Risk Communication Coordinator

Heather Burton Fortner, MPA received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Carson Newman College (now University) and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She began her public health career in the spring of 2009 at the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Health Department and was hired by the Shelby County Health Department in the fall of 2009, shortly after moving to Memphis. 

As Risk Communication Coordinator she develops templates and real-time messages and coordinates the release of information to the public and media during a public health incident. Heather also works to establish and build relationships with vulnerable populations to increase effectiveness in emergency messaging, planning, and delivery. 

“I’m grateful that my job provides me the opportunity to work with so many different organizations in Shelby County. I continue to enjoy the relationships I’m able to strengthen as we work together to prepare and protect ALL citizens from potential public health threats.”

Heather and her husband John have two spoiled miniature dachshunds, Rodeo and Dyson. She is very active with her local church and as an avid animal lover, volunteers with the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County in her free time.