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Alumni in the News

Our alumni are doing incredible things across the globe!

Here's a small sampling of what they've been up to. If you have any great news to share, please send it our way!


The National Academy of Medicine announced that George F. Koob, PhD ’72, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, was elected to its membership.


Renowned epidemiologist Chien-Jen Chen, an alumnus of the Bloomberg School (ScD ’83) who is credited with suppressing the 2003 epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in his island nation, took office in May as vice president of Taiwan, Republic of China. Chen is the first JHSPH alum to assume the vice presidency of a nation.

The Long Hello, a book by JHSPH alumnus Cathie Borrie, has been published by Simon & Schuster Canada and will be launched in the states in April 2016. The Long Hello explores the emotional rewards and challenges that Cathie Borrie experienced in caring for her mother, who was living with Alzheimer’s disease, for seven years. Borrie trained as a nurse in Vancouver, graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in law, and has a certificate in Creative Writing from the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University in addition to her MPH.

Alumnus Tricia Neuman, DrPH ’93, MHS ’87 shares her friend's complicated experiences in trying to choose one plan from three options within Medicare.

Ada M. Fisher, MD, MPH ’81 has been re-elected to a third term as the Republican National Committeewoman from North Carolina. She is the first black woman to serve in the position.

Jeffrey KahnThe Society for Public Health Education, Inc. (SOPHE) elected Angela D. Mickalide, PhD ’85, MCHES to the 2016-2017 Board of Trustees. SOPHE is a 501(c)(3) professional organization founded in 1950 to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion. Dr. Mickalide, a health and safety research and program consultant in Edgewater, Maryland, will serve a three-year term as SOPHE President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President.

Jeffrey Paul Kahn, PhD, MPH ’88 has been named as the next Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Kahn is a renowned leader in bioethics whose work explores the intersection of ethics and health and science policy, including human and animal research ethics, public health, and ethical issues in emerging biomedical technologies.



Peter Beilenson, MPH ’90, the former health commissioner of Baltimore City and Howard County, describes how a Baltimore community embraced a refugee family from Syria in an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun.

Myint Htwe, DrPH ’92, MPH, has been appointed as Myanmar’s new Minister for Health. Prior to joining the Ministry of Health, Htwe held various positions at the World Health Organization, including director of program management and regional advisor.

Congratulations to Jennifer Peters, JD, MPH ’95, on her new role at LifePoint Health®! Jennifer has been named senior vice president, chief operations counsel for the organization and is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations lawyers and contract management team to ensure consistent legal guidance across all operational units. She will also provide or oversee the legal advice given with respect to all of the company’s strategic initiatives.�

Josephine Ensign, PhD ’96, MPH ’92 has a medical memoir, Catching Homelessness: A Nurse's Story of Falling Through the Safety Net, forthcoming from She Writes Press (Berkeley, August 9, 2016). It has been named the University of Washington Health Sciences Common Book for Academic Year 2016/2017. Ensign's book tells the story of her work as the first nurse practitioner to run the CrossOver Clinic at the Richmond Street Center in Richmond, Virginia in the 1980s. It also tells the story of her spiral into and out of homelessness. In Catching Homelessness, Ensign reflects on how this work has changed her and how her work has changed through the experience of being homeless—providing a piercing look at the homelessness industry, nursing, and our country’s health care safety net.

Dr. Ilise Feitshans, HPM, ’96 was honored with the Ms. JD “Road Less Traveled” Award on February 18, 2016. The Road Less Traveled Award is given to a woman who is using her J.D. in a unique, non-traditional way to pursue an issue or cause that she is passionate about. The nominees need not be in legal practice. Feitshans is an attorney, global health activist, and international diplomat.

Debbie Ricker, PhD ’96 has been named Hood College's chief academic officer. She is currently dean at York College of Pennsylvania.

Devon C. Payne-Sturges, DrPH ’02, MPH ’97, is an Assistant Professor in Applied Environmental Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Payne-Sturges was awarded the Fulbright Senior Specialist Award, which allowed her to travel abroad to Germany to research, analyze, and assess linkages between different cultures. Devon's research has focused on environmental justice and cumulative exposures to multiple chemicals. Through her research, she will be able to use various models and developments in the United States.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado, the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, recently announced the appointment of alumna Kathy Westcoat, MPH ’98, to senior director of Medicaid and Charitable Programs in Colorado. She will oversee the organization’s programs that lower financial barriers, provide free or subsidized health coverage, and improve access to public health care programs.

Stephen Nurse-Findlay filming a segmentStephen Nurse-Findlay, MD, MPH ’99, presented a segment of "The Cure" - a television series done by Al Jazeera that highlights innovative, interesting, cutting-edge medical ideas, products and commodities around the world.



Lisa Purvis, MPH ’00, completed a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont in May 2016. Her dissertation focused on evaluating the Fogarty International Center's Fogarty Fellows Training Program at Dartmouth College. Currently, she teaches for Dartmouth's MPH program and works on two educational programs with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam - the programs are funded by PEPFAR/CDC and NIH's Fogarty International Center.

MaJa Zecevic, PhD, MPH ’01 recently launched a Silicon Valley based start-up Opionato, which focuses on fertility services and consultations with top U.S. fertility experts to empower clients with information and guidance regardless of where they are. Opinionato was recently awarded a Y Combinator Fellowship.

Patricio Espinosa, MD, MPH ’01, has been appointed Chief of Neurology at Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Marcus Neuroscience Institute.

Carole Fakhry, MD ’03, MPH ’06 is one of the leading scientists behind a study identifying a possible marker for recurring HPV-linked oropharyngeal cancer. A report on the study was published in the February issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

Betty Chang, MDCM, PhD ’03, FACP will become Governor of the New Mexico Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the national organization of internists. Governors are elected by local ACP members and serve four-year terms. Working with a local council, they supervise ACP chapter activities, appoint members to local committees, and preside at regional meetings. They also represent members by serving on the ACP Board of Governors. A resident of Albuquerque, Chang is a Professor of Internal Medicine, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, University of New Mexico. 

RajeshPanjabiMurray R. Berkowitz, DO, MA, MS, MPH ’05 has been appointed Interim Asst. Dean for Clerkships and Core Site Development at the Georgia campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Berkowitz is a tenured Associate Professor of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and OMM and is Director of Preventive and Community-Based Medicine. Berkowitz is also Vice President and Chair, Occupational Medicine Division of the American Osteopathic College of Occupational and Preventive Medicine.

Congratulations to Raj Panjabi, MPH ’06 and Sommer Scholar! He was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2016, received the TED Prize in 2017, and was the keynote speaker for the Center for Global Health's annual Global Health Day!

Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine (HCGH) announced the appointment of Elizabeth Edsall Kromm, PhD ’08, MSc, as vice president of Population Health and Advancement. In her new role, Edsall Kromm is responsible for population health management, strategic planning, community relations and development. In this new capacity, she also assumes the position of president of the Howard Hospital Foundation, the fundraising organization for the hospital.

Nathaniel Segaren, MPH ’08, currently is the Country Director of the Caris Foundation International. The Foundation has entered a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to bolster health care in Haiti through a $98.5 million investment over the next four years to expand essential healthcare for up to 4.2 million Haitian people. He works alongside Dr. Dianne Jean-Francoise, MPH ’02.

Congratulations to Karen Menendez Coller,  PhD ’09, who was awarded the inaugural $15,000 March for Justice award for her community work as director of Centro Hispano. Centro Hispano is the largest nonprofit agency serving Madison, Wisconsin's Latino community.


2010 -

Lawrence Loh's blog post "Public Health and Why Terminology Matters" was posted on The BMJ in June. Lawrence graduated from the School with an MPH in 2010.

Nate Hughes, JHSPH alumnus and a former pharmaceutical rep, wrote a compelling narrative on whether he played a role in today’s U.S. opioid epidemic. 

Christine Kim, MSPH ’11, was awarded the National Security Education Program's David L. Boren Fellowship, which supports a field of study identified as vital to national security. The scholarship is valued at $30,000 and is awarded to graduate students in exchange that the students pursue a career working in the federal government. The Boren Fellowship will allow Kim to travel to Uganda where she plans to support a process evaluation of a quality improvement project on integrated community-based family planning and HIV services.

Leslie Braksick, MPH ’11, published her fourth book: Your Next Season: Advice for Executives Transitioning from Intense Careers to Fulfilling Next Seasons.

Anna DionThe Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation recently named Anna Dion, MPH ’11 one of its 2016 doctoral scholarship recipients. The Foundation focuses on exceptional Canadian students who have distinguished themselves through academic excellence, civic engagement, and a commitment to reaching beyond academic circles. Dion is pursuing her doctorate at McGill University and seeks to improve the quality and access to maternity care for marginalized women in Canada, especially immigrant and refugee women, and at-risk adolescents.

Alumna Laysha Ostrow, PhD ’14 shares her views on the future of mental health in a recent Q&A with Psychology Today.

Howard Nelson-Williams, MPH ’14, was named one of the Queen's Young Leaders thanks to his work in public health as it relates to making a lasting difference in his community. He represents Sierra Leone and has dedicated his time to advocacy and research into controlling the spread of the disease and working on how to rebuild the country's healthcare system. The award program recognizes and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the British Commonwealth and winners receive training, mentoring, and networking during a one-week residential program in the United Kingdom, upon which they receive an award from the Queen of England.

In India, opportunistic infections—including eye infections like CMV retinitis—are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immune-compromised HIV-positive patients. Aditi Kantipuly, MHS ’14, delves into these challenges in her piece for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

CureApp, Inc. founder Kohta Satake, MPH/MBA ’14 was recently featured by Bloomberg Technology. CureApp, Inc. develops mobile applications to treat ailments including tobacco addiction and has received attention from Nomura Holdings Inc. and Keio University in Japan. The venture’s success hinges on whether the anti-smoking app receives government permission for use as a treatment that’s eligible for coverage under Japan’s health-insurance program. If it’s approved, doctors will be able to prescribe the software, which provides users with real-time feedback on their phones to resist the urge to smoke.

Rachel Bergstein's recent op-ed piece "What It Will Really Take to End Cancer" was published by the Baltimore Sun. Rachel graduated from the School in 2015 with a focus in Health, Behavior, and Society.

LianaBurnsLiana Burns, MHA ’16 was recently named one of the Daily Record's 20 in Their Twenties!

Olympic silver medalist, Sommer Scholar and current public health researcher Tara Kirk Sell, PhD ’16, published an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun advocating that the Summer Olympics should go ahead as planned despite the concerns surrounding Zika.

John F. Di Capua, MHS15, and his brother, Christopher Di Capua, recently developed a medical device called the Automated Ventilator with Assisted Compressions (AVAC),that will assist lay responders in performing CPR. The device, which received two US patents secures a patient’s airway to provide positive pressure ventilation with 100% oxygen, and uses an auditory metronome and blinking LED assist responders to perform accurately timed chest compressions. 

Alumna Jennifer L. Weinberg, MPH12, GPMR13 published The Whole Cure: 52 Essential Prescriptions to Overcome Overwhelm, Reclaim Balance and Reconnect with a Life You Love!, a guide to living a meaningful life and preventing stress-related conditions with effective stress management, lifestyle medicine and positive psychology strategies.