Past Fellows

2018-2020 Fellow: Ruth Gallego

Sponsoring CDC CIO: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

Fellowship Title: Implementing Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Integration of Immunization into Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum

Ruth Gallego is the AACN-CDC Nursing Fellow who works with the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Association of Colleges of Nursing Staff. She assists in implementing Recommendations of the Committee on Integration of Immunization into Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum.

Ms. Gallego earned her MPH with a specialization in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from Washington University in St Louis and her BS in Nursing from CUNY College of Staten Island.

Fellowship Highlights:

Immunization Resources For Undergraduate Nursing

AACN Webinar: A Framework for Integrating Immunization Education into Prelicensure Nursing Programs

Poster Presentation at the 48th National Immunization Conference

2018-2020 Fellow: Janice Mark

Sponsoring CDC CIO: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Fellowship Title: Clinical Fall Prevention Fellowship

Janice Mark, DNP, RN, FNP-BC is the AACN-CDC Public Health Fellow in the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Her primary role is to assist the team on several projects including research, evaluation, project management, informatics, and programmatic activities related to older adult falls. Specific activities include: developing a business case for evidence-based clinical fall prevention activities; analyzing data and evaluating strategies to reduce hospital readmissions due to falls; providing technical support for health system implementation, use, and evaluation of falls prevention activities; pursuing opportunities to educate and incentivize clinicians and health systems for integrating fall prevention; assisting in the development of electronic health record (EHR) modules and other health IT products to educate and assist clinicians in addressing their patient’s fall risk; analyzing, interpreting, and publishing a report on fatal and non-fatal injury data to estimate the overall health and economic impact of falls and other injuries; and reviewing and reporting on the health and economic burden related to unintentional injuries that occur in the home and recreational environment.

Dr. Mark is a registered nurse, adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions (USF), and proud mother of two. She received her MSN degree at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as a geriatric clinical nurse specialist (GCNS). She predominately uses her graduate degree instructing BSN students as a clinical and simulation instructor where she is able to express her love for her students and her passion of investing in their future. In addition, she has been a medical surgical staff nurse for 31 years. She has recently completed a DNP and FNP degree at the University of San Francisco. As part of her DNP project, Dr. Mark combined her geriatric knowledge and love of teaching by educating current and future primary care clinicians on the importance of falls risk assessment and management of all community dwelling older adults using STEADI. This was accomplished through her written work, as well as through didactic and simulation training in both the classroom and conference setting. She hopes to continue educating and promoting falls risk assessment and management of all seniors by primary care practitioners.

2018-2019 Fellow: Adriane Biggio

Sponsoring CDC CIO: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Fellowship Title: Personal Protective Equipment Proper Use in the Healthcare Sectors

Adriane Biggio, MSN, RN was the 2018-2019 AACN-CDC Public Health Fellow in the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She contributed to projects and studies about personal protective equipment with an emphasis on respiratory protection, including disposable and reusable respirators in the United States’ healthcare delivery. She worked closely with the projects officers and principal investigators on all aspects of clinical research from design to implementation, including partnerships with healthcare organizations working under contract with CDC/NIOSH. Her specific duties included: survey design, contract preparation, preparation of regulatory materials, collecting and analyzing data, and contributing to translation science.

Ms. Biggio is from Bedford, Virginia. She has a bachelor's degree in Biology from Roanoke College and a master's degree in nursing administration from Jefferson College of Health Sciences. Currently, she is a student at James Madison University in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in Leadership in Healthcare Systems. She has been a registered nurse for thirteen years and has worked in specialties including infection control, psychiatry, oncology, and occupational health. Her passions include public health and advocating for positive system changes.

2018-2019 Fellow: Earthy "Willie" Spaulding

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

Fellowship Title: Wisewoman Program Cardiovascular Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Fellow

Earthy "Willie" Spaulding, MSN, RN, was the 2016-2019 Public Health Fellow in the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Her primary role was to work with community-based organization to develop, coordinate, implement, and manage educational trainings, as well as, gather stakeholder input from experts in the field. More specifically, Ms. Spaulding collaborated with community-based organizations to develop new and/or modify existing lifestyle medicine competencies of preventive medicine clinicians engaged in efforts to improve the cardiovascular health of WISEWOMAN participants.

Ms. Spaulding graduated from Harlem Hospital School of Nursing and received her Master of Science in Nursing Education and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Governor's University. She started her career working in the Intensive Care, Emergency, and Burn Units at Harlem Hospital. After a decade of working in these areas, Ms. Spaulding changed her focus to primary prevention in the community by becoming a founding member of a community-based non-profit organization where she provided information, education, and trainings to low income families.

2017 Fellow: Dr. Michael Bach

Sponsoring CDC CIO: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Fellowship Title: Personal Protective Equipment Proper Use in the Healthcare Sectors Fellow

Michael Bach, PhD, RN was the 2017 AACN-CDC Public Health Fellow in the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. His primary role was to contribute to a PPT Sentinel Surveillance System project, which monitors PPE usage as it relates to hazards within a hospital settings. Dr. Bach assisted the Project Officer in all aspects of the study, including developing surveillance questions and metrics, collecting and analyzing data, and helping to be strategic in dissemination schemes.

Dr. Bach received his PhD in Nursing from Binghamton University. His research focused on respirator use and levels of fatigue in auto body workers. At Binghamton University, Dr. Bach was awarded the Fellowship in Diversity from the Clark Family Foundation. He holds an Associates in Business Administration and Management and a BSN from Pennsylvania State University. For over ten years, Dr. Bach served his community as a EMT-B and rescue diver.

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.