Class Notes Summer 2009

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Environmental Health

Kristen Welker-Hood (’05) is director of Environment and Health Programs at Physicians for Social Responsibility. The group, with 31 chapters and 32,000 members across the U.S., is the medical and public health voice for policies to stop nuclear war and proliferation, and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and toxic degradation of the environment. Welker-Hood was previously the senior policy fellow for the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health program of the American Nurses Association.

Sarah White (’08) has assumed a leadership position with Partners Healthcare in the Research Quality Improvement Program. Sarah has been known to the research community as a member of the QI Program since 2004. She also has experience in working in regulatory affairs for a small pharmaceutical company, for which she was responsible for FDA and international regulatory submissions.

Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Dick Clapp

Richard Clapp (’89)

Richard Clapp (’89) writes: “In the twenty years since I got my DSc from BU, I have worked in public health consulting at JSI and Tellus Institute, both in Boston, but for the past eighteen years, I have been on the BUSPH faculty.  I started as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health and have worked up the academic ladder to professor.  I’m at the point in my career where I think my role is to pass on whatever I’ve learned to the next generation of public health practitioners.”

Lorena Garcia (’96) recently became a faculty member in the Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Epidemiology, at the University of California-Davis. Currently she is a Building  Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health Scholar, focusing on health disparities research in obesity and diabetes in the Latina population. Lorena and her husband, Morgan, are the proud parents of two boys.

Jo Porter (’02) is now the deputy director of the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire. Jo lives in NH with her husband and two children, Jayden, 3, and Seth, 1.

Christin Dematto

Christin Dematto (’07)

Christin Dematto (’07)  writes: “I am currently working for Protein Sciences Corporation in Meriden, Conn., in the Quality Assurance Department. This is a big year for the company, as we have filed a  biologics license agreement with the FDA to get approval for our insect-cell based Influenza Vaccine. We are expecting to hear of the approval any day. I moved back to Connecticut after graduation to be closer  to my family and I recently got engaged to Stephen Gondar of Coventry, Conn. I am looking forward to bringing him to alumni weekend.”

Health Policy & Management 

Connie Phillips (’91) directs an undergraduate biotechnology program at the Boston University Medical Campus, as well as a free biotech education and job training program, CityLab Academy.

Christine Kearns

Christine Kearns (’93)

Christine Kearns (’93)  writes that she is a senior solutions consultant at Phase Forward, Inc., located in a new ‘green’ building in Waltham, Mass. “Collectively, through the  name changes and acquisitions, I’ve been here since leaving the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1997,” she says. “Phase Forward is a leading provider of data- management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety.”

Alex England (’94) writes that she is pursuing her nurse practitioner degree at Regis College.  If all goes according to plan, she will  graduate in May 2010.  She lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband and two children.

Sharyn Harrison
Perpall (’95)
writes that, after graduating from BUSPH, “I worked shortly in Boston and have been in sunny Florida for 14 years. I am working as a midwife in a clinic setting. It is amazing how I [use] the knowledge from our MPH to direct the practice and clinic. I miss Boston, but not the weather.”

Theodora Wohler (’96) writes: “I work for the Immunization and Epidemiology Unit of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. If variety is the spice of life, I certainly have  plenty of that. In addition to my duties as regional  immunization nurse that entails completing provider immunization assessment, as well as school immunization audits, I also case manage about 100 women a year who are Hepatitis B positive and pregnant. This program ensures that  children born to Hepatitis B positive women receive Hepatitis B vaccines on schedule and receive post-vaccine serology after the completion of the series. I have been involved in various outbreaks such as measles, mumps, Hepatitis A, where  immunization clinics were set up in a variety of places, and I have given vaccines at all hours of the day to all ages. I was also involved in administering the Hepatitis A and B vaccines to the prison population. This setting is where I learned my greatest lesson that rid me of preconceived ideas about certain groups. Currently we are in the midst of the H1N1 pandemic — again a huge challenge — that will likely continue for quite some time. No, I haven’t traveled to the far ends of the earth — only to the far ends of the Commonwealth. I haven’t done all the wonderful things that others have done and continue to do; but I hope in some small way I have promoted the mission of Boston University School of Public Health. In closing, I would like to quote from Mohandas Gandhi: ‘Nearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it.'”

Barbara Angelone Lamagna (’97) writes after graduating from BUSPH, she worked in Brown University Health Services, and is currently teaching at Bristol Community College in the Health Sciences Division.  “I call on the example frequently of my BU professors who were wonderful teachers and supports!” she says. “I live in Cranston, RI, with my husband, Ed, who works at the University of Rhode Island, and our greatest teacher concerning education is our son, Gregory, aged 10!”

Louise Merriman (’99) continues to work in marketing in the high-tech industry. She has two sons,  Andy, 11, and Nick, 9.

Neenah Estrella-Luna (’01) has recently completed her PhD in Law and Social Policy at Northeastern University. She writes: “I have also bought a house with my husband, which we are slowly restoring.”

Ryan Utarnachitt (’01) is currently living in California, where he is an assistant clinical professor of medicine for the University of California San Francisco – Fresno Medical Education Program.

Elizabeth Cohen (’02)
writes: “I am now working at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts as the manager of professional training and youth education.  I am expecting my first child in August.”

Kristin Fahy (’03) works as the senior director, research services, for Panel Intelligence, a primary market-research company focused on the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industries, located in Cambridge, MA.

Clara Kebabian (’04)recently changed jobs and is now working as the drug discovery project manager at Repligen Corp., Waltham, Mass. She writes, “I’m also still playing music. The album I recorded with the Mr. Curt Ensemble called  ‘Leaving the Farm’ is being released this month on Lowbudget Records.”

Ivana Chang (’08) is a senior consultant with Boston-based Sterling Planning Alliance, a boutique consulting firm specializing in healthcare. Her current work involves master planning, strategic planning, and operational efficiency efforts for hospitals/healthcare organizations in the New England region.

International Health

A book written by Elizabeth Ziemba (’01), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Giving Back, was set for publication in July by Penguin Books. She writes, “The book is designed to help people to make intelligent decisions about donating their time, services and money to meet their own giving goals, and at the same time, help not-for-profit organizations achieve their visions, while avoiding scams and pitfalls. Readers will learn how not-for-profits work and how donations are utilized to determine the best ways to match their personal ideals, values and giving goals with a meaningful group or cause.”

Tamarra James-Todd (’02) writes that she graduated with a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Columbia University in October 2008.

Ellen McCurley ('06) with Gladys, a young girl supported at The Pendulum Project in Malawi.

Ellen McCurley (’06) with Gladys, a young girl supported at The Pendulum Project in Malawi.

Ellen McCurley (’06)  was recently the 2009 commencement speaker at the BU School of Social Work. She helps build capacity for The Pendulum Project, an NGO based in Malawi, Africa, that supports  community initiatives focused on increasing health and wellbeing of vulnerable children and adults affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty.

Rebecca Lawrence (’08) works at Boston Medical Center coordinating a program evaluation study of the Medical-Legal Partnership Boston (MLP Boston) program, while also assisting in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) research and program activities at the hospital.

Maternal & Child Health

Fiona Clement (’99) is living in North Kingstown, RI, and continues to work as a Certified Nurse Midwife at Women’s Care, where she is a partner.

Christian Pulcini (’09) writes that he is currently teaching sixth-grade science at MATCH Public Charter Middle School in Jamaica Plain, MA.

Lauren Pino (’09) writes that she is living in Manchester, NH, with her husband, Anthony, and daughter, Laila Rose. After graduating from BUSPH, Lauren became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Certified in Public Health (CPH).  She is currently the Health Education and Wellness Specialist for Neighborhood Health Plan in Boston. Lauren will be attending the University of New Hampshire in Spring 2010 to begin a direct-entry master’s in nursing program.

Sociaal & Behavioral Sciences

Alisa Lincoln (’92) is currently an associate professor of health sciences and sociology at Northeastern University. She teaches in Northeastern’s master’s of public health program and continues to conduct research, primarily in public mental health.  She lives with her husband and two children in Brookline, Mass.

Dan Ollendorf ('94 Health Services) and Carolyn Conte ('95) with their boys Alex, Matthew and Jonathan.

Dan Ollendorf (’94 Health Services) and Carolyn Conte (’95) with their boys Alex, Matthew and Jonathan.

Dan Ollendorf (’94 Health Services) and Carolyn Conte (’95)  are living in Lexington, Mass. Dan is the chief review officer of a new comparative effectiveness research institute, the Institute for Clinical  and Economic Review (ICER) at Mass General Hospital.  Carolyn continues her work as a research coordinator for Boston University’s Black Women’s Health Study at the Slone Epidemiology Center.  The rest of the couple’s time is spent “corralling” their three sons, ages 4 to 14.

Nancy Lewin (’98) has been working on community health projects focused on improving health care services and health outcomes for underserved families and children, primarily in Baltimore, Md., her hometown. She lives there with her husband, Jack, and their daughters, Nina, 5, and Violet, 3. She writes:  “It has been gratifying to work and bring positive health improvement in my community, and I have been fortunate to work under some of the country’s leaders in local public health innovation and advocacy. My professional expertise is the incorporation of strategic communications into public health projects, to bring about meaningful improvements and reform for underserved populations. Although I am spending less time on public health projects these days, while mothering the little ones, I remain very connected to and passionate about the field, and I am always grateful for the education and training I received at BUSPH.”

Melissa Cote (’05) writes: “Since graduation, I have worked with multiple school systems in their delivery of health education programs and classes in grades K-12. I love being able to work with such a variety of students and see how they incorporate healthy habits into their daily lifestyles. In my free time, I am helping my boyfriend restore and remodel a historic house in our home city (Lowell).
Talk about hard work!”

Public Health

Jerilyn Heinold MPH (’80) has recently launched a healthcare consulting company with longtime colleague Diane Stone.  Stone & Heinold Associates LLC has expertise in areas including health information privacy, e-prescribing, Behavioral Health IT and Health Information Exchange. Heinold also directs a federal multi-state collaborative called the Health Information Security & Privacy Multi-state Education & Consumer Engagement Collaborative.  She invites people to visit the website and let her know their thoughts via email or twitter. She recently completed the development of a healthcare video called “Balancing the Risks & Benefits: Sharing Sensitive Health Information,” and invites healthcare professionals to view and disseminate it; the link is on the website and on YouTube. She lives in the Boston area with her husband, David. They have two adult children; one is a portrait artist and the other is a musician.

Alan Balsam ('82)

Alan Balsam (’82)

Alan Balsam (’82)  PhD, MPH, was honored as Person of the Year by the Washington Square Business Association in Brookline at a music festival in June. Balsam is currently Commissioner of Public Health in  Brookline and adjunct associate professor at BUSPH, where he recently received a Teaching Award for his course, ‘Nutrition, Aging and the Elder Population.’ He continues to perform his show featuring ’60s folk music (guitar and vocals) in a variety of venues around the area.

Sharon Kernan ’85 (formerly Sharon Cagen) is working in the Medicaid program in Rhode Island on the global waiver initiative. She writes, “Would love to hear from old and new alumni and current students, (and) hoping for health care reform” in 2009.

Rich Renzi (’87) is working as the director of safety at AECOM Technology Corp.  in Wakefield, Mass.

Kameel Mungrue (’87) writes: “I continue to live and work in Trinidad. I am a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Faculty of Medical Sciences, St. Augustine Campus. Currently, the emphasis is on undergraduate training, although we propose to introduce an MPH, in 09/09. My research (interest) is in chronic non-communicable diseases, particularly diabetes and hypertension. I am also a director on the Eastern Regional Health Authority, which administers the delivery of health care services to the eastern half of the island.”

John Elder ('84)

John Elder (’84)

John Elder (’84) was recently awarded a distinguished professor of public health and the 2009 Albert W. Johnson Research Lectureship at San Diego State University. The Albert W. Johnson University Research Lectureship is awarded annually to an SDSU faculty member for outstanding achievement in research and scholarship. At San Diego State University, Elder directs the Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies. He is also adjunct professor of family and preventive medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine, and adjunct professor of medicine at the Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico. Elder reports that he has been principal investigator on more than 25 grants and contracts, including the Centers for Disease Control-funded San Diego Prevention Research Center, emphasizing the promotion of physical activity in the South Bay region of San Diego. He has taught, conducted research and developed programs in 30 different countries in the Americas, Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe.

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