GCHS Scholars & Staff

GCHS Scholars

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M. Jana Broadhurst, MD, PhD, DTM&H
Department of Pathology and Microbiology
UNMC College of Medicine

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David Brett-Major, MD, MPH
Department of Epidemiology
UNMC College of Public Health

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Wael ElRayes, MBBCH, PhD, MS, FACHE
Department of Health Services Research and Administration
UNMC College of Public Health

Jocelyn Herstein, PhD, MPH
Jocelyn Herstein, PhD, MPH
Department of Agriculture, Occupational and Environmental Health
UNMC College of Public Health

 Angela Hewlett MD, MS
Angela Hewlett MD, MS
Division of Infectious Diseases
UNMC College of Medicine

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Daniel W. Johnson, MD, FCCM
Department of Anesthesiology
UNMC College of Medicine

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Abbey Lowe, MA
Department of Allied Health Professions Education, Research, and Practice
UNMC College of Allied Health Professions 

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Joshua Santarpia, PhD
Department of Pathology and Microbiology
UNMC College of Medicine

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Lauren Sauer, MS
Department of Agricultural, Occupational, and Environmental Health
UNMC College of Public Health

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Elizabeth Schnaubelt, MD
United States Air Force
Division of Infectious Diseases
UNMC College of Medicine

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Andy Schnaubelt, PhD, MS, MLS(ASCP)
Department of Neurosurgery
UNMC College of Medicine
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Angela Vasa, MSN, RN
Nebraska Biocontainment Unit
National Quarantine Unit
Nebraska Medicine
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Michael Wiley, PhD
Department of Agricultural, Occupational, and Environmental Health
UNMC College of Public Health

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Katherine Willet, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine
UNMC College of Medicine

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Michael Wadman, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine
UNMC College of Medicine
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Steven Yeh, MD
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
UNMC Truhlsen Eye Institute

 

GCHS Core Staff

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Sue Beach, BA
Senior Administrative Assistant

Sue Beach has provided administrative support at Nebraska Medicine for 15 years to various infection control departments and grant teams. Sue is the administrative assistant for the National Infection Control Strengthening Initiative grant (NICS), a Center for Disease Control and Prevention grant through the GCHS. She provides support to the grant team in preparing/tracking expenditures, recruiting pilot test sites, scheduling, and performing other critical tasks as needed. Her projects have included recording data, performing onsite visits across Nebraska through the Nebraska Infection Control and Assessment Promotion (ICAP) program, and participating in Project ECHO for long term care during the pandemic. Sue received her bachelor of arts degree in journalism at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

 

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Shannon Becker, BA
Communications Specialist

Shannon Becker has more than 20 years of experience working with executive administration in the nonprofit sector. Joining GCHS in November 2019, Shannon provided support and assistance to the leadership team in response to the impending COVID-19 pandemic by documenting activities and results of statewide briefings; assembling and electronically disseminating best practices COVID-19 playbooks written for various industries; creating and maintaining a social media presence; coordinating media requests; recording, processing, and distributing Dr. James Lawler’s COVID-19 video updates; and updating online resources such as the training repository for the Region VII Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Center. She also assists with maintaining the GCHS website, creating informational materials, and planning/documenting GCHS events. 

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Shahnaz Benner, BSN, RN
Biocontainment Unit Clinical Program Coordinator

Shahnaz Benner joined Nebraska Medicine as an emergency department fellow in the ED fellowship program in 2010. Shahnaz has more than 13 years of nursing experience delivering emergency room care and caring for patients with highly infectious diseases. Shahnaz currently works as a clinical program coordinator with the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and assists the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center with content development of clinical care considerations and long term care education. She also assists the Region VII Disaster Health Response Ecosystem by creating resources and providing education on highly infectious diseases. Shahnaz trains the National Disaster Medical System Disaster (NMDS) Medical Assistance Teams on caring for patients with highly hazardous communicable diseases. Currently, she is working towards her master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in the family nurse practitioner program at UNMC.

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Aretha Boex, MS, MBA, PMP
Project Manager

Aretha Boex has extensive experience in consultations, process improvement, program management, and financial management. She is a certified project management professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute, a certified economic development finance professional through the National Development Council, and a certified global business professional through Nasbite International. As a program manager at the Global Center for Health Security, she supports the National Infection Control Strengthening (NICS) grant; her primary role is ensuring grant activities and deliverables are executed in accordance with the overall project plan. Aretha holds a Master of Business Administration, as well as Master of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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Shaunna Briles, BS
Administrative Associate II

Shaunna Briles has 22 years of administrative experience supporting executive leadership. After an 11-year career with ConAgra Foods, she joined the iEXCEL team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center until joining the Global Center for Health Security team in 2020. At the GCHS, Shaunna provides administrative support to the entire team and is also the primary source of support for Dr. James Lawler and Ms. Shelly Schwedhelm. In addition to these roles, she also provides support to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and the Nebraska Quarantine Unit as needed. Shaunna earned a bachelor's degree in journalism PR/marketing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

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Lauryn Burbridge, NREMT
Training Specialist

Lauryn Burbridge has more than ten years of experience in emergency medical services as a nationally registered emergency medical technician. Additionally, she has served as a  patient care technician with the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit for five years. Lauryn has also performed as an adjunct instructor for the NDMS Isolation, Simulation, and Quarantine course. As a training specialist for the Global Center for Health Security, Lauryn's responsibilities include executing curriculum plans, overseeing high-fidelity simulations, managing assets and inventory, as well as general administrative duties related to the training programs. She has worked on multiple health security programs and initiatives including the Training, Simulation and Quarantine Center, National Infection Control Strengthening grant, and Region VII Disaster Health Response Ecosystem grant. Lauryn is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in emergency management with a minor in business and political science.

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Jen Chambers Rosencrans, BGS
Administrative Associate II

Jen Chambers Rosencrans holds more than 10 years of experience as an educational program coordinator. In 2018, she joined UNMC and has since supported multiple training programs. Jen’s role as an administrative associate at the Global Center for Health Security includes education and training and providing administrative support for the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center, the Region VII Disaster Health Response Ecosystem, and the U.S. Public Health SAFE Consortium. In these roles, she works closely with numerous principal investigators and directors providing technical and logistical support on special projects and events. Further, she assists with the coordination of various activities, meetings, conferences, and workshops. Jen earned a bachelor of arts in English literature at the University of Kansas. 

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Sarah Dunsmore, PhD
Project Manager

Sarah has spent more than 20 years teaching public health and healthcare leadership at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral level at several major universities. Additionally, Sarah has established many educational and health program initiatives such as a Doctoral Peer Mentoring Program, new graduate curriculums, as well as the supported accreditation from the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) for an online Healthcare Leadership Doctoral Program. Sarah is currently a program manager for the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC). Her roles as program manager include research, training, process improvement, and operational response programs. She has also served as program manager for the UNMC Global Center for Health Security. Sarah and her husband also run a small family business in Omaha, Nebraska.          

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Dossy Felts, MBA, MHA, FACHE
Director of Operations

Dossy Felts served in the United States Air Force for 20 years with ten years of experience as a healthcare administrator where he oversaw resourcing, medical logistics, information systems, disaster preparedness, and health benefits. In each of his deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait, he directed operations of the medical control center. In his most recent deployment to Afghanistan, he served as the medical finance and procurement advisor to both the Afghan National Army and Security Forces where he provided oversight to NATO and partner nation funding while liaising with NATO contracting and procurement organizations. He also advised senior U.S. and coalition leadership regarding medical finance and procurement issues. Dossy joined the Global Center for Health Security in November 2019 where he soon became the Director of Operations overseeing the programmatic, financial, and support operations for the Center’s $24 million in grant activities, as well as providing facility oversight at both the Training, Simulation and Quarantine Center and the Clinical Research Unit. In response to the impending COVID-19 pandemic, Dossy was a key member of the team that partnered with federal responders for the repatriation and quarantine of U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad. Dossy earned a Master of Business Administration and Master of Healthcare Administration at Baylor University School and is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

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Trady Gady, MS
Project Coordinator 

Tracy Gady joined the Global Center for Health Security as a project coordinator in 2022 and brought with her more than twenty years of experience in administrative support, strategic planning, and organizational leadership. Tracy’s primary focus is on the Mixed Reality for Consultation, Assessment, and Education projects of the National Infection Control Strengthening for Small and Rural Hospitals (NICS) grant. Tracy assists the various project managers and subject matter experts with the facilitation and coordination of their projects by liaising with external partners, coordinating logistics, and creating timely and effective communication strategies. Tracy earned a master of science from Creighton University in Omaha.

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Jackson Gruber, BS
Regional Special Pathogens Program Coordinator

Jackson Gruber has experience in the emergency services department with four years as a nationally registered emergency medical technician—he also has valuable experience working in the COVID intensive care unit. Currently, Jackson serves as the regional special pathogens program coordinator at Nebraska Medicine, with coordination and operational accountability for the Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Center (RESPTC) and the National Quarantine Unit (NQU). In these roles, he coordinates the logistics for multiple grants, develops policy and procedures for the National Quarantine Unit, and facilitates training and exercises for these units, as well as the partners within the Region VII Health Responses Ecosystem. In addition, Jackson is a leader within emergency management where he leads and manages the Nebraska Medicine decontamination team and their operations. Jackson holds a bachelor’s of science in emergency management from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

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Lauren Hinkle RN, BSN  
Infection Preventionist for National Infection Control Strengthening Grant

Lauren Hinkle is an Infection Preventionist at Nebraska Medicine. She graduated from UNMC’s College of Nursing and worked at Nebraska Medicine as a nurse on the 6 Neurosciences unit and Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. She then worked as an Infection Preventionist in Nebraska Medicine’s Infection Control and Epidemiology department.  Her current role is dedicated to working as an Innovation Partner for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Project Firstline. She is the task lead for the development of the Self-led Infection Control Evaluation (SLICE) tool. The SLICE tool is an online self-assessment tool that will empower infection preventionists in small, rural healthcare settings to evaluate and improve their infection prevention and control programs. She also assists with the development of extended reality (XR) education modules, an artificial intelligence platform for real-time consultation, infection prevention and control-focused resources, and protocol development for the ISTARI models.

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Tina Hovorka
Administrative Associate II

Tina Hovorka has more than 30 years of administrative support experience at UNMC. In 2015, she supported the Thoracic fellowship application to ACGME and the program start-up in CT Surgery at UNMC. She currently serves as an administrative associate II at the Global Center for Health Security, where she provides administrative support to the GCHS Distinguished Chair Dr. Chris Kratochvil, various health security grants, and the Special Pathogens Research Network. She also serves as a valuable training resource for newly-hired staff. Tina is expected to finish her bachelor’s degree in business administration in the spring of 2023.

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Myah Lanoux, MHA
Project Manager II 

Myah Lanoux joined GCHS in 2022 as a project manager for the National Infection Control Strengthening for Small and Rural Hospitals (NICS) grant. Prior to joining GCHS, Myah worked as a territory manager for Bluestone Physicians Services working with several provider teams across multiple counties and states. She was responsible for successful operational performance and managing quality measures. Previous to her role with Bluestone, Myah supported multiple healthcare systems across the U.S. to improve operations with a focus on patient experience. Myah earned her bachelor of arts in organizational communication--healthcare management at Metropolitan State University and her master's in healthcare administration at Des Moines University. 

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Julio Lara, MBA-Healthcare Management
Project Manager II

Julio Lara has more than 20 years of leadership experience. Prior to joining UNMC, Julio worked at Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha where he managed several ambulatory clinics and conducted operational management. He is a project manager with the GCHS and works directly with the National Infection Control Strengthening for Small and Rural Hospitals grant. He is also engaged in other projects such as managing the establishment of a resident fellowship program with the Global Center for Health Security. Julio earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha and a Master in Business Administration from Liberty University. He is also a combat veteran from the United States Army.

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LuAnn Larson, RN, BSN
Director of Clinical Research Operations, Nebraska Medicine

LuAnn Larson had eight years of experience as an ICU nurse before she became the manager of the pulmonary research department. With this valuable experience, she started the Clinical Research Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center that has grown to 50 employees and provides all research services from start-up to close-out for UNMC faculty. LuAnn has been a part of the Special Pathogens Research Network since it was initiated. Her current role involves developing "Just-In-Time" training and rapid response to initiate clinical trials at all Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Center (RESPTC) sites. In addition to over 32 years of experience conducting clinical trials, monitoring trials, and managing the Clinical Research Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, she also worked to get the Special Pathogens Research (SPRN) involved with the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial in response to SARS-CoV-19 pandemic. LuAnn received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Nebraska Methodist College. 

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Tess McKinney, AAS
Instructional Technologist II

Tess McKinney has 18 years of experience in information technology with seven years of experience in immersive technologies. Since joining UNMC in 2018, she has implemented many different technologies. Tess’s role as an instructional technologist for Global Center for Health Security provides support to virtual, augmented, and extended reality in education. Her work is dedicated to supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Project Firstline grant by developing tools to advance infection prevention and control programs in small, rural healthcare facilities (such as extended reality, online self-assessment tools, and an artificial intelligence platform for real-time consultation). Tess provides advanced coordination and technical support for immersive education systems, remote consultation services, as well as creating mixed reality modules for distance education. Tess earned an associate of applied science degree in information technology and has continued her education with classes in developing immersive technologies and instructional design.

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Stefanie Neumann, MA
Web Coordinator 

Stefanie Neumann worked as a communication specialist for the University of Nebraska at Omaha's (UNO) Health Careers Resource Center (HCRC) and the Omaha Area Health Education Center (AHEC) for nearly four years. In this role, Stefanie maintained both the HCRC and AHEC websites (creating content, ensuring webpage information was up to date and accurate, making sure information was easy to find, advertising events, etc.). She also created and distributed marketing materials and newsletters, assisted pre-health students with professional program applications, helped plan events (such as seminars and scholarship dinners), processed and aggregated scholarship applications, had various writing duties, and offered administrative support for staff. She joined the GCHS as a web coordinator in 2022. Stefanie earned a bachelor of communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2009 and a master of arts in communication at UNO in 2016. 

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Jason Noble, BA, BFA
Instructional Designer 

Jason Noble is an instructional designer for the University of Nebraska Medical Center and has been 100% allocated to the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center grant for over five years. As an instructional designer, Jason partners with subject matter experts to develop appropriate valued content and strategy for the deployment of education for adult learners.

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Rachel Prudhomme, MBA, BA
Program Manager

Prior to joining GCHS, Rachel Prudhomme was a manager of patient safety and quality at a large academic medical center. She is an expert in process improvement--leading projects as well as mentoring others through projects. As a program manager at the GCHS, her responsibilities include research, training, and operational response programs. She has worked on multiple health security programs and initiatives including the Special Pathogens Research Network (SPRN), the National Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center (NETEC), the National Infection Control Strengthening Initiative (NICS), the Regional Disaster Health Response System (RESPTC), and various COVID-19 response activities. Rachel earned her MBA from Creighton University and a bachelor of arts from the College of St. Benedict. She is also a Six Sigma Blackbelt and is certified in Lean Manufacturing.

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Cheryl Rand, BSN, RN-BC
Clinical Operations Lead, Nebraska Biocontainment Unit

Cheryl Rand has 42 years of experience as a registered nurse at Nebraska Medicine and is board certified in medical-surgical nursing. In her time at Nebraska Medicine, she has specialized in cardiology, telemetry, baromedicine, and trauma. In addition, Cheryl has been on the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) team since its inception in 2005. As the clinical operations lead at the NBU, Cheryl oversees the preparation and readiness of the NBU to accept patient(s) with highly infectious diseases. During the COVID-19 outbreak, she was an infection prevention subject matter expert for long term care facilities, and she instructed hospital staff on the proper use of personal air purifying respirators (PAPRs).

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Sophia Shea, MPH
Project Manager II

Sophia Shea joined the GCHS as an experienced program manager with a portfolio of projects ranging from higher and medical education programs on both a national and international level to clinical and qualitative research in emergency settings. As a project manager at the UNMC Global Center for Health Security, Sophia primarily works on the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) pilot program, investigating military-civilian medical surge capacity, capabilities, and interoperability, and the United States Public Health Service’s Safety Academy for Field Experiences (SAFE Consortium) developing deployment safety training for Commissioned Corps Officers. She also manages the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center’s (NETEC) Biocontainment Unit (BCU) working group by facilitating the group’s current goals of identifying core competencies for BCU-rostered staff and maintaining outbreak readiness. Sophia received a bachelor of science in biological sciences with a minor in public health from the George Washington University and later obtained her MPH from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health where she concentrated in infectious diseases and completed a certificate in global health.

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Morgan Shradar, RN, BSN
Nursing Professional Development Specialist- Nebraska Biocontainment Unit; Co-Director- National Disaster Medical Disaster Infectious Disease Training Program; Subject Matter Expert-NETEC; Task 2 lead- NICS.

Morgan Shradar has more than 20 years of experience in the operating room and more than 14 years of experience with the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. She has previous experience as a lead surgical nurse where she managed procedural areas (endoscopy, surgery, cardiac cath lab/interventional radiology, preop/pacu, and sterile processing). She has also managed process improvement initiatives for supply chain improvements and patient experience within procedural areas at Nebraska Medicine Bellevue. Morgan is a nurse coordinator with the Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Center (RESPTC). She develops and leads the education and training for the RESPTC team including, education meetings, quarterly trainings, exercises, and drill development. Morgan collaborates on the education and training and policy development for the National Quarantine Unit.  She actively participated in the repatriation efforts of guests from Wuhan, China, and the Diamond Princess, who required care from COVID 19. Further, she is a subject matter expert with NETEC and  partners with others to evaluate readiness for RESPTCs and works with long-term care focus groups to develop education and just-in-time resources to enhance LTC setting readiness. In 2020/2021, she partnered with LTC and skilled nursing facilities on evaluating the current COVID 19 infection control practices within facilities across Nebraska. She has also partnered with Nebraska Medicine to educate and train medical teams on donning/doffing PAPRs and worked with procedural areas on developing their PAPR protocols. Morgan is a task lead with NICS, which is focused on developing XR/AR education for the small and rural hospital on infection control practices within the sterile processing department. She is also the co-director of the National Disaster Medical Response Infectious Disease Training program, which has focused on educating and training the NDMS teams on infection control practices to ready them for deployment to both austere and hospital missions. Morgan collaborates in program development and partnership of various organizations focused on infectious disease education and training. Morgan began her career in 2000 as an operating room nurse for Nebraska Medicine where she joined the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit team in 2009 to play an integral role in treating patients with Ebola Virus Disease during the 2014-2015 activation.

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Mounica Soma, MHA, MSPM
Database Analyst

Mounica Soma is the database analyst for National Infection Control Strengthening program (NICS). Her role as a database analyst includes REDCap database maintenance, data collection, analysis, reporting, and building dashboards using analytical and visualization tools. Mounica also offers analytical and project management support to Nebraska Infection Control Assessment and Promotion program (ICAP) and Antimicrobial Stewardship Assessment and Promotion program (ASAP) including maintaining ICAP/ASAP websites and nursing home COVID-19 therapeutics project. Mounica has over four years of expertise in healthcare data analytics, database management, website maintenance, and project management. She received a master of health administration degree from Texas State University. 

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Katie Stern, MPH
Program Evaluator

Katie Stern has more than eight years of evaluation experience and project management. Previously, she worked in public health nutrition and behavioral health evaluation. In 2020, Katie joined the Global Center for Health Security. Katie is a part of the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training Center where she works to evaluate activities and ensure that processes, outputs, and efforts are meeting expectations and that programming has the intended impact. Katie's evaluation experience is wide-ranging and her specialization is in qualitative methods and formative and process evaluation.

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Sami Vasistha, MS
Program Manager

Sami has more than ten years of experience as an IT project manager. She joined Nebraska Medicine in 2015 and has since managed many clinical, IT, and process improvement projects such as the re-establishment of the Lung Transplant Program, the activation of Lauritzen Outpatient Center, activation of Buffet Cancer Center, and implementation of electronic prescription of controlled substances. Sami's role as a program manager at GCHS includes research, training, process improvement, and operational response programs. Sami has worked on multiple health security programs and initiatives including the National Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center and the Special Pathogens Research Network. She is a PhD candidate in biomedical informatics at UNMC.  Sami currently has a master's degree in management information systems and a bachelor’s in computer science and aviation administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

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Mark Vazquez, BS
Project Manager

Mark Vazquez joined UNMC in 2021. Previously, he served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force in various health care positions at the unit, major-command, and Air Force Headquarters level. In his current role as program manager, Mark works with innovation development, training, process improvement, and regional response programs. Mark has worked on multiple health security programs and initiatives including the Region VII Disaster Health Ecosystem and the National Infection Control Strengthening for Small and Rural Hospitals. Throughout his career, he has performed a myriad of roles including medical/surgical technician, career field manager, command chief, drug demand reduction program administrator, and personnel reliability program manager. 

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Lisa Willard, BA
Office Associate I

Lisa Willard has more than five years of administrative experience and three years of customer service experience. Currently, Lisa works as an office associate at UNMC Global Center for Health Security. Her role includes providing administrative support for the National Infection Control Strengthening grant and collaborating with staff on special projects as needed. Prior to joining the GCHS team, Lisa worked in customer service in the aviation industry as well as in the field of education.

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Stephanie Zechmann, BA
Operational Readiness Consultation Coordinator

Stephanie Zechmann has more six years of experience as a coordinator. She joined Nebraska Medicine in 2011 and has spent the last five years with the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC). Stephanie's role as a consultation coordinator at GCHS includes assisting with program operations related to readiness consultations, providing technical assistance, and creating exercise development resources. Stephanie works with NETEC and the sites seeking NETEC consultative services to evaluate needs and direct them to the appropriate NETEC services. Stephanie has a bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Nebraska--Lincoln.

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Jacqueline Zikmund, RN, a-IPC
Infection Preventionist

Jacqueline has more than 14 years of nursing experience. She joined Nebraska Medicine in 2022. Jacqueline is a graduate of Central Community College with licensed practical nurse (2008) and associate of applied science in nursing (2010) and is currently pursuing her master of science in nursing at Chamberlain University. Jacqueline is an Infection Preventionist at Nebraska Medicine. Her role supports the NICS Team with various efforts including the SLICE Assessment, XR Education, and AI/Self-Help tools. With infection prevention experience in both acute and long-term care, Jacqueline brings years of experience in a variety of settings focusing on program development, implementation, and evaluation.

 

Not listed, but part of our team: 

Ben Mattson
Lisa Brand