2019 Annual Conference Speakers’ Biographies

Deborah Schwengel

Deborah Schwengel is a pediatric anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is the former residency program director and is now Co-Director of the Education Research Core in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. She is a leader with interests in education and quality and safety research, specifically cognitive load and the science of learning. In addition, she enjoys career counseling and mentoring and of course, care of children in the operating room.

Sosena Kebede, MD, MPH

Dr. Kebede is an internal medicine physician with over 18 years of experience who works for the Johns Hopkins Health System. She has worked as a faculty at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine in clinical care and at the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) teaching health policy to graduate students and at the JHU Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality as a consultant. Her research interest is in Health Service Delivery Improvement and she is widely published on a number of related topics in the field. In addition to caring for patients she currently provides training in quality improvement and patient engagement both locally and abroad. Prior to joining JHU Dr. Kebede had worked as a Project Director for the Yale University School of Public Health in Ethiopia where she oversaw the country’s first hospital CEOs training program. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank in health service delivery improvement. She received her Bachelor of Science from Duke University, her medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Masters of Public Health from the JHSPH. She is passionate about public health and social justice and enjoys traveling and nature.

Mary Masterson, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA:

Mary Masterson has been a Physician Assistant in the Emergency Department of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center since 1997 (with a few detours). In addition, she is the Program Director of the Emergency Medicine PA Residency program at Bayview. And, she is also the Bayview Emergency Medicine liaison to Epic, which is the electronic medical record system used throughout the Hopkins hospital system.

Andrew Angelino, MD

Dr. Angelino received his MD from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and completed a residency in psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry as well as General Psychiatry, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins. He is the Chair of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Howard County General Hospital, and the Associate Director of AIDS Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Angelino has published many papers on the interface of psychiatry and medicine, focusing primarily on the interactions of the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics and psychiatric disorders. He is co-author of the book, The Psychiatry of AIDS: A Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment with Dr. Glenn Treisman.

Liz Reynolds

Liz Reynolds is an Assistant Professor and Director of Acute Psychological Services in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Reynolds received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Maryland, College Park in 2011. She completed her predoctoral internship training at Alpert Medical School of Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium.  She serves as the primary behavioral consultant within the Johns Hopkins Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient and Day Hospital services. Research and clinical interests focus on 1) patient safety, quality, and behavioral programming within youth psychiatric acute care and 2) social-contextual and self-regulatory factors associated with adolescent health risk behaviors. She has lead efforts to develop, implement, and disseminate Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports to reduce the use of seclusion, restraint, and PRN use in acute psychiatric care settings. She is an alumna of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute patient safety and quality improvement leadership academy.

Nicole Heidenreich, MSPAS, PA-C

I started my now 7-year Physician Assistant career in Neurosurgery and transitioned to Emergency Medicine in 2015 via the Johns Hopkins Bayview Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant Residency, for which I am now the Assistant Program Director.

My journey in becoming a PA and growing as a clinician has been one of self-discovery and immense personal growth. Being a healthcare provider was the furthest thing from my mind growing up. The gender roles I grew up with, the seemingly inordinate amount of schooling required, and what I presumed would be an unacceptable work-life balance were all aspects that caused me to shy away from the field. Not to mention that I personally could not get an injection without passing out. I was wrong on so many of these assumptions, and hope to correct them for others interested in the field.

I currently work at Johns Hopkins Bayview Emergency Department. It’s a 36 bed Level II Trauma Center in Baltimore City. The structure of the department is such that the physician residents and PAs / NPs are the primary providers for all of the patients, with an attending physician supervising in a 2-3:1 APP to Attending Ratio.

I love working in the ER because of the unpredictability, clinical challenges and the team environment that it fosters. It makes you grow intellectually, emotionally and professionally every day. And every once and a while you can make someone feel better on the spot, or even save their life.

There are certainly many options when it comes to choosing a profession in healthcare. The best advice I can give anyone is to do your research, and to shadow those in different roles to determine what is the best fit for you.

Dr. Margret Chisolm

Education and Professional Experience

Dr. Chisolm attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) for her undergraduate degree where she studied Visual Arts – Film. She then studied medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and completed a residency training in general psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM). Dr. Chisolm is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, with a joint appointment in Medicine, at JHUSOM. She is only the third female psychiatrist to be promoted to Professor in the department’s 105-year history.

Scholarly Interest

Board-certified in both general psychiatry and addiction medicine, Dr. Chisolm has 3 decades of clinical experience in these fields. In addition, she has served as PI or co-investigator on multiple nationally funded research projects, and has authored over 100 scientific, clinical, and medical education publications on psychiatric disorders and humanistic medical practice, as well as articles (and one book) on the use of social media in medicine, several book chapters, and a psychiatric textbook. Along the way, she has provided mentorship to undergraduates, medical students, house staff, graduate students, fellows, as well as junior faculty in psychiatry, internal medicine, and other fields locally, nationally, and internationally.

Personal Background

Dr. Chisolm met her husband, an Emmy award-winning documentary cinematographer, at UMBC where they both studied film. Forty years later, they still enjoy watching movies together, in addition to spending time with their grown son. Dr. Chisolm also loves reading novels and poetry, traveling, and – most of all – looking at art.

Vered Stearns, M.D.

Co-Director, Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program

Professor of Oncology

Breast Cancer Research Chair in Oncology

Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Vered Stearns completed a B.S. equivalent at the Tel Aviv University, Sackler Faculty of Medicine in 1989. After relocating to the United States, Dr. Stearns transferred to and graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 1992. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Georgetown University where she developed an interest in translational breast cancer research and spent two additional years as a research fellow. Dr. Stearns was a faculty member at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Georgetown University, and at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan before joining the faculty at the Breast Cancer Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in 2002. She has since been appointed as co-Director of the Breast Cancer Program in 2010, and to full Professor in 2013. In 2014 she was appointed at the co-Director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. In 2018 she became the inaugural Medical Director of the Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center.

Dr. Stearns’s long-term research goal is to improve current therapies by individualizing strategies for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Her main research includes utilization of biomarkers to predict response to standard regimens used to treat and prevent breast cancer and to introduce new interventions. Dr. Stearns and colleagues from the Consortium On Breast Cancer Pharamcogenomics (COBRA) Group were the first to evaluate the role of genetic variants in candidate genes such as CYP2D6 in tamoxifen metabolism, safety, and efficacy. The work has been extended to evaluate the role of genetic variants in aromatase inhibitor associated outcomes.

Dr. Stearns has received numerous grants and awards to fund her innovative research. She was a recipient of early career awards including a Clinical Research Training Grant from the American Cancer Society, and was one of the first five recipients of the prestigious Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award. Subsequently she was the inaugural recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Advanced Clinical Research Award. She is an Editorial Board Member Clinical Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, and ONCOLOGY.

Dr. Stearns’s work has been presented in key national meetings such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Her work has been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals such as JAMA, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and Clinical Cancer Research. Her work has been cited extensively and has already had a positive impact on the lives of many women. Indeed, in 2017 she was selected by Forbes as one of 27 top breast cancer oncologists in the United States.


MD, PhD, MS, MPhil







Dr. Piggott is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, jointly appointed in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. He is Associate Faculty in the Center on Aging and Health and Affiliate Faculty in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Piggott received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Spanish from Morehouse College. He subsequently attained his MD degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and PhD degree in Immunology from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with a focus on innate instruction of adaptive T cell immunity. He received board certification in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, having completed residency training at Yale New Haven Hospital and fellowship training in Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Piggott has worked on clinical and research projects in urban and rural communities in the U.S., South Africa, Mali, and the Caribbean region. A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Harold Amos Scholar, he is actively engaged in the clinical care of patients with HIV and his current research program is focused on the elucidation of biological, behavioral, and social pathways to promote healthy aging among persons living with HIV. His particular focus has been on those most severely affected by the HIV epidemic, namely socially marginalized, historically disadvantaged, vulnerable and resource-constrained HIV-infected communities.

Dr. Piggott has additionally been engaged in coaching and mentorship in biomedical research and biomedical education. As Co-Director of the Centers for Disease Control/Kennedy Krieger Institute James Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship program, he provides research and career mentorship to health professional and graduate students engaged in basic, translational and public health research with an infectious disease and health disparities focus. As Assistant Dean for Graduate Biomedical Education and Graduate Student Diversity, he serves as an advisor and advocate for graduate biomedical trainees.

Research Focus: Biological and Behavioral Determinants of Aging Phenotypes in HIV

Melissa Fleming, MSN, CNM

Melissa’s journey to midwifery began with attending the birth of her first nephew at a Maryland birth center. While the idea of birth had always fascinated her, she had not imagined, until that experience, there was a way for her to play a role in helping families to grow and women feel safe and positive in their birthing experience. Watching midwives work, made her realize there was a way to combine her desire to help others and passion for birth into a career.

Melissa became a doula and a childbirth educator in the 1990s and then a middle and elementary school teacher. Around the same time, she and her husband started their own family, and had each of their four children with midwives, two were born at home and two at a local birth center. Her experiences further deepened her love of midwifery. The collaboration and respect she received from her providers during pregnancy, labor, delivery and post gynecological care assured her it was the right path to take.

Giving up her career as an educator, Melissa returned to nursing school for the sole purpose of becoming a midwife. After obtaining her RN, she was employed as a Medical/Surgical RN and then a Perinatal RN at Johns Hopkins Hospital where she helped hundreds of families during their antepartum, postpartum and Labor & Delivery experiences.

Her clinical midwifery training was completed at George Washington University Hospital. Following her certification as a midwife, Melissa joined the team at Special Beginnings utilizing her knowledge of out of hospital births and hospital births to provide holistic, family centered care. She returned to Johns Hopkins as a CNM at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in 2018 and is offering clinic and hospital care to women and families in Howard County, MD.

As an active American College of Nurse Midwives member, Melissa is the current MD affiliate President and Vice President of the Political Action Committee.


Bachelor of Science – Mass Communications, Towson University

Associate Degree – Nursing, Community College of Baltimore County, Essex

Master of Science – Nursing, The George Washington University

Post Graduate Certificate – Certified Nurse Midwifery, Shenandoah University

Certified Nurse Midwife – American Midwifery Certification Board

Vicente Navarro Lopez


Director, JHU-UPF Public Policy Center,

Professor of Health Policy and Management BSPH-JHU Faculty, Institute for Health and Social Policy

Professor Vicente Navarro studied Medicine and Surgery and graduated with honors from

the University of Barcelona in 1962. He took courses in Political Economy at the Institute for International Studies in Stockholm, Sweden in 1963; in Social Policy with Professor Richard Titmuss at the London School of Economics, also in 1963; and later at Oxford University in 1964; and graduated in Social and Health Administration from Edinburgh University in 1965. In 1965 Dr. Navarro was invited to join The Johns Hopkins University, in the USA, where he obtained his doctoral degree in Health Policy in 1967 and has been a Professor holding Full Professorship in Health and Public Policy since 1977. He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from the universities of Malaga and Lleida, Spain.

He has been an advisor to the United Nations; to many European and Latin American

governments; to the President’s Office of the European Parliament; and to both the US government and the US Congress. In 1984 and 1988 he was Senior Health Advisor to Reverend Jesse Jackson in the Democratic presidential primaries in the United States. In 1992, Mrs. Hilary Rodham Clinton, presiding over the working group about the reform of medical care in the USA, invited Dr. Navarro to become a member of the group, working at the White House during 1993.

He is the author of 25 books and has written more than 400 scientific articles. He is the founder of the International Journal of Health Services, one of the best-known quarterlies in Health and Social Policy.

Dr. Sarah Kelly

Sarah Aminoff Kelley, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Kelley received her medical degree from SUNY at Buffalo Medical School in New York.  She then went on to complete her pediatrics residency training followed by her Child Neurology training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  She then completed her fellowship in clinical neurophysiology/pediatric epilepsy at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Kelley is the Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Johns Hopkins where she oversees the evaluation and management of children with intractable epilepsy. She evaluates and manages patients who may be candidates for epilepsy surgery.  Dr. Kelley is also very involved with teaching and education and in addition to attending in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is one of the Attending Physicians on the Pediatric Neurology Inpatient Service.

Dr. Kelley’s research interests include status epilepticus, electrical status epilepticus of sleep, and child life in the epilepsy monitoring unit.

Dr. Kelley is also the mother of 3 young children.

Jenny Bernstein

MPH Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

BA St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Jenny Bernstein has 15 years experience working on WHO-, industry-, U.S. government-funded research studies and clinical trials. She is an alum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and currently works as an independent research consultant providing research support for deliverables at all stages of project development including abstracts, journal articles, poster presentations, grant submissions, and reports for ongoing grants. Jen honed her skills at a variety of institutions including The Urban Institute, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, and The Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine at Mercy Medical Center.

Dr. Lindsey Hayes

Lindsey Hayes, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology who specializes in adult neuromuscular disorders. She studied Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University in Atlanta, before pursuing her medical and graduate degrees through the Emory MSTP program. She then completed neurology residency and neuromuscular fellowship at Johns Hopkins, and joined the neurology faculty in 2016. Dr. Hayes sees outpatients with peripheral nerve, muscle, and neuromuscular junction disorders, and attends on the inpatient neurology consult service. She participates in the multidisciplinary ALS clinic which combines neurology, pulmonology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and clinical trial screening for this complex group of patients. Her laboratory research focus is on the pathogenesis and treatment of ALS, with the goal of translating basic disease mechanisms into novel therapies.

Brenda J. Johnson, DnP, CRNP-BC, ANVP, FAHA

Dr. Brenda Johnson is an acute neurovascular advanced nurse practitioner and is the Assistant Director of the Stroke Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, Alabama, her master’s degree from Mercy College, New York, and her nurse practitioner degree from Pace University, New York and a doctorate degree in nursing practice from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She obtained further specialized training by completing the Advance Practice Neurovascular Fellowship program in stroke at the Arizona State University.

Dr. Johnson is an active member of many professional organizations, including the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Power to End Stroke Program, Maryland State Quality Improvement Committee and the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses. Dr. Johnson has participated in poster presentations and lectures at national and international meetings. Her research interests include stroke prevention and health care disparities.

Dr. Johnson currently sees patients at the Stroke Prevention Clinic located at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center on Wednesdays.