MPHA Elects New President-Elect


Released December 14, 2023

Jackson, Mississippi


The Mississippi Public Health Association (MPHA), at its November 8, 2023, annual business meeting, elected Danielle Fastring, PhD, MS, MPH, as our new President-Elect. Dr. Fastring is the Director of Student Research and Associate Professor of Preclinical Sciences in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS.

Dr. Fastring served on the MPHA Executive Board as the Southern Regional Representative from 2018 – 2023, co-chaired the Partnership and Membership Committee from 2021 -2023, was a member of the Curriculum Committee, and is a current member of the Health and Racial Equity Committee and the Education Committee. She is also a member of the Epidemiology Section and the Public Health Education, Policy, and Research (PHEPR) Section.

Dr. Fastring graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a BS in Biology and an MPH with an emphasis in epidemiology and biostatistics. In 2012, she completed a PhD in Epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  Her research interests include health disparities that impact vulnerable populations in the state of Mississippi and the Gulf South Region. Prior to working at WCU, she taught in the MPH program at the University of Southern Mississippi in the School of Health Professions for more than 15 years. She also works as an independent evaluator with entities across the state who make it their daily mission to improve the quality of life of all Mississippians.

As President-Elect, Dr. Fastring says her first priority would be to continue to strengthen partnerships with academic institutions, state agencies, and other entities that work to promote health in our state. “I know that Mississippi experiences a greater disease burden than most states, but we have an amazing public health workforce that is working tirelessly to reduce long-standing health inequities and improve health disparities, and those successes need to be celebrated. I would also like to further support and engage student members and young professionals so that they can benefit from the great work that MPHA is doing through their platform of education, advocacy, and leadership. Together, we can champion the health of all Mississippians and build a brighter future for our state”, stated Dr. Fastring.

MPHA is excited to welcome Dr. Fastring to her new role. She will be serving as President-Elect until the Fall MPHA Annual Conference when she will become President. The current MPHA President is Karin Thurman, and the current immediate Past-President is Dr. Tanya Funchess.

Since 1937, the Mississippi Public Health Association (MPHA) has strived to strengthen public health in Mississippi through leadership, advocacy, and education. We provide our members with professional development and networking opportunities while also serving as the voice of public health in Mississippi. MPHA is an active affiliate of the American Public Health Association. For more information, see