National Summit for Health Communication


Thursday, May 13th: Speakers, Panelists & Discussion Hosts


Tabia Akintobi Tabia Akintobi
Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and Associate Dean of Community Engagement,
Morehouse School of Medicine 


Tabia Henry Akintobi, PhD, MPH is Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and Associate Dean of Community Engagement at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta Georgia. She is social behavioral scientist with a Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Public Health from the University of Miami and University of South Florida, respectively. As Principal Investigator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Prevention Research Center she demonstrates leadership in local, national and global community-based participatory approaches and research addressing health disparities. She leads or collaborates in several federal and privately-funded initiatives that model community-driven research, including but not limited to the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance, Georgia Center for Diabetes Translational Research and The Center for Translational Research in Health Disparities. She is Community Engagement Senior Advisor for The National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN): Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Vulnerable Populations, a network that will be leveraged, given its complementary approaches focused on health communication, rather than the COVID-19 testing strategies, specific to the proposed project. She is also the principal investigator for Georgia CEAL, that state Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities, designed to understand factors that contribute to the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 in Black and LatinX communities through establishment of community-led research and outreach response, with a particular emphasis on vaccine communication, confidence and uptake.


Jay Bernhardt

Jay Bernhardt
Dean, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin Founder, Society for Health Communication

Dr. Jay Bernhardt is the Dean of the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest and highest ranked colleges of communication in the country. Jay was the Founding Director of the UT Center for Health Communication and he holds the Walter Cronkite Regents Chair and the DeWitt Carter Reddick Regents Chair in Communication. Before UT, Jay served as Chair, Professor, and Center Director at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and he previously served on the faculty of Emory University in Atlanta and the University of Georgia in Athens. From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Bernhardt served as Director of the National Center for Health Marketing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, managing a staff of more than 500 and a budget of more than $100 million. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He serves on numerous national boards and editorial board, is a member of six honor societies, and has received numerous awards for his scholarship and leadership. 


Shahd HuseinShahd Husein
Communications Associate, Society for Health Communication
Shahd Husein joined the Society for Health Communication in 2017 and is currently the Communications Associate for the group. In this role, she assists with external communications initiatives, manages our social media channels, and maintains the events and jobs board. 
Outside of the Society, Shahd works for Oscar Health on their marketing and communications efforts. She holds a master’s degree in public health with a focus in health communication from Tufts University School of Medicine, and previously attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her bachelor’s degree.
Shahd is passionate about health promotion and education and has particular interest in mental health and conversations focused on diversity, inclusion, and belonging.


Lenora JohnsonLenora Johnson
Director of the Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education, and Communications
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Lenora E. Johnson, Dr.PH., M.P.H., is Director of the Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education, and Communications, at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For the past fifteen years she has focused her expertise and training in behavioral science on translating the research generated by NIH funded investments for use and preferably adoption by those for whom it is most beneficial which has included patients, caregivers, health care professionals, policy makers, advocacy organizations, the media, and organizations serving as intermediaries between research and their constituents.

Lenora earned her master’s degree in public health from Emory University and her doctorate degree from George Washington University. Dr. Johnson joined NHLBI in December of 2013 having spent most of her tenure at NIH with the National Cancer Institute, providing more than a decade of leadership service. For 30 years she directed initiatives focusing on minority health, research dissemination, reducing health disparities, global surveillance of health risk behaviors, broadening states’ capacity for social marketing, and capacity building for health promotion and public health education programming. She has extensive experience in working at the national and local levels translating health information into materials, messages, and interventions that reach populations most vulnerable to diseases that are most prevalent in the country.


Erin NorvellErin Norvell
Executive Director, Society for Health Communication

Erin Norvell is a senior health marketing and communication professional with more than 10 years of experience working with mission-driven organizations. She played a key role in high-profile government public health initiatives, including serving as the Director of New Media and Strategic Communications for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and a New Media Analyst for White House Office of Digital Strategy, where she served as the liaison for health-related digital projects, including health care implementation, the H1N1 response, and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.  Erin also worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she helped found the agency’s first agency-wide social media strategy. Erin serves at the Executive Director for the Society for Health Communication.


Stacy Robison

Stacy Robison
President and Co-Founder CommunicateHealth, Inc.
Advisory Board Member, Society for Health Communication

A self-proclaimed health literacy geek and an expert in clear communication, Stacy is responsible for leading CommunicateHealth’s content and creative excellence. Since co-founding the company at the age of 30, Stacy has been recognized as an innovative business leader by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Healthcare News, among other media outlets, discussing a variety of issues from entrepreneurship to health behavior change.


Allison RoddenAlison Rodden
CEO, Hispanic Communications Network

 Alison Rodden specializes in social marketing solutions designed to improve quality of life for US Hispanic/Latinx communities. With over 20 years of experience delivering culturally driven strategies, she connects government agencies, nonprofits, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) entities with Hispanic/Latinx consumers using audience-focused approaches that enhance clients’ branding, marketing and PR efforts while addressing social determinants of health affecting priority Hispanic/Latinx audiences.
Alison is the CEO of Hispanic Communications Network, an in-culture + in-language marketing, PR and communications agency with its own La Red Hispana multimedia networks, where HCN serves as the largest producer and syndicator of Spanish-language health and public interest media content in the US with a measured audience of 8+ million consumers weekly. She is responsible for managing complex, multi-disciplinary work groups to research, plan, develop and execute local, regional and national initiatives and programming that reach diverse Hispanic/Latinx populations in urban, mid-sized and rural markets throughout mainland US and Puerto Rico.

Terry Savage

Terry Savage
President, Society for Health Communication
Vice President, Westat

An expert in research-driven communication, Terry is a vice president and associate director at Westat, managing a team that focuses on social marketing, digital/social media, information dissemination, communications research, product and campaign development and implementation, partner/stakeholder engagement, multicultural communications, and website and application development projects.

Prior to her role at Westat, she served as vice president at Eagle Design and Management, Low and Associates, and Berns and Kay. She has served on the Society’s steering committee since 2017. Terry holds a Master’s degree in Communication from Johns Hopkins University and in Women’s Studies from George Washington University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia. 


Maria Thacker GoetheMaria Thacker Goethe
CEO, Center for Global Health Innovation
President & CEO, Georgia Bio

 Maria Thacker Goethe is the founding CEO of The Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI), an Atlanta-based organization formed in 2020 from the merger of Georgia’s major global health and life sciences organizations. CGHI was established as an impartial, leading organizer of the global health, life sciences and health technology community which embraces cross-sector collaboration and speaks with a collective voice.

Maria is also the president and CEO of Georgia Bio, a role she has held since Feb. 2019, after spending more than 12 years actively building the organization into one of the state’s top bioscience and MedTech associations. Under her leadership, the Georgia Global Health Alliance, BioEd Institute and Global Health Crisis Coordination Center were established and now reside within CGHI.

Prior to Georgia Bio, Maria participated in a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in environmental investigations, working closely with the National Center of Environmental Health in Chemical Demilitarization. Maria serves on the board of the CJD Foundation, Southeast Life Sciences Association, and KSU Research Foundation, and as vice chair for the Council of State Bioscience Associations. Most recently, she was named to Georgia Trend magazine’s 2021 “100 Most Influential Georgians” list. Additionally, Maria has volunteered for 11 years with the Junior League of Atlanta.


Rachel TyreeRachel Tyree
Communications and Community Relations Director, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention,
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Rachel Tyree is the communications and community relations director for the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. She oversees the award-winning media and public education campaigns for the department’s Health Promotion Bureau. Areas of focus include tobacco control and prevention and nutrition education and physical activity promotion. She just launched the department’s first-ever dental health media and public education campaign. Her past work also includes overseeing the creative execution and implementation of the department’s first-ever opioids addiction prevention and treatment, and teen marijuana use prevention campaigns.

In addition, Ms. Tyree serves on the department’s Incident Command for COVID-19 responsible for the media relations and community outreach for the Acute Communicable Disease Division. In this role, Ms. Tyree provides counsel for media strategies related to outbreak response as well as the implementation of the vaccine phase of the pandemic. She also led the creation and implementation for the media campaign to accompany a COVID symptom surveillance survey, Angelenos in Action, a voluntary weekly text-based survey of county residents.



Friday, May 14th - Speakers, Panelists & Discussion Hosts


Imran AhmedImran Ahmed
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Center for Countering Digital Hate
Imran Ahmed founded the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in December 2017. He advises the UK government on counter-extremism and disinformation and appears in US and international media as an expert in online malignant behaviour (identity-based hate; misinformation; extremism; fake news; trolling; and social media). Imran Mr Ahmed is also a trustee of the charity, Victim Support. Imran He holds an MA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Tesfa Alexandar
 Tesfa Alexandar 
Director, Division of Research & Evaluation Food and Drug Administration

Tesfa N. Alexander, PhD is the Director of the Division of Research and Evaluation in the Office of Health Communication and Education at the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this role, Dr. Alexander leads a team of social and health scientists who are responsible for developing the scientific foundation for CTP’s public education campaigns and other health communication initiatives. The Division of Research and Evaluation is also responsible for measuring the public health impact of CTP’s health communication activities. Dr. Alexander has extensive experience designing and conducting research studies that draw on theories and methods from multiple disciplines, including social science and marketing, to develop innovative public education and behavior change programs. Before joining FDA, he held positions at well-known non-profit organizations and marketing/advertising agencies where he provided thought leadership in analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, generating insights, and developing comprehensive reports of findings for use by senior officials, analysts and marketing specialists in the development of national public health programs and effective behavior change marketing tools. Dr. Alexander also currently serves as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.


Hansa BhargavaHansa Bhargava
Senior Medical Director, WebMD & Medscape

Hansa Bhargava, MD, is a Senior Medical Director at WebMD and Medscape. At WebMD, she works on content, innovative digital products, news, and education that can meet the patient where they are. She oversees a team of experts and ensures accuracy and relevancy of content. 

Working closely with the Editorial, Product, and News teams, she helps develop content from start to finish. Interested in parenting, mental health, and pregnancy, she has helped develop products such as the Baby App, Pregnancy App, and Symptom Checker and has published on digitally monitoring pregnancy and outcomes. Additionally, she has helped with partnerships, including those with the University of Alabama, Jed Foundation, CDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She often serves as an expert in media, including CNN, HLN, Politico, NPR, Vice, and WSJ Radio, and regularly appears on Fox 5 Atlanta and has a weekly segment on Fox KTVU.

Virginia BrownVirginia Brown
Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health, Dell Medical School, UT Austin

Virginia A. Brown, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Dell Medical School in the Department of Population Health and a courtesy assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

She earned her master’s degree in philosophy with a concentration in ethics and public policy and her doctorate in sociology with concentrations in race, class, gender and medical sociology. Her areas of interest include the structural determinants of health, (conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age) and their influence on health and health care outcomes. Through the theoretical lens of historical materialism, she seeks to disrupt how the social and political structures contribute to the formation and reformation of racial bias in health and health care. By incorporating the principles of human-centered design and health care ethics into CBPR (community-based participatory research), she works to engage social service organizations, foundations, researchers and any collaborates who seek to improve the health outcomes of those most affected in Austin-Travis County, Texas.

As a researcher in population health, she looks to combine her work as a clinical ethicist and medical sociologist to expand not only researchers’ understanding of research ethics, but also to enhance the way the ethical review of research (led at UT Austin by the Internal Review Board) extends protections from the individual to the collective. She also teaches an honors course titled Ethics in Medicine and Society to upper-level honors students in the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin.

Michael Grela

Michael Grela
Vice President, Society for Health Communication
Executive Vice President, Head of Reputation & Social Impact, Evoke KYNE

Michael is a passionate and creative health communicator with more than 10 years’ experience working with government, non-profits and the private sector to create lasting impact in health. He currently oversees client engagements in global public health, corporate reputation and social impact, serving as the agency’s in-house social impact specialist.

As part of his role, Michael is responsible for shaping the agency’s own reputation-driving initiatives including social impact and corporate giving strategies, goals and programs. He also leads the agency’s Reputation team, which manages all Evoke KYNE communications, positioning/branding, awards and publications, thought leadership, social media and related employee engagement.

Michael has experience working across many therapeutic areas including in Ebola, malaria, HIV/AIDS, oncology, hemophilia and tobacco control. During his tenure at Evoke KYNE he has overseen engagements in the U.S., Africa, and globally, including work with the CDC Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Foundation. Previously he was an account supervisor at Hill+Knowlton Strategies New York, where he supported U.S. and global engagements.


Soon Me KimSoon Me Kim

Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Executive Vice President
Omnicom Public Relations Group

Soon Mee Kim is executive vice president and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Omnicom Public Relations Group, the world’s leading communications agenciesacross a broad array of industries and specialties. As part of Omnicom Group and the Omnicom People Engagement Network (OPEN) leadership team,

Recognized as an industry pacesetter and culture creator, Soon Mee was most recently executive vice president and Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader for Porter Novelli, the global purpose communications consultancy within the Omnicom network.

A dreamer and a doer, Soon Mee is passionate about the power of the workplace to drive societal impact. In 2020, she was named an ADCOLOR Legend, as well as PRWEEK Hall of Femme honoree. PROVOKE (formerly The Holmes Report) recognized her with the Innovation Achievement SABRE Award in 2021 and as a Top 25 Innovator for the Americas in 2019; and ColorComm honored her with a prestigious ColorComm Circle Award in 2019. Soon Mee spearheaded the best agency diversity initiatives for 2018 and 2019 as determined by PRWEEK and the PR Council, and was named Agency Diversity Champion of the Year in 2018. She initiated an industry -wide diversity pledge aimed at transforming her industry to be inclusive of all forms of diversity.

Soon Mee is an active board member, volunteer and advisor to numerous organizations which advance underrepresented professionals within the business and marketing communications industry, or support students exploring their purpose and pastoral ministry. She serves on the board of ColorComm, the advisory council for the Diversity Action Alliance, the board of The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF), and the Forum for Theological Education (FTE). She created an online mentorship community called Mentor Monday. In her local community, she serves on the editorial advisory board of Atlanta Magazine, the advisory board of the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, the board of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, and is a dedicated volunteer with Leadership Atlanta, the city’s preeminent leadership development organization.

Ashani Johnson-Turbes

Ashani Johnson-Turbes
Global Communications, Director of Performance & Intelligence, McDonald’s Corporation
Steering Committee Member, Society for Health Communication
Ashani is an experienced social scientist with a successful history working in the management consulting industry. She has a long history as a strong research professional with a MA and PhD in Political Science with concentration in Public Policy and Quantitative Methods. She blends her academic training in Political and Policy Science with years of work in Communication, Social Marketing, Public Health, Research Design, Data Science and Program Evaluation. Ashani is deeply committed to lifelong learning and servant leadership to mentor and support others.
Julie RovnerJulie Rovner
Chief Washington Correspondent, Kaiser Health News
Host, "What the Health" Podcast


Julie Rovner is Chief Washington Correspondent for Kaiser Health News and host of the all-women panelist podcast, KHN’s “What the Health?”

Prior to joining KHN in 2014, she spent 15 years as health policy correspondent for NPR, specializing in the politics of health care. Rovner served as NPR's lead correspondent covering the passage and implementation of the 2010 health overhaul bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

A noted expert on health policy issues, Rovner is the author of a critically-praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z. Rovner is also co-author of the book Managed Care Strategies 1997, and has contributed to several other books, including two chapters in Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy, edited by political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann.

In 2005, Rovner was awarded the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress for her coverage of the passage of the Medicare prescription drug law and its aftermath. Rovner has appeared on television on the PBS NewsHour, CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, and NBC Nightly News. Her articles have appeared in dozens of national newspapers and magazines. 

Prior to NPR, Rovner covered health for National Journal’s CongressDaily and before that for the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, specializing in health care financing, abortion, welfare, and disability issues. She has been a regular contributor to the British medical journal The Lancet, and her columns on patients' rights for the magazine Business and Health won her a share of the 1999 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award



Emily VragaEmily Vraga 
Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota


Emily Vraga is an associate professor in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, where she holds the Don and Carole Larson Professorship in Health Communication. Her research tests methods to identify and correct misinformation on social media, to apply news literacy to limit biased processing of news messages, and to encourage attention to more diverse content online.






Health Literacy in Practice

Sponsored by: CommunicateHealth


Sami CohenSami Cohen, MPH
Health Communication Project Director

With joie de vivre, Sami leads project teams in developing thoughtful, innovative solutions to tricky health communication challenges — on time and in budget. She’s a deft project director and talented public health professional who can manage even the most complex projects with ease.



Jamie DawsonJaime Dawson, MPH
Health Communication Project Director

Jaime is an expert project director with an unwavering commitment to health literacy and more than a decade of national health communication campaign experience. Her sharp strategic vision and joyful energy help her lead multidisciplinary teams in creating communication products and campaigns that are clear, accessible, and engaging.




Embracing and Building an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Program for Your Organization

Sponsored by: Hager Sharp


Anglea YoungAngela Young
Senior Account Supervisor, Hager Sharp

Angela is a strategic thinker, communicator, and planner. As an Account Supervisor at Hager Sharp, she lends her strategic communications skills to federal health clients that are dedicated to helping the public live healthier, happier lives.

An award-winning communications professional, Angela has worked for a variety of organizations ranging from non-profits to federal government covering health topics such as mental health, aging, fitness, cancer research, patient care and many others. Her work on various projects has earned several awards including Excellence in Communication, Hermes Platinum, Silver Communicator, and Videographer of the Year.

With a passion for social marketing, Angela has also dedicated time outside of work to helping local communities improve their health through tobacco cessation, fitness, and reproductive health awareness programs. When she isn’t spending her time helping others get healthier, you can find Angela in the Dojang training in martial arts to maintain her own physical and mental health

Social Media Campaigns for Public Health Impact: Taking the Pain Out of Paid Campaigns

Sponsored by: Crosby Marketing


Jamie BreazealeJamie Breazeale
Director, Connection Planning, Crosby Marketing

Jamie has more than 30 years of planning and buying media for national, regional, and rural multi-channel campaigns with extensive digital, social, and mobile media planning, buying, reporting, analytics, and oversight. She implements integrated programs across the media landscape to achieve optimal outcomes for clients by using focused targeting, audience profiling, multi-variate testing, media usage research and multicultural outreach. Jamie creates successful media programs with federal government agencies and nonprofits, including agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She leads Crosby’s media buying efforts on behalf of HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA), including campaigns around marijuana use, opioid use prevention, and COVID-19 education targeted to consumers and health professionals. 


Gabrielle WeberGabrielle Weber
Director, Integration Management, Crosby Marketing

Gabrielle has more than a decade of health communications and marketing experience. At Crosby, Gabrielle drives strategic direction for wide reaching social and digital media programs for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. As the Program Manager, she leads multi-million dollar paid campaigns in response to the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic, targeting consumers and health professionals. Priorto Crosby, Gabrielle led several programs for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, including National Prevention Week and a health information technology contest related to opioid overdose prevention. 

Words Matter: Developing and Testing Messages to Facilitate Behavior Change

Sponsored by: Fors Marsh Group


Ronne OtsbyRonne Otsby
Vice President, Communication Research, Strategy & Outreach


Ronne Ostby is an experienced social marketing and health communication professional with more than 19 years in the field. She has proven expertise in applying communication and marketing principles to consumer campaigns on a range of health concerns, including illicit drug and alcohol use, tobacco use, prescription drug misuse and abuse, suicide prevention, youth violence prevention, and adult immunization. Her skill set includes primary and secondary research, situational analyses, strategy development, creative planning and oversight, campaign execution, and project leadership. She has worked with a range of public and private clients, including the National Institutes of Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, she is Vice President of Communication and Research at Fors Marsh Group, where she oversees behavior change and social marketing research and strategy. Prior to joining FMG, she led social marketing strategy design, formative audience-based research, program planning, and integrated communication efforts at ICF. Before that, she led the strategy development of the White House National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, using in-depth consumer research.


Building Trust: The Components of Conversations that Count

Sponsored by: Van Eperen

HIllarie Turner
Hillarie Turner
Vice President, Van Eperen

Hillarie’s 20+ years of strategic communications experience has made her an industry expert in reaching professional and consumer audiences. Over the course of her career, she has worked in-house and with association clients. Her specialties include consumer education and awareness campaigns, crisis communications, leadership media and presentation training, and international meeting press operations. She is on the Washington Women in Public Relations 2020 Board where she served as president for two years and is a member of the Society for Health Communication and the D.C. Science Writers Association.





Abt Associates Room

Shelly Spoeth
Shelly Spoeth
Member-at-Large, Society for Health Communication
Principal Associate, Abt Associates

Shelly Spoeth has more than 25 years of strategic communication and social marketing experience tackling complex health and social issues. While at major public relations firms, she worked for a decade with pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. She then worked as a consultant for government and nonprofit clients, including the CDC, on challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS to COVID-19. Spoeth has implemented, evaluated, and managed dozens of projects that improved health outcomes.

Currently, Shelly is a Principal Associate at Abt Associates, a global research and evaluation firm. Prior to that, she led strategic marketing and communication planning at the American Cancer Society; served as a senior vice president at Porter Novelli, leading the Health & Social Impact practice managing large CDC communications contracts; and Hager Sharp, where she contributed to two major government public health initiatives – HPV is Cancer Prevention and Million Hearts.


ICF Next Room


Alicia Eberl-LefkoAlicia Eberl-Lefko
Partner, ICF Next 

Ms. Eberl-Lefko, M.H.S., CHES, is a Partner at ICF Next who has led award-winning, national health behavior change and communication initiatives across the spectrum of public health for over 25 years. She is a skilled communications professional who understands how to strategically apply a broad range of communication strategies and tactics, including the latest in social and digital media. Her areas of expertise include project management, strategic communication planning, behavior change communication, campaign development and implementation, and crisis and emergency risk communication. Currently, Ms. Eberl-Lefko is managing projects for the National Eye Institute and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as well as serving as a senior advisor on projects for the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Eberl-Lefko’s past experience spans across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in topics areas including HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, public health preparedness and response, pandemic influenza, cancer, and environmental health. Ms. Eberl-Lefko holds a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College and earned a Master’s in Health Science in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. 


Stephen LuceStephen Luce,
Partner, ICF Next

Stephen Luce is a senior marketing, communication and partnership development professional with close to 30 years of experience in multiple industry sectors.  Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Steve’s professional passion is to connect programs with audiences in meaningful ways that result in positive social change. For the past 15 years, Steve has been dedicated to improving the public’s health.  In his current role as Partner with ICF Next, he serves as the creative consultancy’s account director for its portfolio of projects at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to joining ICF Next, Steve was a senior health communication at CDC for 10 years where he directed social marketing and health communication programs targeted at improving the health and well-being of children and adults. His other professional experiences span technology, healthcare and professional hockey sectors where he provided branding, integrated marketing and public relations services.


JSI Research and Training Institute Room


Loyola University of Maryland Room

Greg HoplamazianGregory Hoplamazian, 
Associate Professor & Academic Director, Emerging Media program (M.A.)
Department of Communication, Loyola University Maryland

Greg Hoplamazian (Ph.D., Ohio State) is the Academic Director of Loyola's Emerging Media program, an online masters program with a health communication specialization.  He teaches and studies the role of digital platforms in both sharing and shaping our social and health-related attitudes, as well as how individuals use social media for crisis communication.

Elliot KingElliot King
Professor, Department of Communication, Loyola University Maryland

Elliot King (Ph.D., UC San Diego) is the co-founder of the Emerging Media program at Loyola University Maryland.  He has written two books about online education and program development, and his teaching and research focuses on the intersection of journalism, new technology, and health information.

Westat Room


Belinda GastonBelinda Gaston
Principal Associate, Westat

Belinda is a strategic communications expert with nearly 20 years of experience leading public health programs. She works with federal agencies, state and local health departments, and nonprofits, providing expertise in strategic planning, partnerships, community engagement, and training and technical assistance. Belinda has a BA in English from Emory University and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham