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MEET OUR COHORT!

ASTHO and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine have teamed up to provide our unique approach to developing successful and effective leaders in public health and beyond.

Our inaugural cohort of participants were selected from a competitive national applicant pool who are public health professionals and specialists and who self-identify from an underrepresented group, including people of color, people living with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

 

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Alexis Charpentier, BA

HIV Transmission Reduction Coordinator

Hawaii Department of Health

As the HIV Transmission Reduction Coordinator for the Hawaii Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Services Branch (HRSB), Alexis Charpentier oversees HIV prevention, intervention, and care activities to diminish the number of new HIV transmissions in Hawaii. Her work involves managing, implementing, and evaluating essential activities that respond to Hawaii’s HIV care continuum, which measures the progressive steps necessary for a person living with HIV/AIDS to achieve viral suppression.

She was part of a team that won the prestigious Governor’s Hawaii State Team of the Year for their work in addressing people who live with HIV/AIDS, who have fallen out of HIV medical care. Alexis was awarded a Bloomberg Fellowship in 2020 and recently named one of the de Beaumont Foundation’s 40 Under 40 public health leaders in the nation. Alexis received a BA from the University of Portland in Oregon and is an MPH candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a Bloomberg American Health Initiative Fellowship.

Alexis’ passion to help others, especially traditionally marginalized groups, drives her to learn from and network with other public health champions, while standing up for those who have no voice—with the ultimate goal of reducing stigma, eliminating barriers to care, and advancing health equity for all. When not working, she enjoys playing beach volleyball, singing karaoke, playing the violin, and spending time with family and friends.

Headshots of the DHHS's ELT; taken on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Photo/Jake Daniels

Andrea L. Lowe, MPH, CPH

Director, Office of Legislative Services

Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services

Andrea L. Lowe, MPH, CPH joins the DELPH fellowship with an extensive background in public health and human services, supporting opportunities to build equitable policies and practices at the local, state, and federal level. Her career has taken her all over the United States, including Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. She has worked with a variety of entities, including local and state government, local non-profits, a physician membership association, and the private sector.

Currently, she serves as the Director of the Office Legislative Services for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Here, she works with the Legislative Services team to support Governor Peter Ricketts’ and HHS CEO Dannette R. Smith’s health and human services policy agenda, assist Nebraska senators with DHHS-related questions, and coordinate DHHS’ active participation in legislative activities and hearings.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida. In her free time, she loves to read, play outdoors, eat great food, and spend time with her friends and family.

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Halina S. Palacios, MPH

Chief of Clinic Services

Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation

"Halina Palacios is a proud daughter and innovative leader of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). She is passionate about strengthening, empowering, and improving the health and health systems of her community. Palacios holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Public Health Administration.

Upon returning home to the CNMI 9 years ago, Halina began her professional career in healthcare. She has served as a veteran service care coordinator, public health quality coordinator, and a quality and performance improvement manager.

Ms. Palacios is the current Chief of Clinic Services for the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC), overseeing all outpatient clinic services under the organization for the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

She is a firm believer and advocate for community-clinical linkages, and the positive impacts they have on the health status of her community. Which explains the passion she has for leading additional smaller projects and programs that allow her to have a hands on experience with the community and public health.
Palacios was the project lead on the CHCC ASTHO Hypertension Identification Control Project, which over the past 4 years has helped identify and implement lifestyle changes to address hypertension for residents in the CNMI.

Halina has influenced growth, partnership, and transformative change across the entire healthcare system of the CNMI, and continues work towards empowering her community to live healthier lives."

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Harold Gil, MSPH

Data Science Support Unit Supervisor

Washington State Department of Health

 

Harold Gil is a Peruvian American informatician and epidemiologist. He combines strong data science skills with a dedication to advancing public health through communities of practice.
As an undergraduate, he volunteered with Engineers Without Borders, working on or co-leading projects in drip-irrigation and micro-banking in Peru. It was there he saw how social determinants like physical environment and economic stability could have a much more powerful effect on health than might clinical care. Working with the CDC and Guatemalan Ministry of Health during graduate school, he saw the need for better information, especially hyper-local data to support work with the 20+ ethnicities in that country. That recognition of the need for timely, specific data has driven much of Harold’s work since then.

Harold has led informatics work within his home agency and in interagency, often national, efforts. As an Applied Public Health Informatics Fellow at San Diego County PHS, he created and led workgroups within the International Society of Disease Surveillance to improve the use of the NSSP Platform which would eventually support the nation’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Notably, his workgroups also focused on training staff from public health agencies across the country in how to assess and monitor data quality. Harold’s efforts reflect his recognition that to advance public health informatics, we must focus on people as well as tools. Harold has worked as an Epidemiologist for the Marion County Public Health Department and was the Director of Public Health Informatics for the Indiana Department of Health.

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James Bell III, DSW

State Assistant Administrator

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

 

Dr. James Bell III is a State Assistant Administrator within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). In this role, he serves as Chief of Staff to the Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health. His work focuses on developing and implementing the department’s strategy for reducing childhood exposure to lead and managing other large statewide public health initiatives. These endeavors include directing the state’s Protect Michigan Commission – a diverse group of leaders working to ensure that every Michigan resident has the most up to date information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Bell has developed a practice and research trajectory in health disparities and inequities, emphasizing the policy context and health outcomes of African Americans. He has been able to pursue and lead projects to advance equity in both the public and non-profit sectors. James has been recognized as a thought leader in the areas of health inequities and disparities, social justice, and social innovation. He has presented broadly on these topics and his passion for this work is evident in his personal and professional life.

James earned his bachelor’s in psychology and Master of Social Work from Michigan State University. He recently earned his Doctor of Social degree from the University of Southern California with a focus on race, racism, and health. Aside from his professional pursuits, Dr. Bell is the host of the Equity Matters Podcast, a collection of voices amplified, sharing in the struggle for social justice and thriving for equity in all sectors.

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Jana Rush, MPH, MA

Director: Epidemiology, Surveillance & Informatics

Cuyahoga County Board of Health

 

Jana currently serves as the Director of Epidemiology, Surveillance & Informatics for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. Within this capacity she is primarily responsible for implementing evidence-based public health initiatives and coordinating quantitative-led public health strategies. During her immediate previous tenure, she served as the Vice President of Care & Support Services with the Alzheimer’s Association.  Within that role she was responsible for providing leadership and direction for the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services.

Jana has had experience working in government and non-profit sectors within a variety of public health areas which include infectious disease, maternal and child health, chronic disease, injury, bioterrorism, informatics, and environmental health. She also serves as an adjunct professor instructing undergraduate and graduate level public health courses.

Over the past several years, Jana has received recognition for her public health service. Who’s Who in Cleveland named her “Most Influential.”

She holds a Master of Public Health degree from The Ohio State University specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She also holds a Master of Arts degree from The Ohio State University specializing in Public Policy and Management. Her undergraduate studies were conducted at Cleveland State University where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Statistics and Operations Management.

Jana is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and is excited about serving the community-at-large in which she grew up in. She hopes that her work in public health will contribute to reducing the incidence of morbidity and mortality health outcomes.

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Jill D. Miller, PsyD

Home Visiting Integration Manager

Alameda County Public Health Department

 

Jill Miller, Psy.D has 20+ years of experience working with culturally and socio-economically diverse children and their families in community, healthcare, and social service settings. She currently oversees quality improvement activities in the Alameda County Maternal, Paternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Unit Home Visiting and Family Support System of Care. Additionally, she co-facilitates the Unit’s Steering Committee and Family Advisory Committee and serves on the County’s Pre-5 Collaborative.

Prior to joining the Alameda County Public Health Department, Dr. Miller was a home visiting therapist and Program Manager for a program serving pregnant and parenting foster youth at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. Dr. Miller has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute, in Berkeley, Ca, and has over 10 years’ experience teaching in professional psychology programs in the Bay Area. Areas of expertise include maternal child health and wellness, home visiting as intervention, community engagement, and health equity. Dr. Miller is personally and professionally committed to dismantling racism, creating spaces for more justice, and improving the quality of life for children and families.

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Lauren Ho, MPH, CHES

Public Health Advisor, Senior Preparedness Field Assignee

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Florida Department of Health

 

Lauren Ho, MPH, CHES is a Public Health Advisor/Senior Preparedness Field Assignee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a public health professional working in federal and state government emergency preparedness and response, she is passionate about working with communities to ensure they are prepared for disasters. Since 2015, she has taken leadership roles in multiple public health emergency preparedness exercises and responses including Tuberculosis, Zika, Ricin, Measles, Shigella, Water Lead Testing, Electronic Vaping and Lung Injury (EVALI), and COVID-19. Prior to Ms. Ho’s recent assignment to the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Preparedness and Response in Tallahassee, Florida, Ms. Ho was the Planning Section Chief for Vermont Department Health’s COVID-19 state response from March 2020-June 2021.

In her current role, she works across different Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program areas, collaborating with community and governmental partners to support preparedness capabilities in Florida. In her previous role at the Vermont Department of Health, her areas of focus included health equity, working with Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations, points of distribution (POD) planning and exercises, roll out of an online incident management platform for the health department responses.

Ms. Ho was born and raised in Hawaii, earned her B.S. in Health Administration and Policy from Creighton University, and her M.P.H. from Saint Louis University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring different cuisines, traveling, coaching volleyball, and empowering youth in their development.

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LCDR Traci M. Murray, PhD, MPH, RN, NHDP-BC, CPH

Assistant Regional Administrator

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

 

Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Traci M. Murray has been a registered nurse for over 11 years with experience in clinical research, epidemiology, and nursing education. As a CDC Public Health Associate, she gained valuable public health experience responding to the Zika crisis and other disease outbreaks. She was the first BSN-to-PhD graduate at the University of Texas at Tyler where her dissertation focused on the role of faith based organizations in perceptions of health for African Americans. Later, LCDR Murray completed her Master of Public Health degree with a global health emphasis and earned her certification as a National Healthcare Disaster Professional.

In 2017, LCDR Murray became a Nurse Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, one of the nation’s uniformed services. She began her service as a Nurse Educator with the Indian Health Service in Winnebago, NE. She currently serves as the HHS Region VI Assistant Regional Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Dallas, TX. In this role, she leads several major initiatives including a regional behavioral health workforce workgroup and Partnerships for Equity which supports national partnerships to achieve behavioral health equity. She has earned numerous awards and accomplishments including Texas Nurses Association’s 2020 Year of the Nurse Award and the HHS Region VI Regional Director’s Leadership Award.

Lucia Longoria

Lucia "Luci" Longoria, MPH

State Policy Manager, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention

Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division

 

Luci grew up in rural eastern Oregon, one of nine children born to migrant parents from the Rio Grande Valley. As part of the Under-Represented Minority Achievement Scholarship Program, she attended the University of Oregon, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree, double majoring in sociology and psychology with a focus on child development, in 1993. In 2006, eight years into her career, Luci earned her master of public health degree from Portland State University, with advocacy and social change as her health promotion focus.

During the 25 years she’s worked in public health, Luci’s mission has been to provide every Oregonian with an opportunity to achieve optimal health. She has led multidisciplinary teams and special projects that prioritize community engagement and mobilization to drive health policy as the means for shaping the social structural environment. Luci has been recognized for her effectiveness in accounting for equity and social determinants of health, and for elevating health priorities of historically, structurally disenfranchised communities.

Noteworthy among her many policy achievements, Luci has driven a substantial reduction in tobacco use in Oregon, leveraging a comprehensive, integrated strategy to facilitate broader prevention models and initiatives for Oregon’s public health system.

Luci is currently manager for state policy, systems and environmental change at the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section, Public Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority.

She’s a patron of the arts and live music, an avid vegetable gardener and an eager, active participant in many mutual aid endeavors.

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Nathifa M. Miller, JD

Equity Specialist, Workforce Development Manager

Center for Public Health Practice at the Colorado School of Public Health

 

Nathifa Miller, JD, Equity Specialist, Workforce Development Manager. Nathifa began her career over 20 years ago as a practicing attorney. She specialized working with families and children, at risk of being involved in various “systems.” She provided expert representation to specialized populations, applying a multidisciplinary approach to address the “whole” family. She worked across Colorado with local communities, and city and state government agencies. Additionally, Nathifa developed various programs, e.g. Prevention Partnership Program, where she served as director. In this journey Nathifa developed a passion for public health.

In 2016, Nathifa accepted a position as Collective Impact Coordinator for Families Forward Resource Center. In 2017, she transitioned into the role of Workforce Development Senior Specialist for the Center for Public Health Practice, Colorado School of Public Health. Now, she is Equity Specialist, Workforce Development Manager. Being, she coordinates and provides support in advanced training and technical assistance for local public health agencies, non-profits, and government agencies. As Equity Specialist, she leads all efforts in the development and implementation of customized Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training and technical assistance. Nathifa is an Adjunct Professor, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health. Also, Nathifa continues in her court-appointed position as Vice-Chair, Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Committee, Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation. Here, she continues to advocate in advancing the work of equity. She partnered to develop a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee and served as Chair. Now, revamped as Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, she services as Co-chair.

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Nivedita Ravi-Caldwell, DVM, MPH

Epidemiologist

DC Health

 

Nivedita Ravi-Caldwell is originally from India and moved to the United States for her higher education. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She currently serves as the Zoonotic Disease Epidemiologist at DC Health. Dr. Ravi-Caldwell has experience in small animal medicine, wildlife conservation, food safety research, and epidemiology, but her interests are far ranging. She is an active advocate for mental health wellbeing in the veterinary profession, has presented in several webinars to share her own personal story to start an open dialogue about a difficult subject. She is involved in a study that dives deep to understand the heightened statistics around anxiety, depression, and suicide among veterinarians. She is a strong proponent of One Health, an approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. Despite her professional achievements, Dr. Ravi-Caldwell considers her most important attribute/skill to be compassion and empathetic communication. As a spiritual seeker, she is firmly grounded in principles of inclusion and open-mindedness.

Dr. Ravi-Caldwell lives in the DMV area with her husband and cat. She enjoys a wide variety of music, travelling, movies, cooking, yoga, and meditation.

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Sandy Noel, MPH

Statewide Planning and Ending HIV Epidemic Coordinator

Florida Department of Health

 

Sandy Noel, MPH, serves as the Statewide Planning and Ending HIV Epidemic Coordinator at the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee, FL. Sandy, a first generation Haitian-American from Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a well-versed public health professional with over 9 years of experience educating, advocating, and caring for people living with, or at risk of HIV at the local, state, and international levels.

Following a three-year public health service assignment with the U.S. Peace Corps, Sandy worked as a Case Manager, advocating for clients’ access to basic services, and leading community outreach activities. Currently, Sandy is the liaison to statewide advisory workgroups to gain insight on how to best meet the needs of people with HIV at the state level. Sandy also facilitates the integration of local and state efforts in the planning and implementation of activities to address the HIV epidemic.

Sandy Noel strives to be an advocate for emerging and re-emerging challenges like HIV and health inequities that underpin underserved minority communities. Sandy is currently pursuing a Doctor of Public Health Degree in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Florida A&M University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health. She obtained her Master of Public Health Degree with a concentration in Program Planning and Evaluation from George Washington University. She also received a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs from Florida State University. Sandy is a proud Gates Millennium Scholar alumni and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

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Shelley J. Lee, MPH, MCHES

Program Monitor

Louisiana Department of Health

 

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,” though widely popular and attributed to many, I believe this quote to be apropos as a public health professional for knowledge is only as valuable as the messenger.

My name is Shelley J. Lee, and I am originally from St. Croix, one of three islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands and where I was introduced to the field of public health. In 2008 I moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and currently, work for the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) as a Program Monitor. In this capacity, I have the opportunity to engage with local health departments and community coalitions receiving federal funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) to implement policies, programs, and practices addressing underage drinking within their locales. Additionally, I most recently served as the primary point of contact for the Office of Behavioral Health for the Louisiana Department of Health’s first annual Business Plan recently published this year.

I am a graduate of the University of Tampa where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree and later went on to complete graduate school at A.T. Still University earning a Master of Public Health degree in 2009 and a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) most recently attained in 2020.

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T Benicio Gonzales, MSW

Director, Center for Health Equity

Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness

 

T serves the residents of Louisville as Director for the Center for Health Equity at the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness. T began working of the Center for Health Equity in 2010 to coordinate the department’s Racial Healing and Equity Initiative. T supports the department’s strategy to deepen its focus on the root causes of health through authentic community engagement, strategic partnerships, addressing data gaps and challenges, and through policy analysis and development. As an active community member, T is committed to numerous organizations, projects, boards, and community campaigns.

T has varied interests, including: LGBTQ health, racial equity, crafting, and watching any TV show with Gordon Ramsay. T is originally from Texas and has called Louisville, Kentucky, home since 2006. T is currently a PhD student at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences in the Department of Health Management and Systems Sciences. T is a graduate of the University of Houston where T earned a Master of Social Work with a policy concentration. T holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.

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Tiffany Wilson, MPH

Epidemiologist Senior

Alabama Department of Public Health

 

My name is Tiffany Wilson, but my family and friends call me “Tip”. I am originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; however, I am a Georgia girl. My parents served in the military for 20 years, so I have covered a lot of territory ranging from Europe to Texas. Luckily, I did not have to experience my travels by myself, for I have an older sister named Denae. Courtesy of my sister I have had the privilege of experiencing what it is to be an aunty. I attended Clayton State University where I declared my major in biology with a minor in psychology, graduating in 2012. I then began working as a pharmacy technician and realized I wanted to do more to help people on a larger scale. Therefore, I applied to Georgia Southern University’s Master of Public Health program with a concentration in epidemiology. I later graduated in 2016 and was offered an entry level epidemiologist position with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), Office of Infectious Disease and Outbreaks (OHPC). I served in that role for four years before transferring to the Office of HIV Prevention and Care. Initially, I was an entry level epidemiologist but within a few months I was offered a promotion to an epidemiologist senior. I am now the HIV Data Analytics Branch Manager for OHPC. During my tenure with ADPH I have created databases, developed investigation/response procedures, drafted a journal article, directed the HIV re-engagement program, and transformed data into actionable insight.