Pride’s parents Merritt and Barbara ranched and outfitted in the Madison Valley when she was young. Her childhood spurred her desire to care for animals. She attended the University of Idaho and was accepted to veterinary school at Louisiana State University after three years. Pride graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and moved to Alaska to begin a private practice. While in Alaska she pursued her Masters of Public Health from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
“I am fascinated with the interface between humans and animals,” Pride said of her public health work.
Her work will bring Pride back to Montana in June. Pride will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Montana Public Health, collaborating with the Montana Department of Livestock to evaluate public health programs, their functionality, and community involvement.
After she earned her Masters’ degree, Pride applied and was accepted into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and started work in Wyoming at the Wyoming Department of Health, which is where she will finish her work before returning to Montana.
“My work concentrates on the diseases between animals and humans. The areas I work on include zoonotic disease, environmental health, vaccine preventable diseases and tuberculosis,” Pride said. “I think I bring an important perspective in regards to understanding the importance of animals, agriculture and where our food comes from.”
As if that wasn’t enough, she also joined the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps around the time she began working in Wyoming. Overseen by the Surgeon General, the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,500 public health professionals including physicians, dentists, dietitians, nurses, pharmacists and veterinarians.
“It’s a dual role with disaster response. I can be deployed for a domestic disaster like Hurricane Katrina,” Pride, a Lieutenant Commander, said.
In the meantime, Pride will concentrate on caring for the public and coming home to Montana.