As the Director of the Wellness Department at St. John’s Medical Center, Julia Heemstra directs and implements year-round worksite wellness programs for 1300+ Teton County employees, supervises Community Health initiatives, a regionally renowned Wellness Speaker Series and alternative healing practices, and coordinates community outreach and collaboration around Affordable Care Act navigation. She received national recognition for innovative work from the American Hospital Association in 2016, and forged multiple new partnerships for the Department as she has developed it into a nationally recognized department with three full time and four part time staff.
An avid climber, she holds the record for the “Moranic”—a round-trip bike trip from Jackson to Grand Teton National Park’s Leigh Lake (twenty-five miles), swimming two miles across the lake to the base of the Falling Ice Glacier on Mount Moran, climbing Mt. Moran (12,605 feet tall), without assistance—in 13 hours, 33 minutes.
In the last 12 months, Heemstra has launched some humanitarian initiatives in the country where she was raised, South Africa. In May, she began distributing water filters to schools and clinics located in areas without access to clean water. In January of 2019, she will return to South Africa to continue this work – with the goal of creating access to clean water for over 1700 people.