2020-Distinguished-Alumni

2020 Department of Health Promotion Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award

The 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Health Promotion Sciences goes to Pam Remmel, MPH.

Pam earned her MPH is 1993 from the Department and is a loyal alumna, donor and friend to the Hudson College of Public Health. After graduation, Pam immediately starting serving the state in leadership roles. Pam served as the Executive Director for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network in Oklahoma from 1995-2001, where she assisted with the transition from a hospice model to a life-affirming model of volunteer service. Pam went on to be the Executive Director of Heartline from 2001- 2007. Pam was a teen pregnancy and HIV prevention coordinator for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and a certified neuro-diagnostic technologist working in both hospital and clinic settings. Pam ended her distinguished career as the Executive Director for the Health Alliance for the Uninsured, where she worked for more than 12 years until her retirement in 2019. As Executive Director for the Health Alliance for the Uninsured, she and the HAU team worked with thirteen free or charitable partner clinics and two community health centers to develop collaborative solutions to the unmet health needs of their low-income, uninsured patients. HAU received the Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence Award in the Health Services category in April 2016 and Pam received the Don J. Blair Friend of Medicine Award presented by Oklahoma State Medical Association in April 2016. Pam recently joined the Board of the Public Health Institute of Oklahoma. In her free time, Pam enjoys gardening, cooking, walking her dogs, and reading to stay current. She is a relocation volunteer for the Oklahoma Humane Society, having made two trips to Chicago to transfer a total of 62 dogs and puppies for adoption. Pam looks forward to resuming travel her plans.

Here is an excerpt from one of her nomination letters:

“Pam has been a quiet, but strong public health leader in Oklahoma for many years. She has brought passion and commitment to numerous public health initiatives such as child advocacy and teen pregnancy prevention, HIV and AIDS education and assistance, and crisis interventions. Most recently, her work with the uninsured has helped thousands of Oklahomans find health care when they had no place else to turn. Her public health efforts and advocacy has made a difference, and is clearly most deserving of the Hudson College of Public Health Distinguished Alumnus Award.”

– Neil Hann, 2019 DAA Winner

 

 

2020 Department of Health Promotion Sciences Young Alumni Award 

The 2020 Young Alumni Professional Award for the Department of Health Promotion Sciences goes to Oklahoma County Commissioner Carrie Blumert, MPH!

Carrie earned her MPH in 2012. Carrie Blumert is a public health professional with a desire to reform our criminal justice system and engage more young people and women in local government. Before getting elected as County Commissioner for District 1, she worked for the Oklahoma City County Health Department for 5 years, managing health care partnerships and community-based prevention programs. She directed several large initiatives, the Wellness Now Coalition, Open Streets OKC, and OKC Mobile Market. Wellness Now is a grassroots effort to make Oklahoma County a healthier place to live. They oversee programs related to mental health, tobacco and substance abuse, and nutrition. Open Streets OKC is an effort by the Coalition to promote walkable communities and healthy lifestyles. The OKC Mobile Market is a mobile grocery store will provide nutrition in food deserts across Oklahoma County.

Prior to her time at City County Health, Carrie worked for Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma and the OU Department of Behavioral Pediatrics, where she taught and developed treatment plans for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In addition to earning her MPH from the Hudson College of Public Health, Carrie earned a Bachelor's degree in Child and Family Services from OSU. She graduated from Bartlesville High School and is the first person in her family to be elected to public office.

Carrie remains committed to serving our community. She lives in OKC and is an active member of Crestwood Vineyard Church.

Here’s an excerpt from one of her nomination letters:

“Carrie is doing great things for our county and has integrated all of her public health training into her role as a county commissioner. She might be the first county commissioner in the state to hold a public health degree! I am continually impressed with how she approaches really complicated issues but always inserts a health for all- health in all policy, perspective. Her commitment to criminal justice and mental health reform is second to none. She is really well-spoken and a great example of what we want to see in Hudson College of Public Health alumni. ”

Please help us congratulate Commissioner Carrie Blumert for her amazing contributions and for receiving this distinguished award.

 

2020 Departmental of Health Administration and Policy Distinguished Alumni Award

The 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Health Administration and Policy goes to John Finley, JD/MPH

John Finley earned his JD/MPH degree in 2002, and while a student, he served as the ACHE President.  He was the first OU student selected as a Presidential Management Fellow.  From 2002-2004, he served as Fellow in the White House and at the US Food and Drug Administration.  In these roles, he coordinated the development and implementation of a range of health care legal and policy issues, including food, drug and public health policy. He was the lead attorney on the US Surgeon General’s Task Force on Drug Importation and he coordinated the White House-led, inter-agency policy process to authorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003.  Many have considered this program to be the most successful US led, international public health program in history.

Since graduating from OU, John has dedicated his career to improving the lives of patients and improving the public health by taking leadership positions in key health care companies.  John has almost 20 years of leadership on a broad range of healthcare laws, policy and regulations governing the activities of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, health care providers, pharmacies and healthcare payers.  He has extensive experience with FDA, CMS, and the OIG within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  John even developed the most common risk structure used by compliance departments across the US.

John has held the top legal, research and compliance positions at the University of Kansas, Aetna, WakeMed, the FDA and the White House.  He has helped major medical centers, pharmacies and Fortune 100 healthcare companies build their legal, audit, and compliance functions and strengthen their relationships with regulators following the resolution of first of its kind material litigation. He has led successful resolution of federal investigations and legal actions and effectively implemented six Corporate Integrity Agreements, one CMS exclusion, two FCPA cases and one Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

John has built and led global legal, compliance, audit, privacy, and regulatory affairs programs across complex domestic and international jurisdictions and regulatory environments. He has built and provided leadership to international teams on federal and state regulatory obligations in 37 countries and led teams of 22-600 people. He has built established and overseen collaborative processes for the proactive identification and analysis of risks and related control gaps in business operations.  John is currently leading several strategic priorities including efforts to work with the HHS to help solve the opioid crisis.

John currently serves as the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary at AIS HealthCare.  AIS is a national, healthcare and specialty pharmacy company based in Dallas, Texas and the leading provider of specialty pharmacy solutions for intrathecal pain care, home-health infusion and nursing services in all 50 states.  John reports to the President and CEO with a dotted line to the Board.  He provides leadership, oversight and direction in the areas of compliance, legal affairs, regulatory affairs, audit, information security, privacy and risk management.

John lives in Southlake, TX with his wife, Jenn, three daughters and two golden retrievers. John is active in the community and serves as a Board member for a non-profit cancer foundation, as an Advisory Board Member for his undergraduate college and as an executive mentor for the Columbia University Graduate Center for Technology Management.  John has participated in the annual Ed Brandt Memorial lecture in Women’s Health; and, occasionally be found on the OU campus speaking to students about careers in public health and law.

Here is an excerpt from one of his nomination letters:

“John has built a career using his legal skills to help advance worthy public health initiatives and has changed the lives of millions on doing so.  Accordingly, he has made healthcare delivery better for all.”

Congratulations, John, on this prestigious award. We are proud to call you an alumnus.

 

 

2020 Departmental of Health Administration and Policy Young Alumni Professional Award

The 2020 Young Alumni Professional Award for the Department of Health Administration and Policy goes to Hazel Lonewolf, DrPH, MPH

Dr. Hazel Lonewolf is a 2005 MPH and 2015 DrPH alumna of the Hudson College of Public Health. Dr. Lonewolf has been a staff member at Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) for over thirteen years. She currently serves as Chief Quality Officer, overseeing the Department of Quality and all quality activities of the organization.

Dr. Lonewolf started her career at OKCIC early in 2007 as an Epidemiologist. As quality initiatives grew and the Quality team grew in number, she was promoted to Director of Quality. Continuing her educational pursuit, she earned her doctorate and was later promoted to Chief Quality Officer. Dr. Lonewolf serves as the Chair of the Quality Improvement Committee at OKCIC.

A graduate of Leadership Oklahoma (LOK) Class 31, Dr. Lonewolf has travelled the state connecting with other community leaders whose commitment to service and excellence will help energize all Oklahomans to help positively shape our future (mission of LOK). She also serves as a member of the Oklahoma City Area Office IHS Institutional Review Board (IRB), helping to provide human subjects research protections to American Indian patients.

Dr. Lonewolf served on the OQF (Oklahoma Quality Foundation) Board of Examiners for three years before moving on to become a national examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which she did in 2018. When she began her service, she introduced the Baldrige framework to OKCIC, which eventually led to OKCIC becoming an OQF Leadership in Excellence winner in 2018. This achievement qualifies OKCIC to apply for the MBNQA, which Dr. Lonewolf submitted in early 2020.

In 2013, Dr. Lonewolf implemented the Care Bear Recognition Program that morphed into the ConnectFour Employee Recognition program. ConnectFour is a system that allows OKCIC staff members to recognize other staff members for demonstrating one or all the core values of OKCIC.

Also, during 2018, Dr. Lonewolf worked with Human Resources to create and implement a quarterly performance evaluation process that encourages feedback throughout the year, rather than only once per year. At this same time, she helped establish production measures for every department/individual within the organization. These measures were used as part of the performance evaluation process and tied back to a strategic initiative or core value. Another improvement effort initiated in 2018 by Dr. Lonewolf is LEAN/Six Sigma training. In 2018, OKCIC began the process of conducting initial LEAN/Six Sigma training with every staff member. LEAN/Six Sigma will be used for organization-wide process improvement efforts

A crowning accomplishment of Dr. Lonewolf and the QI team is the introduction of a PDSA Fair. Once all staff members were conducting PDSAs, Dr. Lonewolf wanted a “showplace” for staff members to share their PDSAs with other staff members. In January 2017, the first annual PDSA Fair was conducted. In 2018, OKCIC invited and hosted community members, leaders from OKC Area Office, and other Indian Health Services/Tribal/Urban Indian Healthcare facilities in the Area. This is a tradition that will continue after the positive feedback received from visitors. Even though the fair started as a way to keep staff member informed of best practices within the organization, it quickly became evident that there was a great deal of value in sharing these projects with leaders outside of OKCIC to allow for the ideas to spread and add value to other organizations.

Through Dr. Lonewolf’s leadership, OKCIC’s Quality program has evolved into something that has an Area Impact. Through the development and sharing of best practices, OKCIC is able to positively impact care across the Area and sometimes the nation. Dr. Lonewolf’s forward-thinking strategy for quality improvement has been life-changing to OKCIC as an organization and as a leader in healthcare. Dr. Lonewolf’s work not only support’s OKCIC’s mission, vision and core values, but also IHS’s mission to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level. For all these reasons, in 2019 Dr. Lonewolf was the recipient of the Area Director’s Individual Area Impact award.

Dr. Lonewolf has volunteered her time at Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Oklahoma Quality Foundation, and the State of Oklahoma’s American Indian Community of Practice as well as the Constitutional Committee for the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.  These qualities of volunteerism and leadership through example allow her work to expand beyond her own direct actions organizationally, regionally, and even nation-wide to fulfill the OKCIC’s vision “to be the national model for American Indian health care.”

Here are a few excerpts from her nomination letters:

“It is not only her professional accomplishments, though they are many and most-deserved; but also her personal characteristics including being peerlessly principled, highly professional, and incredibly inspiring as a co-worker and leader.”

“OKCIC is proud of our robust Quality program, with integration throughout the organization; the overall success of the program lies squarely upon Dr. Lonewolf’s leadership. She will tell you that it was all a team effort, and it is true that she needs a team of people to help achieve all that she has. However, it is her leadership and insight that has been the driving force behind improvement efforts of OKCIC.”

“Dr. Lonewolf is hardworking, creative, of exceptional integrity, and highly intelligent. But above all else, it is her servant leadership and mentorship abilities for guiding others through her example of quality and professionalism which sets her apart from her peers. She unselfishly volunteers her time, talents and resources into strengthening community organizations, as an advocate for those most vulnerable and the underserved.”

Please help us congratulate Dr. Hazel Lonewolf for this well-deserved award.

 

 

Biostatistics and Epidemiology ~

2020 Distinguished Alumni Award

We are pleased to announce the 2020 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Distinguished Alumni Award winner is Ms. Kelly Baker.

Kelly graduated with an MPH in Biostatistics from the Hudson College of Public Health in 1994 and began working at the Oklahoma State Department of Health in Maternal and Child Health.  She progressively assumed more responsibility and leadership within the agency, and currently serves as the Vital Records Director and State Registrar – a position she has held since 2006.  Kelly has always been a staunch supporter of the College, contributing her valuable time, skills, and knowledge.  She assists with teaching as Adjunct Faculty whenever requested, for example teaching about vital records for well over 15 years in several of the department’s required courses.  She provides the students with an understanding of the behind the scenes work necessary in Public Health. She has worked with many of our practicum and other students.  Moreover, she is always supportive of public health research.

Nationally, Ms. Baker has served as the President of the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), Member-at-Large, Secretary, President Elect, President, Past President from 2010 through 2018.  As such she was responsible for leading the most important data collection system in the United States.  This is clear evidence of her recognized leadership and of the national recognition of her critical work in the field of public health.  Some of Ms. Baker’s success includes making Oklahoma one of the top vital records systems in the US.

She has fought for consistent improvement, fairness, and social justice in vital records, including working with the social security administration to assure appropriate and timely access to resource for the citizens of Oklahoma as both Birth and Death certificates are necessary for this process as well as virtually all activities in our state and country.  She has worked with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office to make Oklahoma a leader in accurate disaster reporting, as well as accurate mortality.  She has worked with policing services in Oklahoma to assist with missing persons working through important mining of birth and death data in Oklahoma.

One of the most innovative and critical successes in her career was to set up offsite access to birth and death certificates for Oklahoma citizens during a disaster.  She arranged for almost immediate access to these documents for the hundreds of individuals who lost their homes including these critical documents necessary for access to resources including banking accounts, insurance resources, and other government resources.  The project has been recognized nationally, and has improved the quality of life for those living through these disasters including the horrific tornados we have seen over the last 10 years.  She has used this same offsite certification of birth and death in conjunction with law enforcement to assist the homeless population in Oklahoma to receive needed and life-saving resources.

Here are a few excerpts from her nomination letters:

“Ms. Baker has a quiet, unassuming, positive, innovative and extraordinary impact on the often overlooked but perhaps the most important public health data source we have.”

“Kelly has shown extraordinary dedication and leaderships throughout her many years in Public Health.”

“Ms. Baker meets all of the criteria, not just one, of the achievement necessary to make her a Distinguished Alumni of the Hudson College of Public Health.  She is clearly dedicated to the improvement and enrichment of the Public Health with her over 25 years of service in Public Health.”

Please help us congratulate Ms. Kelly Baker on this prestigious award.

 

 

Biostatistics and Epidemiology ~

2020 Young Alumni Professional Award

We are pleased to announce the 2020 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Young Alumni Professional Award winner is Dr. Dana Mowls Carroll.

Dana graduated with a PhD in Epidemiology from the Hudson College of Public Health in 2017 and currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Dana’s undergraduate degree in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University sparked her interest in the role of genetics in behaviors and health outcomes. This led her to the public health program at Kent State, where she earned an MPH in epidemiology and conducted epidemiologic research in COPD. Immediately upon joining the OU Hudson College of Public Health doctoral program in epidemiology, Dana became an important member of the tobacco surveillance and evaluation team, working as a graduate research assistant. Dana provided epidemiological expertise for the Stephenson Cancer and the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. She distinguished herself as an active participant, earning a perfect GPA. This is impressive considering the advanced coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics that comprised her plan of study. She was named one of the first recipients of the Hudson Fellows in Public Health. Dana was also the recipient of numerous College and campus awards, indicative of her outstanding achievements in scholarship and service.

Dana achieved notable success in  research as a student with a successful funding application to NIH/NIDA for her dissertation research.  Dana then went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship in the Tobacco Research Programs of the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer in 2019 and was immediately recruited into a faculty position there at the School of Public Health.  This August she received a K01 award from the NIH NIMHD to expand her research and training in the area of personalized smoking cessation treatment in the American Indian population.. She has published and presented her work in the leading tobacco research journals and societies. She has a strong commitment to developing an independent research enterprise focusing on the elimination of tobacco-related disease and death with a special emphasis on populations that bear the greatest burden. She is dedicated, talented and possesses a strong set of professional ethics. In addition, she has outstanding critical thinking skills, attention to detail, and has mastered epidemiological research methods. All of this, in combination with her excellent communication skills, ensures Dana’s continued success as a leading health disparities researcher.

Here are a few excerpts from her nomination letters:

“I can state unequivocally that Dana is one of the most outstanding young investigators that I have had the opportunity to work with. She has a strong commitment to research, has demonstrated academic excellence throughout her educational career, and has an outstanding work ethic.”

“Dana is kind, thoughtful, and simply a delight to be around.  Her work ethic is one of the best I have ever encountered.  She is dependable, efficient and extremely responsible. I am pleased to give Dana my highest recommendation for this award.”

Please help us congratulate Dr. Dana Carroll on this prestigious award.

 

Occupational & Environmental Health ~

2020 Distinguished Alumni Award

We are pleased to announce the 2020 Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Distinguished Alumni Award winner is Dr. Cheryl “Cheri” Marcham.

 

Cheri graduated from the MS program in Industrial Hygiene in 1989. That same year, she achieved certification as a CIH and took a position as Environmental Health and Safety Officer at OUHSC. She continued to take graduate courses and earned a PhD in Industrial Hygiene in 2004.

She is probably best known for her leadership in occupational health and safety professional organizations at the national level. She was a Director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), a Director (and now Ambassador) of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), and she is currently a Director of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). Beyond these important governance roles, she is a driving force in educating her fellow professionals through national conference symposia and trade publications on emerging occupational/environmental issues such as e-cigarettes and legalized cannabis.

Alongside her national role as a leader in the industrial hygiene and occupational safety professions, Cheri remains deeply engaged with her peers in Oklahoma. She has served as chair of the department’s Industrial Hygiene Constituent Committee since its inception in 2006, providing guidance to the OU MS program that has helped it to sustain its ABET accreditation and NIOSH training grant funding. She advises and champions local sections of the AIHA, including our own Oklahoma local section. She has helped bring nationally prominent experts to speak at Oklahoma AIHA conferences.

Finally, in her own professional life, Cheri is a role model for OEH students. She attained professional certifications and actively promotes certification as validation of professional expertise. As a full-time practitioner for more than 25 years, she provided field practice opportunities for OEH students and also shared her applied knowledge through adjunct teaching in our department and other institutions. After retiring from the OUHSC as the director of health and safety she is now a tenure track faculty with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

 

Here is an excerpt from one of her nomination letters:

“Cheri is a devoted friend of the University, a strong and engaged leader of her professional peers, and a tireless promoter of evidence-based public health solution for the state and nation.”

– Dr. Evan Floyd

On behalf of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, please help us congratulate Cheri on her distinguished career success and the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.

 

Occupational & Environmental Health ~

2020 Young Alumni Professional Award

We are pleased to announce the 2020 Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Young Alumni Professional Award winner is Ms. Rachel Butler.

Rachel Butler graduated from the MS program in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences (as Rachel Woods) in 2014.  She has worked for Marshall Environmental Management since her student internship in 2011.  She is a Certified Industrial Hygienist Consultant with expertise in industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health, indoor air quality, and asbestos management. Rachel manages numerous client industrial hygiene sampling programs and provides guidance for successful control policies to prevent occupational exposures and future risk managements strategies.

In addition to her early career accomplishments and continued learning, she epitomizes service to her profession and the community. She is very active in the Junior League of Norman, where she has served in numerous leadership positions in support of their charitable activities. She serves on numerous professional committees, including as Secretary of the Oklahoma Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association since 2016, where she has played a central role in promoting the industrial hygiene profession in Oklahoma, facilitating professional development through local section conferences, meetings, and eLearning, and working with unions and governmental agencies on planning the annual Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony at the state capitol.

Here is an excerpt from one of her nomination letters:

“As her former professor and now her colleague, I find it a little ironic that Rachel’s master’s thesis, based on her work at Marshall Environmental, was about lead exposure during bridge deconstruction. I see Rachel now, as a young professional and community volunteer, as very much the bridge *builder*.”

– Dr. Margaret Phillips

On behalf of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, please help us congratulate Rachel on her service, career success, and the 2020 Young Alumni Professional Award.