Skip to Main Content

Alumni News - Fall 2023

Yale Public Health Magazine, Yale Public Health: Fall 2023


John Brownstein, PhD ’04, was recently recognized by Becker's Hospital Review as one of 2023’s "35 hospital and health system chief innovation officers to know." Brownstein is Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a global leader in health care IT, especially informatics and big data analytics. As chief innovation officer, he runs a 100-person multidisciplinary team focused on digital innovations that impacts clinicians and consumers. His group is supported by a multimillion-dollar budget including grants from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Google, Skoll, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His work has pioneered “digital epidemiology” using diverse digital data sources to understand population health. His work has been published in over 300 peer-reviewed papers, all focused on new methods and applications in digital health. This work was recognized by the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Robert W. Buckingham, DrPH ’78, is Professor of Public Health at the University of Michigan-Flint. Buckingham was the Founding Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan from 2009-2014. He has authored 12 books and many scientific papers, with the most recent book entitled “Understanding Loss and Grief for Women,” published by Praeger Publishers in 2018. Buckingham has authored five books on hospice care, including “Care of the Dying Child,” published by Continuum Publishing, which has been translated in seven languages. Buckingham helped pioneer the development of the first hospice in the U.S. and is considered one of the "Founding Fathers" of the hospice movement in North America. He was the first director of research at the first hospice in Connecticut in 1974, and subsequently assisted in developing 81 hospice programs throughout the world, including a hospice for children with AIDS in Thailand. For his humanitarian work in the field of hospice care for children with AIDS he was awarded the prestigious Ivanosky Prize in Humanitarian Medicine by the Russian Institute of Virology in 1992. In 2014, Buckingham was awarded the Nelson Mandela Award for Academic Leadership for his work as Dean at the University of Saskatchewan from Harvard University. From 2016 until 2022. Buckingham was a member of the board of directors of Association of Schools of Public Health European Region (ASPHER) which oversees 120 schools and programs in public health throughout Europe. He presently is on the ASPHER-WHO COVID -19 Task Force and has written five scientific papers on COVID-19 that were published in international refereed scientific journals in 2020, 2021 and 2022. He is sought after for his advice and recommendations on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. He has participated in numerous media events pertaining to the pandemic.

Shadrack Osei Frimpong, MPH '20, and doctorate of medicine candidate at the Yale School of Medicine, recently received an honorary doctor of science (social sciences) degree from Royal Holloway, University of London. Frimpong received the honorary doctorate for his work with Cocoa360, the non-profit he founded in 2015 in his home village of Tarkwa Breman, in Ghana's Western Region. Cocoa360 supports local cocoa farmers by providing tuition-free schooling and localized health care that the farmers help fund and manage. To date, the organization’s “farm-for-impact” model has treated 21,200 patients, reached 35,000 farmers, and educated 300 students. Upon receiving the honorary degree, Frimpong noted, "[This honor is] an endorsement of our drive to radically transform how global health and international development is done – truly put communities at the forefront of impact.”

Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH ‘89, MACP, has been awarded the John Phillips Memorial Award for Outstanding Work in Clinical Medicine by the American College of Physicians (ACP), a national organization of internal medicine physicians. Established by ACP's Board of Regents in 1929, the John Phillips Memorial Award for Outstanding Work in Clinical Medicine is given to internal medicine physicians in recognition of their innovative, impactful, and sustained contributions to the field. Clinical medicine includes all aspects of clinical research or the practice of medicine. Dr. Inouye is a noted leader in internal medicine, geriatrics, and clinical research known for her transformative contributions to the clinical care of older adults and the medical breakthroughs that followed. She is currently a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she also serves as Milton and Shirley F. Levy Family Chair. Aside from Dr. Inouye’s work with Harvard Medical School, she is also the Director of the Aging Brain Center at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, and the incoming Editor in Chief of JAMA Internal Medicine. For the past 30 years, she has been the pre-eminent investigator in the prevention of delirium and functional decline among elderly hospitalized patients. One of Dr. Inouye’s career accomplishments includes creating the Confusion Assessment Method, the most widely used instrument for identifying delirium in elderly hospitalized patients. She also developed the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), a multicomponent strategy shown to reduce delirium by 40%. Dr. Inouye’s innovative work has led to over 400 publications and over 70,000 citations, changing the lives of millions of older adults worldwide.

Jennifer Mandelbaum, MPH ’16, was recently awarded the Rising Star Award from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors for her work at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). This award recognizes “an individual staff member in a state, tribal, or territorial Chronic Disease Unit...who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and innovation to promote health.” As a program evaluator at DHEC, Jennifer works on two CDC-funded grants addressing South Carolina’s persistent racial and socioeconomic disparities in diabetes and heart disease by expanding the capacity of health systems in high-burden, medically underserved areas. Jennifer serves as the lead data manager and quantitative analyst for a statewide survey of South Carolina’s rural health clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Jennifer also recently defended her PhD dissertation in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina. Her dissertation examined Nutrition Facts label use among U.S. adolescents.

George Simeon MPH ’94, shared the exciting news that his company, Curevo Vaccine, completed a $26 million Series A1 financing round last November, and raised a total of $86 million in 2022 allowing the company to more aggressively pursue clinical and research activities on CRV-101, a clinical stage adjuvanted sub-unit vaccine under investigation for the prevention of shingles in older adults.

In 2019, George visited CNBG’s newly opened museum (CNBG is China’s 100-year-old vaccine manufacturer) and unexpectedly came across a photo of a Yale Graduate, Yan Fuqing. In addition to being the first Asian student to receive a doctorate in medicine at Yale, he was a public health pioneer in China.

Judy Stavisky, MPH ‘80, MEd, has spent considerable time over the past decade attending Amish schools, sharing meals with Amish families, and joining events hosted in the Amish community. Judy has a lengthy career in philanthropy and helping nonprofit organizations become more successful. She is co-author of Do It Better! How the Kids of St. Francis de Sales Exceeded Everyone’s Expectations, chronicling the journeys of Philadelphia’s student refugees. Recently Judy has been supporting the city's refugee resettlement efforts, connecting food insecure Philadelphians with meals. She has taught public health programming at Arcadia and Drexel universities.

Irene Trowell-Harris, MPH ’73, EdD, received the R. Louis McManus Award, the most prestigious award given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The award is given for sustained and significant contributions through the highest commitment and dedication to the mission and vision of NCSBN. In giving this award to Trowell-Harris, NCSBN noted: Booker T. Washington once stated: “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” For Major General Irene Trowell-Harris, titles alone do not define her success. To achieve success in reaching her personal and professional goals she was faced with many social and economic barriers as well as race and gender. Despite many daunting challenges, every accomplishment kept her motivated and even more challenged to build upon each success. Her lived experience is the basis of her leadership at community, state and country levels where she inspires and mentors others to overcome barriers. As the first African American woman to be promoted to general officer in the Air National Guard and the only woman to be honored with a chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen in her name, Trowell-Harris has never lost sight of her goals. Serving on numerous committees representing high-level government and military officials, she exerts her influence to improve the experience of military women serving their country as well as after they leave active duty. It is due to her visionary leadership that all women veterans now enjoy a level of health benefits that addresses their needs. Trowell-Harris knows that it takes sustained commitment, the right connections, a bold vision, and clear intentionality to make a positive and lasting impact as a leader.

Leon F. Vinci, DHA, MPH ‘77, has been appointed as a board member of the Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) Scholarship Advisory Board. On behalf of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation, Inc., his responsibilities include awarding annual scholarship disbursements to eligible students. VWCC is one of the 23 colleges of the Virginia Community College System and comprises its largest campus across the Commonwealth. Within the catchment area for VWCC, 45% of those seeking a college education attend Virginia Western. Eighty-five percent of VWCC graduates remain in the region post-graduation, fueling the economic engine of the entire Roanoke Valley, Virginia.

Previous Article
Alumni Innovators
Next Article
From School Project to Festival Screening