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University of Colorado Denver


Executive Committee Members

The Executive Committee is the governing body of the Center for Global Health. The Committee is comprised of faculty and executive staff from the University of Colorado and Children's Colorado Hospital.


Madiha F Abdel-Maksoud, MD, PhD, MSPH, Clinical Assistant Professor of Epidemiology,  Colorado School of Public Health

Dr. Abdel-Maksoud is a physician and researcher who completed her medical degree in Egypt from Tanta University School of Medicine, and her PhD degree in Epidemiology from the University of Colorado School of Public Health. She is also the Director of the MPH concentrations in Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. Prior to obtaining her PhD degree in Epidemiology, Dr. Abdel-Maksoud taught, practiced medicine, and did research in Egypt. After finishing her PhD degree, Dr. Abdel-Maksoud spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow studying the racial/ethnic differences in obesity and its biomarkers. Her work in obesity earned her an award from the prestigious Obesity Society. She is a chronic disease epidemiologist, and her global health work is currently focused on child development projects in Guatemala through the Center for Global Health. She is also currently investigating the barriers and facilitators of cancer screening among the US Muslim community in order to develop culturally sensitive interventions to enhance the cancer screening practices of this population.


Edwin J Asturias, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health

Dr. Asturias graduated as a medical doctor from the San Carlos University in Guatemala in 1989 and was board certified in pediatrics at the University Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 1995. Trained in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, he has been working in the area of vaccine research and policy in Guatemala and the Latin American region since 1998. Through the conduction of epidemiological studies and the inquiry into efficacy and safety issues of vaccines against poliomyelitis, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcus and E. coli, the Center for Health Studies under his direction has provided answers to important implementation questions, especially for resource poor countries in Central and Latin America.

Dr. Asturias has served on the Guatemalan National Committee for Immunization Practices, the Poliovirus Contention Commission, and advisory groups for the World Health Organization, including the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety. He is the technical coordinator of the Immunization Group of the Mesoamerican Health Initiative, and a member of the Committee of Vaccines of the Latin American Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.


Heidi Baskfield, JD, Executive Director of Advocacy for Children’s Hospital Colorado

Mrs. Baskfield’s responsibilities focus on leading strategic advocacy and legislative efforts to influence child health policy at the local, state and federal level. Prior to joining Children’s, Heidi served under Governor Ritter’s administration as legislative program manager for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) where she developed and implemented a natural resources policy and legislative agenda.

Prior to her work with the DNR, Heidi worked as an attorney for the Office for Civil Rights under the U.S. Department of Education where she advocated for children with disabilities. Heidi has also worked as an attorney for The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People.

Before earning her law degree, Heidi was press director for the La Jolla Group, a political consulting firm, and director of sales and marketing for Believe Productions, an independent record label. Heidi earned her law degree from California Western School of Law, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.


Stephen R Daniels, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief L Joseph Butterfield Chair in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado

Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD, held numerous academic and clinical appointments at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital before joining the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2006 as a Professor and the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Daniels’ area of expertise is in preventive cardiology, with a longtime interest in the application of sophisticated epidemiologic and bio statistical methods to pediatric clinical research problems. His studies have focused on better understanding the causes of blood pressure elevation and cholesterol abnormalities in children and adolescents, particularly the role that obesity may play in these health issues. He has also researched the development of structural and functional abnormalities in the heart and vascular system, including cardiovascular abnormalities occurring in pediatric patients with diabetes mellitus, as well as the relationship of left ventricular hypertrophy to obesity and hypertension. The role of lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, is central to many of Dr. Daniels’ studies.

Dr. Daniels has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Pediatrics since 1995. He is co-author of Medical Epidemiology, an introductory textbook for medical students, and co-author and editor of the book Pediatric Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.


Blair Gifford, PhD, Professor of International Health Management in the Business School and the Colorado School of Public Health

Dr. Gifford founded the Center for Global Health and Global Health Connections, a not-for-profit that provides global health opportunities for middle and high school students. Also, he is co-founder of a new organization, Professors Beyond Borders (Fulbright), and was a Fulbright/New Century Scholar for 2009-10. Dr. Gifford is currently involved in research on the effects of health care privatization in India, Brazil and Mexico health market changes in China and, he is completing a book on sustainable business practices for small and medium-size businesses. He is also involved in a large-scale health and vocational training development project in Haiti and teaches for Yale University's Global Health Initiative in their China and Ethiopia programs. Gifford has also been a visiting professor at Yale and Northwestern Universities.



David C Goff, Jr, MD, PhD, FACP, FAHA, Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health

Dr. Goff became Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health June 1, 2012. Prior to his role as Dean, Dr. Goff served as the Department Chair of Epidemiology and Prevention in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

He received an MD from the University of North Carolina and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health. He trained in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of heart disease and stroke with a focus on issues related to high blood pressure, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Dr. Goff has published over 250 manuscripts, book chapters, and other scientific reports. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in multiple NIH-, CDC-, and AHA-funded studies and committees. He is immediate past Chair of the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention for the American Heart Association.  


Jena Hausmann, MHA, President and Chief Operating Officer of Children's Hospital Colorado

As President and Chief Operating Officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado, she oversees an integrated healthcare system for children, which is affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Jena also oversees, the Children’s Hospital Colorado network of care in 17 locations in the metropolitan Denver area, the Children’s Hospital Colorado pediatric services at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, and the newly opened Children’s Hospital Colorado South Campus, a full service generally licensed hospital in south Denver.

After earning a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1996, Jena completed an administrative fellowship at the Fairview Health System in Minneapolis, MN. Following the fellowship, she served as the Director of Provider Relations at The University of Minnesota Medical Center, an organization consisting of a then recently-merged 500 bed community hospital and a 500 bed academic medical center. After 11 months in the role, she joined the senior management team and remained there for the next six years providing leadership.  


Kathy Kennedy, DrPH, MA, Clinical Professor of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health and Director of the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership

Dr. Kennedy is a public health scientist and educator who has conducted numerous studies in reproductive health, focusing in the areas of lactation, fertility and contraception. She has directed several multi-center international studies, and has written on women's health, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS) and post-partum issues. Although she has worked in more than 15 countries and on every continent, her global health work has been concentrated in Mexico, Egypt, Pakistan and the Philippines. Currently, Dr. Kennedy is active in research, education, public health practice, and she is an advisor to clinical practice.


Nancy Lowe, ​PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, Professor, University of Colorado College of Nursing

Dr. Nancy K Lowe is a certified nurse-midwife. She joined the University of Colorado faculty in 2007. Dr. Lowe earned her PhD at the University of Illinois Chicago and previously has been a professor at Northern Illinoi​s University, The Ohio State University, and Oregon Health and Science University. She is overseeing the international educational and service activities of the College of Nursing currently focused on activities in Guatemala, Nepal, and South Africa. Widely published in nursing, medical, and interdisciplinary journals, Dr. Lowe is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN).



Nee-Kofi Mould-Millman, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Following emergency medicine residency training, Nee-Kofi pursued dual fellowship training in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Global Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. His current global health research and projects focus on innovative approaches to low-resource prehospital education, clinical outcomes and effectiveness research, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa.

He is actively engaged in strengthening community-based emergency response, developing novel prehospital assessment strategies, and improving outcomes in interfacility emergency referrals. To accomplish this, Dr. Mould-Millman partners internationally with several academic, government and private healthcare and EMS agencies, most extensively in Ghana and South Africa. Projects from these successful collaborations have resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and international conference presentations. In 2013, Dr. Mould-Millman Chaired the African Federation for Emergency Medicine’s 2nd Prehospital Consensus Conference, resulting in landmark consensus paper regarding development and advocacy for effective African out-of-hospital emergency care systems. He is currently leading an expert panel towards reaching consensus in standardization of African prehospital education and standards of care. 


Eric A F Simoes, MB, BS, DCH, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dr. Simoes carried out many of the studies that provide the scientific foundation for the WHO Integrated Case Management of Childhood Illness. Over the past twenty years, he has successfully collaborated with researchers throughout the world, as well as, in Colorado on respiratory infections in premature infants. He has conducted numerous collaborative studies on the epidemiology, prevention and treatment and pathogenesis of respiratory infections (both viral and bacterial) in India the Philippines, Europe and Indonesia. His work with premature infants over the 20 years has in part led to the development and licensure of 2 products for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis (RSV –IGIV, and palivizumab). These studies carried out; in premature infants have assessed the effects of prevention of RSV on long term respiratory morbidity. He has a broad background in infectious diseases with specific training and expertise in epidemiology and molecular virology. 



Wayne Sullender, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dr. Sullender is interested in understanding the viral causes of respiratory tract infections of children in developing countries. Working with collaborators at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)in New Delhi viral etiologies of respiratory infections in children have been assessed and the molecular epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus described. Influenza viruses are significant causes of human illness and death in developing countries and a vaccine is available to prevent influenza infections. Along with collaborators at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and AIIMS, he is conducting a study to measure the ability of influenza vaccine given to children in India to protect both the children and unimmunized persons around them from influenza. It will also determine whether the best time to immunize in a country like India that has both summer and winter outbreaks of influenza is in the fall, as is done now, or whether immunization should be in the spring to protect against influenza infections in the summer. These investigations are funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



John Sunnygard, MIM, Executive Director of the Office of International Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus

Mr. Sunnygard has been actively involved in international education for 25 years, six of which have been with the University of Colorado. John has extensive experience in all aspects of international education program design, strategic partnership development, marketing, risk management, implementation and evaluation. Prior to his time with the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, he founded Innovations in Global Education, and worked for the University of Texas at Austin and IES Abroad. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Morocco). Over the course of his career, he has developed over 150 education abroad programs and partnerships. A relentless explorer, John has lived and worked on four continents. He has presented and written on international education trends, cross-cultural development, study abroad program evaluation, and engaging faculty in short-term study abroad programs. He is certified in the IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory) and as an evaluator with the Forum on Education Abroad’s QUIP. John has served on several national and international advisory boards including: Arcadia University, CIEE, IES, SFS and SIT. John is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management.



Deborah Thomas, PhD, Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver

Dr. Thomas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, where she also has a secondary appointment in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health in the Colorado School of Public Health. She specializes in hazards and health geography, and has twenty years of experience working with geographic information systems (GIS) in a variety of social science application areas, including disaster management and health. Her research interests focus on issues of vulnerability/resilience as they relate to both natural and human-induced hazards and health outcomes. In 2005, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. She has also worked the last 3 years in Tanzania, co-directing the UCD Tanzania Field School and conducting research. Currently, she is also PI on a NSF grant exploring health sector capacity in Haiti (co-PI Renee King also affiliated with the CGH).  


Sara Yeatman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver

Dr. Yeatman is a sociologist and demographer with degrees from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MSc) and the University of Texas at Austin (PhD). Her research is largely based in Malawi where she has been using large-scale population-based surveys and in-depth qualitative data to study issues related to HIV, fertility and reproductive health since 2005. She is currently interested in how expanded access to antiretroviral therapy in rural Malawi affects perceptions of HIV, reproductive behavior, and inequities in access. In an effort to better understand the HIV epidemic in Malawi, she has been conducting a population-based panel study of young Malawian men, women and couples since 2009 (Tsogolo la Thanzi,  



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