D

Biographical Sketches of Speakers and Panelists

Donna E. Levin, J.D., is the general counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Prior to her appointment in 1988, Ms. Levin served as a deputy general counsel and concentrated in several different areas of health law, including determination of need, long-term care and hospital regulation, and environmental health. In her current role, she manages the Office of General Counsel and advises the Commissioner of Public Health and senior staff on all legal aspects concerning the implementation of department responsibilities pursuant to statutory and regulatory authority; major policy initiatives of the department; and legislation affecting the department’s interests. Most recently, Ms. Levin has focused on the expansion of newborn screening services in Massachusetts; the review and analysis of the Massachusetts Law on Genetics and Privacy; implementation of the Health Insurance Consumer Protections Law; issues of public health authority and emergency response; and legal oversight of eight professional health boards. Ms. Levin is a member of the Health Law Section Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Association. She holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Meredith Li-Vollmer, Ph.D., is a risk communication specialist for Public Health—Seattle & King County, where she leads planning for communications during emergencies. In this role, she conducts audience research, develops public outreach strategies, and directs public engagement projects, with a particular focus on strengthening the capacity of public health to reach those most at-risk during emergencies. Dr. Li-Vollmer is also a researcher with the Northwest Preparedness & Emer-



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D Biographical Sketches of Speakers and Panelists Donna E. Levin, J.D., is the general counsel for the Massachusetts De- partment of Public Health. Prior to her appointment in 1988, Ms. Levin served as a deputy general counsel and concentrated in several different areas of health law, including determination of need, long-term care and hospital regulation, and environmental health. In her current role, she manages the Office of General Counsel and advises the Commissioner of Public Health and senior staff on all legal aspects concerning the imple- mentation of department responsibilities pursuant to statutory and regula- tory authority; major policy initiatives of the department; and legislation affecting the department’s interests. Most recently, Ms. Levin has fo- cused on the expansion of newborn screening services in Massachusetts; the review and analysis of the Massachusetts Law on Genetics and Pri- vacy; implementation of the Health Insurance Consumer Protections Law; issues of public health authority and emergency response; and legal oversight of eight professional health boards. Ms. Levin is a member of the Health Law Section Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Associa- tion. She holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Meredith Li-Vollmer, Ph.D., is a risk communication specialist for Public Health–Seattle & King County, where she leads planning for communications during emergencies. In this role, she conducts audience research, develops public outreach strategies, and directs public engage- ment projects, with a particular focus on strengthening the capacity of public health to reach those most at-risk during emergencies. Dr. Li- Vollmer is also a researcher with the Northwest Preparedness & Emer- 49

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50 ENGAGING THE PUBLIC IN CRITICAL DISASTER PLANNING gency Response Research Center and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Med- icine. She currently serves on the National Academies Committee on Increasing National Resilience to Disasters. Her work has received mul- tiple awards, including the Model Practice Award from the National As- sociation of City and County Health Officials and the Gold Award for Excellence from the National Public Health Information Coalition. Prior to joining Public Health–Seattle & King County, Dr. Li-Vollmer taught communications at the University of Washington. She received her doc- torate in communication from the University of Washington and her bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Oregon. Linda J. Scott, B.S.N., M.A., holds a B.S.N. degree and has been certi- fied in infection prevention and control since 1993. In September 2006, she was the first person in Michigan to graduate with an M.A. in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland De- fense and Security. Linda has a diverse nursing career working in both urban and rural hospital settings, assuming the responsibilities of infec- tion control preventionist in 1988. She has been active in state and local infection control professional organizations and is also very active on state and national emergency preparedness work groups. She began working in public health in 1995 and currently coordinates the Depart- ment of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Healthcare Preparedness Program within the Michigan Department of Community Health Office of Public Health Preparedness. She works hand in hand with eight regional healthcare co- alitions, local public health and traditional public safety partners, to strengthen health preparedness efforts statewide. Umair A. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., has served as deputy director and direc- tor of disease control and clinical prevention at Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES)—the county health de- partment serving the third most populous county in the United States— since 2004. Prior to HCPHES, Dr. Shah was an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and then chief medical officer at the Galveston County Health District. Dr. Shah received a B.A. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University, an M.D. from the University of Toledo Health Science Cen- ter, before completing a residency in internal medicine, a fellowship in primary care/general medicine, and an M.P.H. (management) at the Uni-

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APPENDIX D 51 versity of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Shah’s interests include global and refugee health issues; health equity work; health care management; and emergency response activities such as those for Tropi- cal Storm Allison; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike; novel H1N1; and the devastating earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti. His global experience also includes previous work at the World Health Organization in Geneva. He is involved in numerous national initiatives, including the American Public Health Association–Injury Control & Emergency Health Services; the National Association of County & City Health Officials’ (NAC CHO’s) National Coalition for Health Equity; the University of Califor- nia, Los Angeles, Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Cen- ter Advisory Board; the National Consensus Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Cultural Diversity (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services); the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Guidance for Establishing Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situ- ations; and ongoing activities related to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Shah is immediate past chair of the South Asian Public Health Association, currently chairs NACCHO’s Global Health Workgroup, and was recently selected to the prestigious National Public Health Leadership Institute. In addition to national recognition, Dr. Shah is actively involved in the local community serving in leader- ship roles with various nonprofit organizations, as well as the Harris County Medical Society and Texas Medical Association. He is an ad- junct faculty member at the University of Texas School of Public Health and remains on the emergency department staff at MEDVAMC. He is board-certified in internal medicine, remains active in clinical patient care, and serves as one of the local health authorities for Harris County.