Kevin Allen

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Kevin Allen has over 26 years of service with the state of Texas, the last 18 years with ImmTrac. Kevin has held various positions within the ImmTrac Group, including Data Exchange Specialist, Records Management Team Lead and Business Analyst, and most recently, ImmTrac Manager.


Georgia Armstrong, BSN, RN

People's Community Clinic

Georgia Armstrong, BSN, RN is recently retired after 23 years as the Immunization Supervisor at People’s Community Clinic in Austin, Texas. She received her BSN from the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing in 1977. Georgia worked with migrant workers and their children in Colorado where she obtained her School Nurse Practitioner Certification from the University of Colorado School of Nursing in Denver. In her capacity as Immunization Supervisor, Georgia worked closely with other Immunization programs and clinics at the county and city level as well as worked closely with the Immunization Partnership on immunization legislative issues.


Robert Bednarczyk, PhD

Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Dr. Robert A. Bednarczyk is an Assistant Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology in the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, and faculty member of the Emory Vaccine Center and the Winship Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Program. He is also an adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University at Albany School of Public Health. He received his PhD in Epidemiology from the University at Albany (SUNY) School of Public Health in 2010, and has been at Emory since 2011. Prior to coming to Emory University, he was the Assistant to Chair for the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. Dr. Bednarczyk’s research interests are focused on adolescent and adult vaccination uptake, including identification of barriers and methods to address these barriers. He is currently the Principal Investigator of an NIH Career Development Award, through which he is evaluating a practice-, provider-, and parent-level intervention to improve HPV vaccination in primary care pediatric practices. He has published over 55 peer-reviewed articles on topics including adolescent, childhood, and adult vaccination.


Julie Boom, MD

Texas Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine

As Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Immunization Project and Director of Infant and Childhood Immunization for the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research, Dr. Boom leads several research projects that focus on immunizations. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Boom and her staff have collaborated with other pediatric hospitals to complete five years of rotavirus disease surveillance. This surveillance project examines the long-term effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines given to infants. Related to this work, Dr. Boom and her colleagues are conducting studies to assess the indirect benefits of rotavirus vaccines to unvaccinated siblings, the role of other pathogens in pediatric gastroenteritis, and the contribution of genetics to susceptibility to norovirus infection. Working with Rachel Cunningham and Dr. Carol Baker, Dr. Boom published the book, Vaccine Preventable Disease: A Forgotten Story in 2009 and an updated edition in 2010. This book features 20 stories of children and families whose lives were dramatically impacted by illnesses that could have been prevented by immunization. Dr. Boom and her colleagues also developed a series of exam room posters based on selected stories from the book to educate patients and families, as well as a Spanish-language version of the book, pertussis and meningitis one-page tearpads, and a short documentary film titled “Facing Meningitis,” which demonstrates the devastating effects of meningococcal meningitis. To date, more than 125,000 books have been distributed nationwide.


Ari Brown, MD, FAAP

411 Pediatrics

Ari Brown, M.D., FAAP, is a pediatrician, author, child health advocate, and a mom. She has been in private practice for 20 years and is the Founder and CEO of 411 Pediatrics in Austin, TX. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Child Development and Family Relationships from the University of Texas at Austin, her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed her pediatric residency and fellowship training in developmental and behavioral pediatrics from Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. Her passion to educate families about children’s health goes beyond the office. She is the author of the bestsellling “411” parenting book series including Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Baby’s First Year (Windsor Peak Press, 7th Ed 2015), Expecting 411, and Toddler 411. She has appeared on numerous national news and talk shows, published work in the Wall Street Journal, and has been quoted by every major newspaper in the U.S. during her career. She is a trusted voice for children’s health, serving as a medical advisor for Parents Magazine and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She speaks to healthcare professionals and parenting groups across the country regarding accurate and compassionate health communications with families. Dr. Brown was honored with the American Academy of Pediatrics Advocacy Award in 2012.


Diana Cervantes, MS, DrPH, CPH, CIC

Texas Dept. of State Health Services, HSR 2/3

Dr. Diana Cervantes has 15 years of experience in public health practice working as both a microbiologist and an epidemiologist. Current Dr. Cervantes is the Regional Chief Epidemiologist at The Texas Department of State Health Services, region 2/3 and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.


Charles "Chip" Cohlmia, MPH

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Charles is a relatively recent addition to the Texas Department of State Health services, moving to Austin in late 2016 from Lawrence, Kansas. Charles, who goes by “Chip,” received his MPH degree in 2012 from the University of Kansas with a focus in epidemiology. While he has been working in the field of infectious disease for almost 5 years, he originally got his start in oral health epidemiology. Today, Charles serves as the team lead for vaccine-preventable diseases in the Emerging and Acute Infectious Diseases Branch at the Texas Department of State Health Services Central Office in Austin, Texas.


Deborah Copas

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Deborah Copas joined DSHS in Spring 2016, bringing private-sector experience in software database development and systems training for nonprofit service providers and community case management organizations. In addition, she has over a decade experience working in state government with the Texas Legislative Council. In that arena she served in various systems training and editorial operations roles, having developed extensive experience in training and mentoring staff on successful engagement of several complex information systems used in the legislative process. Deborah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She has studied web development and design, technical writing, and recently completed a professional development certificate in project management at the University of Texas at Austin.


Ashley Davis, LVN

Gregg County Health Department

Ashley Davis is a License Vocational Nurse with the Gregg County Health Department. Ashley received her License Vocational Nursing degree form Kilgore College in 2010. After graduating Nursing School, she went into Pediatric Nursing for 2 years. From there she went into Home Health and worked with Geriatrics for the next 2 years. Her first boss as a nurse called her and told her that she wanted her to apply for the Immunization Program Manager position that had opened up at the Gregg County Health Department. In October 2014 she became the Immunization Program Manager for Gregg County. Since being at the health department, she expressed an interest in forming an Immunization coalition in Gregg County. After expressing this interest, she received a phone call from her regional manager, who told her that she had nominated her to be 1 of 4 Local Health Departments to receive a grant from the state of Texas to help fund a coalition. Not too long after she was nominated, she received another phone call telling her that Gregg County had been chosen! In October of 2016 VAC (Vaccine Awareness Coalition) was formed. She has watched it start from just an idea to evolve into an actual group of community members. She would love to see it continue to grow and for this group to impact Gregg County. VAC’s vision is to promote and educate on Immunizations to help decrease Vaccine Preventable diseases and increase vaccine coverages in Gregg County. Their Mission is to bring vaccine awareness to their community for healthier growth. They are a group of individuals that provide Immunization education to the community as well as provide shot clinics and participate in health fairs to help educate parents, teens, adults, etc.


Matthew Davis

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Matthew Davis joined the Department of State Health Services in 2016 as a Consultant for the Texas Vaccines for Children Program. In this role, Matthew provided training and technical assistance to Regional and Local Health Department staff. In May of 2017, Matthew joined the ImmTrac Group as the IIS Operations Coordinator. Matthew is acting team lead and oversees project management activities for the Interoperability, Customer Service, and Quality Assurance Teams.


Nancy Ejuma

Texas Department of State Health Services

Prior to becoming the Immunization Unit Director within DSHS, Nancy Ejuma served as the Immunization Program Manager for the District of Columbia Department of Health. In her current position, Ms. Ejuma is responsible for all aspects of the Immunization Unit. Her duties include ensuring the immunization capacity within the State, as well as administering the Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) and Adult Safety Net (ASN) Programs; ImmTrac, the statewide immunization registry; school and child-care immunization compliance; media and publications; and contracts for the performance of immunization activities.

Ms. Ejuma represents Texas in both the Association of Immunization Managers and International Association of Immunization Managers. She has served as a member of the Executive Committee within the Association of Immunization Managers since 2016. In her volunteer roles she has gained an international perspective on immunization programs. Ms. Ejuma earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Health, Anthropology and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Ms. Ejuma is preparing to defend her doctoral dissertation on the psychological factors that lead to vaccine hesitancy across cultures at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Washington DC campus. She is also in the final year of an executive MBA focused on healthcare at Yale University.


Kathleen Gore, MPH

The Immunization Partnership

Katy Gore is a Coalition and Education Program Manager with The Immunization Partnership. Katy received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from American University in Washington D.C. and her Master in Public Health from The University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston. Her recent experience includes working with local health departments on raising HPV vaccination rates by guiding coalitions through a process of creating a mission and vision statement, partnership building, and the development of an action plan. Prior to her work with HPV coalitions, Katy worked with the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships framework, which guides local health departments through a process of community engagement and strategic partnership building with the goal of creating a Community Health Improvement Plan for Accreditation of their local health department. She spent a year with Americorps Community HealthCorps working with teens on health education. She also served as a Reproductive Educational Advocate at Planned Parenthood.


Kevin Hall

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Kevin Hall works with the Vaccine Management Group supporting the Texas Vaccines for Children program. He has experience working with SQL and Report builder, and uses this knowledge to help implement the current MSL and Vaccine Loss processes.


C. Mary Healy, MD

Infectious Diseases Section at Baylor College of Medicine and Director of Vaccinology and Maternal Immunization at the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research of Texas Children's Hospital

Dr. Healy completed general pediatric training residency and fellowship training in Ireland, received membership of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (UK) in 1997, and my post-graduate Doctorate in Medicine (MD) in 2001 after completing research on invasive meningococcal disease. In 2000, she moved to the US where she completed fellowships in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and in Vaccinology and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, and have served on faculty there since 2005. Since 2008, she has served as Director of Vaccinology and Maternal Immunization at the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas. She is a member of the Texas Pediatric Society and Texas Medical Association Committees on Immunization and Infectious Diseases and a member of the Maternal Immunization Work Group for NVAC, and Meningococcal Work Group for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. Her research interests are focused on preventing infections in mothers and their infants through maternal immunization with a particular interest in pertussis and on improving vaccination rates in all age groups—from infants to adults. From 2008 to 2014 she directed a hospital-based pertussis cocooning program at a large county hospital in Houston, Texas. Other research focused on evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of Tdap vaccine in pregnant women and in determining that a maternal postpartum Tdap vaccination strategy was unlikely to protect infants born from subsequent pregnancies. Additional research interests involve the evaluation of reasons behind vaccine hesitancy among parents for childhood vaccines and in determining the knowledge and attitudes and acceptability of maternal immunization in pregnant women.


John Hellerstedt, MD

Texas Department of State Health Services

Dr. John Hellerstedt, serves as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, leading one of the state’s largest agencies. As Commissioner, Dr. Hellerstedt oversees programs such as disease prevention and disaster preparedness, family and community health services, environmental and consumer safety, regulatory programs and mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. Dr. Hellerstedt became Commissioner on January 4, 2016. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Dr. Hellerstedt served as Chief Medical Officer at Seton Family of Hospitals. He also served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and as the Medical Director of Texas Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Dr. Hellerstedt earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, graduating with high honors from Allegheny College, and received his medical degree from Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Hellerstedt completed his residency in general pediatrics at the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center, and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.


Heidi Honza, MPH, CPH, CIC

Texas Department of State Health Services, HSR 2/3

Heidi Honza has 8 years of experience in public health practice working as both a zoonosis control specialist and an epidemiologist. Currently, Heidi is an epidemiologist III at The Texas Department of State Health Services, Region 2/3 and is certified in infection control as well as public health.


Philip Huang, MD, MPH

Austin Public Health

Dr. Huang is currently the Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/ Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Previously, he served as Medical Director for Chronic Disease Prevention at the Texas Department of State Health Services and Chief of the Bureau of Chronic Disease and Tobacco Prevention at the former Texas Department of Health (TDH). Dr. Huang received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Rice University, his Medical Degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and his Master’s in Public Health, with a concentration in Health Policy and Management, from Harvard. He is the author or co-author of numerous publications related to chronic disease and tobacco use prevention. Dr. Huang is Board Certified in Family Medicine.


Sheldon Kaplan, MD

Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics/Texas Children's Hospital

Dr. Kaplan has published over 230 peer-reviewed articles, 135 invited articles or chapters and is a co-editor of Feigin and Cherry’s Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 5th, 6th ,7th and upcoming 8th Editions. He is Editor-in-Chief--Pediatrics as well as the Co-Editor of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases section of the electronic textbook UpToDate®. His current research interests include infections in children caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Dr. Kaplan is a Past President of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and served on the Anti-Infectives Advisory Committee of the FDA. Dr. Kaplan currently is the immediate past-chair of the Subboard of Pediatric Infectious Diseases of The American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Kaplan received the Arnold J. Rudolph Baylor Pediatric Award for Lifetime Excellence in Teaching in 2011.


David Lakey, MD

The University of Texas System

Dr. David Lakey is Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health and Chief Medical Officer for The University of Texas System. He is also Senior Vice President for Population Health, Isadore Roosth Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the School of Community Health and Health Professions with UT Health Northeast. He serves on a federal public health advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Defense Health Board. Dr. Lakey served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from January 2007 to February 2015.


Brock Lamont, MPA

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC

CDC Public Health Advisor with over 27 years of experience, more than 20 years of experience working in immunizations. Manage the Immunization Service's Divison's Program Operations Branch - CDC's primary interface with immunization awardees. Responsible for all aspects of Branch operations including the management of the 317 and VFC Cooperative Agreement, the provision of technical assistance to immunization awardees and the management of more than 60 CDC immunization field assignees embeded in state and local immunization programs around the country.


Joe Lastinger

Families Fighting Flu

Joe Lastinger is a board member of Families Fighting Flu, an organization he helped to found after his daughter Emily died from influenza in 2004. Mr. Lastinger and Families Fighting Flu have worked for more than a decade to increase access and uptake of flu vaccines and to help educate families on the critical importance of annual flu vaccinations. Mr. Lastinger resides with his wife and 3 children in Colleyville, Texas, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth.


Bert Noojin, JD


Civil, business and criminal litigation attorney for 40 years; Military Service, teaching, guest lecturer and speaker, Judge and community service. In addition to a fulltime legal practice, I currently serve as Special Baldwin County Circuit Judge where I preside over Criminal cases against US Military Veterans who have been charged with both misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses in Baldwin County. As a lawyer and a Judge, I have broad legal knowledge and experience both in and out of the trial setting. Guest speaker and lecturer on subject ranging from current legal issues; Military Veterans Affairs in the Judicial System; Treatment survival, effects of and Prevention of HPV related Cancer.


Greg Parkington

American Cancer Society, Inc.

Greg Parkington has held several roles in non-profit management, public service, advocacy, and coalition leadership on a wide range of topics. Currently, Greg is the Senior Manager for State Health Systems in the American Cancer Society’s South region, covering Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama. Greg and his partners in Texas launched the Texas HPV Coalition in February 2017 to bring together stakeholders across the state to increase HPV vaccination rates and enhance collaboration and communication. The Coalition has more than 40 involved members from a wide variety of institutions and public health organizations.


Amy Pisani, MS

Every Child By Two

Amy Pisani is a leading authority in pediatric health advocacy. Since 1996 she has served as the executive director of Every Child By Two (ECBT). ECBT was founded in 1991 by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, wife of retired Senator Dale Bumpers. The mission of Every Child By Two is to ensure the timely immunization of all families. ECBT regularly hosts legislative briefings aimed at securing sufficient congressional funding of vaccine programs and to provide ongoing education regarding the safety of vaccines. ECBT serves as a consistent source to the media, helping to ensure science-based reporting on vaccines. ECBT educates the public through various mediums, including ECBT’s electronic newsletters, Shot of Prevention blog, Twitter, and websites, Including the Vaccinate Your Family site. ECBT’s Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page has become one of the largest pro-vaccine pages on Facebook. VYF’s digital platforms reach nearly 11 million worldwide users annually. ECBT has been credited with helping pass state laws mandating childhood vaccines for school entry and the organization continues to actively support enforcement of these laws and new mandates for college entry. To forward its agenda the organization has enlisted the support of elected officials and their spouses, concerned community leaders, and representatives of many local and national organizations. By traveling to every state in the nation Carter and Bumpers were also instrumental in helping to form local and statewide immunization coalitions that are critical to the successful implementation of vaccination programs nationwide. Amy has played an integral part in setting standards for immunization in America today. She has served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee and regularly serves on CDC ad hoc committees. She is a proud Paul Harris Fellow of the Mystic, Connecticut Rotary Club where she serves as the Chair of the Polio Plus Committee and Publicity Committee. Knowing that vaccines have saved and continue to save millions of lives inspires her on a daily basis to focus on the mission of Every Child By Two.


Lois Ramondetta, MD

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Lois M. Ramondetta joined the M.D. Anderson Gynecologic Oncology Department after completing her fellowship in 2000. She holds a full time Professor faculty position at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and she is currently the Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at Lyndon Baines Johnson General Hospital, Harris County Hospital District. She is a key member of the M.D. Anderson Outreach Program, which provides quality cancer care at regional medical centers, and trains fellows, residents, and medical students in the field of gynecologic oncology. Aside from direct patient care and resident training, she has chaired or co-chaired the HCHD Cancer Committee since 2004 which is responsible for all cancer-related activities in the District and assuring accreditation of the district by the American College of Surgeons. Caring for patients at both M.D. Anderson and the indigent patients in the county, she is extremely active in developing and running clinical trials in both locations. She is the Principal Investigator or co-PI for several treatment and psycho-social trials at M.D. Anderson and Lyndon Baines Johnson Hospital, and has been integral in bringing these trials to the community through the outreach program. She focuses her clinical research on biomedical ethics, the effect of spirituality during cancer treatment, quality of life and on treatment trials for cervical and endometrial cancer, and participates actively in treatment trials for ovarian cancer. (AT END OF SESSION COME UP AND THANK HER)


Mark Ritter, MHA

Department of State Health Services, Immunization Unit

Mark Ritter has been the CDC Senior Public Health Advisor for the DSHS Immunization Branch since November 2003. Prior to his employment by the CDC, Ritter served as the Immunization Division Manager for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District for over six years. He works directly with the DSHS Immunization Branch Management Team to provide technical and programmatic assistance for the Texas Immunization Project. He is responsible for updating management and program staff on current trends, schedules, and recommendations as they may pertain to all immunizations and vaccines.


Jill Roark, MPH

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC

Ms. Roark leads the adolescent immunization communications team for NCIRD’s health communications science office. Ms. Roark manages the CDC’s $10M national health communication and marketing campaign for HPV vaccination. Ms. Roark has previously worked as a health educator and project manager for nearly twenty years in the area of women’s reproductive health, including HPV infection and disease. Ms. Roark regularly presents on HPV infection, disease, vaccination, and talking about HPV vaccine, at conferences such as the Immunization Program Managers meeting, the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, the National immunization Conference, the American Academy of Family Practice Scientific Assembly 2014, the Maryland Prevent HPV Summit, and the Kansas Immunization Conference. Ms. Roark is a co-author on the July 2014 MMWR article: Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents, 2007-2013, and Postlicensure Vaccine Safety Monitoring, 2006-2014 – United States.


Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, FACP, FAMWA

Indiana University School of Medicine

Born and raised in Southern California she completed a bachelors at California State University Long Beach, her MD from Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University, Internal Medicine residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland, OH and is board certified in Adolescent and Internal Medicine. Clinically, she focuses on women’s health, primary care of the adult, care of childhood cancer survivors and adult eating disorders. Her academic focus is on promoting women in medicine and supporting efforts in women’s health and gender medicine Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber served on the Board of Directors for the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), various committees and task forces, served as president of AMWA 2015-2016, and is currently Governance Chair. As the AMWA liaison to the American Medical Association-Women Physicians Section (AMA-WPS), she was vice chair of the governing council. Currently, she is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, Executive Director of the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the Chief Physician Executive, Eskenazi Health Center of Excellence for Women’s Health. She has been in medical education for the entirety of her career and was recently awarded the IU Trustee Teaching Award for her work with the School of Medicine.


Diane Romnes

Texas Department of State Health Services

Diane has over 26 years of experience in the Immunization Program. She began her career in the Region 7 office as a facility auditor where she learned the requirements for children attending daycare and school and the childhood immunization schedule. She used this experience to thoroughly learn all aspects of the program including the rules and requirements for ImmTrac2, Texas’ Immunization Registry. Diane led a team of 10 DSHS professionals while at Region 7. Seven local health departments are in Region 7 and Diane provided assistance to all of them. Diane is now the Vaccine Operations Manager where she leads a team of 9. Her team is responsible for writing and editing documents related to the Texas Vaccines for Children Program such as the TVFC Provider Manual. Diane’s team also monitors activities in the CDC’s PEAR system, works closely with the Quality Assurance contractor for site visits, and provides leadership to the Adult & Adolescent Coordinators that are assigned in each region. The Vaccine Call Center is part of Diane’s team too.


Janell Routh, MD, MHS

Viral Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch, Division of Viral Diseases, CDC

After pediatric residency, I joined the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative and provided HIV care and treatment as well as general medical care, at a large referral hospital in southern Malawi for three years. In 2010, I joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service at CDC in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. From 2012-2015, I worked for CDC’s Global Water and Sanitation Team in Haiti and African countries on cholera and typhoid prevention. I am currently on the Measles Mumps Rubella Herpesviruses and Polio Team at CDC since 2016, and the team lead for Acute Flaccid Myelitis. I am involved in AFM outbreak investigation, case classification, and national surveillance.


Richard Rupp, MD

Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, UTMB Health

Richard Rupp, MD is the Director of Clinical Trials and Clinical Research and a member of the Executive Committee for the SCVD. He leads the SCVD Clinical Trials Group, and is a Principal Investigator for clinical trials, Phase I to IV, in both pediatric and adult populations. Vaccines studied have included those protecting against human cytomegalovirus, seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza, pneumococcal disease human papillomavirus, Dengue, varicella, Herpes simplex 2, and meningococcal disease. A Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Rupp is Director of the Division of Adolescent and Behavioral Health. He received his M.D. from St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and his Adolescent Medicine fellowship at William Beaumont Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. Dr. Rupp has worked with local schools on various health issues, including the improvement of immunization rates, for several years and is currently Medical Director of Teen Health Center, Inc. He also, with a colleague, originated and developed ‘VaccineSmarts’, a campaign using methods such as podcasts, videos, newspaper/magazine articles and a public education website to educate the public about the importance of vaccines and the diseases they prevent.


Jack D Seidel, MD

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Jack David Seidel, MD, founded, and continues to see patients in, a private practice specializing in infants, children, and adolescents in North Dallas in 1990. Dr. Seidel is also Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Medical Director of the Newborn Nursery at UTSouthwestern’s Clements University Hospital in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Seidel has previously served as Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at St. Paul Hospital and Chief of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern University Hospitals. In 1997, he helped found the pediatric telephone triage service for Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and served as Medical Director for the service for 19 years. Dr. Seidel has participated in dozens of clinical research studies and given over a thousand educational lectures to physicians.
Dr. Seidel will not be representing UTSouthwestern and Dr. Seidel’s presentation does not reflect an endorsement from UT Southwestern about Sanofi Pasteur or any products.


Denise Starkey, MPH, MA

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Denise Starkey comes to Texas from southern California where she worked for The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, CA. There she served as the Grants and Contracts Coordinator partnering with the National Cancer Institute and other federal government agencies. Her academic career includes a Master in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in health promotion and disease prevention. She also completed a Master of Arts (MA) with a concentration in biocultural and medical anthropology. Both masters programs were completed at the California State University, Fullerton. She has worked on various international research projects and medical teams focusing on disease transmission, prevention and health promotion. Denise has been with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) since January 2016. She began her career as a Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) Consultant partnering with the DSHS Health Services Regions, Local Health Departments, and private providers providing education, program management, trainings, and presentations for vaccine preventable diseases. She currently is the DSHS Adolescent and Adult Immunization Coordinator located at the DSHS Central Office. Here she leads a team on improving adolescent and adult immunization rates in the state of Texas and the Adult Safety Net (ASN) Program partnering with the DSHS Health Service Regions Adolescent and Adult Immunization Coordinators, Local Health Departments, and private providers. As a team we provide ASN Program updates and policy revisions, as well as strategies to implement the CDC Adult Standards for Immunization Practice.


Litjen (L.J.) Tan, MS, PhD

Immunization Action Coalition

Litjen (LJ) Tan, MS, PhD, is chief strategy officer of the Immunization Action Coalition, co-chair and co-founder of the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit, and former president of the Board of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition. He is an editor for Vaccine, BMC Infectious Diseases, Medscape Infectious Diseases, and a member of the ESCMID Vaccine Study Group. Dr. Tan received his master of science degree in biology at New York University and earned his doctorate of philosophy in microbiology/immunology from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Tan’s current appointments include serving as a special consultant for the European Union Influenza Summit and the Asia-Pacific Influenza Summit, and serving as a member of the Advisory Board for Unity (United for Adolescent Vaccination) Consortium, the 317 Coalition, and the AMGA’s Adult Immunization Collaborative, to name a few. He was a voting member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2013 and a liaison member of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2002 to 2012.


Jasmin Tiro, MPH, PhD

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Jasmin Tiro is an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a Co-Leader of the Population Sciences and Cancer Control Program for the NCI-Designated Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Tiro's program focuses on multi-level intervention research promoting adolescent HPV vaccination specifically among underserved populations seen by urban safety-net healthcare systems. She uses health behavior theories and health services conceptual models to identify novel patient-, provider-, and system-level intervention targets. Dr. Tiro’s work leverages quantitative and qualitative (mixed) research methods to design and evaluate behavioral interventions. She is committed toward disseminating behavioral interventions aimed at ending cancer disparities.


Wendolyn Washington

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Wendolyn (“Wendy”) Washington joined DSHS in 2013, and is currently the Interoperability Coordinator for the Texas Immunization Registry. In this role, she leads the team responsible for coordinating and managing the electronic exchange of immunization data between Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and ImmTrac2. In addition, her team provides support and guidance to healthcare providers and organizations participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Meaningful Use Incentive Program. Prior to joining DSHS, she spent the majority of her career in customer service leadership and engagement roles in the data and information management industry. Wendy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Texas Woman’s University, and recently earned her Master of Business Administration from Concordia University Texas.


Cindy Weinbaum, MD, MPH

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC

Dr. Weinbaum currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Immunization Services Division for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr Weinbaum has been on staff at the CDC for 20 years. Starting her US public health career as an officer in the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), as a field epidemiologist in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, she has also led the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) as Acting Executive Secretary, guided Immunization Programs in the CDC Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, led CDC’s Immunization Services Division efforts to oversee U.S. influenza immunization programs and assessment as the Associate Director for Influenza Immunization, led the CDC’s the Prevention Research and Evaluation team in the Division of Viral Hepatitis, served as Acting Deputy Director of CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, and served as the Vaccine Safety Liaison for CDC’s H1N1 Vaccine Task Force, among other positions. Dr Weinbaum is a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. She has coauthored numerous peer-reviewed articles, and been primary author of several CDC recommendations.


Allison Winnike, JD

The Immunization Partnership

Allison Winnike is President & CEO of the Immunization Partnership. She also serves as Adjunct Professor for the University of Houston Law Center’s Health Law & Policy Institute, Adjunct Professor for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, and a Fellow for the Texas A&M University Bush School of Government & Public Service Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. She also serves as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Health Law Section’s Public Health & Policy Interest Group and Governing Councilor for the American Public Health Association Law Section.


Rachel Wiseman, MPH

Texas Dept. of State Health Services

Ms. Wiseman worked for the Texas Department of State Health Services as the lead epidemiologist for vaccine preventable diseases in Texas. She published and presented to national audiences on infectious disease surveillance, pertussis, varicella, and other vaccine preventable diseases. Rachel participated in the Ebola response in Texas, including monitoring exposed healthcare workers for symptoms and coordinating monitoring of West African travelers. She has over 10 years of public health experience working at the local and state level in Texas and New York City.


JoEllen Wolicki, BSN, RN

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Communication and Education Branch

Before joining the Centers for Disease Control in 2010, JoEllen Wolicki served for 14 years as a nurse consultant with the Michigan Department of Community Health Division of Immunization. She worked with multiple program components including provider education and outreach, the statewide immunization information system, and the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. At CDC, JoEllen is a nurse educator for their National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Communication and Education Branch. She also serves as a committee member of several work groups for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), contributes to the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases textbook (the Pink Book), and works on many immunization training and educational materials and programs. JoEllen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Detroit/Mercy. She travels throughout the United States to educate healthcare providers on immunization.


Susan Wootton, MD

Department of Pediatrics/Division of Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston

A graduate of Washington and Lee University (B.A. Mathematics) and the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Susan Wootton completed her pediatric residency at the University of Virginia. She served as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for two years (2000-2002) after which time she completed her pediatric infectious disease fellowship at Texas Children's Hospital. After her fellowship, she completed a 1 year post-doctoral fellowship in Vaccinology at the University of British Columbia's Vaccine Evaluation Center in Vancouver, B.C. Since joining the McGovern Medical School (2007), Dr. Wootton has been involved in all levels of teaching, clinical care and has received multiple research awards. Her research focuses primarily on vaccine-preventable infections and vaccine delivery. She currently serves as Co-Chair for the Texas Pediatric Society (TPS) Infectious Disease Committee, East Chair for TPS as well as board member for The Immunization Partnership.