Shari Barkin, M.D., M.S.H.S. (Chair), is a Professor of Pediatrics and the William K. Warren Foundation Endowed Chair, Director of Pediatric Obesity Research in the Diabetes Center, and Chief of General Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Barkin studies family-based community-centered behavioral interventions to measurably reduce pediatric obesity during sensitive windows of childhood development. Research focuses on changing early growth trajectories in childhood, applying the ecologic model that considers the child in the context of their family, and the family in the context of their community. Studies use a micro- to macro-level systems conceptual model that examines the interaction between behavior, environment, and genetics during periods of early childhood. She is a National Institutes of Health–funded researcher in the area of injury prevention and obesity prevention and early intervention. She conducted the first intervention trial in the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network testing the effectiveness of office-based youth violence prevention, including more than 200 providers and close to 5,000 families. More recently, Dr. Barkin has conducted interventional trials to prevent and treat childhood obesity, with attention to health disparities, working with minority populations. Currently, she is conducting a 7-year randomized controlled trial to prevent childhood obesity, the Growing Right Onto Wellness Trial funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). She received her M.D. from the University of Cincinnati, completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship in Health Services Research at University of California, Los Angeles.
Cheryl A. M. Anderson, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Anderson’s research centers on nutrition-related issues in chronic disease prevention in minority and under-served populations. She is a co-investigator on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK)–funded national, multicenter Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study, which aims to identify risk factors and mechanisms of progressive renal disease and cardiovascular events in individuals with chronic kidney disease. She is a co-investigator on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute–funded OMNI-Carb study a randomized feeding study that compares the effects of type (glycemic index) and amount of carbohydrate on cardiovascular risk factors. Dr. Anderson is principal investigator of a study testing a unique biomarker (using carbon isotopic data) of intake of sweets (funded by an Innovation Grant Award from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).
Lynn A. Blewett, Ph.D., is Professor of Health Policy and Director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. SHADAC is a research and policy center focused on issues related to health insurance coverage, barriers to access to needed care, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and use of the federal and state population-level data to inform health policy. Dr. Blewett brings expertise in state and federal health data resources including the Current Population Survey (CPS), the American Community Survey (ACS), the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which are all accessible through SHADAC’s interactive online Data Center. Dr. Blewett was instrumental in establishing the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Research Data Center (RDC) which is a part of the Federal Statistical Data Center Network. She is also principal investigator of the Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS), a project funded by the National Institute Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to harmonize and integrate more than 50 years of the NHIS and more recently survey data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Dr. Blewett is a board member of AcademyHealth, a multidisciplinary professional association committed to advancing the field of health services research; serves on the board of the Local Access to Care Program, Portico Healthnet; and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Dr. Blewett earned a master’s degree in public affairs and a doctorate degree in health services research, policy, and administration from the University of Minnesota.
Elizabeth Goodman, M.D., is Associate Chief for Community-Based Research at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, a William T. Grant Scholar, and fellow at the Joint Program in Society and Health at New England Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Goodman is a national expert on social stratification and its effect on adolescent health and is well known for her research on social stratification, obesity, insulin resistance, and other cardiometabolic risks. Through her research, she has been attempting to understand how the structure of our society, created through social and economic policies and practices, influences health and well-being, or what she has termed “the biology of social justice.” As part of this program of research, Dr. Goodman has pioneered the study of subjective social status in adolescence. A major focus for the past 5 years has been the physiological and psychological processes through which differences in social status influence children’s health and the trajectory toward adult cardiovascular health, particularly obesity and metabolic risk. A second line of research explores whether the concept of metabolic syndrome relates to child health and, if so, how.
Ross Hammond, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow in Economics at Brookings and Director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy, which applies complex systems science modeling methodologies, such as agent-based modeling, to problems in social science and public health. He has 20 years of experience with these core methodologies and has taught computational modeling at Harvard, the University of Michigan, Washington University, and the National Institutes of Health. Much of his research has focused on the interaction of individual behavior, biology, and social/environmental dynamics. He holds appointments at Harvard School of Public Health, the Santa Fe Institute, and the Brown School at Washington University in St Louis. He is on the editorial board of the journals Behavioral Science & Policy and Childhood Obesity and has been a member of four NIH-funded research networks: MIDAS (Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study), ENVISION (part of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research), NICH (Network on Inequality, Complexity, and Health), and SCTC (State and Community Tobacco Control). Dr. Hammond is an appointed member of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities advisory council, and serves as a public health advisor for the National Cancer Institute, an Advisory Special Government Employee for the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products, and a commissioner for the Lancet Commission on Obesity. He has contributed to multiple Institute of Medicine reports, including one approaching the U.S. food system from a complex systems perspective and one focused on the use
of agent-based models to inform tobacco policy. Dr. Hammond received his B.A. from Williams College and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Sandra Hassink, M.D., M.Sc., is the Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute of Healthy Childhood Weight and Chair of the AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight Advisory Board and Steering Committee. She has testified on Childhood Obesity for the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Dr. Hassink has chaired the ethics committee at the A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children and co-chaired the Delaware state ethics committee. Dr. Hassink is an author on the obesity prevention segment of the Expert Committee recommendations, senior editor of “A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Obesity,” author of “Pediatric Obesity: Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Strategies for Primary Care,” and author of “Clinical Guide to Pediatric Weight Management.” She worked on the GLIDES project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to embed the Expert Committee recommendation on obesity into the emergency health record at Nemours and was the principal investigator on an Obesity Cluster Grant developing population health management systems for children with obesity. She has collaborated in basic research efforts to identify pathophysiologic mechanisms of obesity, centering on the role of leptin, and has lectured widely in the field of pediatric obesity. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Hassink holds a master’s degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Neumann College and an M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Amy H. Herring, Sc.D., is the Carol Remmer Angle Distinguished Professor of Children’s Environmental Health, and Professor and Associate Chair of Biostatistics in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. In addition, Dr. Herring is an elected Faculty Fellow at UNC’s Carolina Population Center, where she conducts research using new statistical methods and innovative applications of statistics in public health and medicine. Dr. Herring has more than 210 peer-reviewed publications and is currently the principal investigator of a 5-year National Institutes of Health–funded project exploring Bayesian methods for high-dimensional epidemiologic data. Her longstanding research interests include environmental health science, reproductive epidemiology, maternal and child health, neonatology, nutrition, and obesity. Dr. Herring earned a Sc.D. in biostatistics at Harvard University.
Giridhar Mallya, M.D., M.S.H.P., has been the Director of Policy and Planning for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health since October 2008.
In this position, Dr. Mallya helps to define public health priorities for the city, coordinates the Department’s research and data analysis activities, and works with key leadership—including the Board of Health—to set policies and develop regulations. He also leads the Department’s Get Healthy Philly tobacco control and obesity prevention initiatives. His research interests include chronic disease prevention, public health regulation, tobacco control, obesity prevention. Dr. Mallya earned his A.B. in Biology from Brown University, graduated from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and completed a residency in Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Following residency, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania where he received an M.S. in Health Policy Research.
Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the Robert G. Frank Endowed Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida. His research focuses on health promotion and disease prevention through changes in diet and physical activity. He has contributed to more than 175 publications, and the 25 randomized clinical trials conducted by Dr. Perri and his team have contributed significantly to theory, research, and clinical care in the area of lifestyle management of obesity. Dr. Perri is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and The Obesity Society. He is a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Samuel M. Turner Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Research and the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Research Mentor Award. He served as the Behavioral Consultant for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and as a member of the 2014 NIH Working Group on Innovative Research to Improve the Maintenance of Weight Loss. Dr. Perri is certified by the American Board of Professional Psychologists (ABPP) and received a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, is Chief Medical Officer for Prevention and Chief of the Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation for the American Heart Association. Formerly, Dr. Sanchez served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas from 2008 to 2013. Dr. Sanchez led the Institute for Health Policy at The University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH) as Director from 2006 to 2008. From 2001 to 2006, he served as Texas Commissioner of Health, leading the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) from 2004 to 2006 and the Texas Department of Health (TDH) from 2001 to 2004. Dr. Sanchez currently serves as Chair of the Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) and the National Commission on Prevention Priorities (NCPP).
He co-chairs the Dallas Health and Wellness Alliance for Children. He serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Obesity Solutions and the National Quality Forum (NQF) Disparities Standing Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Trust for America’s Health Board of Directors and AcademyHealth’s Board of Directors. He serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow Advisory Board. He also serves on The University of Texas System Health Care Advisory Committee. From 2008 to 2012, he served as chair of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is the recipient of the 2011 Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Alumni Award and the 2011 Texas Public Health Association (TPHA) James E. Peavy Memorial Award. In 2005, he was awarded the Texas School Health Association (TSHA) John P. McGovern Award and the 2005 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Public Health Award. In 2004, he received the American Heart Association Louis B. Russell Memorial Award, for outstanding service in addressing health care disparities, by the American Heart Association. Dr. Sanchez received an M.D. from The University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, an M.P.H. from the UT Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. Before attending medical school, he attained an M.S. in biomedical engineering from Duke University. He holds a B.S. in biomedical engineering and a B.A. in chemistry from Boston University. Dr. Sanchez is board certified in family medicine.
Jackson P. Sekhobo, Ph.D., M.P.A., is the Director of Evaluation, Research, and Surveillance in the Division of Nutrition of the New York State Department of Health. Previously, he was an Assistant Medical Professor at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, City College of New York, City University of New York. Dr. Sekhobo has authored or co-authored articles on the nutrition-related epidemics of obesity and diabetes. He served as an evaluation consultant for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for the New York City Diabetes Registry project. Before this role, he served on the Diabetes Evaluation and Diabetes Indicators Workgroups for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He was the principal investigator of two Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Special Projects Grants, namely, the NY Fit WIC Grant: Revitalizing WIC Nutrition Service and the NY WIC Retention Promotion Study: Keep, Reconnect and Thrive. He co-leads the study, “First Steps Evaluation of Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies in the New York State WIC Program,” which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New York State Health Foundation. He currently serves on the Evaluation Committee for the National WIC
Association and is a member of an Advisory Expert Panel for the Third National Survey of WIC Participants. He recently served on the Institute of Medicine Planning Committee for a WIC Research Agenda. Dr. Sekhobo received a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Albany, State University of New York and an M.P.A. in health policy and management from New York University.
Shumei S. Sun, Ph.D., is the W. Hans Carter Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. Before holding these positions, Dr. Sun served as the Brage Golding Distinguished Research Professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Sun’s research seeks to understand the natural history of human growth and body composition, and to identify risk factors in childhood that predict the onset of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later in life. Her research on health promotion and disease prevention contributes to improving longevity and quality of life. Dr. Sun’s statistical research includes modeling complex cross-sectional and longitudinal data for body composition and cardiovascular risk factors to elucidate the multifactorial matrix of variables associated with cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Dr. Sun currently collaborates with investigators at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Colorado on methods to study changes of body composition in children. Dr. Sun received a B.P.H. in public health from the College of Medicine, National Taiwan University; an M.S. in applied mathematics and statistics, State University of New York; and a Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh.
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