Deborah Wexler—Dr. Deborah Wexler is founder and executive director of the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. IAC’s mission is to increase immunization rates by providing the nation’s healthcare professionals and their patients with practical, concise, and up-to-date immunization information. Dr. Wexler is editor of two quarterly immunization education publications for healthcare professionals, Needle Tips and Vaccinate Adults. She is also editor of IAC Express, an electronic immunization information news service emailed weekly to more than 50,000 individuals. Dr. Wexler is responsible for the development of more than 250 educational brochures, manuals, and other materials regarding immunization, and oversees the content of three highly utilized websites, http://www.immunize.org, http://www.vaccineinformation.org, and http://www.immunizationcoalitions.org, averaging more than 30,000 visitors per day. Dr. Wexler is deeply involved in national and state vaccine policy issues. Dr. Wexler’s educational background includes a BS degree in biology and an MD degree from the University of Minnesota. She completed her residency training in the Department of Family Practice and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Wexler serves on multiple national committees involved in vaccine policy and strategy issues. She is the recipient of the 2010 Friend of Pharmacy Immunization Leadership Award from the American Pharmacists Association and the 2011 National Childhood Immunization Champion award from Every Child By Two.
Litjen (L.J) Tan, MS, PhD—L.J Tan is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Immunization Action Coalition, which he joined January 1st, 2013. Prior to that, L.J was the Director of Medicine and Public Health at the American Medical Association (AMA) for 15 years. Dr. Tan also serves as Co-Chair of the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit, together with the CDC and the NVPO. Dr. Tan recently served on the National Quality Forum’s Adult Immunizations Expert Committee, and currently serves on the Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s Adult Immunization Working Group, on the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Study Group (EVASG), and as an editor for the Journal for Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, BMC Infectious Diseases and for Medscape Infectious Diseases. He just completed his term as an elected member of the federal National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC). He still serves on the NVAC’s HPV and Vaccine Confidence working groups. Previously, L.J chaired the Immunization Infrastructure WG and also served on the vaccine safety WG. Dr. Tan also served as a liaison member of the federal Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) for 12 years, and he still serves on the Adult Immunization working group. Previously, L.J also served on the influenza, zoster, and evidence-based working groups.
Thomas Slama, MD— Dr. Slama completed undergraduate work at Western Michigan and Indiana University with a BS from IU in 1969. He attended Medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine earning his MD in 1973. He interned at Indianapolis Methodist Hospital 1973-76. He earned a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases (1996-78) and Masters Degree in Medical Microbiology from Ohio State University in 1978. He became board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Slama’s honors include Internal Medicine Teacher of the Year Indianapolis St Vincent Hospital 7 times, Alpha Omega Alpha Teacher of the Year 2005, Infectious Disease Society of America Clinician of the Year 1999. He is a member of the Fellow American College of Physicians and Infectious Diseases Society of America. His National appointments and elected positions include IDSA Board of Directors 1996-1999 and 2008-2012. He was a Chairperson IDSA Clinical Affairs Committee 1993-1999, President IDSA 2011-2012, Board of Directors National Foundation of Infectious Diseases 2006-2012. He has approximately 80 articles and book chapters in nationally refereed journals and text book
Chad S. Priest, JD, MSN, RN—Chad S. Priest is Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross – Indiana. He is also Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine; Co-Director of the Disaster Medicine Fellowship Program; a Visiting Scholar at the Indiana University Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information and an affiliated investigator at the IU Center for Bioethics. His research and scholarship interests include international disaster risk reduction, healthcare emergency management, crisis leadership and community resilience to disasters and crisis events. He is a frequent international on issues related to healthcare emergency management and disaster medicine and nursing. Prior to assuming leadership of the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross, Priest served as Assistant Dean for Operations & Community Partnerships at the Indiana University School of Nursing where he also directed the interdisciplinary Social Network Health Research Laboratory. Previously Chad was Chief Executive Officer of The MESH Coalition, an innovative public-private partnership that enables healthcare providers to effectively respond to emergency events and remain viable through recovery. Chad formerly practiced as an attorney at the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels practicing public health and healthcare law in the Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. offices. Chad served on active duty as an officer in the United States Air Force with the 89th Medical Group, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
Gregory Zimet, PhD, HSPP—Dr. Zimet is Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Psychology in the Section of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He holds adjunct appointments in Epidemiology (IU Fairbanks School of Public Health) and Family Health (IU School of Nursing). Dr. Zimet is Co-Director of the Indiana University-Purdue University Center for HPV Research (http://pediatrics.iu.edu/center-hpv-research/about-us/), a member of the IU Simon Cancer Center, and president-elect of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Much of his research has involved the study of vaccine acceptance and refusal, with a primary focus on behavioral and social determinants of HPV vaccination. He has authored or co-authored over 90 research and review articles on vaccination and over 60 specifically focused on HPV vaccination.
Rebecca Perkins, MD—Dr. Perkins is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine, and a practicing gynecologist at Boston Medical Center. Her career is dedicated to reducing health disparities in cervical cancer. Her current research focuses on improving utilization of HPV vaccination. Dr. Perkins is currently working on national projects related to HPV vaccination and cervical cancer prevention with the American Cancer Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and CDC.
Alecia Sanchez—With over a decade working in policy, Ms. Sanchez has built expertise and achieved successes in public health, access to health care, and child welfare policy. As a legislative advocate for the California Medical Association, Ms. Sanchez’s current advocacy portfolio includes public health and the physician licensure and discipline process. She led CMA’s advocacy on SB 277 (Pan), the bill that eliminated the personal belief exemption for school enrollment. Ms. Sanchez also participates in the California Immunization Coalition’s Advocacy Committee. Prior to CMA, she had stints as an advocate for the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the American Cancer Society, California Division, and the Children’s Advocacy Institute. She started her career as legislative staff for former Assembly members Virginia Strom-Martin and the late Marco Firebaugh. She is a proud alumna of Claremont McKenna College.
Kirk Forbes—Kirk Forbes is a commercial pilot who livesin Noblesville, Indiana, with his wife of 42 years, Brenda. They have three children, Megan, Kristen, and Eric. He wrote the book Love, Kristen after having lost their 23 year old daughter Kristen to cervical cancer in June 2008. He and Brenda co-founded the Kristen Forbes EVE (Educate & Screen, Vaccinate, Eradicate) Foundation, a non-profit corporation based in Indiana. The Foundation’s purpose is to increase the knowledge of HPV caused cancers to help eradicate them. Kirk is an advocate who is educating the public about HPV thorough presentations to groups like National Women In Government Foundation, Indiana Legislature, corporate employee groups and an appearance on Dr. Oz Show. Kirk, Brenda and daughter Kristen are featured in the highly acclaimed, award winning documentary Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic.
Karen Ernst—Karen Ernst spent the early part of her career teaching English to surly high school students. The H1N1 pandemic followed by a measles outbreak in her community led her to seek out the state health department to find out what she could do to help better protect her community against vaccine-preventable diseases. As a result of her badgering state health officials, she founded the Minnesota Childhood Immunization Coalition–a coalition that relies heavily on parent volunteers–and took the helm of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led non-profit organization that helps parents advocate for on-time immunization in their communities. While she could have been a supermodel, she finds immense reward in playing a small role in the vaccine world. When she’s not involved in the vaccine world, she is the mother to three boys and the wife of just one husband.
Katie Van Tornhout—After Katie and her husband lost their 38 day-old infant, Callie, to pertussis, Katie became a tireless advocate for the importance of the Tdap vaccine and cocooning infants with an immunized family. Katie received the 2015 Centers for Disease Control’s Childhood Immunization Champion Award for the state of Indiana. As a parent advocate for Every Child by Two, Katie has provided interviews with numerous national organizations and media including “Good Morning America,” CNN, CBS News with Katie Couric., and a Satellite Media Tour with 12 radio stations across the country in conjunction with Sound of Pertussis and March of Dimes. Katie was also a guest speaker for the National Conference on Immunization and Health Coalitions in Chicago and was nominated by Indiana March of Dimes for Mother of the Year for her education efforts on Tdap. In addition to continuing to serve as a national spokesperson and advocate, Katie and Craig Van Tornhout have created “Callie Cares,” a not for profit organization which allows them to honor Callie and keep her spirit alive by giving back to other parents with hospitalized children.
Michael Moore, MD—Dr. Moore is an Associate Professor and Chief of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery at Indiana University. He is a Board Member of the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, and as such, has a particular interest in early detection and prevention of disease. He also serves as a member of the HPV Vaccination Roundtable of the American Cancer Society.
Amy Pisani, MS—
Amy Pisani is a leading authority in pediatric health advocacy. Since 1998, she has served as the executive director of Every Child By Two (ECBT), an organization founded 25 years ago by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, wife of retired Senator Dale Bumpers. The mission of Every Child By Two is to ensure the timely immunization of all families. ECBT’s cofounders have been credited with helping pass state laws mandating childhood vaccines for school entry during the Carter Administration and the organization continues to actively support enforcement of these laws. To forward its agenda, ECBT has enlisted the support of elected officials and their spouses, concerned community leaders, and representatives of many local and national organizations. By traveling to every state in the nation Carter and Bumpers were instrumental in helping to form local and statewide immunization coalitions nationwide. Pisani and her dedicated staff play a leading role in legislative education, building alliances with like minded interests, and educating the public through various mediums, including the ECBT electronic newsletters, Shot of Prevention blog, facebook page and websites (www.ecbt.org and http://www.VaccinateYourFamily.org) . The Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page has become one of the largest pro-vaccine pages on Facebook with over 147,000 likes, consisting of passionate individuals who are highly engaged in the issue of vaccines. Nearly 6.4 million messages are viewed annually by our followers and their contacts and blog posts are viewed by an average of 500,000 readers annually. Amy has played an integral part in setting standards for childhood immunization in America today. Her commitment to pediatric health is evident in several other roles. She is an active member of the Mystic, Connecticut Rotary Club where she serves as the Chair of the Polio Plus Committee and Publicity Committee. She has also served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Advisory Committee. Knowing that vaccines have saved and continue to save millions of lives inspires her on a daily basis to focus on the mission of Every Child By Two.
Beth Meyerson, MDiv.,PhD —Dr. Meyerson has been involved with public health policy and systems for the past 20 years with focus on sexual health (STIs, HIV and, more recently, cervical cancer). She joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Public Health-‐Bloomington in 2011. Dr. Meyerson also serves as Co-‐Director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP), as well as Policy Director for Cervical Cancer-‐Free Coalition. She is affiliate faculty of the Center for HPV Research at IUPUI, and an associate member of the IU Simon Cancer Center at the IU School of Medicine. She was recently appointed to the board of directors of Lambda Legal, a national LGBT civil rights litigation organization. Dr. Meyerson’s work is focused on public health systems and policy. Her systems studies focus on the extent to which systems ‘flex’ or change to increase access to sexual health services through the expansion of cervical cancer screening through STD clinics, HIV testing through pharmacies, and sexual health services through community health centers. Her policy studies focus on public health policy behaviors such as state investments in sexual health, policy behaviors of local health departments and state STD programs, and planned policy behaviors expressed in state comprehensive cancer plans. A self-‐described “pracademic,” Dr. Meyerson’s research is practice-‐based and community collaborative. She strives to translate research for policy and practice application; and in her teaching, to create “porous” classrooms to engage students in applied learning to advance their understanding of and skills for public health transformation. Dr. Meyerson was among 5 Indiana University honorees named Outstanding Junior Faculty in 2013, she received the Trustees Teaching Award from the IU School of Public Health-‐Bloomington in 2015, and in 1998 received the Nicholas A. Rango, MD Leadership Award from the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.
Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH —Dr. Adams was appointed by Governor Mike Pence as the Indiana State Health Commissioner on October 22, 2014. In this role he serves as secretary of Indiana State Department of Health’s executive board, as chairman of the Indiana State Trauma Care Committee and as co-chairman of the Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative Governing Council. He is also a member of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Health Workforce Policy Academy Core Team, and the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention. Dr. Adams currently serves as assistant professor of clinical anesthesia at Indiana University School of Medicine and as a staff anesthesiologist at Eskenazi Health, where he is chairman of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. He has served in the leadership of several professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, and on the Boards of the Indiana State Medical Association and Indiana Society of Anesthesiologists. He serves as chairman of the Professional Diversity Committee for the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Nancy Messonnier, MD, CAPT, USPHS —Dr. Messonnier is the Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Dr. Messonnier started her public health career as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 1995, in the Childhood and Respiratory Diseases Branch of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Dr. Messonnier served in a variety of roles including as Chief of the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch in NCID, and then continued to lead the newly formed Meningitis and Vaccine-preventable Disease Branch when NCIRD was established during 2006. She has served as Interim Director of the Advanced Molecular Detection Implementation team in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, following details as Acting Deputy Director of the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, and Acting Director of the Division of Global Health Protection in the Center for Global Health.
Gary Marshall, MD —Dr. Marshall is professor of pediatrics, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and director of the Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where he has served since 1989. Marshall is also an attending physician in the infectious diseases clinic at Kosair Children’s Hospital. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning his medical degree and a pediatric residency at Vanderbilt University, followed by a fellowship in infectious disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Under Marshall’s leadership, the pediatric residents at the University of Louisville School of Medicine have repeatedly recognized the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases for excellence in teaching and patient care. Marshall has authored more than 150 papers and is best known for his work in vaccine development, advocacy, and education. He is the author of The Vaccine Handbook: A Practical Guide for Clinicians, a.k.a. “The Purple Book,” now in its 5th edition.