Marisha DiCarlo (MPH/HBHE, 2010; PhD/Health Promotion and Prevention Research, 2014) is the Director of Communications for the Arkansas Department of Health. She received postdoctoral training at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Nutrition Center. In addition to her role in internal and external communications, Marisha serves as the Public Information Officer for chemical emergency preparedness and is responsible for monitoring emergency drills with numerous governmental agencies. She is the ADH Lead for Healthy Active Arkansas, the state’s new 10-year plan for helping Arkansans achieve a healthy weight.
Nancy Dockter (MPH/Generalist, 2006), has accepted a position at the UAMS Center for Health Literacy, effective June 1. She will be the Coordinator of the Plain Pages program. Plain Pages provides readability assessments and editing of health-related documents to make them easier to understand by health services users. Ms. Dockter has served as Assistant Dean for Communications and External Affairs for COPH since 2013. Since graduating, she has held several positions at UAMS including Research Associate in COPH as well as Diversity Process Coordinator for the Center for Diversity Affairs.
Michael Grier (4+1 MPH/HPM, 2013) is a Technical Assistance and Database Manager for CSR, Incorporated, in efforts on HIV policy for the Health Resources and Services Administration in Washington, DC. He provides technical assistance and data reporting guidance to more than 2,100 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grantees and their providers nationally on annual Ryan White Services Report (RSR) reporting and also assists them in process improvement.
Kristie Hadden (PhD/Health Promotion and Prevention Research, 2012), became Director of the UAMS Health Literacy program in 2012 and the Center for Health Literacy (CHL) when it opened in 2014. The CHL recently was awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a four-year study to test a diabetes education and health literacy program at patient-centered medical homes at UAMS regional medical centers across Arkansas. The award came from a grant program that is regarded as one of the most competitive of the NIH. Kristie is the study’s principal investigator. Earlier this year, Kristie was named the second Carl L. Nelson Chair of Orthopaedic Creativity at UAMS, which promotes and recognizes creative solutions through research in orthopaedics.
Richard Hughes IV (MPH/HPM, 2008) is a health lawyer and strategic advisor with the Washington law firm Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., where his practice focuses on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as health care coverage, quality, payment and access issues. Mr. Hughes is also Professorial Lecturer in Health Policy and Management at The George Washington University.
He previously served in several health policy leadership roles – on the Arkansas State Board of Health, Director of State Health Policy at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and Associate Director of Policy with Merck & Co., Inc.
Richard teaches health law and policy. His publications and speaking focus on state public health governance, vaccine policy and health care quality. During law school at The George Washington University, he was a research assistant to renowned health law scholar Professor Sara Rosenbaum. Richard holds a JD degree from The George Washington University. He is a member of the national Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.
Demetria Kimbrough (MPH/EOH, 2005) works as a Field Inspector Supervisor with the Compliance Monitoring Branch of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, where she has worked since 2013. She is also adjunct faculty with the University of Phoenix on their online campus.
Micheal Knox (MPH/HBHE, 2008) is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC). When he took the new position in 2015, Micheal said, “My role and goal will be to actualize the potential and promise of this organization through assisting those individuals that need access to equal health care and to exhaustively work with other state agencies, universities, state, county, and local municipalities, faith and community based organizations, and federal partners to close this gap.”
“Over the past 16 months, AMHC, with its partners, established a Shorter College health and wellness clinic; engaged in tobacco-free and vape-free educational and policy changes at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities; worked with political and community leaders in addressing healthcare needs in Crittenden, Lafayette, Jefferson, Mississippi, Phillips and other counties; established gardens in Phillips, Jefferson, and Pulaski counties; and helped ensure Arkansans’ access to health insurance with the transition of the “Private Option” to “Arkansas Works.” Micheal is a DrPH candidate in Public Health Leadership at UAMS COPH.
ShaRhonda Love (MPH/HBHE, 2008) has helped Arkansans attain a healthy weight in a variety of professional roles. At COPH, she was research staff for several federally funded studies, all of which were obesity-related. In 2015, she joined the Arkansas Department of Health as the School Health Director. In that role, ShaRhonda managed the School Health Section, which provides training and technical assistance to school-based health programs and implements programs addressing chronic disease and obesity in children. Recently, ShaRhonda was tapped to serve on the Healthy Active Arkansas Operations Team.
Etienne Nzabarushimana (4+1 MPH/BIOS, 2014) is pursuing a PhD in the School of Informatics and Computing with a specialty in Bioinformatics at Indiana University Bloomington.
Carrie Poston (MPH/GEN, 2011) is an Epidemiologist with the Arkansas Department of Health. She supports ADH efforts in regard to commercial medical waste and hazardous waste sites. That includes oversight of regulation of commercial medical waste management in Arkansas, assessing potential community impacts of hazardous medical waste, and awareness raising about hazardous substances.
Taniesha Richardson-Wiley (MPH/HPM, 2009) is the Section Chief/Associate Branch Chief for the Hospital Discharge Data Section-Health Statistics Branch at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), where she has worked since 1999. Prior to this position, Taniesha served as the Section Chief for the ConnectCare Program and the Health Connector Section at the Arkansas Department of Health. She also served as Section Chief II for the ADH School Health Programs, Program Director for the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, Public Health Educator for the Breast Care Program, Staff Development Coordinator for the Workforce and Career Development Branch and the Federal Program Manager for the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (Stamp Out Smoking) Branch.
Sharla Smith (MPH/HPM, 2004; PhD, Health Systems and Services Research, 2013) is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine at Wichita. Her primary research focus is on strategies for organizing and financing public health services, infant mortality, program and partnership development, and community health education. Before relocating to Kansas, Sharla also served as an Instructor for the UAMS COPH Department of Health Policy and Management and taught Introduction to Health Policy.
Anna Strong (MPH, MPS, 2011) is the Executive Director of Child Advocacy and Public Health at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Key roles include leading efforts to bring care closer to home for children living in rural Arkansas, to strengthen school-based health initiatives across the state, and to prioritize the hospital’s public health investments. She also leads the Natural Wonders Partnership Council, a coalition of stakeholders in Arkansas working to make measurable improvements in child health. Since graduation from UAMS, she also served as a Senior Policy Analyst for UAMS and the Director of Health Care Policy at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. In 2013, Anna was recognized by the Arkansas Times and Talk Business Arkansas for her leadership in advocacy at the state legislature that helped Arkansas become the first Southern state to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. This policy, originally known as the “Private Option” and now as “Arkansas Works,” has made it possible for nearly a quarter million low-income Arkansans to access affordable health coverage and helped Arkansas reduce its adult uninsured rate more than any state in the nation since 2013.
Sarah Harvey Wang (MPH/EPI, 2009) has been at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield since 2011. She currently is the Manager of Medical Informatics Research and Development. Previously, she worked as an Epidemiologist for the Arkansas Department of Health HIV/STI section.