Class Notes

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Michael Ugwueke 86MPH is chief operating officer and executive vice president of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn. He joined the health care system in 2007 as administrator of Methodist South Hospital and subsequently served as senior vice president of Methodist North and South Hospitals.


Virgil W. Fancher 92MPH is a program consultant II in the environmental health branch of the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Kristin G. Holt 92MPH was named the 2012 Food Safety Veterinarian of the Year by the American Association of Food Safety Veterinarians, a partner of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She was honored for superior service in preventing foodborne illness as the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service liaison to the CDC.

John Robitscher 92MPH served on the judicators panel of the National Healthcare Providers Network competition. This panel selects winners for the Care Continuum Alliance awards for outstanding leadership in population health. Robitscher is CEO of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.

Lisa M. Carlson 93MPH was promoted to director of academic affairs for Emory’s Department of Surgery. She also was elected vice chair of the American Public Health Association’s executive board.

Jay R. Wolitz 93MPH is the administrator for professional services at the new Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona Medical City near Orlando, Fla. He provides health services administrative support to the chief medical officer and department chairs.

Lisa Bloom 99MBA 99MPH was named senior vice president of The Leadership Development (TLD) Group. Her responsibilities include new business development, marketing, client relationship and project management, research and development, and partner outreach.

Nahad Sadr-Azodi 99MPH is a public health adviser at the CDC .

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Andrea Nelson 02MPH is the administrator of the Kittitas County Public Health Department in Ellensburg, Wash. She began her new role in January.

Sandra Segrest Van Sant 02MPH published “Impacts of Climate Change on a Local Public Health System” in the NACCHO Exchange (Summer 2012). Van Sant works at Monmouth County Regional Health in Ocean Township, N.J. She and her husband, Mark, live nearby.

BORN: To Jennifer S. Blakely 99OX 01C 03MPH and her husband, Michael Jr. 00OX 02C, a daughter, Blythe Catherine, on Dec. 9, 2012.

MARRIED: Keisha Edwards 03MPH and Eric Hunt on Sept. 23, 2012.

Dr. Victoria Elizabeth (Libby) Myers 03MPH was named Teacher of the Year at the College and Career Preparatory Academy in Winder, Ga. Raised in a family of teachers, she realized that teaching was her calling and the best way to improve children’s lives. Myers and her husband, Chris, live in Statham, Ga., with their daughter, Lily.

Hassanatu Bih Blake 05MPH was named one of the 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under age 33 by the Diplomatic Courier and the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Established in 2011, the “99 under 33” list recognizes the impact of diverse Millennials on international affairs.

Blaine W. Lindsey 05L/MPH founded Capra Health, a comprehensive health care/life sciences reimbursement, regulatory, and compliance consulting firm with offices in New Orleans and Atlanta. His firm serves hospitals, high-volume practices, and other health care industry stakeholders across the country. Lindsey remains in close contact with Rollins and is an Alumni Ambassador.

Karen Foster Wright 06MPH serves with the Office of Policy Coordination, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration in Washington, D.C. She previously worked on Capitol Hill and with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Anita Okoh Brako 08MPH received an MBA from Johns Hopkins in 2012.

Lauren N. Gase 08MPH is pursuing a doctorate in health services research at UCLA.

MARRIED: Eric M. Hamm 08MPH and Heidi M. Soeters 06C 09MPH on June 16, 2012, at Rock Quarry Farm in Chapel Hill, N.C. They honeymooned in Iceland. Soeters is completing her PhD in infectious disease epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill, and Hamm is a medical student at the University of Arizona. They live in Tucson.

Dr. Susan C. Schayes 10MPH received the 2012 Family Medicine Educator of the Year Award from the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. Schayes directs the Family Medicine Residency Program at Emory. She previously served as division chief and chief of service for family medicine at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Jonathan Matthews 11MPH is a data manager at UNC Chapel Hill.

Adedapo Odetoyinbo 11MPH received the 2012 Outstanding Clinician Award from Emory’s Department of Medicine. He was nominated by nursing leadership and hospital administration at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. “We affectionately call him ‘Dr. O’,” says nurse Lori Hinton. “For us, it means ‘Dr. Outstanding.’ ”

Haley Anne Renz Stolp 11MPH is a research fellow at the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitus, STD, and TB Prevention. She will complete her fellowship in September.

Linda Vo 11MPH is a program evaluation fellow at the CDC. Previously, she was a program evaluator fellow with the U.S. Army Public Health Command. Vo will marry Anthony Green on May 18, 2013, in Smoke Rise, Ga.

Chenjie Zeng 11MPH is a doctoral student in epidemiology at Vanderbilt University.

Niharika Bhattarai 12MPH is pursuing a doctorate in public health at George Washington University.

Kimberly Ann Brinker 04N 12MN/MPH is an EIS officer and nurse epidemiologist at the CDC.

Elizabeth Ann ­Burkhardt 12MPH is an associate principal ­bassoon player with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Baevin Carbery 12MPH is a data coordinator for a large CA-MRSA study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Shanari Joshey Carter 12MPH is an environmental health and safety specialist with Huber Engineered Materials in Atlanta.

Mydung Chu 12MPH is a CDC/CSTE applied epidemiology fellow in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

classnotes spring 13

Nancy Czaicki 12MPH is pursuing a PhD in epidemiology at University of California, Berkeley.

Lauren Daniels 09C 12MPH is a senior research project coordinator with Emory School of Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Hui-yi (Amy) Hsu 12MPH is a strategic planner for the Human and Community Development Department of DeKalb County.

Bradley Klos 12MPH is a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia.

Ellyn Marder 12MPH is a CDC/CSTE applied epidemiology fellow in communicable and environmental diseases and emergency preparedness at the Tennessee Department of Health in Nashville.

Molly Pilloton 12MPH joined the University of Chicago Department of Medicine, where she is the research coordinator for a study to improve retention in care among young men who are HIV-positive.

Sogol Shohoudy 12MPH is a project manager in implementation services at Epic. The Wisconsin-based company develops integrated health care and EMR software.

Christopher Simpson 12MPH is a doctoral student in environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington.

Katharina Van Santen 12MPH holds a contractor position as a data analyst with the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the CDC. She is engaged to Matt Robinson.

Alumni Deaths

Susan P. Ayers 01MPH of LaGrange, Ga., on July 23, 2012, at West Georgia Hospice. She was 58. Ayers retired in 2011 as director of nursing services for Georgia’s District Four Health Services. She served on the Georgia Board of Registered Professional Nurses and the Community Advisory Board at Rollins.

Dr. Gary Melinkovich 03MPH of Cheyenne, Wyo., on Sept. 5, 2012, at home with his family by his side. He was 58. Before studying at Rollins, he practiced pediatrics and later worked for the Wyoming Department of Health and as medical director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming.

Dr. Melissa Margaret Dowd 08MPH, age 30, on Nov. 16, 2012, in Fresno, Calif., in a pedestrian accident. She was a first-year resident in emergency medicine at UCSF Fresno Community Hospital.

Dr. Ashley Louise Hilliard 08MD/MPH of Washington, D.C. on Feb. 25, 2013. She was a physician at Georgetown Hospital and NIH.

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Faculty Deaths

Dr. Stephen Thacker, 65, a respected scientist and mentor at the CDC and an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Rollins, died from complications of Creutzfeld-Jakob disease at his Atlanta home on Feb. 15. In 1976, on his second day as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, he traveled to Philadelphia to investigate what came to be known as Legionnaire’s disease.

Thacker subsequently held several leadership roles at the CDC in epidemiology, environmental health, injury prevention and control, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, workforce and career development, and the director’s office. He was known for scientific excellence, honesty, fairness, and his advocacy for women and social justice.

Throughout his career, Thacker received a number of awards, most recently the Surgeon General’s Medallion, presented to him on Feb. 1 by Regina Benjamin for his contributions to the U.S. Public Health Service, the CDC, and the science and practice of public health. It is the highest award given by the Surgeon General to an individual or organization.

On Feb. 5, colleagues and friends held an appreciation ceremony for him at the CDC and created two awards in his honor for social justice and mentoring. Several of his colleagues are featured in a video tribute, including Rollins alumna Virginia Bales Harris; Philip Brachman, professor of global health; Ruth Berkelman, Rollins professor of epidemiology; and William Foege, Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Health.

Thacker is survived by his wife, Luz; two daughters; and a grandson.

To view the tribute video and the CDC appreciation ceremony for Stephen Thacker, visit

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