President’s Corner

Kevin Headshot 1

Kevin Sumner is the Health Officer/Director for the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission, a local health agency providing public health services to five municipalities in Somerset County, New Jersey with a population of 45,000. He has been employed by the Commission for over 30 years in varying capacities including environmental health specialist, health educator, and health officer. Mr. Sumner is a Past-President of the New Jersey Health Officers Association and has been an officer in the Association since 2004. In his capacity as President he created ‘PHACE,’ the Public Health Associations’ Collaborative Effort, a collaborative of the leadership of the state’s many public health associations with a focus on creating a single voice and face for public health in New Jersey. He is a 2006 Scholar of the Northeast Regional Public Health Leadership Institute, and recipient of the 2009 Health Officer of the Year Award and a 2016 Certificate of Recognition from New Jersey Local Boards of Health Association. In 2013, he received the NJ Association of County & City Health Officials’ highest honor, the Frank J. Osborne Award for Meritorious Achievement in Public Health.

Mr. Sumner has been a member of NACCHO’s Board of Directors since 2012 and is currently the President of NACCHO. He has twice been a Coach for NACCHO’s Survive & Thrive program, is New Jersey’s SACCHO representative to NACCHO. He is a past member of NACCHO’s Accreditation Preparation and Quality Improvement Committee, Marketing Committee and former Chair of the Finance and Membership Committees. Mr. Sumner participated in the Public Health Accreditation Board’s “small health department think tank,” which seeks ways to support small health departments in achieving accreditation.

Mr. Sumner is also a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, teaching two classes for the public health program: Principles of Public Health and Public Health Preparedness. Here he applies his many years of both emergency medical and public health experience to educating the next generation of leaders. In 2018, he was recognized by the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy faculty and students with an award for excellence in teaching.

Mr. Sumner received his M.P.H. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Rutgers University and his B.A. in Biological Sciences and Classical Humanities from Rutgers University. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two adult children and, when time allows, being outdoors, or playing eclectic instruments such as the ancient percussive instruments, the “bones” and quijada.