COVID-19 Responders Around the World
Our alumni are doing incredible work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every individual is working tirelessly to educate, serve, and protect populations around the globe. Take a look, and see the impact.
Are you working in COVID-19 response? We want to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little about what you’re doing.
Yajuan Guo, PhD ‘18
Scientist, Biocytogen, Beijing, China
Yajuan works as a scientist developing therapeutic antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 at Biocytogen in Beijing, China.
Roberta Schwartz, MHS ‘94
Executive Vice President, Houston Methodist Hospital
Roberta manages COVID-19 preparation and response from the incident command center at Methodist Hospital.
Anshu Choudhri, MHS ‘02
Executive Director, Legislative and Regulatory Policy; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Anshu’s team works in policy response to the outbreak, coordinating efforts to respond to requests from the White House, Congress, federal agencies, and media related to how private insurance companies will step up to ensure patients get needed screening and treatment without fear of costs or lack of access. Anshu also works closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Departments of Treasury and Labor to lift policy barriers that would prevent the removal of cost-sharing or flexibility in benefit design across various government programs or high-deductible health plans. In addition, Anshu and his team are working closely with employer, hospital, and physician trade associations to ensure policy solutions will support employers' ability to provide coverage and enable providers delivering care to remain financially viable during this uncertain time.
J. W. “Awori” Hayanga, MD, MPH ‘08
Cardiothoracic Surgeon, West Virginia University
Awori has been actively involved in preparing for and implementing ECMO in critically ill COVID-19 patients in the state of West Virginia.
Chris Sulmonte, MHA ‘18
Project Administrator, Johns Hopkins Bio-Containment Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Chris helps the hospital prepare for the likely intake of initial hospitalized cases in this region for containment purposes and trains hospital staff throughout the state on the concept of identify, isolate, and inform. He has also advocate on Capitol Hill for continued funding in emerging infectious disease preparedness such as COVID-19. During the outbreak, Chris has also taken on the role of safety officer for intake and internal transport of COVID-19 patients throughout the hospital.
Mark Stibich, MHS '00, PhD '05, FIDSA
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Xenex Disinfection Services, LLC
Mark’s company (Xenex.com) has a Germ-Zapping Robot that is effective against coronavirus. The robots are deployed all over the world including in 500 U.S. hospitals. The protocols Xenex has created have been used to help the robots provide additional environmental disinfection for environments occupied by suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Alain Labrique, MHS '99, PhD ‘07
Associate Professor; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing
Alain is involved in directing a student-led campaign to fight COVID-19 misinformation and works to advise the press and media on the use of innovation and technology for control efforts globally. He is also a technical advisor to the JHU COVID team supporting the City of Baltimore and serves on the Department of International Health COVID-19 response team. Labrique also co-leads the first JHU course on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kate Tulenko, MPH ‘98
Founder and CEO, Corvus Health
Kate and her team created a COVID-19 Surge Staffing Checklist to help hospitals source and design their teams to care for increasingly large numbers of patients. She is advising Operation Smile on how to support their partner hospitals in over 30 low- and middle-income countries. Kate has appeared multiple times on Fox Business News and the Chinese Global Television Network to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.
Omar Khan, MD MHS ‘97
President & CEO, Delaware Health Sciences Alliance
Omar’s team compiles, integrates, and disseminates, reliable public health information to a broad audience, currently promoting the most up to date information on COVID-19. As the state’s APHA affiliate, the DAM/DPHA team shares the latest information from WHO, CDC, and APHA on the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance website, through emails, and in their newsletter. They liaise closely with the state Department of Health and Human Services to ensure coordinated communication across audiences. As a practicing physician, he continues engagement in direct patient care and is currently working with colleagues globally to assist in information dissemination. One such avenue is the latest edition of the Control of Communicable Disease Manual: Clinical Practice, which Omar co-edited with Dr. David Heymann.
Harumi Gomi, MPH ‘03
Professor, Office of Medical Education; Center for Infectious Diseases, International University of Health and Welfare School of Medicine
In addition to providing on-site patient care, Harumi advises the Japanese Government and multiple Japanese hospitals around infectious disease.
Heather Hayanga, MD, MPH ‘08
Associate Professor, West Virginia University
Heather primarily works as a cardiac anesthesiologist. She has a background in disaster preparedness and is currently working closely with the West Virginia University Health System in preparing for COVID-19.
Antonio Quispe, PhD ‘19
Research Professor, Universidad Continental in Lima, Peru
Antonio is currently advising Peru's Ministry of Health as a member of the National Prospective Committee for COVID-19 relief efforts and working on four studies that aim to improve Peru's preparedness and awareness against the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.
Joshua T. Barnett, MHS ‘16, MA
Health Care Services Manager, Manatee County, FL
Joshua works in COVID-19 response for Manatee County Government in Bradenton, Fla., in coordination with the local health department.
Bruce W. "Bryce" Furness, MD, MPH ‘01
Acting Medical Officer for the Quarantine Station at Washington Dulles International Airport, USPHS/CDC
Bryce is deployed as part of the USPHS/ CDC response to COVID-19. As the acting Medical Officer for the Quarantine Station at Washington Dulles International Airport for the month of March, he has been providing secondary screening, tertiary screening, and triage of ill patients returning from high-risk countries.
Emily Ricotta, ScM ‘12
Research Fellow and Epidemiologist; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
Emily works both informally on the COVID-19 response (science communication and messaging on social media) and officially (understanding the effects of seasonality on predicted COVID-19 transmission and subsequent hospital capacity).
James Morrison, MD, MPH/MBA ‘09
Chief Medical Officer/ Senior Vice President, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center
James works on local and regional preparedness and response as well as Baylor Scott & White Medical Center's efforts across the hospital system.
Maha Asham, MD, MPH ‘90
International Consultant, Public Health
Through various platforms, Maha works to raise awareness of community members and corporations to help them prepare for COVID-19. She debunks COVID-19 myths, misinformation, and rumors that are prevalent among numerous social media platforms. She works with community members and leaders on developing culturally acceptable COVID-19 information campaigns in their communities and workplaces, correcting misguided hygiene and prevention practices. Recently, Maha participated in a two day WHO ad hoc consultation on covid-19 infodemic.
Patsy Tassler Kelso, PhD ‘00
State Epidemiologist, Vermont Department of Health
Patsy is leading Vermont’s epidemiologic response to COVID-19.
Marjanna Barber-Dubois, MPH ‘19
Quality and Patient Safety Clinical Specialist, Rutland Regional Medical Center
Marjanna’s research determines the recommendations made to help inform incident command, community education, and involvement. Her research aims to focus on what’s coming next by studying the spread of the virus around the world.
Rachel Shnekendorf, MPH '00
Director of Education, Infectious Diseases Society of America
Rachel works closely with the CDC to educate heath care providers on patient management, along with other issues related to the outbreak.
Ruben Hernaez, MD, MPH ‘06 PhD ‘10
Clinical Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine; Clinical Staff, Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center
Melissa Opryszko, PhD '12 MPH '04
Response Manager on USAID's COVID-19 Response Management Team, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
Melissa leads the Agency's humanitarian response team to implement the global strategy to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 in ongoing humanitarian contexts.
Chi-Poe Hsia, MPH ‘11
Meera Pranav, MPH '17
Outreach Coordinator on USAID's COVID-19 Response Management Team, USAID's Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance
Meera is currently supporting the coordination aspect of USAID's humanitarian assistance COVID-19 programming.
Kurt Herzer, PhD ‘17, MD ‘18
Head of Population Health, Oscar Health
Overseeing population health at Oscar, Kurt has been responsible for the clinical response to the pandemic. As a health technology company (in addition to a health plan) Oscar Health is using technology extensively in the response to COVID-19. Kurt’s team has architected a complex automated system that performs risk segmentation in the population and triages members down different clinical pathways.
Nidhi Bouri, MPH '12
Alexander Kaysin, MD, MPH ‘10
Assistant Professor, Dept of Family and Community Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Appointed Chief Medical Officer to lead the conversion of a 400+ room Hotel in Baltimore, MD into a convalescent alternate care site for patients recovering from COVID-19. The Hotel will employ interprofessional teams to provide transitional care services to help medically and socially vulnerable patients successfully return to the community. This concept will be piloted by the University of Maryland Medical System as a model for further expansion in Maryland and other states.
Valerie Arkoosh, MD, MPH ‘07
Chair, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in Montgomery County, PA
As a physician and elected official, Valerie is interested in healthcare reform and has worked to create an integrated response to the opioid epidemic. Working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other elected officials, she currently leads the effort to address COVID-19 preparation and response in Montgomery County, PA, the epicenter of the outbreak in PA.
Smisha Agarwal, MPH/MBA ‘09
Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Smisha works with a team of engineers and machine learning/natural language processing experts at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering to develop a library of Covid-19-related content based on the most commonly asked questions and misinformation about Covid-19. The team is working to develop a comprehensive repository of natural language processing-optimized content that can be tapped by users in the US and in other low-income countries to ask any questions pertaining to symptoms, prevention, management, and myths about Covid-19. This information will then be in a chatbot format for integration into Whatsapp and various health websites.
Kanak is a second year student in the MHA program at JHSPH. During this year she is a full time administrative resident with the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine (DOM) at Bayview. She is serving as the Logistics Chief in the DOM Incident Command Center response to COVID-19. This mainly consists of ensuring that providers are equipped with the right protective gear, supplies, and access – especially as many are being called to serve on inpatient COVID units. Kanak is coordinating distribution of personal protective packs (which include a surgical mask, storage bags for masks, a face shield, hand sanitizer, fanny pack, and marker) to both clinical and non-clinical staff within the DOM. She is tracking N95 fit testing and am the point of contact for DOM providers for scrub access, PAPR hoods, and swipe access to hospital units at Bayview. Before a provider starts on COVID service, Kanak ensures they receive orientation materials such as an Inpatient Attending Guide – as many are on inpatient service after a long time.
Justine A. Kavle, PhD ’05, MPH ‘00
Founder & CEO, Kavle Consulting, LLC
Justine is working in partnership with UNICEF Eastern Europe and Central and colleagues from Serbia and Australia on the development of a cell phone application which will provide critical health, nutrition and COVID-19 information to parents of young children. Justine is leading the nutrition component, tailoring messages on infant and young child feeding, food safety and hygiene, and child growth to the unique context of the region.
Robin W. Steitz Mansur, MHS ‘84
President and CEO, Houston Health Foundation
Robin leads the Houston Health Foundation, the non-profit affiliate of the Houston Health Department. In her work she and her team engage private partners to assist the city in expanding its testing capacity for COVID-19. Another facet of the work is currently focused on encouraging donations of PPE and supportive services for first responders and front-line medical personnel.
Yoonjoung Choi, MPH ’99, DrPH ‘04
Chief Demographer and Data Scientist, iSquared, Information X Insight
YJ has shared demographic analyses and visualization of latest COVID-19 epidemiological data for South Korea and Maryland. Her South Korean data update provides information in a country with a consistent trace-test-isolate strategy from the outset of the epidemic. In Maryland, she focuses on disaggregated data by county and demographic background.
Peter Rebeiro, ScM '12, MHS '14, PhD ’14
Assistant Professor of Medicine & Biostatistics, Associate Director of Graduate Studies, Vanderbilt University
Peter is involved in two COVID-19 infectious disease modeling groups. One is used to inform social distancing policies at the state level (policy memos here). The other model is used at Vanderbilt University Medical Center's leadership team to direct capacity assessment, operational planning, and preparation for potential surges in inpatient/ICU/ventilator needs Other areas include looking at reporting requirements for asymptomatic testing needs when the hospital resumes "normal" operations.
Jeffrey C. Grosser, MHS ’07 (JHU Undergraduate BAPH ’06)
Health Officer, Princeton, New Jersey
Overseeing the Princeton Health Department in New Jersey, Jeff has been responsible for the town’s local response to the pandemic. As a New Jersey Licensed Health Officer, Jeff is leading the charge in extensive contact tracing in the community. His office is educating residents on the novel coronavirus and providing updates on the local response through a dedicated community website, created in partnership with the Princeton Library, Princeton School District and first responder agencies, www.princetoncovid.org. Jeff attributes much of his risk management and communication knowledge to what was learned under Dr. Paul Locke’s guidance at JHSPH.
Benjamin Amick, PhD ‘87
Associate Dean of Research, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Ben is managing several COVID-19 pandemic response teams, including helping to lead the state’s contact tracing efforts.
Diana Rayes, MHS ’16 (Department of Mental Health) and incoming PhD Student ‘24 (Department of International Health)
Associate Research Specialist, University of California Berkeley
Diana is consulting for the World Health Organization in southern Turkey regarding cross-border activities and COVID-19 Preparedness in Northwest Syria. She is also a steering committee member of the Syria Public Health Network, contributing to academic articles and policy briefs, highlighting the potential impact of a COVID-19 outbreak on displaced Syrians inside Syria and in surrounding host countries. Domestically, she is supporting the Federation for American Scientists to facilitate their ‘Ask a Scientist’ platform, which connects members of the public with scientific experts to answer their COVID-19 related questions.
Dr. Lola Adeyemi, MPH, MLA
Founder and CEO, Mentoring Her; COO, Magna Carta Health
Magna Carta Health works in collaboration with the local government in Lagos, Nigeria to support lockdown efforts by providing food for those in the most vulnerable populations and those working on the front lines. As an organization, Magna Carta Health has been able to provide Primary Healthcare Center personal with PPE. Additionally in collaboration with another private organization DrugStoc, they are supporting an ongoing campaign to provide private hospitals with PPE in Lagos State.
Tiffany Chen, MSPH ‘17
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tiffany supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), currently deployed to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for 30 days as an Operations Coordinator for the Community Interventions and At-Risk Task Force (CIARTF). The CIARTF focuses on developing guidance and tools for adjusting community mitigation activities in different settings, high risk populations, and reopening phases; providing technical assistance and outreach to states and communities; and monitoring implementation and evaluating outcomes of community mitigation plans. The operations team oversees the entire task force with anything needed to get the jobs done, including triaging questions internal and external to our task force, staffing, task tracking, situation reports, technical assistance, and more.
Richard R. Brooks, BA Mathematical Sciences 1979
Professor, ECE, Clemson University
Richard is part of a team working with the Medical university of South Carolina to field an app for personal contact tracing of contact with COVID-19 positive individuals in the state of South Carolina.
Isabel Huerta, MHS ’15
Epidemiologist, Cameron County Public Health
Isabel works as an Epidemiologist in Deep South Texas, helping guide providers, educating the public, coordinating COVID-19 testing, and managing outbreaks, and conducting contact tracing.
Hugo Lopez-Gatell, PhD ‘06
Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion
Dr. Lopez-Gatell serves as the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion with the Government of Mexico. In June of 2020, he was asked by the World Health Organization to serve on the International Health Regulations expert panel.
Policy Analyst, Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Kaiser Family Foundation
Priya works on projects related to special populations covered by Medicaid, such as dual eligibles, children, and people with disabilities. She currently oversees KFF's data collection efforts on long-term care coronavirus cases and deaths and provides data-driven insights into how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted long-term care facilities in the US.
Ciana Creighton, MPP ‘19
Associate Director, Mayor's Office of Policy, Executive Office of the Mayor, DC GovernmentCiana served as the Associate Committee Director for the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee for ReOpenDC.
Rashid Chotani MD, MPH ‘96, DTM, FRCPH
Medical Director, IEM, Arlington, VA
Dr. Chotani co-founded the first screening center for COVID-19 and established the protocol for rapid antibody testing as well as PCR viral detection in an infection control clinical setting; offering free screening for healthcare providers in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia areas in March when testing for asymptomatic individuals was not offered. He has been an advocate for testing, tracking and tracing for COVID-19 and officially advises multiple States, Counties and jurisdictions in the US. He helped establish testing centers in New York City.
He has been a weekly commentator on Fox News as a COVID-19 expert and his OpEd’s have been published in leading news outlets. He has been interviewed by print media on all aspects of the disease and is currently advising leading legislators in Washington DC on novel ways including “pool testing,” “sewage surveillance,” and “ambient air cleaning,” by a zinc-based heating coil that exchanges air and kills the virus (99.8%). He has been published in peer reviewed medical journals and is constantly writing about the latest research on COVID-19.