Sustainable Global Health Initiatives Speakers

William Tierney, MD, FACMI, FIAHSI

Indiana University, Fairbanks School of Public Health

Twitter: @wtierney51

William Tierney, MD is a general internist, the associate dean for Population Health & Health Outcomes, and professor in the Department of Global Health in the Fairbanks School of Public Health. Dr. Tierney served as the founding Chair for the Department of Population Health at University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School from 2016-2020. Prior to moving to Texas in 2016, he was on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine for 35 years where his roles included Associate Dean for Comparative Effectiveness Research, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Eskenazi Health (the nation’s 4th largest safety net health system), and President/CEO of the Regenstrief Institute. Throughout his career, Dr. Tierney has helped develop and assess the impact of electronic health record systems and innovative approaches to health care in Indiana, Texas, and East Africa (mainly Kenya, but also Tanzania and Uganda). From 1998-2010 he served as founding Director of Biomedical Informatics and Research for the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH). Dr. Tierney was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006 and mastership in the American College of Physicians in 2008. He was elected Fellow by the Royal College of Physicians of London, the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics, and the American College of Medical Informatics and is currently serving as President of the latter.

Gordon Shen, PhD, SM

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health

Twitter: @GordonShen

Dr. Shen is an Assistant Professor of Health Care Management at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. He is a member of the Management, Policy, and Community Health Department and an affiliate of the George McMillan Fleming Center of Healthcare Management. Prior to joining UTHealth in 2019, he was an Assistant Professor at the City University of New York (Brooklyn College, 2015-2016; Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, 2016-2018). His research is focused broadly on managerial innovations, particularly ones that are introduced to health care organizations located in low- and middle-income countries. This entails a deep understanding of customization, culture, and context. His empirical examinations include deinstitutionalization of mental health care globally, hospital management in China, and kaizen adoption by the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation. Across cases, he offers theoretical explanations drawn from organizational theory and international development. He holds a B.S. in psychobiology and public health (2005, University of California, Los Angeles), a S.M. in epidemiology (2007, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), and a Ph.D. in health services and policy analysis (2013, University of California, Berkeley). He was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Public Health in 2014.

Helen K. Valier, DrPH

University of Houston

Helen K. Valier, Ph.D. is the director of the health humanities program at the Honors College at the University of Houston, and adjunct professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Science in the College of Medicine. Born and raised in the UK, she holds an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Cambridge, as well as graduate degrees in the history and philosophy of science, technology, and medicine from the University of Manchester, where she completed her PhD in 2002. Winner of several teaching awards, she has taught extensively on the history of health and disease in both the UK and the US. She is also an active researcher and writer and was the recipient of the 2018 McGovern Award for Excellence in Biomedical Communication, given by the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), Southwest Chapter, for her recent book, Cancer, Men, and Medicine: A History of Prostate Cancer (Palgrave, 2016). Dr Valier is also a frequent contributor to local public media, with appearances including KUHF’s, Houston Matters, and PBS Channel 8, Manor of Speaking.

Andrew Springer, DrPH

UTHealth School of Public Health-Austin, Dell Center for Healthy Living

Andrew Springer, DrPH is a tenured Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the UTHealth School of Public Health-Austin (UTSPH), with over 20 years of experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of child and adolescent health promotion programs.  Dr. Springer completed his undergraduate studies at Wittenberg University in Ohio and graduate and post-doctoral studies at University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, Texas.  He embraces an active community health praxis, which includes his role as co-chair of the Community Collaborative for Child Health and service on community health boards that include the Austin/Travis Community Health Improvement Plan.  Dr. Springer’s global health practice experience includes service with the nonprofit Amigos de las Americas as Director of Latin American Programs, in which he developed and oversaw youth-led community health programs in eight Latin American countries; Evaluation Specialist with Save the Children in El Salvador; and Program Fellow with the United Nations Development Programme in Guatemala.  Recent adolescent and community health research include the ¡Activate Ya! study, an NIH-funded study aimed at preventing tobacco use and promoting physical activity with Uruguayan adolescents; the Youth-Led Community Health Learning Initiative, a youth-led community health assessment in partnership with two central Texas communities; and evaluation of Stronger Austin. In addition to his faculty position at UTSPH, Dr. Springer holds an adjunct faculty position at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia, where he has been teaching a health promotion planning course in the Master of Health Psychology program since 2015.

Maria E. Fernandez, PhD

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health

Twitter: @Maria_e_prof

Dr. Fernandez is Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at UTSPH. She is the Director of the Texas Prevention Research Center (PRC) and the PI of the CDC-funded Comprehensive Colorectal Cancer Screening (CRCS) Program. Her research focuses on chronic disease prevention and control among underserved populations and she has a long history of funding (as PI) from NIH, CDC, and WHO. She has been PI on intervention studies to increase CRCS, breast and cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination. She has extensive expertise in research translation and dissemination and implementation (D&I) research. She has been a member of the NIH D&I Research in Health Study Section, and served as faculty for the NCI-sponsored Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health, and several other D&I training programs. She has developed tools and measures for implementation research and practice including implementation strategies to increase HPV vaccination in clinical and community settings. She has also developed and evaluated an online tool to facilitate adoption, adaptation, and implementation of evidence-based cancer prevention programs. She leads a study to develop and validate a measure of organizational readiness for implementation. She is an expert on Intervention Mapping and authored an article on the use of IM in implementation science. She is an experienced mentor and her trainees have contributed widely to cancer prevention and control, implementation science, and health promotion.

Christine Markham, PhD

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health

Twitter: @UTexasSPH

Dr. Markham is Professor and Interim Department Chair of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and Deputy Director of the University of Texas Prevention Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. She has over 30 years’ experience in health promotion and behavioral sciences research regarding HIV and STI treatment and prevention, including determinants studies, intervention development, program evaluation, dissemination and implementation research. She has served as PI, Co-PI, and Co-I on multiple NIH-, CDC-, and other federally funded HIV and STI prevention and self-management studies. She has directed multiple rigorous evaluation trials to develop and evaluate adolescent HIV prevention programs, including It’s Your Game…Keep It Real, recognized by the USDHHS as an effective HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention program for middle school students in the US. She has HIV-related research experience in E Africa and S.E. Asia on NIH Fogarty, PEPFAR, and CFAR-funded projects. From 2011-2013, she served as Associate Director and then Co-Director for the UTSPH’s NIH Fogarty-funded AIDS International Training and Research Program, which provided capacity-building in HIV research for pre- and post-doctoral fellows, investigators, and healthcare providers in Africa and Vietnam. Having trained in anthropology, she is experienced in qualitative research and mixed methods studies. She has extensive experience in Intervention Mapping, a systematic framework for developing and implementing theory- and evidence-based health promotion programs, having taught graduate level courses and workshops on Intervention Mapping nationally and internationally.

Bhavna Lall, MD

University of Houston College of Medicine

Twitter: @lall_bhavna

Bhavna Lall, MD, MPH, MPA is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the University of Houston College of Medicine. Dr. Lall is an internal medicine physician with a diverse background in global public health, medicine, and public administration. Previously, she has worked as a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s and Faulkner Hospital and as an internal medicine hospitalist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. During this
time, she was also faculty at Harvard Medical School as an Instructor of Medicine. She completed her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis, her Master of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed her MD degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Lall completed her internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and also has a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In the past, Dr. Lall served as a medical officer with the Peace Corps at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. She has also provided clinical service in Thailand, Uganda, Austria, and the U.K. and worked on public health projects and initiatives in India, the Caribbean region, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Prior positions have also included management work in non-profits, health care consulting, and industry. Dr. Lall has a strong interest in bridging gaps between public health and medicine, access to care issues, low-cost diagnostics and addressing global public health challenges and healthcare disparities.