Editorís note: Twice each week, The Press shines a light on the life of interesting locals active in the community. Up today: Katherine Hoyer
By DEVIN WEEKS
Meet Katherine Hoyer, public information officer for Panhandle Health District. Katherine has been a Coeur díAlene resident for the past decade and loves everything the area has to offer. She has bachelor's and master's degrees from Washington State University (Go Cougs!), focused on strategic communication and public relations. Katherine enjoys spending time with her family, checking out new restaurants and reading books.
Generation: Google says that Iím technically a millennial and I can definitely relate to parts of that generation, but when one generation spans 20 years, especially one with major advances in technology like ours, there are bound to be differences within the demographic of that generation.
Career and community involvement: As the PIO for Panhandle Health District, Iím focused on providing information on the services we offer to the communities we serve. I also serve on the Suicide Prevention Action Network of North Idaho, Break the Silence suicide prevention walk planning committee, SPANís Lethal Means subcommittee, the Prescription Opioid Solutions Harm Reduction workgroup and CDA TV Committee. In the past, I have also been a board member for Kootenai County Young Professionals and the North Idaho Tourism Summit.
Parental status: Proud mama to a 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter and an 8-month-old son
1. How did you begin in the world of public relations?
Before graduating from WSU, I interned with the Coeur díAlene Chamber of Commerce for a summer and loved being connected with the community. After I graduated, I contacted the Chamber again and was hired as an assistant. Eventually, I became the manager of the Coeur díAlene Convention†and Visitor Bureau and stayed in that role for about eight years. In 2018, I joined the Panhandle Health District team.
2. What is something you really enjoy or are most proud of being a connector for Panhandle Health?
Iím really proud of the work that the health district does and the services we offer. By far, itís the people. Not only is the team incredibly compassionate and community driven, itís the people that we are serving.
Itís nice knowing that we are meeting such a wide variety of needs in our community. In a typical day we could be helping women get screened for cancer, cleaning childrenís teeth, giving a mother professional breastfeeding advice, helping a family learn new parenting skills or educating the public on our aquifer. There is so much more that we offer and our services continue to expand.
Our services are what gives us a heart and connect us to the community. Our goal is to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles and protect the environment. Itís an honor to be a part of that.
3. What is the best advice you ever received regarding your career?
Iíve been lucky to have amazing mentors throughout my career who have been influential in my life. The people within our area chambers of commerce, the convention and visitor bureau and broader tourism community, the CDA downtown association and now PHD, have each provided me with guidance and advice that has helped me grow professionally. From them I have learned to not take myself too seriously and to have fun with whatever I am working on. Iím thankful for each of them.
4. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I grew up in a very small town and only had 27 people in my graduating class. I was also painfully shy as a child and can still be introverted, which makes my career choices seem odd but I love a challenge!
5. What was your favorite childhood book and what is your favorite book now?
As a kid, I used to gobble up any books I could get my hands on. I love to read. Some of my favorites growing up were Laura Ingalls Wilder, "The Hardy Boys" and "Nancy Drew." As an adult, I still love to read and will give just about anything a try. Most recently, I really enjoyed reading "Educated" by Tara Westover, "The Art of Racing in the RainĒ by Garth Stein (grab your tissues) and "A Sudden Light" by Garth Stein.