Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D., R.D., F.A.N.D., is distinguished professor of nutrition and the Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program director at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on elucidating the role of cognitive and environmental factors in nutrition behaviors and health outcomes and developing recommendations for nutrition communications and health promotion interventions. Currently, she is leading the innovative childhood obesity prevention program HomeStyles, which motivates parents to make quick, easy, evidence-based modifications to their home environment and lifestyle practices (HealthyHomeStyles.com). Dr. Byrd-Bredbenner has published nearly 200 research articles; numerous nutrition books, including the college-level textbook Wardlaw’s Perspectives in Nutrition; software packages, including FoodWorks; and theory-driven, behaviorally focused nutrition curricula and intervention materials. She received the Helen Denning Ullrich Award for Lifetime Excellence in Nutrition Education from the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior and the Excellence in Nutrition Education Award from the American Society for Nutrition. Dr. Byrd-Bredbenner earned her doctoral degree at The Pennsylvania State University.
Paula F. Clayton, M.S., R.D.N., L.D., has been public health consultant to the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) for the past 4 years, focused on building state and national capacity for improving population health, drawing on her more than 25 years of experience in developing and directing the state chronic disease and health promotion program for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She collaborates actively with various research teams, aiding in building
the capacity of state health departments and cultivating successful public–private partnerships. As a former president of NACDD, she has helped lead several efforts to promote policy, systems, and environmental changes in support of healthy eating and active living during her nearly 30 years in practice. Ms. Clayton holds a master’s degree in foods and nutrition from Kansas State University and is a registered dietitian, licensed to practice in Kansas.
Brian Dunn, M.A., is chief behavioral officer at Concentric Health Experience. His area of expertise is the functional neurocircuitry of human emotion, specifically the interface of emotion and cognition in the human prefrontal cortex. His research work has focused on functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of ongoing emotion experiences, and on behavioral measures of decision making and cognitive bias. Mr. Dunn draws insights from more than 15 years of experience in the fields of experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychiatry research. He is a co-author of research publications in the areas of molecular psychiatry, neuroeconomics, and human affective neuroscience. Mr. Dunn has served as a medical editor, senior copywriter, and associate medical director, focusing on central nervous system diseases and medical decision making. He founded and now leads Concentric Health Experience’s Applied Cognitive Science capability. His current intellectual passions include the application of behavioral economics/neuroeconomics principles to health care communication as part of Concentric’s Health Intelligence division. Mr. Dunn holds an M.A. in experimental psychology from Concordia University.
Adelaide Feuer, R.D.N., is executive vice president at Edelman, where she helps her clients evolve, protect, and promote their organizations and offerings in an ever-changing health and nutrition environment. As a registered dietitian and communications expert, Mrs. Feuer combines her passion for good food and health with marketing to develop strategic communications programs that build awareness; shift perceptions; and build advocacy for health-forward organizations, brands, and products. At Edelman, Mrs. Feuer oversees a portfolio of clients that include Barilla, Bel Brands, and GoGo squeeZ. Over the course of her career, she has helped Burger King improve the nutritional quality of its kids’ meals and marketing to kids practices, Barilla combat misperceptions about pasta, and Unilever champion Agents of Change who are helping to create a healthier and more sustainable future. Prior to her tenure with Edelman, Mrs. Feuer began her career in nutrition communications at Burson Marsteller, and provided nutrition counseling for personal training clients at a corporate gym. She serves on the board of Big Green (Indianapolis), is the past president of the Chicago Nutrition Association, and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics. She received her bachelor of science degree from Miami University and completed her dietetic internship at Loyola University Chicago.
Gary Foster, Ph.D., M.S., is chief scientific officer at WW International, Inc. Dr. Foster, a psychologist, obesity researcher, and behavior change expert, was previously the founder and director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education and Laura Carnell Professor of medicine, public health, and psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. Prior to coming to Temple, he served as the clinical director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications and 3 books on the causes and treatment of obesity. Dr. Foster has received numerous honors, including president of The Obesity Society, honorary member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association, and the George A. Bray Founders Award and the Atkinson-Stern Award from The Obesity Society. Dr. Foster’s current focus is on scalable, evidence-based approaches to wellness for adults and children in community settings. He earned his B.A. in psychology from Duquesne University, an M.S. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Temple University.
Christopher Gallagher is president and founder of Potomac Currents, LLC, which he founded in 2007. At Potomac Currents, he manages a wide array of health care issues, working closely with federal agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. He also directs the firm’s client advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, consistently engaging legislators and their staff on key congressional health care committees. More often, he prefers developing and honing the advocacy skills of the members of his client organizations, helping them help themselves to build strong relationships with their elected representatives. Mr. Gallagher’s legislative and lobbying experience spans three decades. In that time, he served as a legislative aide to former New Jersey Democratic Senator Bill Bradley, with Mr. Gallagher specializing in health care, tax, and education issues. In addition, he has spent more than 15 years directing the government affairs and health policy efforts of three national physician specialty organizations, including 11 years at the American College of Surgeons (ACS), where he served as both the senior federal lobbyist and manager of the ACS State Affairs program. Mr. Gallagher studied political science at Fairfield University.
Luis A. Garcia is president and lead strategist of MarketVision, an award-winning culture-inspired marketing firm focused on understanding diverse
audiences and developing culturally relevant communication to bring about behavior change. MarketVision utilizes a human-centered approach to designing marketing platforms that make meaningful connections and have a lasting impact. Mr. Garcia has more than 25 years of experience developing communication and marketing campaigns across the health care, consumer packaged goods, automotive, financial services, and travel and tourism industries. He began his career in account planning for GSD&M, later moving into account management for Sosa & Associates and DMB&B. In 1998, he founded one of the first Hispanic‐focused integrated marketing firms, Garcia 360°, and in 2008 he joined MarketVision as president. Mr. Garcia has led strategic planning and campaign development on Hispanic communication and outreach for various Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CDC Foundation campaigns, including HIV/AIDS awareness, Zika awareness, and the acclaimed VERB™ social marketing campaign. The VERB™ campaign, an integrated effort to reach Hispanic children and their parents with a message about the importance of physical activity, included the Spanish‐language component “Niños Activos, Familias Sanas”/Active Children/Healthy Families. Mr. Garcia is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.
Suzanne (Suzi) Gates, M.P.H., has worked in public health at the local, state, national, and international levels for more than 20 years and is the communication team lead for community and web support in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Since joining CDC, she has managed state communication for tobacco control, coordinated youth communication and health literacy efforts, co-led the VERB™ activity campaign, and helped create the CDC-INFO inquiry response system. In addition, Ms. Gates led CDC’s efforts for health insurance enrollment and response to Meaningful Use. She facilitated CDC’s personal health record effort and managed consumer health informatics projects. Prior to coming to CDC, Ms. Gates worked at the Missouri and Louisiana state departments of health and served as a Peace Corps volunteer. She received her M.P.H. from the Tulane University School of Public Health.
Marla Hollander, M.P.H., currently serves as national partnership manager for Voices for Healthy Kids—a joint effort of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to ensure that all kids have access to healthy food and beverages and safe places to be physically active. In this role, she guides a team approach to collaboration and partnership connecting more than 100 national organizations to advance policy and mission-aligned efforts. Prior to her work at AHA, she served as founding director of Active Living Leadership, a
multi-million-dollar national initiative supporting state and local elected and appointed officials in creating healthy community design policies that enable healthy lifestyles. As a former member of the RWJF program team, Ms. Hollander was a primary developer of the active living concept and supported the creation of the initial active living grant portfolio, which totaled more than $100 million. She has also held previous positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society. Prior to her health-specific work, Ms. Hollander was a project manager at a social marketing and communications firm. She has also volunteered with many not-for-profit organizations, including Real Food for Kids Montgomery County, Sarasota’s Community Health Improvement Partnership, Move San Diego, the regional planning stakeholders group for San Diego’s Regional Planning Agency, and the California Commission on Aging. Ms. Hollander received her B.S. in business management and marketing from Tulane University and her M.P.H. in behavioral sciences/health education from Emory University.
Patricia (Patty) Nece, J.D., advocates for the eradication of weight bias, sound obesity treatments, and insurance coverage for those treatments. She encourages change by sharing her personal experiences with lifelong severe obesity. A noted advocate, Ms. Nece has been invited to speak at numerous venues, including Rethink Obesity Forums at the 2016 Democratic and Republican Presidential Conventions, the Obesity Medicine Association, The George Washington University School of Medicine, the Partnership for a Healthier America, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and Obesity Week 2018 and 2019. Ms. Nece also holds a number of positions in the obesity field. She is the vice chair of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) and chairs OAC’s Weight Bias Task Force. She has also served as a commissioner on the Lancet Commission on Obesity and a member of the American Psychological Association’s Guideline Development Panel for Childhood Obesity. She has worked on projects with the STOP Obesity Alliance and testified before the Food and Drug Administration. Ms. Nece earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Megan Nechanicky, M.S., R.D., is nutrition manager for General Mills Canada, where she provides strategic direction for business and research and development partners related to health and wellness. She also works externally with government, trade associations, and academic institutions to position General Mills positively for future growth. In 2017, Ms. Nechanicky completed a 6-month international assignment in the General Mills Nyon, Switzerland, office, where she gained experience living and working within the Europe and Australian regions to build and advance
nutrition science, research, and communications. When she first joined General Mills in 2014, she led health influencer communications for some of the firm’s largest brands, including Cheerios, Fiber One, and Nature Valley. In this role, she delivered cutting-edge expertise in science, consumer trends, and new product development and marketing to such health influencers as dietitians, physicians, nurses, and fitness professionals. Prior to coming to General Mills, Ms. Nechanicky was the first dietitian to work at the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. In that role, she led nutrition- and physical activity–related initiatives and events. She was also responsible for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) coordination of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Ms. Nechanicky served on the federal steering committee developing the HHS Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report and coordinated the communications strategy and report launch in 2013. She is a registered dietitian and holds a bachelor’s degree in food marketing from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a dual master’s degree in exercise physiology and nutrition from San Diego State University.
April Oh, Ph.D., M.P.H., is program director in the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She leads a research grants portfolio in physical activity and diet communication, neighborhood and policy effects and community health promotion, use of mobile and digital health applications to promote behavior change, and public health. Dr. Oh’s scientific work includes examination of the context of eating and activity behaviors (policy, communication, built and social environments), multilevel communication interventions to promote uptake of the human papillomavirus vaccine, neighborhood environments, and social determinants of behavioral health and health disparities. She has scientific and programmatic interests in dissemination and implementation science research, serves as program director for NCI’s Speeding Research Tested Interventions into Practice training program, and works as a programmatic liaison to the Implementation Science Team at NCI. She previously served as senior policy advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Oh also serves as a lead for NCI’s initiative on Implementation Science Centers in Cancer Control. She holds a doctoral degree in public health (community health sciences) from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Nicolaas (Nico) Pronk, Ph.D., M.A., FACSM, FAWHP, is president of the HealthPartners Institute and chief science officer at HealthPartners,
and he holds a faculty appointment as adjunct professor of social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. HealthPartners Institute is one of the largest medical research and education centers in the Midwest. It has about 450 studies under way each year; trains more than 500 medical residents and fellows and more than 500 students; and provides continuing medical education for 25,000 clinicians, as well as patient education and clinical quality improvement. HealthPartners, founded in 1957 as a cooperative, is an integrated, nonprofit, member-governed health system providing health care services and health plan financing and administration. It is the largest consumer-governed nonprofit health care organization in the United States. Dr. Pronk’s work is focused on connecting evidence of effectiveness with the practical application of programs and practices, policies, and systems that measurably improve population health and well-being. His work applies to the workplace, the care delivery setting, and the community and involves the development of new models for improving health and well-being at the research, practice, and policy levels. His research interests include workplace health and safety, obesity, physical activity, and systems approaches to population health and well-being. Currently, Dr. Pronk serves as co-chair of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (also known as Healthy People 2030). He is a former member of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and the Defense Health Board (formerly known as the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board). He was the founding and past president of the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion and currently serves on boards and committees at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the American Heart Association; and the Health Enhancement Research Organization, among others. He is widely published in both the scientific and practice literatures and is an international speaker on population health and well-being. Dr. Pronk received his doctorate degree in exercise physiology at Texas A&M University and completed his postdoctoral studies in behavioral medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D., is professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Connecticut. She is also deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, where she leads research and policy efforts aimed at reducing weight-based stigma and discrimination. Her research on weight stigma includes more than 120 publications on topics that include weight-based bullying in youth, the impact of weight stigma on emotional and physical health, weight stigma in health care and the media, and policy strategies to reduce weight-based bullying and
discrimination. As a national research expert on weight stigma, Dr. Puhl has testified on weight discrimination in legislative hearings and routinely provides expertise to national and international health organizations on strategies for reducing weight bias. She has also developed evidence-based trainings focused on reducing weight stigma in health care that have been implemented in medical facilities across the United States, and her work is routinely cited in the national media. Dr. Puhl has received multiple awards for her work both at the University of Connecticut and from such national organizations as the National Eating Disorders Coalition and the Obesity Action Coalition, and most recently received The Obesity Society’s 2018 scientific achievement award for excellence in an established research career. Dr. Puhl received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yale University.
Kevin R. Ronneberg, M.D., is vice president and associate medical director at HealthPartners. He joined HealthPartners in 2015 and is responsible for designing health solutions for employer groups, strengthening consumer partnerships, and building new services and programs. He works closely with multiple teams, including product development; health and care engagement; network management; and sales and marketing to connect consumer, employer, and care delivery perspectives, with a focus on improved health and well-being. Dr. Ronneberg has held multiple clinical and administrative leadership roles. Prior to coming to HealthPartners, he was medical director at Target and led efforts to make high-quality health care more affordable and accessible in the retailer’s in-store clinics and pharmacies. His areas of focus included brokering partnerships with health systems in key markets and developing new models of care to leverage the expanding role of pharmacists and nurse practitioners. Dr. Ronneberg has also served as medical director for health management at Medica health plan, and before that was a medical director and founder of Fairview’s Sports and Orthopedic Care clinics. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed residency training with Park Nicollet Health Services. He is board certified in family medicine.
Sylvia Rowe, M.A., is currently president of SR Strategy, which addresses the continuum of science to communications to policy on a broad range of global food system issues, including agriculture, food, nutrition, and sustainability. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Ms. Rowe is currently chair of the Food Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (the National Academies’) Health and Medicine Division (HMD) and a member of HMD’s Food and Nutrition Board and Roundtable on Obesity Solutions. She also served on the National Academies’ committee on The Science of Science Communications:
A Research Agenda. Ms. Rowe is a contributing editor and columnist of Nutrition Today, serves on the Tufts Nutrition Advisory Council, and has been recognized as an honorary member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Previously, Ms. Rowe served as president and chief executive officer of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC. She has served on several boards and advisory committees of the American Heart Association; The Obesity Society; the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network; the American Society for Nutrition; the Washington, DC, Mayor’s Commission on Food, Nutrition, and Health; the Grains for Health Foundation; the University of Rochester Medical Center; the Food and Drug Law Institute; the Society for Nutrition Education Foundation; the Maryland Title IX Commission; and the American Society of Association Executives Foundation. She is also a member of the International Women’s Leadership Forum, the National Press Club, and several scientific societies. Ms. Rowe received a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and was awarded a master’s degree from Harvard University, both with honors.
Dietram A. Scheufele, Ph.D., is Taylor-Bascom Chair in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and in the Morgridge Institute for Research. Dr. Scheufele’s research focuses on public attitudes and policy dynamics surrounding emerging science. He is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the International Communication Association; and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. He currently co-chairs the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (the National Academies’) Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice, and serves on the National Academies’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Advisory Committee, Board on Health Sciences Policy, and Division on Earth and Life Studies Advisory Committee. Since 2012, he has co-organized four National Academies colloquia on the Science of Science Communication. Dr. Scheufele has been a tenured faculty member at Cornell University and has held fellowships or visiting appointments at Harvard University; the University of Pennsylvania; and, most recently, the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. His consulting portfolio includes work for DeepMind, Porter Novelli, PBS, the World Health Organization, and The World Bank. Dr. Scheufele earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Liz Skrbkova, M.A., is associate director of U.S. obesity communications for Novo Nordisk, a global health care company. She has a strong background
in marketing communications and public relations, having worked in the global health and nonprofit sectors in London, Sydney, Paris, Copenhagen, and New York City. Ms. Skrbkova spearheads strategic product/pipeline and disease awareness communications and engages with partners, influencers, and communities around weight and health, fostering education and advocacy to combat weight bias and expand access to respectful and complete obesity care. She earned her M.A. from the University of Sydney.
Brian Southwell, Ph.D., M.A., is senior director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program in the Center for Communication Science at RTI International. In addition, he is an adjunct professor and Duke-RTI scholar with Duke University, where he has taught courses in sociology, public policy, and documentary studies. He is also a graduate faculty member (in media and journalism) and adjunct associate professor (of health behavior) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Southwell’s contributions have appeared in more than 100 journal articles and chapters, and his various books, including Misinformation and Mass Audiences (University of Texas Press) and Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health (Johns Hopkins University Press), have been based on social science research. Dr. Southwell is also host of a public radio show, The Measure of Everyday Life, for WNCU. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in communication from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kasisomayajula (Vish) Viswanath, Ph.D., is Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and in the McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is also faculty director of the Health Communication Core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). He is founding director of DF/HCC’s Enhancing Communications for Health Outcomes Laboratory. Dr. Viswanath’s work, drawing on literatures in communication science, social epidemiology, and social and health behavior sciences, focuses on translational communication science to influence public health policy and practice. His primary research is in documenting the relationship among communication inequalities, poverty and health disparities, and knowledge translation to address health disparities. He was chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Health Marketing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta from 2007 to 2010. He has served as a member of four Institute of Medicine and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees: the Committee on Gulf War and Health: Treatment of Chronic Multisymptom Illness, the Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth, the Committee on Health and Safety of Youth, and the Committee
on Parents of Young Children. He was a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Department of Health and Human Services and chaired its Working Group on Vaccine Acceptance (2012–2016), and is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness, CDC. Dr. Viswanath received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
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