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Trainee Ambassador Group: 2015-2016

From September 2015 to December 2016, the inaugural TAG cohort attended monthly virtual meetings and collaborated to develop trainee-focused products including an interactive plenary session at the Making Lifelong Connections (MLC16) Conference focused on utilizing social media to connect with mentors. The TAG also developed An Introduction to the MCH Training Program for Trainees by Trainees, a video to orient new trainees to the breadth of MCHB-funded MCH training programs. In the final months of this cohort, Ambassadors conceptualized an online mentoring resource to connect current and former MCH trainees across the United States. The 2017 TAG cohort will continue development of this initiate. The DMCHWD thanks the 10 trainees (below) for their service as the inaugural 2015-2016 ambassadors.

Thank you to the Inaugural
2015-2016 Trainee Ambassadors

Yuka Asada

Schools of Public Health (SPH) & Nutrition

Yuka Asada is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Health Research and Policy (IHRP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In this position, she works on a mixed methods USDA Cooperative Agreement project, where she conducts qualitative research on child nutrition and health policies related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. She recently completed a PhD in MCH UIC, as well as an internship with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Michelle Gin

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) & Schools of Public Health (SPH)

Michelle Gin is the Education and Policy Program Coordinator for the Program in Health Disparities Research housed in the University of Minnesota Medical School. She has earned her MPH from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health with Interdisciplinary Concentrations in (1) Public Health Policy (2) Health Disparities. Michelle was a pre-doctoral fellow through the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) grant. Her research focused on demographic and protective factor differences among Minnesota youth’s reasons for abstaining from sexual intercourse. Michelle has two major interest areas: (1) development of school-based intervention programs to promote healthy choices around adolescent reproductive health and (2) the humanitarian and environmental health consequences from nuclear weapons and radiation. For several years, she has worked in the U.S. and abroad to strengthen nuclear radiation regulations and abolish nuclear weapons through national and international policy.

Zach Goble

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND)

Zach Goble is a school psychologist in central Kentucky in his second year of practice. Zach earned his educational specialist degree in School Psychology from the University of Kentucky. While attending UK, he engaged in a hybrid LEND program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that allowed him to gain clinical experience on-site while meeting didactic requirements virtually. Zach has been heavily involved with the MCHB Making Lifelong Connections Annual Meeting, both as a presenter and a conference planning committee member. As a former trainee, Zach hopes to be able to use his varied experiences to help the Trainee Ambassador Group create a collaborative culture of learning for all current and former MCHB trainees as well as enhanced communication between training programs at the trainee level.

Priya Patel

Schools of Public Health (SPH)

Priya Patel is a second year Health Services MPH candidate at the University of Washington School of Public Health, specializing in maternal and child health. She is currently completing her program’s fall practicum as a Health Systems Strategy intern with the Louisiana Bureau of Family Health. She also serves as the Graduate Student Advisor for the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program at UW. After graduate school, Priya hopes to combine her previous experience as a Teach for America teacher with her public health knowledge and work on developing and implementing early childhood health initiatives.

Rebekah Savage

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH)

Dr. Rebekah Savage attended undergraduate and medical schools at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed a pediatric residency program at the University of North Carolina. She currently is in her third year of adolescent medicine fellowship and is a third-year LEAH medical fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has research and clinical interests in adolescent substance use. She currently studies substance use patterns of youth in the justice system. She also works in the Adolescent Health Center where she leads a quality improvement project on screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for adolescent substance use. She is involved in advocacy programs in and around the Birmingham, AL, area on substance use prevention in communities and schools.

Tammy H. Shikany

Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC)

Tammy Shikany is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Master of Arts in Health Education in conjunction with a certificate of completion of the MCHB Interdisciplinary Pediatric Pulmonary traineeship. Currently, she is a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Children’s of Alabama (COA) and is working on the Safe Sleep study and Cystic Fibrosis Airway Clearance pilot study. Tammy is actively involved with teaching asthma education and basic life support at COA. She hopes that her passion for teaching and mentoring will lead to a leadership position.

Britt Sutton

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND)

Britt Sutton is a JD candidate at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law specializing in health law. Prior to attending law school, Britt was an ABA therapist for children with autism spectrum disorders. She is currently a second year LEND Fellow at the Riley Child Development Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. During her time as a fellow, Britt has been researching the importance of medical-legal partnerships for children with disabilities and developing such a partnership for the Riley Child Development Center. In the future, Britt hopes to continue her career in advocacy work and medical-legal partnerships for children with special needs.

Arianna Taboada

MCH Pipeline & Schools of Public Health (SPH)

Arianna is a public health trained social worker and reproductive health research consultant. She currently works with new mothers and research institutions to implement and evaluate interventions for optimal maternal health outcomes, with a particular interest in culturally appropriate care, maternal mental health, and postpartum health. Arianna’s scientific contributions have been published in the International Journal of Health Equity, Advances in Social Work, and the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. She holds a Masters in Social Work and a Master’s of Science in Maternal & Child Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a post-graduate diploma from Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health. She is a former MCH Pipeline trainee with the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, as well as an MCH Social Work trainee through the UNC School of Social Work.

Alysa Vos

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND)

Alysa Vos is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and director of an organization that serves individuals with neurodevelopmental differences in Houston, TX. Alysa became a LoneStar LEND trainee in 2014 where she has worked towards building and sustaining interdisciplinary communication and collaboration and advocacy for persons with neurodevelopmental differences and special healthcare needs. As the 2015-2016 Association of University Centers on Disabilities Virtual Trainee, Alysa seeks to continue to strengthen the community of trainees within the network, and facilitate the engagement of trainees through information sharing, networking, social media, and other platforms.

Emily Whitgob

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP)

Emily Whitgob is a first year Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellow at Stanford University/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Before medical school, she was an elementary school special education teacher. She completed Pediatrics training at Stanford in 2015 and plans to continue the medical education projects she started while a resident, particularly in the area of educating medical students about intellectual disability. Her fellowship research will focus on children who are part of the child welfare system.


Links to PowerPoint PDF from TAG 2016

TAG 2015-16 Presentation at MLC 2016


Making Lifelong Connections Annual Meeting

Making Lifelong Connections Meeting Website


The Trainee Ambassador Group


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