On April 14, the Beta Chi Chapter of Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health at the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health inducted eight students, six alumni and a faculty and honorary member to its chapter. Beginning in 2009, this new chapter is now 148 members strong.
Dr. Vincent Lafronza, was inducted as an honorary member. As Chief Executive Officer of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), Dr. Lafronza provides leadership and direction on all NNPHI initiatives, and develops collaborative efforts with NNPHI’s numerous public health institutes and partners throughout the nation. Dedicated to the vision of improving the public’s health through innovation, NNPHI is the national membership network committed to helping public health institutes promote and sustain improved health and wellness for all. Dr. Lafronza began his career in health and human services in 1985. Prior to his current NNPHI appointment, Dr. Lafronza convened a winning team of colleagues to establish two nonprofit organizations, CommonHealth ACTION and the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHi), a public health institute serving the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia region. Previous appointments included a ten-year appointment with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) where he served as the program director for the Turning Point National Program Office and senior advisor to NACCHO programs, executing program portfolios in excess of $14 million. Before joining NACCHO, Dr. Lafronza held an appointment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in Atlanta, Georgia that involved providing technical assistance to U.S. communities affected by hazardous waste. Dr. Lafronza’s background in the fields of gerontology, behavioral health, community environmental health intervention, and public health systems development in communities, states, and American Indian/Alaska Native nations inform his perspectives and approaches.
Dr. Andreas Handel was inducted as a faculty member. Dr. Handel is an Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health. He also serves as Associate Department Head and Graduate Coordinator. He earned his PhD in Physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in computational Biology at Emory University. His research focuses on the spread and control of infectious diseases, mainly influenza, tuberculosis and norovirus. He uses mathematical models, computational simulations and statistical analysis to understand the dynamics of pathogens on different spatial and temporal scales. The ultimate goal of his work is to help design better intervention and control strategies against infectious diseases, both for individual patients and on the population level.
New members: (pictured) Dr. Sabrina Cherry, Angela Adams, Dr. Reagan Tuff, Dr. Andreas Handel, Dr. Leonardo Martinez, Dr. Kathy Xue, Jackie Tachman, Dr. Deanna Walters, Rachel Glisson, Jaimie Shing, Skarlet Velasquez, and Quynh-vu Dinh (not pictured) Ryan Augustine, Robert Hood, and Dr. George Khalil.
Officers include: president, Dr. Jessica Muilenburg, associate professor and health promotion graduate coordinator, Georgia; vice-president, Ms. Nina Cleveland, MPH/DrPH practice coordinator, Georgia; and secretary/treasurer, Dr. Mumbi Okundaye, MPH program director, Georgia.