Our Alumni Make the World A Healthier Place

For 20 years, our graduates have been public health champions

MEZCOPH alumni gather for UArizona Homecoming, 2016

MEZCOPH alumni gather for UArizona Homecoming, 2016

For 20 years, our students from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health have been graduating, going out into the world, and working to make it better. Our alumni inspire us, they are changemakers, they give back, they improve health and quality of life for countless people and communities. Thanks to you all for the work you do!

Currently our 3,363 alumni live, work, and build a healthier world on 6 continents in 35 countries and in 46 states. They serve in county and state health departments, non-profit organizations in the United States, NGOs internationally, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), universities, hospitals and many other companies and organizations.

Many of our alumni have gone on to prominence in the world of public health, and key leadership positions in health agencies and organizations. Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States and one of our “20 Day for 20 Years” Honorees, earned his MPH from the College. Mark Smolinski, MD, MPH, President of Ending Pandemics, also an alumnus and Honoree, has become a global leader in disease response and prevention. Recently Omar A. Escontrías, DrPH, MPH, double alum of the College (MPH 2006 and DrPH 2019), received the 2020 Ayman El-Mohandes Young Professional Public Health Innovation Award from the American Public Health Association (APHA).

MEZCOPH alumni reconnect in 2008

MEZCOPH alumni reconnect in 2008

Other alumni have gone on to lead in a variety of public health roles. Among so many shining examples, Christine Bracamonte Wiggs, PhD, MPH, MS, now works as director of community and health advancement for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. Herminia “Minnie” Frias, MPH, former Chairwoman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, now serves on the Tribal Council. Jean Domercant, MPH, now serves as the Executive Director at the Institut pour la Sante, la Population et le Development in Haiti. Tara Radke, MPH, leads as the Director of Grant Development and Management for El Rio Community Health Center here in Tucson. Andrea Logue, JD, MPH, works as Associate Attorney at Rai & Barnone P.C., in Phoenix, AZ.

In other states, Traci Kodeck, MPH, serves as Chief Executive Officer for HealthCare Access Maryland. Alumna Juliet Charron, MPH, PHPM, now makes an impact as the chief strategy officer at the Office of the Inspector General, Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Mae Rouhani, MPH Global Health, works with the International Rescue Committee Resettlement Office in New York City, and manages programs in many nations. Tarra McNally, MPH, Medical Anthropologist, serves as Assistant Director of Evaluation at the University of Southern California. Larissa J. Estes-White, DrPH, leads as the Executive Director of ALL IN Alameda County (California) located in Oakland, CA. This handful of examples shows how our alumni serve in a range of positions, at a variety of organizations, and across the country and the world.

"My biggest inspiration has been and always will be the College’s amazing students who transform into awe-inspiring alumni. Their devotion to the public health mission and to making this crazy world a better place makes my heart sing" says Chris Tisch, Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs.

The Dean’s Alumni Circle

To keep the College and alumni connected while supporting current students, the Dean’s Alumni Circle serves as a leadership coalition that provides engagement with other alumni, with the leadership of the College, and with current initiatives. It offers a great way to “give back” to the College and support the next generation of public health professionals. Join the Dean’s Alumni Circle today!

To stay in touch with other alumni and up-to-date with research and programs at the College, join our  LinkedIn Alumni group and join our alumni mailing list.

Helping the World Through Public Health

Our graduates stand out for their passion to help others, to improve health for populations and communities, and they do inspiring work! We have highlighted just a few more of our incredible, dedicated alumni as part of our “20 Days for 20 Years” digital celebration for the Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Gail Bradford, RN, CIC, MS, MS

Gail Bradford, RN, CIC, MS, MS

Gail Bradford, RN, CIC, MS, MS

Hometown: Yuma, Arizona

Currently resides in:  Tucson, Arizona

Alum Year: MS in Epidemiology, 2008

Current Position: Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System (SAVAHCS)

NDNQI Coordinator, February 2020 – current
As the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®) Coordinator, I manage our facility data, which is entered into the national database to examine relationships between nursing sensitive indicators and patient outcomes.  Nursing-sensitive measures provide actionable insights, which reflect data on the structure, process and outcomes of nursing care. 

Infection Preventionist, November 2015 – February 2020
As an Infection Preventionist, I helped prevent and control the spread of communicable diseases of public health concern for patients, visitors and hospital staff. We monitored and reported hospital acquired infections to identify concerning trends, recognize any barriers to patient safety and implement current demonstrated evidence-based practices.

Please describe your journey from getting your degree in public health to your current career:
Having a master’s degree in epidemiology helped provide me the opportunity to apply for and serve in a variety of positions.  With the ultimate goal of protecting and improving the health of my local community, I have been able to apply my skillset and knowledge in very different settings. In the county public health department setting, I have worked as a Data Resource Analyst and an Epidemiologist, and in the hospital setting, I have worked as a Registered Nurse, Infection Preventionist and now as the NDNQI Coordinator.

What inspires you about public health? How have you seen public health efforts make a difference in people’s lives?
Public health has had a profound impact on my career, and ignited my passion for patient safety, quality improvement, policy, advocacy and infectious disease epidemiology. Efforts made towards public health interventions truly make differences in the lives of community members. I have participated with public health programs in under-served communities to improve and promote the culture of health and wellness, to encourage healthy lifestyle practices towards chronic disease prevention. These efforts had a very positive and ongoing impact on the program participants. I have also participated in community-based collaborative efforts to reduce and prevent infectious disease transmission through educational interventions, contract tracing, and large-scale vaccination drives as part of public health safety measures.

Professional Awards and Recognition

Ada Dieke, DrPH, MPH

Ada Dieke, DrPH, MPH

Ada Dieke, DrPH, MPH

Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Alum Years: MPH (2007), Maternal and Child Health concentration, and DrPH (2011), Maternal and Child Health, Health Communications Minor 

Current Position: Health Scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

I serve on the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) team where I conduct data analysis and support health departments to collect information from mothers about their health and experiences before, during, and after pregnancy.

Please describe your journey from getting your degree in public health to your current career:
After MEZCOPH, I served as a Prevention Specialist with the CDC’s Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) Fellowship which provided additional training in public health management while assigned to a local/state health department. I was assigned to the San Antonio Health Department’s STD/HIV clinic in San Antonio, TX, to coordinate congenital syphilis prevention activities. Then I served in Liberia for a few months, as a UNICEF Communications Consultant with the STOP Polio program and later as a global policy liaison within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). After that, I became an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer (CDC’s Disease Detectives) in the Division of Reproductive Health’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance and Research Team. Since then, I am grateful to have served in CDC emergency responses for Zika in Brazil, Polio in Angola and also now supporting the COVID-19 response from headquarters and in the field with a tribal nation.    

What inspires you about public health? How have you seen public health efforts make a difference in people’s lives?
Public health is truly awe-inspiring because it is a factor in every facet of everyday life. It can also be invisible because when it is missing or there’s something wrong, one will know it. From maternal and child health, health policy, to education, to environmental health, even to public health emergency preparedness, the public health field has so many diverse areas of focus and I believe that’s due to the many factors that have an effect on a person’s life. A great example of that is how the COVID-19 pandemic, a big public health event, has impact in every corner of people’s lives. I have seen public health efforts make a difference both domestically and globally from the act of health systems improvements to ensure that young children get the polio vaccine for example, or in witnessing how case investigations and contact tracing can help bring a person into the STD clinic to get the necessary treatment and help to interrupt further spread of a certain disease. I have always enjoyed the classes in MEZCOPH that focused on socioeconomics of public health and our trips to Navajo and Hopi Nation to increase my awareness of those public health issues and now I use that valuable insight in my current service and research.

Professional Awards and Recognition

  • CDC Division of Reproductive Health’s On the Spot Award - Spring 2019 
  • Received the Fellowship of the Peer Award for the PHPS Class of 2011 (June 2013) 
  • Named as the University of Arizona Black Alumni Phenomenal Woman-Rising Star (2012) 
  • Received the Harriet Tubman Vanguard Award for Community Health Volunteer from the Coalition for African-American Health and Wellness in Tucson, AZ (2011)

Lana Rae Fred (Navajo/Hopi), MPH

Lana Rae Fred (Navajo/Hopi), MPH

Lana Rae Fred (Navajo/Hopi), MPH

Hometown: Shiprock, New Mexico

Currently resides in: Tucson, Arizona

Alum Years: MPH – Health Behavior Health Promotion (May 2009), Bachelor of Science in Health Education (May 2003)

Current Position: Health Promotion Coordinator / Master Resilience Trainer / Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner
Davis-Monthan AFB Health Promotion, Human Performance Flight
355th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron 

My primary role at Davis-Monthan AFB is the Health Promotion Coordinator. The military population I work with are activity duty members, their families, reserve, guard, border patrol, and retired military. My position requires I use both my undergraduate and graduate foundational skills through program planning/evaluation, community outreach, worksite interventions with a focus on nutrition, tobacco-free living, health eating, sleep optimization, and fundamental nutrition. To further support the military member’s mission our team provides body composition assessment (BOD POD), metabolic testing and VO2 Max testing to optimize and maximize their performance.

Part of the base’s initiative is to nurture and enhance resilience through four domains: mental, social, physical, and spiritual. Programs developed from this initiative allowed me to further my experience as a Master Resilience Trainer and Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner. Military members have a mission to accomplish and I am a piece of the public health puzzle.

Please describe your journey from getting your degree in public health to your current career:
I started working for the American Indian Association’s Tucson Indian Center (TIC) as a Health Educator after receiving my Bachelor of Science in Health Education. I spent seven years learning and developing myself as a public health professional while working at TIC. This non-profit organization is near and dear to my heart for allowing me to gain valuable experience working on different grants and taking on various roles. I was introduced to the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui communities and felt honored to engage and connect with their health philosophies. During my sixth year at TIC, I decided to enroll in the MPH – Health Behavior Health Promotion program. I was able to complete this program working part-time, raising my three children, and attending school full-time. At the completion of my graduate program I was in a unique situation where the grant that supported my position for two years could only sustain a part-time status. One of the hardest decisions I had to make was to leave TIC in search of a full-time position. This is when my journey began at Davis-Monthan AFB as the Health Promotion Coordinator. I am grateful and have enjoyed the past eleven years to serve those who serve.  

What inspires you about public health? How have you seen public health efforts make a difference in people’s lives?
Public health considers every aspect of a person and is very dynamic and diverse. When I reflect on my foundational values and beliefs influenced by Navajo philosophies, public health concepts align not only personally but professionally. Public health allows me to do more listening than talking and this gives me the opportunity to learn and grow. The organic concept of making a connection with people is valuable when it comes to public health. When people trust me with their vulnerability and allow me to help navigate their health goals I am honored and inspired.

Professional Awards and Recognition

  • Intermediate Civilian of the Quarter, DM AFB, 6/2018
  • Senior Civilian of the Year, DM AFB, 1/2018
  • Senior Civilian of the Quarter, DM AFB, 12/2016
  • Tucson Area Indian Health Service Merit Award for 2006, 2007, 2008
  • EXPORT Fellow, Center for Health Equality, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, 2007 – 2009

I have also received several Air Force coins. A coin has an organization’s insignia. Leaders or commanders present a coin to a member of the unit organization in recognition of special achievement or honor. Coins represent excellence and significance given to those that go above and beyond to serve their unit. The coin passes from the giver to the receiver during a strong handshake. The coin sits in the palm of the commander’s hand and during the handshake, the coin transfers to the recipients’ hand.

Aimee Stone, RN, MPH, IBCLC and Myles Stone, MD, MPH with their family

Aimee Stone, RN, MPH, IBCLC and
Myles Stone, MD, MPH with their family

Myles Stone, MD, MPH & Aimee Stone, RN, MPH, IBCLC

Myles: Tucson, AZ
Aimee: Atlanta, GA

Alum Years:
Myles: 2010, MPH, Public Health Policy and Management
Aimee: 2009, MPH, Health Behavior Health Promotion

Current Positions:
Myles: Lieutenant Commander in the United States Public Health Service, detailed to the Indian Health Service. I provide direct medical care to Native Americans living along the western edge of the Navajo Nation. I am also involved in several public health campaigns for Native Americans across Arizona, and recently returned from a deployment to the Detroit, MI COVID-19 field hospital.
Aimee: Most recently a birth center nurse and certified lactation consultant at Whiteriver Indian Hospital. I provide prenatal, labor and postnatal nursing care to pregnant women as well as care for newborns.

Dr. Myles and Aimee Stone at work

Dr. Myles and Aimee Stone at work

Please describe your journey from getting your degree in public health to your current career:
Myles and Aimee: Both of us knew that we wanted to bridge the gap between public health and individual care with our careers. We were able to visit several IHS and Native Health facilities during our training, and saw that this environment would be a very nice fit. Close-knit communities and universal health coverage allow for integration of population-level campaigns and clinic-level follow up. One can’t work without the other, and we feel fortunate to work in a system that values both.

What inspires you about public health? How have you seen public health efforts make a difference in people’s lives?
Myles: So much of medicine is working on the margins. Most peoples’ health outcomes are largely determined by the time they reach the clinic doors. That is as true for COVID-19 as it is for more routine diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Public health often addresses the root causes that can help people avoid disease in the first the place.
Aimee: Everything is public health. Working with Native American pregnant women is social justice in action. By providing early care and interventions, moms and babies are healthier.

Professional Awards and Recognition
Myles: Recent COVID-19 communication published in the New England Journal of Medicine and induction into Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society
Aimee: Recent International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLC) certification

University of Arizona Alumni Association "Alumni of the Year" Winners from the Zuckerman College of Public Health

Natalie LaHood

MPH Alum 2014
UArizona Alumni of the Year Winner 2019
Senior Global Health Officer, Pandemic and Emerging Threats, USDHHS

Traci Lyn Kodeck

MPH Alum 1999
UArizona Alumni of the Year Winner 2018
C.E.O. of Healthcare Access Maryland (HCAM)

Dr. Mark S. Smolinski

MPH Alum 1994
UArizona Alumni of the Year Winner 2016
President of Ending Pandemics, Medical Epidemiologist

Dr. Roberto Cláudio

MPH Alum 2002, and PhD Epidemiology Alum 2006
UArizona Alumni of the Year Winner 2015
Mayor of Fortaleza, Brazil
Read about Dr. Roberto Claudio in this story.

Dr. Roberto Cláudio
Dr. Zhao Chen

Dr. Zhao Chen

MPH Alum 1995
UArizona Alumni of the Year Winner 2011
Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Learn more about Dr. Chen’s leadership in public health.


Other Videos Featuring Our Alumni

Dr. Richard Carmona

MPH Alum 1998
Distinguished Prof. Public Health, Health Promotion Sciences & Community, Environment and Policy
Honored During MEZCOPH 20th Anniversary Celebration

Dr. Tshijik Kabash

MPH Alum 2017

To learn more about Dr. Kabash, his rich
cultural background and his professional
career journey, watch this video


Dr. Tshijik Kabash

Thanks to our alumni for building a better world!

We are so proud of our alumni! Did you graduate from the Zuckerman College of Public Health? We would love to hear from you! Please tell us how you are helping and where you are working. Connect with your former classmates! Join our LinkedIn Alumni Group, sign up for our MEZCOPH alumni mailing list, and join the Dean’s Alumni Circle.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Arizona Complete Health!

Arizona Complete Health