County Health Employee Gets Recognized for Her Leadership


Leah Casanave was recognized recently as one of the inaugural 40 Under 40 in Public Health by the de Beaumont Foundation. (Courtesy photo)

Leah Casanave, the dynamic supervisor of the Douglas County Health Department’s STD Control Program, was recognized recently as one of the inaugural 40 Under 40 in Public Health by the de Beaumont Foundation.

Casanave holds a bach­elor’s de­gree from Creighton University and a master’s degree and doctorate in public health from the University of Kentucky in addition to a Global Health Certificate from the school. She joined the Douglas County Health Department three years ago and already has left an indelible mark on the area, according to a news release.

Casanave expanded the existing outreach testing beyond the original template and secured a grant that allows local health departments to work to create an advisory group to provide information on preventing HIV infection in Omaha’s minority community.

Casanave developed a take-home test pilot project with Metropolitan Community College and worked to educate teachers and counselors on STD tests and prepared them to dis­tribute take-home kits to students.

“Among the most exciting things we are doing is our team of disease investigators who locate the part­ners of people who test positive for STDs to get them treatment. Through the diligence of our staff, we are able to have 98 percent of our cases treated,” Casanave said. “The work is demanding and re­warding, but it is wonderful to see the difference my team is making. I am extremely honored to be named one of the 40 Under 40 by the de Beaumont Foundation.”

The 40 rising stars of public health were chosen for their fresh perspectives, creative problem-solving and innovative health so­lutions in communities across the country. The initiative is aimed at putting a face on public health and demonstrating professional diver­sity in the discipline.

“Leah is a great young leader,” County Health Director Adi Pour said. “The Douglas County Health Department is fortunate to have such an energetic and innovative program supervisor.”

Find more on Casanave and the other 40 Under 40 selections by the de Beaumont Foundation at de­beaumont.org/40-under-40.

– Douglas County Health Department

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