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Trainee Ambassador Group: 2015-2016

The Maternal & Child Health Bureau’s (MCHB) Division of MCH Workforce Development (DMCHWD) has established an ongoing vehicle for working collaboratively with trainees of the MCH Training Program through the Trainee Ambassador Group (TAG).


The goal of the TAG is to foster connections between trainees across the MCH Training Program, provide trainees with leadership development opportunities, and strengthen the link between trainees and MCHB.

Through the TAG, MCHB aims to accomplish the following:

  • Strengthen the link between trainees and MCHB
  • Increase awareness about the importance of utilizing and engaging trainees
  • Increase current trainee awareness/knowledge about the full range of training programs
  • Improve communication and collaboration among trainees within and across training programs
  • Facilitate connections between current and former trainees
  • Provide trainees with additional leadership development opportunities

Each cohort of the TAG will meet virtually for 12-15 months. The inaugural 15-month cohort will begin with a kick-off meeting in September 2015.

The TAG will provide trainees with the opportunity to conceptualize, develop, and lead efforts to facilitate trainee connections via activities such as a mentoring program, trainee forums, and collaborative research projects.

At the conclusion of each TAG cohort commitment, ambassadors will receive a small honorarium that will be based on their monthly participation, which is estimated to be 2-4 hours per month.


The TAG is composed of trainee representatives from a range of the DMCHWD’s graduate and undergraduate education programs including:

  • Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH)
  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND)
  • MCH Nutrition
  • MCH Pipeline
  • Pediatric Pulmonary Centers (PPC)
  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP)
  • Centers of Excellence in MCH (formerly the Schools of Public Health (SPH)
Thank you to the Inaugural
2015-2016 Trainee Ambassadors

The DMCHWD thanks the 10 trainees to serve as the inaugural 2015-2016 ambassadors.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


All TAG members must be current trainees or trainees that have graduated within the last 5 years. Applicants should demonstrate strong communication, cultural competency, and leadership skills as well as experience with mentoring (as a mentee or mentor) and organizing activities or programs. A 15-month commitment availability is required for all TAG members.

Applications for the next TAG cohort will be accepted in the latter part of 2016.


If you have questions or need further information,

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