Belinda Ballah first made Hood River her home 25 years ago and has been an active member of the community throughout that time. Belinda is no stranger to service. She spent more than 10 years working in Hood River County schools, facilitated classes at The Next Door and volunteered as a youth mentor and event planner for Hood River Alliance Church. As Director of the Prevention Department for the past 4 years, she has used her skills as a Certified Prevention Specialist to provide education and support for mental health, family-strengthening, and substance abuse prevention. Belinda also delights the office by bringing in delicious jam cookies on special occasions. Belinda can be reached by email or at 541-387-6890 (office) or 541-806-5734 (cell).
Mental Health Prevention & Education Specialist
Emily Roberts has been fortunate to call Hood River her home for the last 21 years. Emily received her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies with an emphasis on International Worker at Portland State University. Emily has spent the last five years working at The Next Door and Mid-Columbia Children’s Council serving youth and families. In her spare time, Emily enjoys working in her garden, canning, hiking in the Gorge, and traveling with her family. Emily can be reached by email or at 541-387-7030 (office) or 541-806-4061 (cell).
Prevention & Education Specialist
Originally from central Virginia, Mesa Willis is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest. Mesa graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Health Promotion and her Master’s of Public Health Degree from the University of Lynchburg. During her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Mesa completed several internships with local health departments, focusing on Community Health Assessments and Community Health Improvement Plans. Mesa is looking forward to using her skills as a Certified Health Education Specialist to connect with the Hood River community. In her spare time, Mesa enjoys playing volleyball, reading, hiking, and crossing National Parks off her bucket list. Mesa can be reached by email or at 541-387-7030 (office) or 541-806-2877 (cell).
Kathy Smith has worked as the Prevention Department’s Office Manager for the past 24 years. She carries with her an abundance of historical knowledge and community context that guides the department’s programming and outreach. When she is not busy making the office laugh with her witty sense of humor, Kathy spends her time tracking Prevention Department finances, substance use and safety statistics, and other data. Kathy is a fantastic note-taker and a regular feature at local coalition meetings, and she also manages our quarterly newsletter and other mailing lists. If you have a question about the department or want to get connected to the resources we have to offer, contact Kathy by email or at 541-387-8093.