Board Member Spotlight: Sara Doutre
Author: Sara Doutre
Tell us about your professional background.
I began my career as a special education teacher after changing my major from aerospace engineering on a whim. While still a new teacher, I was presented with the opportunity to learn from national education leaders at the US Department of Education. While working in Washington, DC, I completed a Master’s degree in Education Policy Studies at George Washington University. My education and experience led me to start a consulting business in 2008 and I have spent the past decade assisting state departments of health and education to develop, implement, and evaluate disability and special education policy.
I have completed my coursework for a PhD in Sociobehavioral Epidemiology at Utah State University and am writing a dissertation on a multi-state study of early intervention for infants and toddlers with hearing loss. I have published papers on topics including CMV awareness.
What makes the National CMV Foundation’s mission powerful for you?
The National CMV Foundation’s mission is personal for me and my family. Had I been educated about congenital CMV and how to reduce my risk, I would have taken precautions to prevent congenital CMV. My daughter, Daisy, is mildly affected by CMV but it affects our lives each day. It is not often that disability can be prevented but we have the opportunity to save other families from the heartache and struggle of congenital CMV.
What does success look like to you?
I want there to be ongoing conversations about CMV, led by policy makers and medical professionals. Success to me is when the families affected by CMV become a stakeholder in the process of eliminating CMV and not the driving force behind change.
What motivates you?
I talk to families affected by CMV almost daily. The energy that comes from a new diagnosis and the need to create change is energizing to me. I want families to have a healthy avenue to direct their grief and anger to create real change.
What does true leadership mean to you?
I believe that true leaders are those that empower and build the capacity of everyone around them. True leadership lacks ego and is purpose-driven.
What book did you read last?
Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education by John Dewey
What do you like most about living in Logan?
The greatest thing about Logan is the proximity to family and friends. After living on the East Coast for a while, I appreciate being close. My children have a great relationship with my grandmother, their great grandmother, and we have a strong support system.
Where would you most like to travel to?
An Antarctic expedition is on my bucket list, one that includes interactions with penguins and sleeping on Antarctica itself.
What’s your favorite 90’s jam?
Classic Celine Dion – The Power of Love, All By Myself, My Heart Will Go On
You’re happiest when?
I’m exploring something new. I love meeting new people, taking a class to learn a new skill, or traveling to a new place near or far. One of my favorite things to do is to pack in the car with my husband and kids and head out to explore a new place or a back road we haven’t yet traveled.