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Executive Committee


    Marc Lerner, MD, FAAP has been a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1982 and past president of Chapter 4 California AAP.  He chaired the State Governmental Affairs Committee for AAP- California and was the 2009 recipient of the AAP-California Martin Gershman Award as California Pediatrician Advocate of the Year. Dr. Lerner has served as a clinical investigator and pharmacotherapist in NIMH-sponsored studies of ADHD in preschoolers and school-aged children (PATS and MTA studies). He currently works as a consulting pediatrician while seeing patients and teaching at the University of California-Irvine Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. A sub-boarded developmental pediatrician and parent of a child with special needs, Dr. Lerner has demonstrated a career-long commitment to schools.  He was a founding board member of the Prentice School, which serves children with language learning disorders in Southern California and served as the School Medical Officer for Orange County California’s Department of Education between 2011 and 2016. 


    Cheryl L. DePinto, MD, MPH, FAAP  is a pediatrician board certified in general pediatrics and is a public health professional with over a decade of experience in the field of school health. Cheryl is the Medical Director for the Office of School Health at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  She is also a Senior Associate Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she received recognition in 2012 for "Excellence in Teaching" as the instructor for the "Schools and Health" course.  Cheryl has worked in public health for eighteen years focusing on school health program development and implementation, policy development, consensus building, professional development and training including being a preceptor for the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at Johns Hopkins.  She has influenced Maryland policy and legislative agendas in the areas of children with special health care needs, school based health centers, school health, asthma management and asthma friendly schools, obesity prevention, the role of health departments in school health, and child care health and safety.

    Cheryl has worked in both community and school based health settings. Her public health work has given her opportunities to bridge clinical practice and public health particularly in the area of school health services program implementation.  As a partner with the Maryland Department of Education, she works to develop school health services practice guidelines, improve school nursing practice, and address issues related to the role of schools in the health care system particularly how schools can be used to assure access to quality health care for children. Cheryl is committed to providing an evidence based perspective to policy initiatives and to fostering not only school health services but also promoting the CDC's coordinated school health framework. Her areas of interest include developing standards and guidelines to assure quality improvement for school health services programs, developing and implementing strategies for improving community health care provider involvement in school health programs, how community health care providers can partner with local school health programs to improve health outcomes of children and how pediatricians can work with families to impact academic success.

    Cheryl completed her medical training at the University of Pennsylvania, her Adolescent Medicine Fellowship at the University of Maryland and received an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

    Executive Committee Members

    Elliot S. Attisha DO, FAAP
    completed his pediatric residency at Children's Hospital of Michigan in 2001 and then worked as a pediatrician in Suburban Detroit for about 9 years. In September of 2010, he joined the Henry Ford Health System and began working in the School-Based and Community Health Program. The program operates 9 school-based centers each of which plays an integral role in alleviating barriers to health care for Detroit's children. Soon after joining the school clinic program he was invited to become the medical director of a newly acquired pediatric mobile clinic, made possible through a partnership with Children's Health Fund. The mobile clinic serves as a complement to Henry Ford's School-Based Program, bringing pediatric services to underserved areas of Detroit. 

    Over the past year Elliot has also served as a board member on the School Community Health Alliance of Michigan (SCHA-MI), a non-profit organization that advocates for and promotes school-based and school-linked health and prevention services. "My current work in both the school-clinics and mobile clinic has allowed my role as a pediatrician to become that of an advocate for some of our nation's most underserved children." Elliott also has a large interest in asthma and recently completed an asthma champion training course in hopes of addressing some of the current disparities.

    Time outside of work is spent with his family. Elliott and his wife, who is also a pediatrician, have been married for 8 years and have 2 beautiful daughters. Aside from work and hanging out with his family, he also enjoys photography. "It isn't hard to guess who my favorite subjects are!"

    Nathaniel Savio Beers, MD, MPA, FAAP is currently President and CEO of HSC Health Care System in Washington, DC and a general and developmental behavioral pediatrician at Children's National Health System.  At DCPS, he was previously the Chief of Specialized Instruction from 2011-15 and Chief Operating Officer from 2015-16.  Previously, he was the Director of the Children's Health Center, the largest provider of primary care in DC, and the Deputy Director for the Community Health Administration and the Title V Director for the DC Health Department.  He has served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Child Welfare, Mayor's Early Childhood Advisory Council and Children with Special Health Care Needs Advisory Board.  He has served as President of DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Chair of the National Committee on Membership and Chair of Section on Residents.  Nathaniel graduated from GWU Medical School, completed his residency at Children's National.  He was the Dyson Advocacy Fellow at Children's Hospital of Boston and Chief Fellow of General Pediatrics.  He has a Master's of Public Administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. 

    Erica J. Gibson MD, FAAP is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine  and a faculty member of the Vermont Child Health Improvement Progream and the National Improvement Partnership Network.  Dr. Gibson completed medical school at the University of Vermont and a pediatric residency at Doernbecher Childrens Hospital in Portland Oregon.  After completing fellowship in adolescent medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx she worked at Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital (CUMC/NYPH) in NYC where she had appointments in both the Department of Pediatrics and in the Department of Population and Family Health in the Mailman School of Public Health.  At CUMC/NYPH she served as the Medical Director for the 8 school based health centers within the Center for Community Health and Education.  In addition she was the Medical Director and Primary Investigator for NYPATH: New York Promoting and Advancing Teen Health; a NYS DOH grant funded initiative to train primary care providers throughout NY state to provide state of the art adolescent sexual and reproductive health care.

    Dr. Gibson is board certified in pediatrics and adolescent medicine.  Her current areas of focus include sexual and reproductive health, trans care, eating disorders, PCOS, juvenile detention care, teen pregnancy prevention, HPV vaccination and adolescent well visits. She worked as a high school teacher and educational consultant prior to her medical training.  In addition she has been an active member of Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, and the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Project established by Physicians for Reproductive Health.  She is also a recent former member of the board of directors for Advocates for Youth in Washington D.C.​

    Peter A. Gorski, MD, MPA, FAAP serves as Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Humanities, Health & Society at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University and Professor of Public Health at the University of Miami.  Originally trained in Pediatrics and Child Development at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Gorski led academic divisions of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at UC San Francisco, Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital.  From 2012-1016, he directed the funding and services for school health in Miami-Dade County.  Dr. Gorski has authored more than fifty peer-reviewed publications on infant and early childhood behavior and development, relationships and early brain development, social determinants of health and community health.  Dr. Gorski studies the relational roots of health and partners with communities to build the social capital and distributive justice essential for the healthy development of children.  Within the AAP, Dr. Gorski has served as a member of the Executive Committee (and Policy Director) of the Council on Community Pediatrics, the Executive Committee of the Section on Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, Chairperson of the Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption and Dependent Care, early childhood specialist on the past two Bright Futures Expert Panels and is currently AAP Liaison to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training & Education Committee. 

    Chris Larson Kjolhede, MD, MPH, FAAP is an Attending Pediatrician and Research Scientist at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, NY. He received his medical degree from Michigan State University, and his Masters in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Kjolhede did his pediatric training at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. His career pursuit formerly included children's health and nutrition in foreign countries (Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, Guatemala, and Belize) and research studies in micronutrient deficiencies. Upon moving to rural upstate New York, his initial research interest was on the relationship between maternal obesity and lactation success. He is currently focusing his research on addressing the problem of childhood obesity and on the evaluation of school-based health care. His clinical practice in Cooperstown, NY, includes a primary care clinic with part-time hospital coverage and he is the director of a School-Based Health Program that has 19 school-based health centers in 14 school districts. Dr. Kjolhede is Vice Chairman for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the Bassett Research Institute. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of its Council on School Health. He serves on the Board of Directors for the New York State Coalition for School-Based Primary Care and is a member of the National Assembly for School-Based Health Care. He is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York. 

    Sonja C. O'Leary, MD, FAAP is currently the medical director for the Denver Health School-Based Health Centers in Denver Colorado.  After finishing her pediatric residency and chief year at the University of Colorado in Denver, she joined Salud Family Health Center in Fort Collins  working in both the outpatient and inpatient setting.  In 2007 she moved back to Denver and began working at Denver Health – Colorado's primary safety net institution - that provides integrated, efficient, high-quality health care.  In 2013 she became the Medical Director for the DH School-Based Health Centers – a system of 17 centers based in Denver Public Schools that serves over 12,000 students annually.  She sees patients within SBHC, at a busy community health clinic and inpatient in the hospital.  She is interested in quality improvement and operations as well as resident education. 

    Sonja was born in Bogota, Colombia.  She has 2 kids -  and has a healthy respect for anyone who has a teenager!   She is married to a pediatric infectious disease doctor and they both enjoy forcing their children to go hiking and skiing with them.   She also enjoys  running, biking and knitting.

    Heidi K. Schumacher, MD, FAAP currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent, Health & Wellness at the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education.  In this role, she oversees the health and nutrition portfolio of the state educational system, including partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations related to innovative service delivery models, population health strategies, and data sharing.

    She previously served as the Deputy Chief of Student Wellness at DC Public Schools and Medical Officer at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.  She completed her medical degree at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine and her pediatric residency and chief residency at Children's National Health System, where she continues to practice clinically.  She is currently Secretary of the DC chapter of the AAP, and remains active with the AAP's Department of Federal Affairs.​

    Adrienne Weiss-Harrison, MD, FAAP MD, FAAP is a graduate of Cornell University and Cornell University Medical College. She is a board-certified pediatrician, who was in office-based pediatric practice before taking her position as Medical Director/School Physician for the City School District of New Rochelle in 1994. There, she manages the individual and public health needs of the fourteen thousand children who attend the public and private schools in New Rochelle. Under her leadership, New Rochelle Schools have developed top notch school day care of students with Asthma, Diabetes, Seizure Disorders, and Food Allergies. The many students with rarer serious healthy conditions also have individual care plans developed to meet their needs.

    Dr. Weiss has always taken on new challenges and projects with the goal of improving the lives of the children and adolescents. She serves on the Boards of the American Lung Association of the Northeast and Westchester Children's Association, a local children's advocacy organization. Under Dr. Weiss' guidance, the District's Health Services and Athletics Departments have worked together closely to optimize the health and safety of their student athletes, and as leaders in Westchester County in the developments of a program to manage head injury/concussion.

    Dr. Weiss serves on the faculty of the New York Medical College School of Health Sciences and Practice and Institute of Public Health as a Visiting Lecturer, and she co-chairs the AAP District II Chapter 3 Northern Regions School Health Committee. 


    CDR Susan Hocevar Adkins, MD,
    is a medical epidemiologist in the Research Application and Evaluation Branch in the Division of Adolescent School Health (DASH), National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In 2009, Dr. Hocevar began training as an epidemic intelligence officer at CDC. During this time she was detailed to the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) and received training in outbreak investigation as well as surveillance methodology. She continued her work in healthcare-associated infections after EIS focusing on hospitalized children and neonates until assuming her role in DASH in 2015. She now serves as the division Senior Medical Officer focusing on improving delivery of sexual health services to adolescents. Prior to her work at CDC, Susan trained in general pediatrics at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and then at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where she completed residency and served as a chief resident.  She practiced in adolescent medicine at MUSC and was director of the local school based clinic until her acceptance into EIS in 2009.

    Laurie G. Combe, MN, RN, NCSN is currently the Health Services Coordinator for the Klein Independent School District in the greater Houston, Texas area. She manages delivery of health and health related services to 53,000 students served on 48 campuses. Klein ISD staffs every campus with a registered nurse, a clinic assistant, and LVN staff embedded within student classrooms as required for high acuity health needs.

    Laurie holds both a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Nursing from Louisiana State University Medical Center. A school nurse for the last 24 years, Laurie has experience in adolescent mental health, home health hospice and nursing education.  She is currently the President-elect of the National Association of School Nurses. 

    Veda C. Johnson, MD, FAAP is the Marcus Professor in General Academics and Pediatrics and Director of PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health for the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  The purpose of the PARTNERS is to increase access to health care and to improve the health outcomes for at-risk children and adolescents in the state of Georgia.  The vision of Partners is to eliminate health disparities ensuring that all Georgia children are happy, healthy and productive members of society. 

    Dr. Johnson received her Medical Degree from Emory University where she also completed a Residency in Pediatrics.  Prior to her current position, Dr. Johnson was the Director of Community and School Based Clinics for the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University.  In that position, she served as Medical Director of two school based health centers and two community-based health centers serving underserved women and children in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

    Dr. Johnson has participated in the development of national standards for comprehensive school based health programs and in petitioning Congress to increase federal allocation for school health centers nationwide. For more than 20 years, she has worked to promote and expand school-based health centers/programs in the state of Georgia.  Under her leadership, the number of school based health centers (SBHCs) in the state has increased from 2 to 22 over the past 5 years.  These centers have increased access to healthcare for thousands of Georgia's children, improved health outcomes for those with asthma and obesity, and provided psychosocial risk assessments and screenings for at-risk students through annual health check services.  Student seat time has increased as well contributing to improved academic performance. 

    Dr. Johnson has served as Principal Investigator (PI) for numerous grants supporting the mission of Partners and the expansion of SBHCs in the state.  She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy's Council on School Health.  In addition, she serves as Chair of the School Health Committee for the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Georgia School Based Health Alliance, an affiliate of the National School Based Health Alliance.  ​

    Shashank V. Joshi, MD, FAAP Joshi is Associate Professor and Director of Training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and Director of School Mental Health at Stanford University.  Dr. Joshi completed combined training in Pediatrics, General Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Since moving to Stanford in 1999, he has been joint faculty in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and The Graduate School of Education. In 2007, he became a Harvard-Macy Teaching Scholar, and has been a teaching faculty member of the Harvard Macy Institute since that time. He is a Fellow in the AAP and serves on the School Health Committee of AAP for Northern California. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Co-chair of the Committee on Schools for AACAP. He also serves on the Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup for the California State Superintendent of Public Schools. Currently, he is a Faculty Research Fellow at the Stanford Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, studying factors associated with help-seeking among distressed youth from diverse cultural backgrounds. He has been the recipient of numerous awards in teaching and public service, including an Unsung Hero Award for his work in suicide prevention from the Santa Clara County, California, Mental Health Board in 2012. Dr. Joshi's publications focus on interprofessional collaboration, cultural aspects of pediatric health, and suicide prevention in school settings. He is co-editor of the recent book, Partnerships for Mental Health:  A Guide to Community and Academic Collaboration. Springer Publ (2015).

    Immediate Past Chairperson

    Breena Welch Holmes, MD, FAAP
     is currently the Director of Maternal and Child Health for Vermont.  After finishing her pediatric residency at Seattle Children's Hospital and a chief resident year at University of Massachusetts Medical School, she joined a rural private practice in Middlebury, Vermont, focusing on adolescent health. After receiving a license to teach health, Breena taught health literacy and decision making at a local high school for 2 years. After 15 years as a passive member of American Academy of Pediatrics, Breena became a member of Council on School Health and joined the executive board of the Vermont Chapter of the AAP.  In 2010, Breena was named the Maternal and Child Health Director which oversees the statewide WIC program, school health, child development clinic, children with special health needs as well as family planning, sexual violence prevention, as well as several other public health programs which affect children and families.