College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Advisory Board

Suyanna Linhales Barker
Senior Director of Health Equity and Community Action
La Clinica del Pueblo

Suyanna Baker photoSuyanna Linhales Barker, DSc, Suyanna Linhales Barker has over 25 years of experience in the research and implementation of group and community-level public health interventions that address the needs of low-income, underserved Latin Americans. A native of Brazil, Dr. Barker has a Doctorate of Science in Public Health from the National School of Public Health in Brazil, a Masters’ degree in Social Psychology from the State University of Rio de Janeiro, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Dr. Barker’s work experience includes 10 years conducting research for the Primary Health Care Program of the State University of Rio de Janeiro’s Center for Adolescent Health Studies and 9 years consulting for various national and international organizations, including the Pan-American Health Organization, the International Labor Organization and the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

Dr. Barker specializes in the health and rights of immigrant minorities and the development and management of community-based public health services. Since 2010, she is the Senior Director of Health Equity and Community Action at La Clinica del Pueblo, a FQHC in Washington DC Metropolitan Area, where she is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of initiatives to reduce the incidence and prevalence of health risks affecting the local immigrant Latino community through culturally-relevant interventions. Dr. Barker supervises managers and health providers, ensuring high quality services that adhere to grant guidelines under local and federal contracts, including grants for HIV Prevention, chronic disease self-management, community health education and gender-affirmative health interventions. She is the currently the Principal Investigator for (1) CDC Grant PS15-1502 “Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Projects for Community-Based Organizations”; (2) SAMSHA Grant  SP-15-005 “Capacity Building Initiative for Substance Abuse (SA) and HIV Prevention for At-Risk Racial/Ethnic Minority Youth and Young Adults” and Project Director for OVW Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services Program (CLSSP), Entre Amigas Project.

Karen Berube
Vice President, Population/Community Health
Inova

Karen Berube photo

Karen Berube serves as Vice President of Population/Community Health at Inova. In that capacity she oversees Inova’s Geriatric Services, Safety Net Clinics, Transitional Programs and Clinics, Disease Management Programs and Community Based Programs. She has oversight for the Community Benefit Reports and Community Health Needs Assessments for the system. In her role, she works closely with local governmental agencies, community partners, and other hospital providers.

Ms. Berube joined Inova in 1995 as a Social Worker for the Inova Juniper Program. Since that time, she has used her core skills working with and understanding people as her biggest asset to manage an increasing amount of Inova’s community work. She has directed medical clinics including OB, Pediatrics, Diabetes, and HIV. She co-leads the readmission reduction strategies for the system and helped to create and implement Transitional Services at Inova, an initiative that works to prevent readmissions and find patients a medical home. She also has oversight of the Forensics Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) that provides services to victims of sexual assault and abuse.

Ms. Berube has spent much of her career in the area of medical care but also has worked with young children, the elderly and those with addiction issues. In her work at Inova, she has successfully managed to combine her love for helping people with management and leadership skills, as evidenced by programs that are increasing both in volume and efficiency. Ms. Berube sits on a number of local community boards and commissions, and is a respected leader in her field.

Kenneth E. Christopher
Senior Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
Affiliate Faculty, George Mason University

Kenneth Christopher (Ken), PhD, MPH, MS, MA, MEd, is a Public Health Emergency Management Professional with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and is part of a federal cohort responsible for public health and medical preparedness and response activities aimed at advancing national health security. 

Ken is a retired Naval Officer and has served in a variety of positions related to public health, medical planning, and disaster response and emergency preparedness.  His 25-year military career within the Department of Defense, was highlighted by operational tours, deployments, and missions in support of U.S. National Security strategies and objectives.  He held a variety of leadership and staff positions to include: Company Commander; Division Officer; Department Head; Plans and Operations Officer; Special Assistant; Joint Force Headquarters Staff Officer, and his final assignment as the Deputy Senior Medical Advisor, United Nations Command/U.S. Forces Korea (UNC/USFK).  He obtained his B.S. degree from Park University; graduate degrees from George Mason University, the University of West Florida; and Marymount University; and his PhD in Public Health, from Walden University.   

Ken’s training portfolio includes public health and medical planning, disaster response, emergency preparedness, humanitarian assistance, homeland security and joint, multi-national and interagency planning with the Department of Defense; and emergency management and homeland security planning with the Department of Homeland Security.  He holds active memberships with the American Public Health Association (APHA), and the Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (SDMPH) and is an Affiliate Faculty of George Mason University.

David A. Crum
Acting State Public Health Veterinarian
Maryland Department of Health
Center for Zoonotic and Vector-borne Diseases

David Crum photoDavid A Crum, DVM, MPH, graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002 and practiced avian and exotic animal medicine in Northern Virginia for over 13 years. In 2016, he completed his Master of Public Health from George Mason University and made the transition from clinical veterinary practice to a career in public health. 

Dr. Crum started his public health career with Fairfax County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health in Fairfax, Virginia. While there, he was heavily involved with the Consumer Protection and Disease Carrying Insects programs and helped with the development of enhanced mosquito surveillance and control practices. He joined the Center for Zoonotic and Vector-borne Diseases at the Maryland Department of Health in 2017 and has been active with the rabies control and prevention activities. His interests include tick borne diseases and the promotion of the ONE Health concept, highlighting the relationship between human and animal health.

Sorina E. Eftim
Senior Technical Specialist
ICF

Sorina EftimSorina Eftim, PhD, MHS, MSc, is an environmental epidemiologist and biostatistician with more than 17 years of experience in environmental risk and toxicology projects. As Senior Technical Specialist at ICF, Dr. Eftim leads efforts requiring the analysis and performance of human health risk assessments on contracts for Federal agencies and other clients. Dr. Eftim applies her research expertise in designing and analyzing studies evaluating the health effects of air pollution, environmental epidemiology, and cancer epidemiology. She has superior analytical skills with an advanced comprehension of the scientific method, research, and the principles of epidemiology and biostatistics. Dr. Eftim has performed and published statistical analysis for time-series and cohort studies of air pollution, conducted literature reviews and meta-analyses, and critically reviewed epidemiological studies for publication. Prior to ICF, Dr. Eftim conducted research at University of Maryland College Park on the risk of asthma from exposure to traffic-related pollution. She was also a Mathematic Fellow at Marlboro College in Vermont where she taught algebra, calculus and statistics.

Dr. Eftim also has extensive teaching experience in biostatistics at the undergraduate and graduate level. She is currently Professorial Lecturer at George Washington University. She has given numerous scientific presentations in front of diverse audiences. Her professional activities include serving as a peer reviewer for several scientific journals including Environmental Health Perspectives, Environmental Research and Emerging Themes in Epidemiology.

Dr. Eftim earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer sciences from the University of Pitesti, Romania and her Master of Science in Statistics from University of Bucharest. Dr. Eftim earned her Master of Health Sciences in Biostatistics and PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Michael R. Fraser
Executive Director, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
Affiliated Faculty, George Mason University

Michael Fraser photoMichael R. Fraser, PhD, MSMSL, CAE, FCPP, is the Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state‐based public health practice.

Dr. Fraser is a dynamic leader in the health care and public health fields and brings to this position experience leading both public health associations and medical societies. He has been featured in interviews with the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, The Hill, CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC, and other national and regional media outlets. Michael has been a distinguished leader in public health for twenty years.

Michael received his doctorate and masters degrees in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a masters of science in management with a concentration on management, strategy and leadership from the Eli Broad School of Management at Michigan State University. He has crisscrossed the nation to meet with members, partners, and public health leaders to further advance ASTHO’s mission as an advocate, voice and resource for state and territorial public health.  He serves on several national boards and advisory committees throughout his career. He is a the Founding Treasurer of PHPAC – the Public Health Political Action Committee, is active in the American Society of Association Executives, serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the National Board of Public Health Examiners, chairs the Departmental Advisory Committee for the George Mason University College of Health and Human Services’ Department of Global and Community Health, and is a member of the Advisory Committee on the Kregse-UNC Emerging Public Health Leaders Program. 

Courtney M. Gonzalez
Clinical Technician
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
Pediatric Emergency Department

Courtney Gonzalez photo

Courtney M Gonzalez, B.S., CHES, received her BS degree in Global and Community Health from George Mason University. She joined Inova Health as a clinical technician in 2017 and holds a certificate as a health education specialist (CHES). She is also the co-Founder of Weske & Company, a health education company focused on inclusive health education. In November 2016, she published her first research article on Sex Education Policy: Need for a Standard Definition of Medically Accurate Information in the Pedagogy in Health Promotion. She is the co-author of an upcoming children’s book.

Leigh Guarinello
Education and Prevention Manager, Inova Juniper Program
Adjunct Professor, George Mason University

Leigh GuarinelloLeigh Guarinello, MPH is the Education and Prevention Manager of the Inova Juniper Program and the Regional Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Regional Partner of the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center and Virginia HIV/AIDS Resource and Consultation Center.  She has been with the program for 14 years, during which time she has developed and delivered numerous in-person and web-based training programs and curricula regarding HIV, STDs, and hepatitis.  She regularly provides technical assistance and consultation to healthcare workers throughout the state of Virginia, and is known throughout the MidAtlantic region as a resource for hepatitis C education and information. 

Leigh has overseen the administration of numerous state, federal, and private grants regarding prevention, outreach, education, and research.  She has experience implementing system-level changes including as a Systems Analyst who co-led the implementation of two full-scale electronic medical record systems within a year.

Leigh began as an Adjunct Professor of Global and Community Health at George Mason University in 2016. She engages undergraduate students in their introduction to public health.

M. David Lawrence
Environmental Health Specialist III
Fairfax County Health Department

David Lawrence is a 1990 graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. Since 1993, David has been employed by the Fairfax County Health Department with experience in conducting environmental and clinical laboratory services, enforcing regulations of foodservice establishments and other permitted facilities, and leading environmental investigations related to foodborne illness outbreaks and toxic substance exposures. For 13 years, he served as the Certified Food Program Inspection/Training Officer for a staff of up to 17 food inspection staff.

Since 2002, David has participated in the Conference for Food Protection (CFP). He is a member of the CFP Executive Board as the Mid-Atlantic Region Local Regulatory Representative. For the 2018 – 2020 biennium, David will serve as the CFP Conference Chair. In 2017, he served on the Technical Review Committee for the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC). Both organizations engage stakeholders in the revision process for model national regulatory codes. In Fairfax County, David has led strategic initiatives such as the Local Environmental Public Health Self-Assessment project, utilizing MPH practicum students from George Washington University. He served on the agency’s Strategic Planning Committee and Accreditation Team. David has worked diligently to implement the FDA’s standards for a model regulatory food program. He has conducted internal self-assessments and performed verification audits for both a neighboring local health department and a partner state agency. He leads mentorship activities for other local health departments through NACCHO’s Program Standards Mentorship program.

David has served as a site supervisor for several George Mason University MPH practicum students. Projects and deliverables have focused on the identification of trends of risk factors for foodborne and waterborne illnesses, injuries and deaths based on regulatory inspection data. The deliverables have led to significant programmatic changes to help improve compliance with code requirements.

Lisa C. Rzepka
Pastor, Missional Life
John Calvin Presbyterian Church

Reverand Lisa Rzepka, MDiv, D.Min., has been a Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor for fifteen years, serving for the past ten years as Head of Staff at the John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, VA. Her involvement in the community includes service as Vice-chairperson of the Fairfax County Clergy and Leadership Council (2014-2017), an interfaith organization that works with Fairfax County government to promote community priorities, including the health and well-being of Fairfax County residents, through interfaith collaboration and actions. She also serves as Chaplain to the Mason District Office of the Fairfax County Police Department.

Sam Shekar
Chief Medical Officer
Northrop Grumman’s Technology Services Sector

Sam Shekar, MD, MPH, is Chief Medical Officer within Northrop Grumman’s Technology Services Sector. He provides strategic clinical and public health direction for the health solutions business and provides advice/guidance to healthcare and public health organizations, customers and partners on health technology and policy issues.

A retired officer and former Assistant Surgeon General/Rear Admiral in the United States Public Health Service, Dr. Shekar held several executive-level health policy/management positions in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including leadership roles at the National Institutes of Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration. He also served as a medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and as a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Shekar is a board-certified Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and holds a medical license in Maryland. He earned his degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Expertise