian
Applicant identifies with the following gender

female