Public Health, Spring 1998

Alumni Sampler Class notes
Hatcher Award for Excellence in Public Health
A booster for public health
McQueen's management
Alumni Weekend

Class Notes

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Thomas Prol ('97) as a volunteer in Nepal.


Marc A. Maslanka, MPH, 79A, has been selected Physician Assistant of the Year by the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA), the highest honor bestowed by the association. For ten years, Maslanka has been the administrator of protocol development and research at Emory Orthopaedics, and he has held numerous key positions in GAPA. In 1995, he served as president, and currently he is chairman of GAPA's Political Action Committee and regional contact liaison for the Atlanta area.


Lucy C. Willis, MPH, 87MN, is a continuum care manager at Birmingham Baptist Medical Center at Princeton.


Felix Rogers, MPH, received his PhD in epidemiology from the University of South Carolina School of Public Health in December. His dissertation examined the relationship between very low birthweight and maternal exposure to sulfur diox ide from geographically identified release sites.


Jennifer Kurmaskie, MD, MPH, has moved from the Washington, DC, area to a Navajo reservation in Arizona to take a position as a public health physician. Her employer is the Indian Health Service at the Kayenta Health Center.


Tracy Lynn Jensen, MPH, MBA, recently accepted a new position with the Health Care Financing Administration as a program coordinator. She serves as a liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies as well as the White House.


Stacey Levitt Hill, MPH, 89A, gave birth to a daughter, Sarah Danielle, on August 29, 1997. Hill is an osteoporosis specialty representative for Merck & Co.


Michelle Berrey, MPH, 95MD, 88C, 86Ox, is a fellow in infectious diseases at the University of Washington. Working with a noted virologist, she is studying the effects of treatment for HIV during the first days of infection on the pres ervation of the immune system. This past spring, Dr. Berrey and her husband, Darren Womble, celebrated the birth of their first child, Elena Marie Womble.

Pamela Lipis Glinsky, MPH, and her husband, George Glinsky, announce the birth of their son, Solomon Maximo, on June 15, 1997. Max's mom develops nutrition education materials for NutriFit Inc., and serves as a marketing consultant for Global Concepts, Inc.

Michael Lischke, MD, MPH, 90C, and Aimee Soricelli Lischke, 92C, announce the birth of their firstborn, Andrew Michael, in October 1997. Check out these stats: he weighed 8 lbs. and 15 oz., and was more than 22 inches tall.


Taylor Uhlhorn Laird, MPH, 92C, and her husband, David Laird, 93M, had a Valentine's Day baby, Walker Saucier, born in 1997. Taylor Laird, who received an MSSW from the University of Tennessee in May 1997, is a social worker at the Chi ld Advocacy Center in Memphis, Tenn., and David Laird is in his fifth and last year of a residency in general surgery. He begins a tour in the Air Force in July.


Elizabeth Clark Athanassiades, MPH, has a new daughter, Katherine Laura Athanassiades. born on June 15, 1997.

Astrid Kozel, MPH, a community health coordinator, married Dan Dretler in November.

Laura A. Klug, MPH, a computer specialist and epidemiologist with TRW, Inc., married Larry Conn in May of 1997. They now live in Suwanee, Ga.

Naomi Maruta, MPH, 94MBA, is a corporate financial analyst for the pharmaceutical division of Monsanto Life Sciences in its U.S. division.

Winifred Chapman Smith, MPH, a program coordinator at Morehouse School of Medicine, has a new son, Brian K. Smith Jr. Brian arrived at 9:40 AM at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, weighing 7 lbs., 1 oz.


Scott W. Connolly has a new baby girl, born in December 1997. The new arrival, "Lena" Eleanor Brink Connolly, weighed 8 lbs. and 14 oz.

Karolyn Carr Diamond, MPH, 85N, announces the birth of twin boys--Harry Tobias and William Lev--on December 22, 1997.

Lyle McCormick, MPH, is a data manager coordinator for the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

Kate Paulsen, MPH, is the associate director of Open Gates Dyslexia Program at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


Jennifer Borak, MPH, married Christopher Wheeler in March 1997. They are living in Newmarket, New Hampshire, where Jennifer is director of cancer detection and education at the American Cancer Society.

Dinamarie Cruz Garcia, MPH, CHES, is a second-year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine. She anticipates graduation in May of 2000.


Arian Boutwell Hadley, MPH, married Jay Hadley last August. The Hadleys are now located in the Washington, DC, area.

Last May, the stork visited Ndeye Aissatou Diack Mbaye, MPH, a health coordinator at Plau International, and her husband, Taibou Mbaye, bringing them a new baby girl, Nancy.

Amy Mehaffie, MPH, is a program coordinator and health educator at the University of Michigan Health Education Resource Center.

Thomas Hoff Prol, MPH, 89Ox, 92C, has finished two years of Peace Corps work in Nepal and is now employed by the U.S. Environmental Agency in New York. He also attends New York University Law School. Prol has been on an environmental l aw track since he served as co-president of the undergraduate environmental group at Emory University. "I am still driven by how crucial the environmental movement is in meeting public health challenges now and in the future," he writes.

Prol's other focus is human rights. While working at The Carter Center, he was introduced to human rights issues, but as he spent time in impoverished villages in Nepal, he got a closer look at these issues. He is now focusing on how to apply himself i n the arenas of environmental law and human rights.

Phoebe Gates Thorpe, MPH, is currently attending the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.


Michelle MacDonald, MPH, is working as a data coordinator at STATPROBE, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Richard Edward Peck, MPH, passed away in India in June 1997.

Charles R. Hatcher Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Health

Public health and medicine leader Dallas Hall is this year's recipient of the Charles R. Hatcher Jr. Award.

Last year, the Rollins School of Public Health recognized Charles R. Hatcher Jr., former vice president for health affairs and director of The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, for his long service t o and support of public health. In his honor, the school created the Charles R. Hatcher Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Health to annually recognize the work of a faculty member of the Health Sciences Center who exemplifies excellence in public health.

This year's honor goes to W. Dallas Hall Jr., who recently retired as professor in the Emory School of Medicine, director of Emory's Division of Hypertension, and director of the Center for Clinical Research. Hall's studies of how to best treat hyperte nsion in African Americans are well known, and he is co-author of Hypertension in Blacks (1985), the authoritative source on this subject. In 1988, he convened an interdisciplinary conference on hypertension in blacks that has become an annua l, international event co-sponsored by worldwide health organizations.

Hall is a public health and medicine leader who has served as principal or co-principal investigator on ten NIH grants and as investigator on 18. He has received an additional 57 grants from pharmaceutical firms to test drugs for hypertension and relat ed conditions. Until his retirement, he also was the principal investigator of the Emory component of the ongoing Women's Health Initiative, the largest study of women's health ever undertaken. Twice, Hall was named Outstanding Professor of Clinical Medic ine at Emory.

"Dr. Hall has exemplified excellence in public health," says Dean James Curran, "through his understanding of the interdependence of theory and practice on the human condition."

A Booster for Public Health

Cochi (r) hopes to follow up the polio eradication effort with a similar campaign to wipe out measles.

When Stephen Cochi changed his career direction from clinical medicine to public health, friends asked, You don't want to be a real doctor any more? But for Cochi, the call of preventive medicine became stron ger than his interest in practicing as a curative physician. "The public health approach to a problem is more intangible than in clinical medicine," Cochi says. "However, there is the potential to have a much greater impact on many more people."

The school presented Cochi with its second Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award this past fall. Among Cochi's many contributions to public health, the award recognized his efforts as chief of polio eradication activity in the National Immunization Pr ogram at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cochi, with an MD from Duke, completed residency training in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1980, when he accepted a position as staff pediatrician with the Indian Health Service in Gallup, New Mexico. Suddenly, instead of treating onl y individual patients, as he was trained to do, Cochi was confronted with an entire population that needed health services. "This experience taught me the relevance of prevention," Cochi says.

Following his new interest, Cochi joined the CDC in 1982 to train in epidemiology, what he calls "the science of public health." He gravitated toward childhood infectious diseases and vaccines, serving first as an epidemic intelligence service officer, then as a preventive medicine resident. He next was medical epidemiologist for the division of bacterial diseases and medical epidemiologist for the division of immunization, of which he became chief of infant immunizations in 1989.

After working for ten years in the CDC trenches with a narrow focus, Cochi felt he needed a booster dose of broader public health issues. "I wanted to see the bigger picture, to put what I was doing in a larger context." He enrolled in the MPH program at the Rollins School of Public Health, receiving his degree in 1993.

As CDC's leader of this worldwide effort to eradicate polio, Cochi directs a $47 million annual program with more than 40 employees, who provide technical and programmatic support as well as vaccine grants to the initiative that is being led by the Wor ld Health Organization. The immunization effort recently passed 1,000 days toward the target date for worldwide eradication of polio (December 31, 2000).

To reach the goal, Cochi and his colleagues need to vaccinate as high a proportion of the world's children as possible. Unlike smallpox, the only other disease to have been completely eradicated, polio can work silently, infecting a child but showing n o visible marks.

For every paralytic polio case, there are 100 to 1,000 silently infected children, according to Cochi. For that reason, the vaccinators' approach is to increase routine coverage as well as to supplement that coverage with nationwide immunization days i n affected countries. With a good tracking and surveillance system, the public health effort finds the location of new cases and tries to determine why the disease is still spreading in those areas. Possible causes include migration of populations, which increases the numbers of children who miss the national immunization program.

"The final death blow will come in a house-to-house search for the disease," Cochi says.

Cochi is already gearing up for an anticipated worldwide measles eradication effort that will dovetail with this campaign should the World Health Assembly decide to pursue measles eradication worldwide. Although the measles vaccine has been available s ince 1963, some 1 million deaths still occur worldwide each year from the disease.

McQueen's Management

The first representative from the school to serve on the Association of Emory Alumni's Board of Governors, McQueen recently accepted the president-elect position for the 1998-99 year.

In 1980, when the Reagan White House drastically eliminated funding for public health initiatives, Rebecca McQueen, 79MPH, 76C, thought it was doomsday for her field. She was working with a former state epide miologist on research projects for the former Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and other agencies hard hit by the new administration cuts.

But what looked like doom turned into opportunity for McQueen, who hired on as an assistant administrator of a managed care group in Atlanta. That move marked the start of McQueen's career in managed care that has now lasted close to 20 years and catap ulted her to the head of a division of a national managed care company and HMO. "Although I've pursued a career track that falls out of the strictly traditional public health arena, my public health background has served me well," says McQueen.

Shortly after graduating in one of the first classes to earn degrees at the Rollins School of Public Health, McQueen became assistant administrator for the Prudential Health Plan/PruCare Atlanta, a group model HMO. She was one of the founders of the So uthCare Medical Alliance in Atlanta, serving as its senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) from 1985 to 1994. SouthCare was the largest provider-owned PPO in Atlanta in the early nineties, made up of more than 500,000 members.

McQueen's next move took her to the PROMINA Northwest Health Network, a physician hospital organization with five hospitals and 750 physicians. As president and CEO, she was responsible for all managed care contracting and the administration of benefit s to 13,000 members in self-insured HMO plans.

A merger led to a larger company, the PROMINA Health System's managed care organization and PROMINA Health Plan, Inc. in Atlanta. McQueen stepped in as vice president of operations and COO. In this role, she was administrator for all managed care opera tions of this integrated health system, also overseeing the development of the infrastructure and all operations of the HMO with more than 27,000 members.

Last fall, McQueen returned to what she considers home, the panhandle of Florida, where she spend her growing up years. As executive director of the Pensacola division of Principal Health Care of Florida, Inc., a managed care company and HMO with a ser vice area including the panhandle of Florida and South Alabama, she brings a wealth of experience to running the day-to-day operations of this company.

Although McQueen has returned home, she still makes frequent commutes to Atlanta to serve on the Association of Emory Alumni (AEA) Board of Governors. Along with Mary Prince, 79MPH, she was the first representative on the AEA from the Rollins School of Public Health. Currently, McQueen is chairman of the Service to and from Alumni Committee, and she has accepted the president-elect position for the 1998-99 year, which means she will be president of the association as it marks the millennium.

"This work gives me a chance to brag on the school," says McQueen. "Three or four years ago, it was much less known, but I've been proud to see how its influence and reputation has grown. I'm proud of it." One of her goals as president-elect is to act as a liaison between the larger alumni association and the individual school's associations.

Alumni Weekend

Last fall's Alumni Weekend was cause for a reunion for Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations Renee Jensrud and Tina Rizack (top r), and Brigette Finkelstein and Sarah Landis (middle r, l to r), who attended an evening reception, wh ere Stephen Cochi (above) received the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from Dean James Curran.

Alumnus Scott Connolly brought his daughter, Lucille, for an early introduction to his school.



Students, including Shelia Campbell-Forrester (l) and Diona Cheng (r), participated in a panel discussion with alumni.

Spring 1998 Issue | Dean's Message | Asthma Zappers | Cyber Class | Go Girls & Eat for Life
Flagging Cancer | School Sampler | Philanthropy | Alumni Sampler

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