The 2023 AIM Leadership in Action conference took place from December 5-7, 2023, in Houston, TX, at the Westin Galleria Houston and featured leadership development and training, AIM awards, and networking events. Scroll below to explore essential resources. 

Conference Highlights

AIM Staff 2023 Conference
AIM Staff 2023 Conference

2023 AIM Award Winners

AIM recognizes that immunization program managers are central to the success of our nation’s immunization efforts. AIM members ensure vaccines reach the thousands of providers who provide COVID-19 vaccination and the 44,000+ providers and physicians enrolled in the Vaccines for Children program. Members do the hard and necessary work to lead the nation’s network of immunization programs—supporting information systems that track vaccinations, monitoring vaccination progress, containing outbreaks, and informing and educating consumers. They work year-round to develop and implement strategies to ensure that immunization coverage rates remain high and that babies, adolescents, and adults are protected from vaccine-preventable disease.

AIM is proud to celebrate the hard work, innovation, and commitment to excellence shown by program managers throughout the nation.

Natalie Smith, MD

The Natalie J. Smith, MD Award is presented in memory of AIM member Natalie J. Smith’s outstanding management and leadership skills. It was established to recognize the contributions of an immunization program manager who has demonstrated the high ideals, innovation, and commitment to excellence in immunization practices that characterized Dr. Smith’s career. The award recognizes accomplishments and visionary leadership that have had a significant impact on achieving city, state, territory, and/or national vaccine-preventable disease goals and is the highest form of recognition for immunization program managers.

2023 Winner: Michele Roberts

This year’s winner is a demonstrated leader in the AIM community, having previously won the AIM Rising Star Award and the AIM Impact Award. Michele served the longest term as AIM Chair in the history of AIM. She showed character and grit at a time when AIM and program managers needed strong leadership – as we faced the challenge of planning and executing the COVID-19 vaccine campaign. This program manager was instrumental in building a seamless universal vaccine program, and successfully worked to have RSV nirsevimab added to the program. Michele has done groundbreaking work to engage communities and acknowledge public comment.

The AIM Rising Star Award recognizes a new program manager who demonstrates effective leadership and potential for growth within AIM. Awardees are engaged with peers and partners across the country and demonstrate a desire to impact the broader immunization community.

2023 Winner: Heather Burris (DC)

Heather Burris from Washington, DC, is a member of the AIM Executive Committee and the AIM Adult Immunization Committee. She is a regular on AIM Member Meetup and has shared the programmatic lessons she learned through the AIM Knowledge Hub series and at the Vaccine Access Cooperative.

The AIM Partnership Award recognizes an AIM partner who has worked with AIM to address an issue important to AIM members. Award winners’ work must involve collaboration and shared responsibility with AIM to implement a project that delivers a valuable resource or service to AIM members. Past award winners have been from academic institutions, nonprofits, government, academic institutions, the public health community, and the private sector.

2023 Winner: Nathan Crawford

The winner of this year’s partnership award has been a friend to awardees for his entire career. He has held many positions within the CDC Immunization Services Division, Program Operations Branch, and now serves as Awardee Coordination and Support Team Lead, Immunization Operations and Services Branch. Throughout his tenure at CDC, he has valued partnership with program managers and AIM – whether planning the Vaccines for Children boot camp, convening awardee calls and webinars, or supporting project officer and field staff engagement with program managers. He now leads a team of project officers and continues to work for the success of CDC and awardees in reaching and maintaining high vaccine coverage goals.

The Bull’s-Eye Award for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization recognizes programs whose immunization strategies have “hit their mark,” achieving goals and increasing awareness by encouraging replication in other programs.

2023 Winners: North Dakota and Washington immunization programs

North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services Immunization Unit

Nomination NarrativeAward Presentation (PDF)

Washington State Department of Health’s Power of Providers (POP) Initiative

Nomination NarrativeAward Presentation (PDF)

Washington State Department of Health’s initiative WeConsider & Here for Us

Nomination NarrativeAward Presentation (PDF)

Honorable mentions: Pennsylvania Immunization Program for their initiative Need-based Criteria for Non-traditional VFC Provider Enrollment; Vermont Department of Health, Immunization Program for their initiative on Adult Immunization QI; and the Washington State Department of Health for their initiative WAIIS Change: HPV at Nine.

The AIM Impact Award recognizes a program manager who has dedicated significant time, expertise, and experience toward achieving AIM’s organizational goals—such as fostering member connection and contributing to sound immunization policy.

2023 Winner: Amber Tirmal (Phila)

The 2023 Impact Award recipient is no stranger to AIM. She stepped up to run for chair-elect during the pandemic and has served in a leadership capacity at AIM for the last two years as Chair-elect and then Chair. She mentors new members, attended the September CDC-AIM new program manager orientation, and served as a group mentor. She provides guidance and mentoring to AIM staff. She speaks collectively as a voice for program managers with wisdom and clarity. And she is a leader and convener for program managers in her region.

The AIM Leading Through Adversity Award recognizes program managers who have shown fearlessness and perseverance under pressure and have risen to the challenge of managing an immunization program through difficult circumstances.

2023 Winners: All AIM Members

This year, AIM awards all immunization program managers and thanks them for their extraordinary efforts.

AIM’s new Hall of Fame Award recognizes an individual’s leadership, commitment, and outstanding contributions to the immunization program manager community and the vision of a nation free of vaccine-preventable disease.

2023 Inductee: Dan Hopfensperger

Dan

This year, the second year of the AIM Hall of Fame, Dan Hopfensperger is the lone inductee. Dan served as the Wisconsin immunization program manager for over 15 years, retiring in 2015, and was an AIM consultant until his death in October 2023. Dan’s contributions to the AIM community are immeasurable and will live on through the success of current program managers and the AIM organization. Dan served as AIM Chair-elect, Chair, and Past Chair from 2005-2007. He was a longstanding elected member of the AIM Executive Committee. He served as an AIM mentor and Chair of the AIM Registry Committee. Dan was the godfather of IIS, developing the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) and sharing it with programs nationwide.

Although we are profoundly saddened by the passing of one of our own, we are proud to bestow this award and know he would appreciate this honor.

The Immunization Champion Award honors up to one Champion from each of the 50 states, six major cities, and eight territories and federated states.

View the 2023 Champion Awards page here.

Conference Materials

2023 AIM Leadership in Action Conference Presentations

These slide decks and accompanying resources were presented at the 2023 AIM Leadership in Action Conference. Scroll to find presentations from leadership trainings, breakouts, award winners, and more! For any questions or additional information, please contact us.

Opening Plenary- December 5, 2023

Session Description:  AIM leadership, staff, members, and partners gathered for a warm welcome to Houston with program manager Rahmatu Mansaray, MSN, RN. Peter Hotez, MD, Ph.D., gave the opening plenary to kick off the 2023 AIM Leadership in Action Conference!

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speakers: Claire Hannan, MPH, Peter J. Hotez, MD, Ph.D., Rahmatu Mansaray, MSN, RN, and Tom McCleaf

Claire HannanClaire Hannan, MPH, joined the Association of Immunization Managers as its first Executive Director in 2004 and has spent her career working to support immunization policies and practices. She is responsible for the overall administration and management of AIM, as well as representing AIM at conferences, meetings, on committees, and in workgroups. She also represents AIM in Congress, communicates with the CDC, and facilitates coordination among AIM members in addition to preparing AIM positions, policy papers, reports, letters, and presentations. Claire holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Wagner College and a Master of Public Health degree in health policy from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Before joining AIM, she worked on Capitol Hill, lobbied for children’s health issues, and was the director of immunization policy for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

 

 

Peter J. Hotez, MD, Ph.D. is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the co-director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. He is also a university professor at Baylor University, fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy, senior fellow at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, faculty fellow with the Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies at Texas A&M University, and health policy scholar in the Baylor Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy.

 

 

 

Rahmatu Mansaray, MSN, RN, is the deputy assistant director/director of nursing and interim bureau chief/program manager at the Houston Health Department. Previous leadership experience includes serving as the deputy assistant director for the COVID-19 Response Team; operations manager for the Special Populations COVID-19 Response Team; Incident Command for the COVID-19 Epidemiology Response Team and chief nurse and nursing supervisor for the Nurse Family Partnership program housed out of Acres Homes Multiservice Center. She is an experienced and accomplished public health nurse with practical, clinical and leadership experience in program management, coordination, implementation, administration and operations, women’s health, case management and care coordination. She currently has a post-Master of Science degree in nursing education from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; she received her Master of Science degree in nursing with a public health focus from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in clinical laboratory science from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from Sam Houston State University.

 

Tom McCleaf has worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 18 years, serving as the Pennsylvania immunization program manager for the last six and a half years. An active member of AIM, he joined the Executive Committee in 2021 and has served as secretary-treasurer, chair-elect, and now serves as chair. Tom was a recipient of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in 2022 and 2023. He also serves as an advisor to the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition’s board of directors.

AIM Awards and Tribute to Dan Hopfensperger – December 5, 2023

Session Description: AIM announced and recognized the winners of the Natalie J. Smith, MD, Award for Excellence in Program Management, AIM Rising Star Award, AIM Impact Award, AIM Partnership Award, AIM Hall of Fame Award, AIM Leading through Adversity Award, and AIM Bull’s-Eye Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization. AIM also held a special tribute for former program manager and AIM consultant, Dan Hopfensperger.

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speakers: Ron Balajadia, Claire Hannan, MPH, Molly Howell, Kathy Kudish, MSPH, DVM, Sarah Leeds, MPH, and Amber Tirmal, MPH

Ron Balajadia
Immunization Program Manager
State of Hawaii, Department of Public Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claire HannanClaire Hannan, MPH, joined the Association of Immunization Managers as its first Executive Director in 2004 and has spent her career working to support immunization policies and practices. She is responsible for the overall administration and management of AIM, as well as representing AIM at conferences, meetings, on committees, and in workgroups. She also represents AIM in Congress, communicates with the CDC, and facilitates coordination among AIM members in addition to preparing AIM positions, policy papers, reports, letters, and presentations. Claire holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Wagner College and a Master of Public Health degree in health policy from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Before joining AIM, she worked on Capitol Hill, lobbied for children’s health issues, and was the director of immunization policy for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

 

 

Molly Howell wins the Natalie J Smith Award inMolly Howell
Immunization Director
North Dakota Department of Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Kudish, MSPH, DVM,  is the immunization program manager at the Connecticut Department of Public Health immunization program. She is also the deputy state public health veterinarian. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut, her Master of Science in Public Health degree from Tulane University, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. She was an epidemic intelligence service (EIS) officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before joining the immunization program at the state health department in 2006. She has been the immunization program manager since 2016.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Leeds, MPH, earned her bachelor’s degree in writing/media from Loyola University in Maryland and her master’s degree in public health from Idaho State University. Out of grad school, she worked in both immunizations and Public Health Preparedness. She then switched gears to be an executive director for a local domestic violence/sexual assault victim service and emergency shelter organization, spending 15 years working in family violence prevention. Since June 2019, she has served as manager of the Idaho immunization program.

 

 

 

 

Amber Tirmal, MPH, is the immunization program manager for the City of Philadelphia. She joined the team in 2009 as the H1N1 vaccine distribution coordinator after graduating with her Master in Public Health degree from Drexel University. Since that time, she has held various roles in the program from education coordinator to registry manager. In December 2016 she accepted the role of program manager. Amber is passionate about immunizations and is thankful for a position that helps add to the overall health of Philadelphians.

Leadership Session: Feedback Doesn’t Have to Hurt – Dawn Crawford – December 6, 2023

Session Description:  Dawn Crawford, owner and principal communicator of BC/DC Ideas, presented the first leadership session: Feedback Doesn’t Have to Hurt. Dawn Crawford is an award-winning communicator and business leader. She launched BC/DC Ideas in 2010 at age 30 and has worked with over 100 clients since then. For the last 14 years, she has worked to amplify pro-vaccine messages through communications consulting with Immunize Colorado, Wake County Government, the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable, Vaccinate Your Family, and more. Her Kind Review process has been tested and proven by her team and clients. She works with nonprofit organizations across the county, including the American Cancer Society, to implement the Kind Review process with their project teams.

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speaker: Dawn Crawford

Dawn Crawford is an award-winning communicator and business leader. She launched BC/DC Ideas in 2010 at age 30 and has worked with over 100 clients since then. For the last 14 years, she has worked to amplify pro-vaccine messages through communications consulting with Immunize Colorado, Wake County Government, the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable, Vaccinate Your Family, and more. Her Kind Review process has been tested and proven by her team and clients. She works with nonprofit organizations across the county, including the American Cancer Society, to implement the Kind Review process with their project teams.

Peer-to-Peer Leadership: North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services Immunization Unit Bull’s-Eye Award Presentations – December 6, 2023

Session Description: The North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services Immunization Unit’s initiative collaborated with a local pharmacy chain to establish a process for a pharmacy to search the Immunization Information System (IIS) for their patient’s immunization histories, then easily upload the information into the pharmacy’s system. Pharmacy staff can now easily view their patients’ immunization needs all in one spot.

Session Resources

Download the North Dakota Presentation (PDF)

Speaker: Mary Woinarowicz

Mary Woinarowicz is the manager of the North Dakota IIS and has been with the IIS for the past 12 years. She received her Master of Arts degree in sociology with a focus in educational foundations and research from the University of North Dakota. Mary has been the lead author and co-author on several papers published in the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, Public Health, American Journal of Public Health, and the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

Peer-to-Peer Leadership: Washington State Department of Health’s Power of Providers (POP) Initiative Bull’s-Eye Award Presentations – December 6, 2023

Session Description:The Washington State Department of Health’s Power of Providers (POP) Initiative reduced vaccination rate disparities and ensured community health and safety by establishing partnerships with trusted healthcare professionals across all state regions. The initiative facilitated COVID-19 vaccine conversations with vaccinating and non-vaccinating providers, particularly among populations with low vaccination rates. The strategy also incorporated healthcare providers’ feedback to optimize the department’s policies and programs.

Session Resources

Download the Washington Presentation (PDF)

Speaker: Alison Hilkiah

Alison Hilkiah joined the Washington State Department of Health in December 2020 to help coordinate the COVID-19 response. Since April 2022 she has provided leadership for the Power of Providers initiative in the division of Prevention and Community Health. In her current role as section manager, she supports staff to develop and apply their skills, facilitates implementation of new ideas to address complex challenges, and guides the team toward achieving their goals. Her program seeks to: -Support health care providers across the state to educate and vaccinate their patients with COVID-19 vaccines. -Nurture the long-term partnership between health care and public health to achieve our shared vision of a safe and healthy Washington. She is motivated to build on lessons learned and relationships built during an extended public health emergency, so that public health in Washington is even stronger than it was before the pandemic. Alison holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Linfield University and a graduate certificate from George Fox University. Her career has focused on upstream determinants of health, and efforts to improve access and increase equity for people from historically underserved communities. Her varied background includes caregiving for adults with intellectual disabilities, project management, and non-profit leadership. Her passions include her family, wilderness hiking, international travel, and Irish dance.

Peer-to-Peer Leadership: Washington State Department of Health’s initiative WeConsider & Here for Us Bull’s-Eye Award Presentations – December 6, 2023

Session Description: The Washington State Department of Health’s initiative WeConsider & Here for Us encouraged the state’s Black and African American community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The initiative’s goals also included closing the vaccination rate gap between this community and all adults in Washington and testing a community-centered approach to campaign development and implementation.

Session Resources

Download the Washington Presentation (PDF)

Speaker: Remeka Jones

Remeka Jones is the deputy chief of the Office of Public Affairs and Equity at the Washington Department of Health, where she directs communications, health promotion, and equity strategies. She previously served as the department’s Center for Health Promotion and Education director. Remeka Jones is the deputy chief of the Office of Public Affairs and Equity at the Washington Department of Health, where she oversees communications, health promotion, and equity strategies. She previously served as the department’s Center for Health Promotion and Education director, leading the agency’s health promotion, education, and social marketing work.

Leadership Plenary: Breaking Barriers, Building Bonds: A Workshop on Multi-Generational Communication and Collaboration in the Workplace – December 6, 2023

Session Description: Jackie Kohlhepp, owner of JTK Consulting, presented a leadership session on how to communicate and collaborate across generations at work. Jackie has a background in nonprofit leadership and talent acquisition; she’s a mission-driven HR professional and licensed social worker with a systems focus and has helped organizations for more than a decade find and keep top talent and ignite their inner spark to carry out the corporate vision. A Millennial herself, Jackie works regularly with people from every workplace-aged generation, from Gen Z to the Silent Gen. Offering expertise in human behavior at all phases of the employee life cycle from hire to retire, Jackie is passionate about building stronger and healthier workplaces, with workshops that focus on generational diversity. She established JTK to experience the fulfillment of helping leaders and team members communicate and collaborate using a multi-generational lens.

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speaker: Jackie Kohlhepp, SHRM-CP, LISW-AP, MSW

With a background in non-profit leadership and talent acquisition, Jackie Trail Kohlhepp lays out the path to a committed, synchronized workforce that drives results. As a mission-driven HR professional and licensed social worker with a systems focus, Jackie has helped organizations for more than a decade find and keep top talent and ignite their inner spark to carry out the corporate vision. Jackie has worked in an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting and believes in teaching essential skills that promote well-being in workplaces. While exercising her love of serving others as a social worker, Jackie discovered an interest in larger systemic issues creating barriers to success. Her work solving talent attraction and retention problems for a school spurred the creation of JTK Consulting to help more organizations find and keep mission-aligned team members using creative tools and dynamic workshops. A North Carolina native and graduate of Chapel Hill (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology) and UNC-Charlotte (Master of Social Work), Jackie is a board member of the National Association of Social Workers South Carolina Chapter.

Programmatic Breakout I – Adult Immunizations: A Map Toward the Future – December 6, 2023

Session Description: This breakout session focused on the adult immunization programmatic environment: how adult immunization programs have grown and evolved, programmatic needs and expectations moving forward, and the impact of policy changes such as the Inflation Reduction Act. The session featured perspectives and information from the CDC, the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, and AIM. AIM’s Adult Immunization Committee co-chairs facilitated the session.

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speakers: Dr. Diadra W. Biles, Abby Bownas, Lieutenant Commander Jamie Mells, Ph.D., and Jessica Shiminski

Diadra

As the MAP Associate Director, Diadra W. Biles, DPM, MPH, CPH, works on implementing and evaluating the activities associated with the Member Assistance Program (MAP). Before joining AIM, she served as the Tobacco Program Manager for Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance and the Director of Quality & Systems Improvement at the American Heart Association. Dr. Biles is also a retired podiatrist with more than 15 years of clinical experience.

Dr. Biles earned her Bachelor of Science from Prairie View A&M University, her Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida, and her Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from Barry University. She advocates for health equity and embraces opportunities to expand diversity and inclusion in health care settings.

 

 

Abby Bownas is a partner at NVGLLC and a coalition manager extraordinaire. She is currently running the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, adultvaccinesnow.org. Ms. Bownas is a subject matter expert in vaccine policy, diabetes-related policy issues, and preventive health. She has a broad reach in the patient advocacy world and a strong understanding of nutrition, housing policy, and community development. Abby also has significant experience with nonprofit organizations, has served on the federal affairs team of the American Diabetes Association, and worked in the House and Senate.

 

 

 

 

Lieutenant Commander Jamie Mells, Ph.D., joined the Immunization Services Division’s (ISD) Immunization Operations and Services Branch as the branch chief, effective May 30, 2023. Prior to joining ISD, Dr. Mells served in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC), Division of Overdose Prevention, as the coordinator/team lead of the Overdose Data Action Program supporting states, counties, and territories implementing overdose surveillance and prevention strategies. Dr. Mells has served on a host of appointments relating to previously served as the lead scientist working with ASTHO to build state preparedness to respond to opioid crises and contributed to CDC and the United States Public Health Service’s (USPHS) development of Opioid Rapid Response Teams.  Dr. Mells received his Ph.D. degree from Emory University, where he focused on treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In his spare time, he enjoys playing softball and volleyball and trying to find sleep (he has a 9-month-old daughter and a 4-year-old son).

 

 

Jessica Shiminski serves as the director of the Maine Immunization Program within the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In this position, she is responsible for all programmatic oversight including operations, staffing, and fiscal management. Jessica holds a degree in business administration from the University of Maine at Augusta. She has been with the Maine Immunization Program for 15 years, and previously served as the immunization data epidemiologist and the Vaccines for Children coordinator.

Programmatic Breakout II – Building Effective Partnerships at the Jurisdiction Level – December 6, 2023

Session Description: This session highlighted strategies for successfully engaging with school nurses, coalitions, and community health centers to meet programmatic goals. The session focused on how to improve immunization programs’ understanding of school nurses and community health centers with presentations from experts at the National Association of School Nurses and the National Association of Community Health Centers. Speakers also included a program manager and coalition director discussing the value of coalitions in supporting program goals.

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speakers: Deborah D'Souza-Vazirani, DrPH, MHSA, Vacheria Keys, Dave McCormick, Lisa Robertson, MPH, and Katelyn Wells, Ph.D.

Deborah D’Souza-Vazirani, DrPH, MHSA, is the director of program evaluation at the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). She led NASN’s Champions for School Health program – a Kaiser Permanente-funded 15-month initiative that focused on increasing vaccine access, confidence, and equity in school-required vaccinations and the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine in Kaiser’s nine markets. Dr. Vazirani brings program evaluation and program management expertise to NASN in her current role, as she has over 25 years of public health management and evaluation experience with a focus on health disparities research in maternal and child health and increasing health equity both in the private and government healthcare sectors.

 

 

 

 

Vacheria Keys is the associate vice president of policy & regulatory affairs at the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, DC. In her current role, she oversees federal policy, state policy, and regulatory affairs.  Vacheria advocates and develops health policies that improve access for underserved patients and reimbursement for health centers across the nation. For nearly three years, Vacheria has led NACHC’s 340B policy work, Medicaid and Medicare policy, COVID-19 related policies, and more. Previously, Vacheria worked as a regulatory affairs specialist at the American Society of Anesthesiologists and a Reproductive Rights and a health legal fellow at the National Women’s Law Center. As a double HBCU grad, Vacheria takes great pride as a Spelman Alumna and graduate of Howard University’s School of Law.

 

 

 

Dave McCormick is the director of the Indiana Immunization Division at the Indiana Department of Health. In that role, Dave leads a team of public health professionals committed to eliminating vaccine preventable diseases by working with approximately 800 healthcare providers to deliver over $80,000,000 of publicly funded vaccine. In July 2015, Dave was elected to the Executive Board of AIM, serving as chair in 2019. In 2016, Dave was elected to the Executive Board of the American Immunization Registry Association, and has served as president and chair of the Governance Committee.

 

 

 

 

Lisa Robertson, MPH, received her undergraduate degree from Hanover College and her Master of Public Health degree from Indiana University. Lisa was the director of Reach Out and Read Indiana for 11 years. For the past 10 years, Lisa has been the executive director of the Indiana Immunization Coalition. In addition to the coalition’s work in advocacy, education and collaboration, the coalition has administered over 26,000 vaccines in 2023. Lisa has been recognized for her work in public health by the Indiana Cancer Consortium, Indiana School Nurses Association, Indiana Public Health Association, and the Indiana State Health Commissioner. Lisa is passionate about decreasing misinformation, health disparities, and barriers to care.

 

 

 

Katelyn WellsAs the Chief Research, Evaluation, and Development Officer, Katelyn Wells, Ph.D., develops and manages AIM’s research and evaluation activities; oversees AIM’s top priorities and vision; and strategically works to increase AIM’s financial stability through alliances, partnerships, and grant opportunities. Katelyn joined AIM in 2007, after serving on the AIM Executive and Research Committees as Wyoming’s immunization program manager. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in health and exercise science from Western Kentucky University. She also earned a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resources with an interdisciplinary study in adult education and health promotion from Colorado State University.

Programmatic Breakout III – Getting Past the Push-Back: Building Vaccine Confidence in a Skeptical World- December 6, 2023

Session Description: This interactive session highlighted the latest research and trends impacting vaccine hesitancy and provided tips on how to work towards building vaccine confidence from experts from the Public Good Projects and the Unity Consortium.

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speakers: Michelle Fiscus, MD, FAAP, Judy Klein, and Joe Smyser, DrPH, MPH

Chief Medical Officer Michelle Fiscus, MD, FAAP, leads AIM’s CDC-funded project to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in children under 5 years and helps inform AIM’s products, strategies, and policies. Dr. Fiscus is a board-certified pediatrician and former medical director of Tennessee’s Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program. Dr. Fiscus received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Indiana University and completed her residency in pediatrics at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Dr. Fiscus is a member of American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors and has served on workgroups for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

 

 

 

 

Judy Klein is president and founder of Unity® Consortium, bringing together organizations that share a desire to improve immunization coverage for adolescents and young adults (AYA). Judy has deep expertise in healthcare and immunizations and her passion lies in helping individuals to lead healthy lives by focusing on preventive healthcare and immunizations. Judy has leadership roles with organizations that advance these values including the National HPV Roundtable Steering Committee and the National AYA Information Center Advisory Committee. Judy was recently selected as the winner of the Vaughn Rickert Vaccine Research Award by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and has published studies about improving immunization coverage for adolescents.

 

 

 

Joe Smyser, DrPH, MPH, is the CEO of The Public Good Projects (PGP), a public health nonprofit, and publisher of PGN, a nonprofit health news service. PGP is a central figure in vaccine promotion and a leader in infodemiology. Infodemiology is the study of the spread of information, with the goal of improving public health. For the past five years, PGP has designed and managed Kaiser Permanente’s national flu immunization campaign. For the past four years, PGP has led the largest social listening program tracking public vaccine discourse in the U.S.- Project VCTR is used by approximately 800 organizations. In 2020, PGP co-founded UNICEF’s flagship social listening initiative for vaccine demand. In 2021, PGP co-founded a unit within UNICEF to respond in real-time to global polio outbreaks. In 2023, PGP co-founded the U.S.’ first social listening program tailored for health care providers with the American Board of Internal Medicine, serving all U.S. boards of medicine, and the first social listening program tailored for public health practitioners with de Beaumont Foundation and ASTHO. Dr. Smyser holds a master’s degree and doctorate in public health and performed his postdoctoral training at the CDC.

Programmatic Breakout IV – Navigating State Legislative Sessions- December 6, 2023

Session Description: This session provided an overview of trends in vaccine-related legislation and included practical, non-partisan tips on how to work with state legislators and how to build effective relationships with state legislative liaisons and state health officers.  The session featured experts from the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), the Association of State & Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), AIM, as well as a seasoned state leader.

Download the Presentation (PDF)

Speakers: Maggie Davis, JD, MA, Brent Ewig, MSPH, Shannon Kolman, and Michele Roberts, MPH

Maggie Davis, JD, MA, is the director of state health policy with the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) where she works closely with state and territorial health department legislative liaisons and attorneys on a wide range of health policy issues. Prior to joining ASTHO, Maggie worked for the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security where she supported a range of state and local agencies on public health and emergency management law and policy projects. She currently lives in Northern Virginia with her dog, Goose. She received her Juris Doctor with a concentration in Health Law from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and her Master of Arts degree in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University.

 

 

 

 

BrentChief Policy and Government Relations Officer Brent Ewig, MSPH, monitors the immunization policy landscape and develops resources to support AIM members engaging in effective policy development. He represents AIM in policy-related coalitions and promotes AIM positions where appropriate, including adequate resources for jurisdictions. Brent previously served as AIM’s policy advisor consultant. He was also the director of policy and government affairs at the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree in health policy from Johns Hopkins University.

 

 

 

 

 

In her role as Senior Policy Specialist in the Health Program for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Shannon Kolman serves as a subject matter expert on public health topics. Shannon has over 25 years of experience working in the fields of public health and community health. Shannon began her career working for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a public information specialist. She later directed programs supporting clinicians at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Before coming to NCSL, Shannon worked as the director of programs and policy for the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials. She enjoys researching public health issues and supporting legislative excellence by informing policy strategies.

 

 

 

 

Michele Roberts, MPH, is the acting assistant secretary of the Prevention and Community Health Division at the Washington State Department of Health. She has been with the department since 2004 and is passionate about giving people tools and information to make healthy decisions. Michele has her MPH degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA degree from Whitman College. Michele started her career as a health educator and is a master certified health education specialist. She is a long-time immunization champion –working for 16 years in the Washington State immunization program, including seven years as the director.

Programmatic Breakout V – Vaccine Equity: What Does it Mean and How Can We Achieve It?- December 6, 2023

Session Description: This session explored how COVID-19 changed the landscape of vaccine equity, prompting discussion on jurisdictions approach equity and measure success. The session included lessons learned from the 38 federally-funded REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approach to Community Health) recipients across the country and insights from a successful community health worker training program.

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Speakers: Iyabode Akinsanya-Beysolow, MD, Susan Farrall, MPH, Amy Pisani, and Purnima Unni, MPH, CHES

Iyabode Akinsanya-Beysolow, MD, is a pediatrician and public health professional with several years of work experience at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, in the Immunization Services Division as a medical officer and subject matter expert on immunizations. A pediatrician with over 20 years of experience in private practice, urgent care, and telemedicine settings, Dr. Beysolow serves as an immunization subject matter expert (SME) for AIM. Dr. Beysolow also serves as one of the Ask the Experts Immunization Action Coalition (Immunize.org), providing practical immunization guidance for immunization staff nationwide. Currently, Dr. Beysolow serves as the chair of the EPIC Advisory Committee, Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Beysolow serves on the following Advisory Boards: The Quality Improvement Education Advisory Group, American Academy of Pediatrics (appointed December 2022) and the CDC Cooperative Agreement on Equity and Vaccines, Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity, National Minority Quality Forum. Dr. Beysolow led the U.S. Childhood Immunization Schedule Working Group from 2011-2014 as the CDC representative. Dr. Beysolow is actively involved in global health and has developed, organized, and led multiple medical mission trips to Liberia and Angola between 2008 and 2019 to provide free healthcare services and collaborated with the Ministry of Health leaders and local health providers in these countries.

 

Susan Farrall, MPH, has served as a public health advisor at the National Vaccine Program Office of Assistant Secretary of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, since November 2021. In this position, she works to develop national plans and policies that support immunization, as well as highlight best practices that advance immunization equity. Previously, she worked for 18 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 13 years devoted to immunization programs and education, and five years devoted to public health emergency preparedness. While at the CDC, she was deployed for several public health emergencies, including Ebola assignments in Guinee and Democratic Republic of Congo, and assignments with COVID vaccine efforts for older adults. Her prior work experience has been as program manager of the tobacco control program at the DC Department of Health, project officer with JHPIEGO and the Pathfinder Fund for family planning projects in Turkey, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, and Jordan, national field organizer for the National Safe Kids Campaign and Peace Corps volunteers in Marrakech, Morocco working with children with disabilities. She has an MPH degree from Columbia University.

 

 

Amy Pisani is a distinguished expert in the field of vaccine advocacy and education, with a remarkable tenure dating back to 1996 when she joined Every Child By Two (now known as Vaccinate Your Family). As the CEO, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of immunization accessibility in the United States. Amy’s tireless dedication has made her a driving force for immunization advocacy, working tirelessly to advance the health and well-being of communities across the nation. Throughout her career, Amy has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to realizing VYF’s mission, which is to safeguard individuals of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases and bridge immunization disparities. Amy’s dedication extended to the urgent need for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. She played a pivotal role in various vital initiatives, including the Made to Save Collaborative, the HHS COVID Community Corps, and the White House Equity Panel. VYF continues to bring together partners who united in the fight against COVID-19 through the VYF-hosted Vaccination Collaborative. This platform facilitates the exchange of invaluable insights, research, and communication strategies, shaping evidence-based programs and policy efforts to ensure universal access to all vaccines. Amy remains at the forefront of public health advocacy by actively engaging in conferences, hosting, and presenting at congressional briefings, and vigilantly monitoring and responding to regulatory and policy changes that impact immunization delivery. The campaigns developed under her guidance have educated hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on the field.

 

Health Equity and Member Services Director Purnima Unni, MPH, CHES, oversees the administration and management of activities associated with cooperative agreements awarded by the CDC. Her key focus involves guiding CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) recipients. This cooperative agreement intends to develop, enhance, and manage programs to increase vaccination coverage for racial and ethnic groups experiencing disparities in vaccination rates. Purnima brings more than 15 years of public health, nonprofit, healthcare, and community engagement experience to AIM. She holds an MPH degree from Portland State University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. She was the program manager for all injury prevention and safety initiatives at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee. She is a thoughtful leader invested in population health and is passionate about building solid collaborations to address health inequalities.

Programmatic Breakout I – Building Effective Partnerships at the Jurisdiction Level – December 7, 2023

Session Description: This session highlighted strategies for successfully engaging with school nurses, coalitions, and community health centers to meet programmatic goals. The session focused on how to improve immunization programs’ understanding of school nurses and community health centers with presentations from experts at the National Association of School Nurses and the National Association of Community Health Centers. Speakers also included a program manager and coalition director discussing the value of coalitions in supporting program goals.

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Speakers: Deborah D'Souza-Vazirani, DrPH, MHSA, Vacheria Keys, Sarah Leeds, MPH, Lisa Robertson, MPH, Karen Sharpnack, and Katelyn Wells, Ph.D.

Deborah D’Souza-Vazirani, DrPH, MHSA, is the director of program evaluation at the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). She led NASN’s Champions for School Health program – a Kaiser Permanente-funded 15-month initiative that focused on increasing vaccine access, confidence, and equity in school-required vaccinations and the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine in Kaiser’s nine markets. Dr. Vazirani brings program evaluation and program management expertise to NASN in her current role, as she has over 25 years of public health management and evaluation experience with a focus on health disparities research in maternal and child health and increasing health equity both in the private and government healthcare sectors.

 

 

 

 

Vacheria Keys is the associate vice president of policy & regulatory affairs at the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, DC. In her current role, she oversees federal policy, state policy, and regulatory affairs.  Vacheria advocates and develops health policies that improve access for underserved patients and reimbursement for health centers across the nation. For nearly three years, Vacheria has led NACHC’s 340B policy work, Medicaid and Medicare policy, COVID-19 related policies, and more. Previously, Vacheria worked as a regulatory affairs specialist at the American Society of Anesthesiologists and a Reproductive Rights and a health legal fellow at the National Women’s Law Center. As a double HBCU grad, Vacheria takes great pride as a Spelman Alumna and graduate of Howard University’s School of Law.

 

 

 

Sarah Leeds earned her bachelor’s degree in writing/media from Loyola University in Maryland and her master’s degree in public health from Idaho State University. Out of grad school, she worked in both immunizations and Public Health Preparedness. She then switched gears to be Executive Director of a local domestic violence/sexual assault victim service and emergency shelter organization, spending 15 years working in family violence prevention. Since June 2019, she has served as manager of the Idaho Immunization Program.

 

 

 

 

Karen Sharpnack has over 40 years of experience working in the non-profit world, including 30 years with the YMCA, which she retired from in 2012.  Karen is currently the Executive Director of the Idaho Immunization Coalition, a statewide pro-vaccine nonprofit organization, which she has worked for over since 2012.   As a nonprofit leader, coalition builder, and community champion, Karen Sharpnack is passionate about addressing urgent community needs, creating innovative solutions, and impacting positive outcomes. Karen’s extensive experience in nonprofit management, building collaborative partnerships, and pandemic response has enabled Karen to work with elected officials, community partners, volunteers, board members, and staff to affect change and achieve results.

 

 

 

Katelyn WellsAs the Chief Research, Evaluation, and Development Officer, Katelyn Wells, Ph.D., develops and manages AIM’s research and evaluation activities; oversees AIM’s top priorities and vision; and strategically works to increase AIM’s financial stability through alliances, partnerships, and grant opportunities. Katelyn joined AIM in 2007, after serving on the AIM Executive and Research Committees as Wyoming’s immunization program manager. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in health and exercise science from Western Kentucky University. She also earned a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resources with an interdisciplinary study in adult education and health promotion from Colorado State University.

Programmatic Breakout II – Getting Past the Push-Back: Building Vaccine Confidence in a Skeptical World- December 7, 2023

Session Description: This interactive session highlighted the latest research and trends impacting vaccine hesitancy and provided tips on how to work towards building vaccine confidence from experts from the Public Good Projects and the Unity Consortium.

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Speakers: Michelle Fiscus, MD, FAAP, Judy Klein, and Joe Smyser, DrPH, MPH

Chief Medical Officer Michelle Fiscus, MD, FAAP, leads AIM’s CDC-funded project to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in children under 5 years and helps inform AIM’s products, strategies, and policies. Dr. Fiscus is a board-certified pediatrician and former medical director of Tennessee’s Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program. Dr. Fiscus received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Indiana University and completed her residency in pediatrics at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Dr. Fiscus is a member of American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors and has served on workgroups for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

 

 

 

 

Judy Klein is president and founder of Unity® Consortium, bringing together organizations that share a desire to improve immunization coverage for adolescents and young adults (AYA). Judy has deep expertise in healthcare and immunizations and her passion lies in helping individuals to lead healthy lives by focusing on preventive healthcare and immunizations. Judy has leadership roles with organizations that advance these values including the National HPV Roundtable Steering Committee and the National AYA Information Center Advisory Committee. Judy was recently selected as the winner of the Vaughn Rickert Vaccine Research Award by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and has published studies about improving immunization coverage for adolescents.

 

 

 

Joe Smyser, DrPH, MPH, is the CEO of The Public Good Projects (PGP), a public health nonprofit, and publisher of PGN, a nonprofit health news service. PGP is a central figure in vaccine promotion and a leader in infodemiology. Infodemiology is the study of the spread of information, with the goal of improving public health. For the past five years, PGP has designed and managed Kaiser Permanente’s national flu immunization campaign. For the past four years, PGP has led the largest social listening program tracking public vaccine discourse in the U.S.- Project VCTR is used by approximately 800 organizations. In 2020, PGP co-founded UNICEF’s flagship social listening initiative for vaccine demand. In 2021, PGP co-founded a unit within UNICEF to respond in real-time to global polio outbreaks. In 2023, PGP co-founded the U.S.’ first social listening program tailored for health care providers with the American Board of Internal Medicine, serving all U.S. boards of medicine, and the first social listening program tailored for public health practitioners with de Beaumont Foundation and ASTHO. Dr. Smyser holds a master’s degree and doctorate in public health and performed his postdoctoral training at the CDC.

Programmatic Breakout III – Navigating State Legislative Sessions- December 7, 2023

Session Description: This session provided an overview of trends in vaccine-related legislation and included practical, non-partisan tips on how to work with state legislators and how to build effective relationships with state legislative liaisons and state health officers.  The session featured experts from the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), the Association of State & Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), AIM, as well as a seasoned state leader.

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Speakers: Maggie Davis, JD, MA, Brent Ewig, MSPH, Shannon Kolman, and Michele Roberts, MPH

Ms. Maggie Davis is the Director of State Health Policy with the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) where she works closely with state and territorial health department legislative liaisons and attorneys on a wide range of health policy issues. Prior to joining ASTHO, Ms. Davis worked for the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security where she supported a range of state and local agencies on public health and emergency management law and policy projects. Ms. Davis currently lives in Northern Virginia with her dog, Goose. She received her Juris Doctor with a concentration in Health Law from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and her Master of Arts in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University.

 

 

 

 

BrentAs the Chief Policy and Government Relations Officer, Brent monitors the immunization policy landscape and develops resources to support AIM members engaging in effective policy development. He represents AIM in policy-related coalitions and promotes AIM positions where appropriate, including adequate resources for jurisdictions. Brent previously served as AIM’s policy advisor consultant. He was also the Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree in health policy from Johns Hopkins University.

 

 

 

 

 

In her role as Senior Policy Specialist in the Health Program, for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Shannon Kolman serves as a subject matter expert on public health topics. Shannon has over 25 years of experience working in the fields of public health and community health. Shannon began her career working for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a Public Information Specialist. She later directed programs supporting clinicians at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Before coming to NCSL, Shannon worked as the Director of Programs and Policy for the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials. She enjoys researching public health issues and supporting legislative excellence by informing policy strategies.

 

 

 

 

Michele Roberts is the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Prevention and Community Health Division at the Washington State Department of Health. She has been with the department since 2004 and is passionate about giving people tools and information to make healthy decisions. Michele has her MPH degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA from Whitman College. Michele started her career as a health educator and is a master certified health education specialist. She is a long-time immunization champion –working for 16 years in the Washington State immunization program, including seven years as the director.

Programmatic Breakout IV – Adult Immunizations: A Map Toward the Future – December 7, 2023

Session Description: This breakout session focused on the adult immunization programmatic environment: how adult immunization programs have grown and evolved, programmatic needs and expectations moving forward, and the impact of policy changes such as the Inflation Reduction Act. The session featured perspectives and information from the CDC, the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, and AIM. AIM’s Adult Immunization Committee co-chairs facilitated the meeting.

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Speakers: Dr. Diadra W. Biles, Abby Bownas, Lieutenant Commander Jamie Mells, Ph.D., and Heather Roth

Diadra

As the MAP Associate Director, Diadra W. Biles, DPM, MPH, CPH, works on implementing and evaluating the activities associated with the Member Assistance Program (MAP). Before joining AIM, she served as the Tobacco Program Manager for Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance and the Director of Quality & Systems Improvement at the American Heart Association. Dr. Biles is also a retired podiatrist with more than 15 years of clinical experience.

Dr. Biles earned her Bachelor of Science from Prairie View A&M University, her Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida, and her Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from Barry University. She advocates for health equity and embraces opportunities to expand diversity and inclusion in health care settings.

 

 

 

Abby Bownas is a partner at NVGLLC and a coalition manager extraordinaire. She is currently running the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, adultvaccinesnow.org. Ms. Bownas is a subject matter expert in vaccine policy, diabetes-related policy issues, and preventive health. She has a broad reach in the patient advocacy world and a strong understanding of nutrition, housing policy, and community development. Abby also has significant experience with nonprofit organizations, has served on the federal affairs team of the American Diabetes Association, and worked in the House and Senate.

 

 

 

 

Lieutenant Commander Jamie Mells, Ph.D., joined the Immunization Services Division’s (ISD) Immunization Operations and Services Branch as the branch chief, effective May 30, 2023. Prior to joining ISD, Dr. Mells served in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC), Division of Overdose Prevention, as the coordinator/team lead of the Overdose Data Action Program supporting states, counties, and territories implementing overdose surveillance and prevention strategies. Dr. Mells has served on a host of appointments relating to previously served as the lead scientist working with ASTHO to build state preparedness to respond to opioid crises and contributed to CDC and the United States Public Health Service’s (USPHS) development of Opioid Rapid Response Teams.  Dr. Mells received his Ph.D. degree from Emory University, where he focused on treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In his spare time, he enjoys playing softball and volleyball and trying to find sleep (he has a 9-month-old daughter and a 4-year-old son).

 

 

 

Heather Roth serves as the immunization branch chief at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She develops strategic direction and policies for the state’s immunization program and is responsible for program operations, and grant, data, and staff management. Heather holds a master’s degree in international human rights and a Certificate in Global Health Affairs from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of International Studies as well as bachelor’s degrees in political science and French from the University of Notre Dame. A Colorado native, Heather’s previous experience includes program management for the Colorado Immunization Information System and the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition. Heather currently serves as President of the American Immunization Registry Association, as an Executive Committee member of AIM, and as co-chair of the AIM Adult Immunization Committee.

Programmatic Breakout V – Lessons Learned: Improving COVID-19 and Flu Vaccine Equity and Uptake in REACH Communities- December 7, 2023

Session Description: This session explored valuable lessons learned and practical takeaways from REACH recipients by sharing strategies, successes, and challenges in promoting COVID-19 and flu vaccine confidence and uptake. The session featured REACH recipients discussing how they addressed vaccine and health equity, their collaboration with state or local health departments and community-based organizations, and their lessons on adopting and adapting strategies by public health leaders, including immunization program managers, to advance vaccine equity.

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Speakers: Iyabode Akinsanya-Beysolow, Jackson Higginbottom, MPH, Irene Nyanuba, MHS, and Marolyn Valenzuela

Iyabode Akinsanya-Beysolow, MD, is a pediatrician and public health professional with several years of work experience at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, in the Immunization Services Division as a medical officer and subject matter expert on immunizations. A pediatrician with over 20 years of experience in private practice, urgent care, and telemedicine settings, Dr. Beysolow serves as an immunization subject matter expert (SME) for AIM. Dr. Beysolow also serves as one of the Ask the Experts Immunization Action Coalition (Immunize.org), providing practical immunization guidance for immunization staff nationwide. Currently, Dr. Beysolow serves as the chair of the EPIC Advisory Committee, Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Beysolow serves on the following Advisory Boards: The Quality Improvement Education Advisory Group, American Academy of Pediatrics (appointed December 2022) and the CDC Cooperative Agreement on Equity and Vaccines, Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity, National Minority Quality Forum. Dr. Beysolow led the U.S. Childhood Immunization Schedule Working Group from 2011-2014 as the CDC representative. Dr. Beysolow is actively involved in global health and has developed, organized, and led multiple medical mission trips to Liberia and Angola between 2008 and 2019 to provide free healthcare services and collaborated with the Ministry of Health leaders and local health providers in these countries.

Jackson Higginbottom, MPH, is a public health practitioner working at the intersection of behavior change, health communications, and community engagement. He leads the Initiative for Strategic Health Communications at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and health communications at the Community Alliance for Research & Engagement (CARE) at the Yale School of Public Health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Nyanuba, MHS, is the vaccine program manager for the Worcester Department of Public Health. She is a public health professional with 15 years of expertise, including community nutrition, disease control, and health promotion. She has served as the district nutrition officer, HIV coordinator, and health promotion officer in Ghana. Irene has led projects on immunization, malnutrition, and maternal-to-child HIV transmission.  She has facilitated many workshops to build the capacity of community members to support infection prevention, food demonstration, exercise, and healthy lifestyle modification. As the vaccine program manager, she focuses on integrating vaccine education with other expressed health needs to increase community engagement. Irene has a diploma in community health (nutrition and disease control), a Bachelor of Science degree in community nutrition, and a Master in Health Science degree in community and global health from Clark University. She aims to improve the health situation in underserved communities through innovation and strategic partnerships.

 

 

 

Marolyn Valenzuela is a Latinx community outreach specialist at the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, responsible for making and maintaining long-term connections and alliances with community leaders, organizations, and healthcare providers to advance health equity in communities of color. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Eastern Michigan University with human nutrition and social diversity concentrations.

Federal Leadership Panel- December 7, 2023

Session Description: AIM hosted a Federal Leadership Panel of experts from the CDC. Speakers included:

  • Dr. Jill Moses, Deputy Director for Program Implementation, CDC ISD
  • Lieutenant Commander Jamie Mells, Ph.D., Immunization Operations and Services Branch Chief, CDC ISD
  • Michelle Banks, Field Services Branch Chief, CDC ISD
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Speakers: Michelle Banks, Lieutenant Commander Jamie Mells, Ph.D., Jill Moses, MD, MPH, and Amber Tirmal, MPH

Michelle Banks is the branch chief for the CDC/NCIRD/Immunization Services Division’s Field Services Branch (FSB). Prior to joining FSB, Michelle was the lead for the Provider Compliance and Quality Assurance team and acting lead for the Specialized Technical Assistance and Quality Improvement team within the Immunization Operations and Services Branch. In this role, Michelle provided direction and subject matter expertise on awardee-facing program operational policies and implementation of the Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers (IQIP) programs. She also provided leadership to staff coordinating perinatal hepatitis B prevention and adult immunization activities. Michelle previously held the role of project officer in POB and completed details as POB/IOSB branch chief and deputy branch chief. Michelle has been involved in several deployments, including serving as the in-country deputy team lead for the Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE) as well as time in Austin, Texas, as a part of the E-cigarette or Vaping Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) response. She was deeply involved in many aspects of the COVID-19 response, beginning with an early field deployment to Seattle, WA, in February 2020, and later to Salt Lake City, UT, to study household transmission of SARS-CoV-2, followed by key leadership roles in the development of initial jurisdictional guidance on program planning and COVID Vaccination Program Provider Agreement and provider enrollment implementation. She also assisted the New York State polio response in a deputy role. Prior to joining CDC, Michelle held a 17-year career with the Georgia Division of Public Health at various levels of leadership in immunization, including VFC coordinator, vaccine manager, immunization program manager, and her most recent being the senior director for infectious diseases and immunization.

 

Lieutenant Commander Jamie Mells, Ph.D., joined the Immunization Services Division’s (ISD) Immunization Operations and Services Branch as the branch chief, effective May 30, 2023. Prior to joining ISD, Dr. Mells served in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC), Division of Overdose Prevention, as the coordinator/team lead of the Overdose Data Action Program supporting states, counties, and territories implementing overdose surveillance and prevention strategies. Dr. Mells has served on a host of appointments relating to previously served as the lead scientist working with ASTHO to build state preparedness to respond to opioid crises and contributed to CDC and the United States Public Health Service’s (USPHS) development of Opioid Rapid Response Teams.  Dr. Mells received his Ph.D. degree from Emory University, where he focused on treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In his spare time, he enjoys playing softball and volleyball and trying to find sleep (he has a 9-month-old daughter and a 4-year-old son).

 

 

 

Jill Moses, MD, MPH, is the deputy director for program implementation in the Immunization Services Division (ISD), Office of the Director. In this role, she supports the division director by providing oversight and guidance to the four programmatic branches in executing the division’s programmatic implementation plan to meet strategic objectives. Before joining CDC, Dr. Moses worked as the director for the Division of Public Health, Chinle Service Unit at the Indian health service (IHS).

 

 

 

 

 

Amber Tirmal, MPH, is the immunization program manager for the City of Philadelphia. She joined the team in 2009 as the H1N1 vaccine distribution coordinator after graduating with her Master’s in Public Health degree from Drexel University. Since that time, she has held various roles in the program from education coordinator to registry manager. In December 2016 she accepted the role of program manager. Amber is passionate about immunizations and is thankful for a position that helps add to the overall health of Philadelphians.

Closing Remarks & Unveiling of 2024 AIM Leadership in Action Conference Location- December 7, 2023

Session Description: Closing remarks and final updates for the 2023 AIM Leadership in Action Conference.

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Speakers: Claire Hannan, MPH, and Tom McCleaf

Claire HannanClaire Hannan, MPH, joined the Association of Immunization Managers as its first Executive Director in 2004 and has spent her career working to support immunization policies and practices. She is responsible for the overall administration and management of AIM, as well as representing AIM at conferences, meetings, on committees, and in workgroups. She also represents AIM in Congress, communicates with the CDC, and facilitates coordination among AIM members in addition to preparing AIM positions, policy papers, reports, letters, and presentations. Claire holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Wagner College and a Master of Public Health degree in health policy from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Before joining AIM, she worked on Capitol Hill, lobbied for children’s health issues, and was the director of immunization policy for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

 

 

Tom McCleaf has worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 18 years, serving as the Pennsylvania immunization program manager for the last six and a half years. An active member of AIM, he joined the Executive Committee in 2021 and has served as secretary-treasurer, chair-elect, and now serves as chair. Tom was a recipient of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in 2022 and 2023. He also serves as an advisor to the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition’s board of directors.

Conference Agenda

The 2023 conference agenda includes a keynote address, the annual AIM business meeting, leadership training sessions, a film screening of Shot in the Arm, AIM award presentations, special presentations from REACH recipients, regional breakout sessions, and more!

  • Download the draft agenda here.

Conference Exhibits and Sponsorships

AIM would also like to extend another huge thank you to our amazing Corporate Alliance members, who make these valuable events possible. We encourage you to keep in touch and work with these committed partners all year long.

Click here for more details about joining the Corporate Alliance Program and receiving our valuable annual membership benefits. Please contact Katelyn Wells, Chief Research, Evaluation, and Development Officer, for additional information.

If you have questions or need additional information about the AIM 2023 Leadership in Action conference, please contact AIM

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