Past Fellows

2016-2017 Fellow: Dr. Barbara Schmitz

Sponsoring CDC CIO: National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Fellowship Title: Cardiovascular Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Fellow

Barbara Schmitz, DNP, RN, CNS-BC, FNP(c), was the 2016-2017 AACN-CDC Public Health Fellow in the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. Dr. Schmitz provided support to the national initiative Million Hearts by: connecting with key partners to drive widespread implementation of the Hypertension Change Package; contributing to efforts to increase adoption of self-measured blood pressure monitoring to improve hypertension control; and helping to develop and execute a plan to increase publications on evidence-based interventions with focus on the nursing community. 

Dr. Schmitz earned a DNP from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She holds both a MSN and BSN from Winona State University. In addition, she received Post-Masters Certificates in Family Nurse Practitioner from Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and Leadership in Health Information Technology for Health Professionals from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Schmitz is a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist. Previously, Dr. Schmitz worked as a direct care registered nurse in a Midwestern clinic and acute care hospital setting and as an associate professor for the University System of Georgia. Currently, Dr. Schmitz is employed by HealthPartners working in a clinic as a nurse practitioner.  

2015-2016 Fellow: Dr. Laura Whittaker

Sponsoring CDC CIO: National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion/Division of Population Health, School Health Branch

Fellowship Title: Managing Chronic Conditions in Schools Nurse Fellow

Laura Whittaker, DNP, MPH APRN-BC, was the 2015-2016 AACN-CDC Public Health Fellow in the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, School Health Branch. Her primary project was to support the achievement of the required milestones and performance measures specific to the management of chronic conditions in schools by working closely with CDC project officers, evaluation experts, and scientific experts from the branch. Specifically, Dr. Whittaker contributed to the completion of a comprehensive, systematic literature review and developed a plan for translation of the results into fact sheets. 

Dr. Whittaker received her DNP from the Yale University College of Nursing.  She holds both a BSN and MSN from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MPH from John Hopkins University. In addition, she earned Post-Masters Certificates in Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Nurse Midwifery from Georgetown University. For five years, Dr. Whittaker worked at the Peace Corps Headquarters serving in various roles in the Office of Health Services. Currently, Dr. Whittaker is a Clinical Educator at the University of North Carolina - Physicians Network. 

For more information on Dr. Whittaker’s fellowship experience, please watch the video below.

2014-2015 Fellow: Dr. Tessa Walker Linderman

Sponsoring CDC CIO: Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Division of State and Local Readiness

Fellowship Title: Medical Countermeasure Program Development Fellow 

Tessa Walker Linderman, DNP, RN, APHN-BC, was the 2014-2015 AACN-CDC Public Health Fellow in the CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Division of State and Local Readiness. Her fellowship position focused on public health preparedness and medical countermeasures for health security. Dr. Linderman collaborated with the medical countermeasures team as a clinical subject matter expert by bringing a nursing perspective to the team's work. She worked on a number of projects, including a prototype report on the preparedness of the top urban areas in the country and an evaluation of the Operational Readiness Review tool.

Dr. Linderman received her DNP from the University of Washington School of Nursing. She holds both a BS in psychology and health promotion from Southern Oregon University and a BSN from the University of Washington School of Nursing. She is a registered nurse and board certified in Advanced Public Health Nursing. Dr. Linderman served as the co-chair of the Public Health Nursing Definition Task Force of the American Public Health Nursing Section. In addition, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkmenistan and worked with local NGOs and clinics in Nepal, Haiti, Panama, and Indonesia. Currently, Dr. Linderman is the Program Director for Healthy Babies Bright Futures, an initiative to decrease childhood lead poisoning.

For more information on Dr. Linderman’s fellowship experience, please watch the video below.

2014-2015 Fellow: Dr. Robin Wallin

Sponsoring CDC CIO: National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, School Health Branch

Fellowship Title: Managing Chronic Conditions in Schools Fellow

Robin Wallin, DNP, RN, CPNP. NCSN, was the 2014-2015 AACN-CDC Public Health Fellow in the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, School Health Branch. Dr. Wallin's fellowship activities ranged in scope from conducting comprehensive literature searches and systematic literature reviews to identifying evidence-based strategies and recommendations for schools and school districts to meet the needs of students with chronic conditions. She interacted with states to assist them in the implementation of a new framework for care by increasing their understanding of recommended strategies and guiding them on appropriate utilization.

Dr. Wallin holds a MSN and DNP from the Yale University School of Nursing and a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University School of Public and International Affairs. She is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Nationally Certified School Nurse. After completing the fellowship, Dr. Wallin returned to her previous role of Health Services Coordinator for the Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia. In 2013, Dr. Wallin was named the Virginia School Nurse Administrator of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Nurses. Currently, Dr. Wallin is the Director of Health Services for a large suburban school district in St. Louis, Missouri.   

For more information on Dr. Wallin’s fellowship experience, please watch the video below.