Speakers

BREAKOUT SESSION SPEAKERS

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Kayla Boykins
Texas Department of State Health Services
Vaccine Accountability Team Lead
Kayla Boykins has been with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for 18 years, all 18 years served have been in immunization-related roles. Ms. Boykins began the first five years of her career in the Immunizations Unit working in what was formerly the Surveillance and Epidemiology team. There she worked on school and daycare compliance activities as well as other vaccine preventable disease (VPD) surveillance activities. Over the next 10 years, Ms. Boykins moved on to the Emerging and Acute Infectious Disease Branch where she worked on the VPD team. There she served as the Hepatitis B Surveillance Coordinator and provided technical support and guidance to local and regional health departments on VPD data reporting via the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS). She has provided support activities to numerous VPD disease investigations and outbreaks. In 2016, Ms. Boykins returned to the Immunizations Unit where she currently serves as the Vaccine Accountability Team Lead with the Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) Program.

Daniel Castillo
Texas Department of State Health Services
VMG Finance Team Lead
Daniel Castillo has served for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for five years with his most recent role as the lead vaccine planner for the immunization unit. Mr. Castillo began the first two years of his DSHS career in the Infectious Disease Control Unit serving as a consultant for the Tuberculosis congregate settings coordination team, ensuring infection control activity completion within Texas congregate setting facilities. Mr. Castillo moved on to serving as a Tuberculosis Case Consultant, ensuring Texas verified cases of Tuberculosis meet CDC case definition and reporting guidelines.

Rachel Cunningham, MPH
Texas Children's Hospital
Immunization Registry and Educational Supervisor
Rachel M. Cunningham, MPH, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Oral Roberts University and has a master’s in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Ms. Cunningham is the Immunization Registry and Education Supervisor in the Immunization Project at Texas Children's Hospital. She has been at Texas Children’s since 2007.  Ms. Cunningham is the primary author of Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story of which more than 180,000 copies have been distributed.  She also frequently serves as a contributor to the Texas Children’s Hospital blog.  Rachel is the mother of 3 children – ages 9, 6, and 2, all of whom are up to date on their vaccines!

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

Lisa Formby, RN
Hereford ISD
TSNO President
Lisa Formby serves as school nurse for Hereford ISD. She deals with the task of verifying immunizations for school children year round. She also currently serves as president of the Texas School Nurse Association.

Debra Garza, RPh
Texas Pharmacy Association
Chief Executive Officer
Debbie Garza joined the Texas Pharmacy Association as Chief Executive Officer in August 2017. Ms. Garza spent more than three decades with Walgreens, advancing through the company while taking on higher roles with increased responsibilities. She started in the cosmetics department in 1984, worked as a pharmacy technician, became a pharmacist, supervised pharmacy operations in the Austin district, and rose to Divisional Vice President of Government and Community Relations in 2007. In that role she built the Government and Community Relations department and led federal, state, and local government affairs, public policy, pharmacy affairs working with state boards of pharmacy, and community relations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She opened and ran Walgreens’ Washington, D.C. office and served as chief lobbyist for the organization. In 2016 Ms. Garza began utilizing her vast experience and expertise as an independent consultant providing consulting and advisory services in the pharmacy and health care industries.

Jennifer Hamilton
Texas Department of State Health Services
Texas Vaccines for Children Consultant
Jenn Hamilton is a Texas Vaccines for Children Consultant with the Texas Department of State Health Services. Previously, Jenn worked as a program development coordinator for Donor Network of Arizona. There she led quality improvement and professional education efforts to save and heal the lives of those on transplant waiting lists. She made the switch to public health due to an interest in health disparities and improving access to care for people living in economically impoverished areas and for people with disabilities. She holds a Master of Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, GA as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Information Technology from National American University in Rapid City, SD. 

Caroline Hilbert, MD, MPH
Williamson County and Cities Health District
Director of Immunization Advocacy
Dr. Caroline Hilbert is the Director of Immunization Advocacy at Williamson County & Cities Health District. With over eight years of experience in building and supporting community-based health initiatives, Dr. Hilbert is passionate about improving the lives and well-being of Texas residents through health education and preventive health programming. A native of Austin, Dr. Hilbert obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Dallas, and went on to complete her medical degree and Masters in Public Health from the UT System. She then joined It’s Time Texas, a health promotion non-profit, and spearheaded the development of a free health coaching hotline for low-income Texans. After four years with the organization, Dr. Hilbert moved to Williamson County’s health department, where she currently oversees countywide immunization efforts and participates in state and local advocacy activities.

Jessica Jupe
Texas Dept. of State Health Services
Epidemiologist
Jessica Jupe currently works as an epidemiologist in the Immunization Unit for the Texas Department of State Health Services, where she performs data analysis and designs population assessments to monitor immunization coverage rates in Texas and provides technical skill and consultation to improve other areas of the program. Her previous work has focused on the biological sciences, database management and data analytics in a variety of settings including agricultural research stations, the DSHS Lab and DSHS Center for Health Statistics in Austin.

Mary Beth Kurilo, MPH, MSW
American Immunization Registry Association
Policy and Planning Director
Mary Beth Kurilo is currently the Policy and Planning Director for the American Immunization Registry Association, or AIRA. Ms. Kurilo has been involved with AIRA for nearly 15 years in a variety of roles, including Co-Chairing the Standards and Interoperability Steering Committee and the Education Steering Committee, and serving as AIRA’s Board President from 2012-2013.  Prior to her current position, Mary Beth was the Director of the Oregon ALERT Immunization Information System, or ALERT IIS. She worked at the Oregon Immunization Program within the Public Health Division from 2003-2014, and was in the Director role for eight years. She also served as a member of the IIS Executive Board through CDC/NCIRD from 2013-2014. She earned her Masters in Public Health and Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington.

Greg Leos, MPH, CPH, CIC
Texas Department State Health Services Emerging and Acute Infectious Disease
Epidemiologist, Vaccine Preventable Disease Team Lead
An Epidemiologist, Greg Leos serves as the Vaccine Preventable Disease Team Lead in the Emerging and Acute Infectious Disease Branch at Texas Department of State Health Services. He earned his masters in epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Dallas Regional Campus, Dallas.

Joan Mann
Kendra's Legacy Foundation
Executive Director
Joan Mann currently serves on the Board of Directors for Families Fighting Flu, a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to saving lives and reducing hospitalizations by protecting children and their families against influenza through education and advocacy. Ms. Mann originally came to Families Fighting Flu following the loss of her 36-year-old daughter, Ms. Mann, to the flu in 2012. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors at Families Fighting Flu, she also serves as the Executive Director for a Kansas-based foundation called Kendra’s Legacy Foundation that sponsors flu clinics at local schools, churches, and county health departments near Kansas City. Ms. Mann is now a strong advocate who helps raise awareness about the seriousness of flu and the critical importance of annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older.

Margie Esther Padilla, Pharm.D, CDE, BCACP
University of Texas at El Paso
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Padilla is a Clinical Associate Professor The UTEP School of Pharmacy.  Her areas of research and passion interest include immunizations/vaccines (perceptions, barriers, misconceptions, beliefs) in underserved/uninsured communities, chronic disease state management in Hispanic populations, and vaccine usage in student (higher education) populations. Other areas of interest include; development of clinic practice settings and patient care; development of collaborative practice agreements between pharmacists and providers; development of clinic or pharmacy policy and procedures; establishment of prescriptive authority; and enhancement of current clinical services in a both a federally-qualified community health center and private family medicine clinic. Dr. Padilla maintains a clinic site for development of her current research. Her interest in community-based research allows her to work with an interdisciplinary group of providers and members within the community.

Emilie Prot, Do, MPH
Texas Department of State Health Services
Regional Medical Director, Region 11
Dr. Emilie Prot is the Regional Medical Director at the Texas Department of Health. Dr. Prot is board certified in public health and general Preventive Medicine. She serves as a committee member on the Task Force of Border Health Officials, mandated by statute (S.B. No. 1680), and a committee member of the Public Health Funding and Policy Committee. She is a faculty member for the residency program in preventive medicine and public health at the Texas State Department of Health and is faculty member for UT Rio Grande Valley Medical School. She is passionate about global health, advocacy, health equity and strives to care for populations in Texas in particular Texas Mexico border region.
She attended medical school at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio, she completed her Internal Medicine preliminary year at St Vincent Charity Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland Ohio and her residency training in Preventive Medicine at Texas Department of State Health Services. She received her Master of Public Health from UT Houston School of Public Health.

Lois Ramondetta, MD
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor and Chief of Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine
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.

Mark Ritter, MHA
Department of State Health Services, Immunization Unit
Senior Public Health Advisor
Mark Ritter is currently the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Senior Public Health Advisor for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Immunization Unit.  Prior to being employed by the CDC, he was the Immunization Branch Manager for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (SAMHD) in Bexar County, Texas.  Mr. Ritter has more than 25 years of immunization experience with over 16 years with the CDC and the additional nine with the SAMHD Immunization Branch.  He works directly with the DSHS Immunization Unit Management Team to provide technical and programmatic assistance for the Texas Immunization Project.  Additional responsibilities included the assistance with the development of funding applications, contracts, expenditure reports, and resource allocations in order to meet the public and private immunization needs of Texas’ children, adolescents and adults.  Mr. Ritter is also responsible for updating management and program staff on current trends, schedules and recommendations as they may pertain to all immunizations and vaccines.  He has additional expertise in vaccine clinical trials for both pediatrics and adults.  Mr. Ritter has presented at over 100 national, state, and local immunization conferences, workshops, stakeholder seminars, and coalition meetings on a wide variety of healthcare topics (mainly focusing on immunization and vaccine preventable disease programs). 

Andrea Salinas, MPH, CPH, CIC
Texas Department of State Health Services
Epidemiologist, Influenza
Andrea Salinas, MPH, CPH, CIC has worked as an epidemiologist with the Vaccine-Preventable Diseases team since June 2019. Prior to moving to Texas, she spent 4 years as a Healthcare-Associated Infections epidemiologist with the Louisiana Department of Health. Ms. Salinas received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Texas A&M University and her Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Montique Shepherd, II, MPA
Texas Department of State Health Services
CDC Public Health Advisor
Montique Shepherd has been stationed by CDC to the Maryland Department of Health, the Florida Department of Health, and is currently assigned to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Immunization Unit by the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Immunization Services Division (ISD), Program Operations Branch (POB). Mr. Shepherd provides technical assistance regarding the management of the CDC Immunization and Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program Co-operative Agreement (CoAg) award and assists in overseeing VFC Program operations, performing vaccine-preventable disease surveillance. Mr. Shepherd has worked on several specialized projects areas of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention and health services, sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, tuberculosis prevention and control, planning and quality improvement, immunizations, zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, chronic disease, outbreak investigations, and faith based and community partnerships. He has served as a first-line responder during the 2014 West Africa Ebola Virus Outbreak Response at the Washington Dulles International Airport Quarantine Station (IAD). For the 2016 Zika Virus Outbreak Response, he completed a detail where he led the deployment logistics in the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for the State Coordination Task Force (SCTF), and assisted CDC Senior Officials with the release of the National Zika Response Plan within the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR). Most recently, he represented NCIRD in collaboration with the CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) in response efforts for the 2018 - 2019 Hepatitis-A Outbreak located in Charleston, WV affecting 2,700 residents.

Jennifer Shuford, MD, MPH
Texas Dept. of State Health Services
Infectious Disease Medical Officer, Division for Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services
Dr. Jennifer Shuford worked in Austin, Texas as an infectious disease physician in a private practice prior to joining Texas Department of State Health Services. She is currently the infectious disease medical officer for DSHS, where she provides clinical infectious disease support for a variety of infectious disease programs. She also serves on the faculty of the Texas DSHS Preventive Medicine and Public Health Residency Program. She is a member of Travis County Medical Society, Texas Medical Association, and Infectious Disease Society of America. Dr. Shuford graduated from Colorado College in Colorado Springs with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. She completed an internal medicine residency at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, followed by an infectious disease fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She earned her Master of Public Health degree from Harvard School of Public Health.

Denise Starkey, MPH, MA
Texas Department of State Health Services
Adolescent and Adult Immunization Coordinator, Immunization Unit
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.  She has worked on various international research projects and medical teams focusing on disease transmission, prevention and health promotion.  Ms. Starkey 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.   

Trish Stowe, MHA
Texas Department of State Health Services
Texas Vaccines for Children Consultant Team Lead
Trish Stowe began her public health career as a Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) Consultant partnering with the DSHS Public Health Regions, Local Health Departments, providing education, program management, trainings, and presentations on the TVFC Program. She currently is the DSHS TVFC Team Lead at the DSHS Central Office in Austin. Here she leads a team of Consultants who provide support to the DSHS Regional offices and Local Health Departments as they partner with DSHS Central Office in managing the TVFC providers across the state of Texas. As a team we provide TVFC Program updates and provide reliable data on the status of the TVFC Program to senior leadership at DSHS.She  obtained her Masters in Healthcare Administration in 2014, and is the proud mother of two fully vaccinated boys, ages 11 and 14.

Ashlae Tolbert
Texas Department of State Health Services
Vaccine Operation Groups Policy Team Lead
Ashlea began her career with DSHS in December of 2017. She currently is the Vaccine Operation Groups Policy Team Lead where she oversees the policies for the TVFC and ASN Programs. Here she and her team partner with the Centers for Disease Control, DSHS Public Health Regions, and Local Health Departments to improve reporting structure, process improvements, and implementation of updates in the documents for the TVFC and ASN Programs. Ms. Tolbert attended the University of Texas, San Antonio where she obtained her Master in Kinesiology focusing on exercise science.

Rachel Wiseman, MPH
Texas Dept. of State Health Services
ACE Manager
Rachel Wiseman has worked for the Texas Department of State Health Services in both immunizations and surveillance. She currently serves as the Assessment, Compliance, & Evaluation manager in the Immunization Unit. Prior to that, she was the lead epidemiologist for vaccine preventable diseases in Texas. Ms. Wiseman has published and presented to national audiences on infectious disease surveillance, pertussis, varicella, and other vaccine preventable diseases. She has over 15 years of public health experience working at the state and local level in Texas and New York City.