The College of Public Health and Health Professions is proud to recognize 13 graduates with 2022 Outstanding Alumni Awards. They will be recognized at a celebration October 15 during PHHP Alumni Reunion.
Wendy Alexander has spent most of her professional career working in inpatient rehab at UF Health Rehab Hospital. She has held various positions over the years, including clinical supervisor, clinical specialist (neuro-developmental treatment certified), clinical coordinator for student and new employee education, and facilitator for the brain injury support group. She has been a guest lecturer at UF’s occupational therapy, physical therapy and nursing programs, Santa Fe College nursing program and local high schools.
Razan Alfakir is an assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Auburn University. Her lab is affiliated with an international research group that developed a novel tool — the HEAR COMMAND Tool — by transferring the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework into a theory-supported, practically manageable concept.
Diana P. Rojas Alvarez is an infectious diseases epidemiologist. In 2020, she joined the Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis Unit in the Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness Department at the World Health Organization as the global technical lead of chikungunya and Zika viruses. She co-leads the Global Arbovirus Initiative, which tackles mosquito-borne viruses with global epidemic and pandemic potential.
Melani Dickenson is an Infection Prevention Clinical Epidemiologist at Baptist Health in Jacksonville. She aims to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistant and epidemiologically significant organisms and other adverse outcomes in the healthcare setting by translating research into practice. Previously, she worked at the Florida Department of Health as a Healthcare Associated Infections Epidemiologist and Emerging Infections Disease Fellow.
Vonetta Dotson is a Professor of Psychology and Gerontology at Georgia State University, Senior Project Scientist at NASA, and Founder and President of CerebroFit Integrated Brain Health (www.cerebrofit.org). She is also a fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology. Her research and clinical activities focus on positive and negative modifiers of brain health, including the intersection of depression with cognitive and brain aging, and the impact of health disparities on brain health.
Steve Gold is the Chief Executive Officer of Refresh Mental Health, the leading national outpatient mental health services company and part of the Optum family of companies. Previously, he was a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Crestview Capital Partners LLC, which owned and operated several outpatient mental health centers. Prior to Crestview, he was a co-founder, Director and Vice President of Corporate Development for RiverMend Health, a national behavioral health services company focused on addiction.
Dino Medic is one of PT Solutions’ Directors of Clinical Operations, overseeing the clinical quality and patient outcomes of the 20 outpatient clinics in Texas. He has helped develop relationships with multiple hospital partners to allow for more access to physical therapy for local communities, helped deliver multiple continuing education courses and headed various recruiting and marketing efforts, in addition to serving as a mentor within the Orthopedic Residency program. In this role, he will also oversee all future statewide growth in the Dallas and Austin markets.
Matthew Medley serves as Operations Administrator for the Department of Gynecology and Department of Urology at Mayo Clinic Florida. His prior positions at Mayo Clinic include Operations Manager for Cancer Services and Operations Administrator for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, where he partnered to launch the Division of Sports Medicine. Following his UF graduation, he completed an Administrative Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Sharon Moss serves as President and Chief Research Officer at ASAE Research Foundation in Washington, D.C. She directs the association’s development, research, publication and knowledge dissemination efforts, and leads the development and implementation of a robust and multi-faceted research agenda that addresses the organization’s research needs and advances applied and scholarly knowledge in association management.
Tim Richardson is a Franchise Regional Consultant for Fyzical, LLC, one of the 5,000 fastest growing health companies in America. Prior to his current role, he was Fyzical’s Vice President of Operations, serving small business owners and helping brand their practices, grow their revenues and build value with a franchise model. He has helped the company grow to over 240 franchise locations.
Bridget Scheidler is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Baylor University Doctor of Occupational Therapy program. She has worked with adults and older adults in a variety of settings, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and home health, since she began practicing occupational therapy in 2006. She specializes in home modifications and is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist through the National Association of Home Builders.
Kai Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biostatistics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His major methodological research interests include spatio-temporal data analysis, statistical process control and survival analysis. His collaborative research interests are focused on infectious diseases, cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Fleury Yelvington is the Administrator of Shriners Children’s-Florida/Georgia. Through her leadership, Shriners Children’s recently formed academic and clinical affiliations with both the UF Health’s Department of Orthopaedics and the University of Miami/Jackson Health System’s Department of Orthopedics. Previous roles include senior leadership at St. Joseph’s Hospital and BayCare (Tampa), and CEO at Ascension Health’s Carondelet-Kansas City health system and St. Mary’s of Michigan health system.