DCC 2023 - Speaker Bios

chicago star

Disease Control Conference 2023

chicago star


Meet the Speakers:

Presentation: Conference Welcome

Stephanie R. Black, MD, MSc - As Medical Director with the Healthcare-Associated Infections and Communicable Disease Programs at the Chicago Department of Public Health, Dr. Black focuses on healthcare-associated infections and infection control in healthcare settings in addition to community-based communicable diseases. These programs conduct surveillance and outbreak investigations, facilitate testing, and respond to emerging infectious disease threats including Candida auris and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales, mpox, Legionnaires’ Disease and COVID-19. Dr. Black is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. She completed undergraduate training at Cornell University, medical school at Temple University, and internal medicine residency and infectious disease fellowship studies at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Black practiced clinical infectious diseases medicine for 6 years at Rush University Medical Center, followed by 5 years at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County. She is a voting member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB).

Presentation: What Kids Have Lost During the Pandemic and How Can They Get It Back?

Tarrah DeClemente has served in Chicago Public Schools for over 10 years and is currently the Executive Director of the Office of Student Health and Wellness. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Purdue University and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Tarrah received her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Policy and Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Tarrah enjoys reading, running, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Presentation: What Kids Have Lost During the Pandemic and How Can They Get It Back?

Peter Leonard is the Executive Director of Student Assessment & MTSS for Chicago Public Schools. He and his team empower CPS stakeholders with high-quality evidence of student learning to advance achievement, access, and opportunity for all students. They achieve this by leading policy, strategy, implementation, and support across all assessment & MTSS programs. Peter also represents CPS in various state-level groups, serving on the State Assessment Review Committee and the P-20 Council's Committee on Data, Assessment, and Accountability. He is a proud fellowship alum of AmeriCorps, Education Pioneers, the University of Chicago Civic Leadership Academy, and the Erikson Institute Barbara Bowman Leadership program. Peter holds a B.A. in History from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, and a Certificate in Civic Leadership from the University of Chicago.

Presentation: The Role of Academic Partnerships in Public Health Response - A Brief History

Dr. Elizabeth Davis is Chief Medical Officer Liaison for Community Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center. She is interested in innovative models of care that improve health equity across Chicago. She works with interprofessional teams providing community based testing and vaccination, medical care for people experiencing homelessness, and home based primary care. Dr. Davis has partnered with CDPH on community based efforts to provide vaccination, testing, and medical care for asylum seekers newly arrived to Chicago.

Presentation: The Role of Academic Partnerships In Public Health Response – A Brief History

Stockton Mayer is an Infectious Disease physician at The University of Illinois at Chicago and an Investigator in Project Wish – the Infectious Disease department’s clinical research center. Dr. Mayer helps lead the Community Outreach and Intervention Projects (COIP) comprehensive clinical care program for People Who Inject Drugs and he supports the City of Chicago as a co-lead for the UIC Outbreak Response Team.

Before embarking on a career in medicine, Dr. Mayer worked in public and private sector business development. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, he trained small business development leaders throughout the Jalapa region. He later worked with Booz Allen Hamilton’s International and Infrastructure team as a consultant. Dr. Mayer still works in Guatemala, assisting local governments with decentralization of HIV services and implementing strategies for outreach to high risk populations.

Presentation: Looking Ahead to the Upcoming Respiratory Season

Brian Borah, MD, MA, is an internal medicine physician and the Medical Director for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Surveillance at Chicago Department of Public Health. Brian obtained his medical degree and a Master’s in Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University of Chicago, and later completed an internal medicine residency and chief resident year at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Most recently, Brian spent two years working for CDC as part of their Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program, for which he was assigned as a field officer to the Vermont Department of Health in Burlington, VT. He currently lives in Albany Park with his wife and their 1-year-old.

Presentation: Looking Ahead to the Upcoming Respiratory Season

Dr. Jacqueline Tiema-Massie is a seasoned public health leader with over twenty-two years of experience in key roles in public health, emergency preparedness, and human services. She began her career in 2001 in the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) Immunization Program, as a Public Health Administrator for the Vaccines for Children program. While at CDPH, she also served as Director of Planning, Research and Development, leading the development and coordination of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response’s federal grant applications, planning projects, performance management, and planning activities during emergency response events and real incidences. She has also served as the Grants Director for the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and in this role she was responsible for the preparation of complex federal, state, and private human services grants worth over $400 million. Currently and for the last two years, she has served as the CDPH Immunization Program Director. In this role, she leads a team of over 40 public health professionals to vaccinate thousands of Chicagoans for COVID-19, Flu, and other routine adult and childhood vaccines.

Presentation: Weathering the Storm: Lessons from the all-hands-on-deck Response to Misinformation

Katelyn Jetelina, MPH, PhD, is an epidemiologist and scientific communicator. She is a Senior Scientific Advisor to several government and non-profit agencies, including the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Resolve to Save Lives. In addition, Dr. Jetelina is the publisher of Your Local Epidemiologist- a public health newsletter that “translates” ever-evolving science to the public, reaching over 300 million views.

Presentation: Building a Healthcare Sanctuary Within a Sanctuary City: Chicago's New Arrivals Health Response

Dr. Jennifer Seo, MD, JD, FAAP, FACP, is Chief Medical Officer at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). Dr. Seo leads CDPH's healthcare system coordination and engagement, healthcare access strategy, and optimization of CDPH's clinical services. Prior to her role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Seo served as the Medical Director for CDPH's Maternal, Infant, Child, and Adolescent Health Bureau. She is an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics primary care physician.

Presentation: Health Impacts Associated with the East Palestine Train Derailment

Emily Faherty, PhD, is an infectious disease epidemiologist and CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned to the Chicago Department of Public Health Bureau of Disease Control in the Communicable Diseases Program. Her research interests include vaccine-preventable diseases, sexual and reproductive health, and global health. She served as a member of the EpiAid investigation team that responded to the East Palestine train derailment in Ohio and Pennsylvania in February-March 2023.

Presentation: Understanding Populations through Data Modernization in Public Health

Graham Briggs, MS, serves as Illinois’ State Epidemiologist after recently stepping into the role this April. He brings over 20 years of experience working in state and local public health agencies to the position, including as a local Director of Public Health in Minnesota. Prior to his current position Graham was overseeing Emerging Infectious Diseases and Informatics programs as a Senior Director for the National Association of City and County Health Officials, or NACCHO. Please welcome Graham, who will be talking today about public health and data modernization!

Presentation: A Public Health Approach to the Opioid Crisis in Chicago

Matt Richards, LCSW, MDiv, is Deputy Commissioner of Behavioral Health at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) where he is the City of Chicago’s lead subject matter expert on behavioral health. Matt is responsible for the City of Chicago’s five mental health centers, 911 mental health and substance use response teams, behavioral health diversion programs, and all CDPH programs in mental health, substance use, violence prevention, and healthcare for unsheltered persons. Under Matt’s leadership, the City’s mental health budget has increased 7-fold since 2019, increased patients served from 3,500 in 2019 to almost 75,000 in 2022, and led to the integration of mental health professionals into the 911 response system for the first time in city history through the Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) program. Matt and the CDPH Behavioral Health team received the 2023 Mayor’s Medal of Honor in recognition of their significant contributions serving Chicago residents.

Presentation: A Public Health Approach to the Opioid Crisis in Chicago

Sarah Richardson, MPP, is a Grants Research Specialist at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she has worked for two years in the Office of Substance Use. Before coming to CDPH in this role, Sarah worked on the public health pandemic response as a Chicago Mayoral Fellow, municipal harm reduction and drug policy in Anchorage, Alaska, and international political and economic development in Tbilisi, Georgia. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Georgia, where she learned to make the world's best Turkish coffee. Sarah has a Master's in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, was a 2023 New Leaders Council Chicago Fellow, and spends her free time studying feminist theory and jumping in Lake Michigan.

Presentation: Family Connects Chicago: Supporting Birthing People and Newborns

Jessica Wilkerson, BS, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska in Education and Human Science with a major in Dietetics. She received her certificate in Core Public Health from the University of North Carolina. Jessica joined the Chicago Department of Public Health Maternal, Infant, Child and Adolescent Health Bureau in the role of Director of Program Operations in 2016. Jessica manages the logistical planning and implementation of Family Connects Chicago, a universal newborn support program for families in Chicago as one way to address infant and maternal mortality in Chicago.

Presentation: Elizabethkingia spp. Outbreak in a Ventilator-Capable Skilled Nursing Facility, Chicago 2023

Sidney Thigpen, MPH, works for the City of Chicago as an Epidemiologist III in the Healthcare Settings Unit. She currently works closely with multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO) surveillance at skilled nursing facilities and long-term acute care hospitals and assists with point prevalence surveys (PPS) that are conducted at these facilities. By analyzing the data gathered from PPSs, she is able to propose necessary intervention measures and monitor the increase or decrease of MDROs.

Presentation: Community-Led Health Activism in Belmont Cragin: Collaborating for Health Equity and a Better Future

Genese (Genny) Turner, she/her, is Director of Health Equity and Strategic Partnerships at Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she supports the office of Community Health and Equity Zones. Her team leads the City’s community health assessment and improvement planning processes and our hyperlocal approach to combatting health inequities through the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones. Along with her team, she establishes/deepens relationships with various stakeholders to explore, suggest and implement new community-led programs, partnerships, and other initiatives. Genny’s commitment to fighting inequities started in her early days in corporate America and continues now in her passion to shift power to people most affected by inequities. She is graduate of DePaul University with a Master's in International Public Service, B.S. from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Engineering Technology program and holds a Master Certificate in Project Management.

Presentation: Community-Led Health Activism in Belmont Cragin: Collaborating for Health Equity and a Better Future

Nancy Valentin is a creative, equity-focused leader who started her career at the Northwest Center in December 2013. She specializes in strategic planning and implementation of start-up projects that are both centered and led by community residents. Today, Nancy is a proud co-leader with the City of Chicago’s Department of Public Health for the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones, an initiative part of Healthy Chicago 2025 – the City’s community health improvement plan that outlines strategies to close this racial life expectancy gap. Nancy is an incoming MPH student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Nancy enjoys many hobbies, which include painting, photography, traveling, and writing. 

Presentation: Mpox: A Syndemic Outbreak

Taylor Holly, MPH, currently serves as an epidemiologist within the Syndemic Infectious Disease Bureau at the Chicago Department of Public Health. More specifically she works in HIV prevention, mpox, and viral hepatitis. Prior to her role at CDPH, she worked in pediatric hematology and oncology clinical research at Children's of Alabama. She received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion at Kent State University and then her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.