Presenter Bios

Got Your Shots? MDH Annual Immunization Conference
Raising the Bar: The Challenge of Complacency

October 10-11, 2013
Ramada MSP Airport and Mall of America
Bloomington, MN

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Immunization Conference Speaker Bios (PDF: 156KB/2 pages)

On this page:
Lynn Bahta, RN, PHN
Douglas J. Opel, MD, MPH
Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH
Don Shelby
Laila Akhter, BS, RN, PHN
Amy Daufenbach, BSN, RN, PHN
Kim Gulliver, MA
Judy Jerde, BSN
Makala Johnson, BA
Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, MD, MPH
Julie Leibel, BA, MHA
Sue Nelson, BSN
James Nordin, MD, MPH
Amy Ryan

Lynn Bahta, RN, PHN

Lynn Bahta, RN, PHN, is the Immunization Clinical Consultant for the Immunization Program at the Minnesota Department of Health; providing programmatic and technical consultation for activities including the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program (MnVFC), vaccine safety, outbreak immunization recommendations, registry algorithms, and new vaccine implementation. She also functions as the clinical editor for the “Got Your Shots” newsletter fax.

Douglas J. Opel, MD, MPH

Douglas J. Opel, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Divisions of Bioethics and General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine and an investigator at the Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Opel received his BS from Duke University, his MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and his MPH from the University of Washington School of Public Health. He completed his pediatric residency and served as chief pediatric resident at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. 

Dr. Opel is a practicing general pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington Medical Center. His research interests include provider-parent communication, health communication, and public health ethics. His current research on improving provider communication with vaccine-hesitant parents is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH

Dr. Osterholm is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), director of the NIH-supported Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance within CIDRAP, a professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, University of Minnesota. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences and the Council of Foreign Relations. In June 2005, Dr. Osterholm was appointed by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to the newly established National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity. In July 2008, he was named to the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center’s Academy of Excellence in Health Research. In October 2008, he was appointed to the World Economic Forum Working Group on Pandemics.

From 2001 through early 2005, Dr. Osterholm, in addition to his role at CIDRAP, served as a Special Advisor to then–HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. He was also appointed to the Secretary's Advisory Council on Public Health Preparedness.

Previously, Dr. Osterholm served for 24 years (1975-1999) in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the last 15 as state epidemiologist and chief of the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section.

Dr. Osterholm has been an international leader on the critical concern regarding our preparedness for an influenza pandemic. Dr. Osterholm has also been an international leader on the growing concern regarding the use of biological agents as catastrophic weapons targeting civilian populations. In that role, he served as a personal advisor to the late King Hussein of Jordan. Dr. Osterholm provides a comprehensive and pointed review of America's current state of preparedness for a bioterrorism attack in his New York Times best-selling book, Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe.

The author of more than 315 papers and abstracts, including 21 book chapters, Dr. Osterholm is a frequently invited guest lecturer on the topic of epidemiology of infectious diseases. He serves on the editorial boards of nine journals, including Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and Microbial Drug Resistance: Mechanisms, Epidemiology and Disease, and he is a reviewer for 24 additional journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the AmericanMedical Association, and Science. He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Defense, and the CDC. He is a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

Dr. Osterholm has received numerous honors for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Luther College; the Pump Handle Award, CSTE; the Charles C. Shepard Science Award, CDC; the Harvey W. Wiley Medal, FDA; the Squibb Award, IDSA; and the Wade Hampton Frost Leadership Award, American Public Health Association. He also has been the recipient of six major research awards from the NIH and the CDC.

Don Shelby

Don Shelby has been a reporter and television anchor for 45 years.  Before retiring from daily journalism in 2010, he worked for 32 years as anchor, investigative reporter, and environmental correspondent for WCCO-TV. He has won three national Emmys, the Columbia-duPont, the Scripps-Howard, the National Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and has twice won the George Foster Peabody. He was honored in 1983 with the top award for investigative reporting by the International Radio and Television News Directors Association. He has been awarded more than two-dozen regional top honors from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Associated Press and United Press International. Don is also the author of The Season Never Ends: Wins, Losses, and the Wisdom of the Game. Since his retirement, Don continues his work in environmental journalism, with work published in MinnPost, Salon, and the Huffington Post. He is a member of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team roundtable, and currently serves on the board of Minnesota GreenStar, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and is the Capital Campaign Chair for the Washburn Center for Children.

Laila Akhter, BS, RN, PHN

Laila Akhter is the director of nursing at AXIS Medical Center, a non-profit community clinic in Minneapolis serving more than 90 percent Somali patient population. She did her registered nurse and public health nurse training at St. Scholastica after completing her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Physiology at the University of Minnesota. Working in primary care for the past four years, she has experience working with patients face-to-face as well as training clinic staff and organizing workflow. Her work includes implementing best practices and culturally appropriate practices to improve immunization rates.

Amy Daufenbach, BSN, RN, PHN 

Amy Daufenbach is the MIIC Regional Coordinator for the Immtrack Registry. Immtrack provides support for MIIC in South Central Minnesota. Amy has been in this role for almost 10 years. When not working she enjoys spending time on the North Shore.

Kim Gulliver, MA

Kim Gulliver is the MIIC Regional Coordinator for the ImmuLink region, which is comprised of the Metro counties. She has been in this role for 7 years.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and exercising.

Judy Jerde, BSN

Judy Jerde holds a BS in nursing from Winona State University and an MA in Health and Human Services Administration from St. Mary's College. She has been employed by HealthPartners since 1989. Since 1997, she has worked with the HealthPartners Medical Group Clinics. Her work includes support of immunization administration including clinical implementation of new vaccines, working with EMR staff to develop appropriate tools to support immunization administration, process improvement projects to increase immunization rates, annual influenza immunization program, and administration of VFC program.

Makala Johnson, BA

Makala Johnson was the first hire for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, a first-of-its-kind social media center focused on health care. She is the team’s go-to person for data-driven analytics. Makala conducts video interviews with patients and physicians, implements posting strategies on Mayo's social platforms, and consults internal clients to assess the most strategic social media solutions per their objectives. She served for three years as the managing editor of Sharing Mayo Clinic, a blog that enables patients to share their experiences. Makala led production of the Patient Video Guide series to better orient patients and families to the Mayo Clinic campuses. She also produced, directed, and edited the "Know Your Numbers" healthy heart awareness music video.

Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, MD, MPH

Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, MD, MPH, is the Chief of Service for the Department of Pediatrics at Hennepin County Medical Center. Dr. Joseph-DiCaprio received her MD from the University of Illinois, Chicago, did her residency in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, and fellowship in Adolescent Health and Disability at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Joseph-DiCaprio primarily provides care to 11 to 21-year-olds and authors a blog for adolescents and their parents at drj4teenhealth.com. Attention: Non-MDH link

Julie Leibel, BA, MHA

Julie Liebel holds a BA in Biology and Masters in Health Care Administration. She currently provides strategic direction for HealthEast ACO, Outpatient Services reporting, maintenance, analysis, and presentation of clinical data for the purpose of improving clinical quality. She also assists clinical leaders, medical staff, administration and others in measurement of outcomes, resource utilization, and performance improvement activities related to Clinical Practice Committee.

Sue Nelson, BSN

Sue Nelson has worked as a public health nurse in Blue Earth County for 35 years and holds a BSN from Minnesota State University. She has worked in many different areas of county public health over that time span; maternal/child health, WIC, older adult care and case management, school nursing, seasonal flu clinics, and emergency preparedness and planning. She was involved in the meningitis outbreak in Mankato in 1995 and the H1N1 pandemic in 2009-2010.

James Nordin, MD, MPH

Dr. Nordin received his MD at the University of Iowa in 1974 and received an MPH degree in maternal and child health from the University of Minnesota in 1978. He is a practicing pediatrician with HealthPartners St. Paul clinic. He also is the site principle investigator in the Vaccine Safety Datalink project with the CDC. He has chaired many committees related to immunization, including the ICSI immunization guideline workgroup, the HealthPartners Medical Group Immunization Expert Panel, and currently the Minnesota Immunization Practices Advisory Committee.

Amy Ryan

Amy Ryan is a project manager for Allina Health. Her primary work focus is in ambulatory care. She is responsible for implementing clinical initiatives across all Allina primary care clinic sites. She has worked in this role for the past 10 years.

Updated Friday, 04-Oct-2013 12:17:21 CDT