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 (SBHC) – 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.
Executive Committee Members
Marti Baum, MD, FAAP has been involved in academic pediatric care and training of pediatric residents since finishing my pediatric training. She has been involved in obesity programs within the school setting, teach safety and general health with the residents in community pediatrics. Marti’s areas of interest are obesity intervention and prevention, academic failure and identification. Families of poverty and children at risk are the populations that she is most involved with. She has been President of San Bernardino Court Appointed Advocates, President of San Bernardino County Medical Society, and currently is on the Board of Trustees for California Medical Association.
Nathaniel 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.
Sara Bode, MD, FAAP has been a board-certified pediatrician since her residency graduation in 2005. Sara’s career has focused on community pediatrics training as well as innovative models of care delivery. She has been the director of two residency advocacy programs both at Phoenix Children's Hospital as well as Nationwide Children's Hospital. These efforts have led to involvement with the AAP Community Pediatrics Training Initiative including several grant funded projects along with invited workshops and abstracts focusing on resident education in policy, community engagement, and statewide collaboratives. In addition, her clinical expertise has focused on school-based health care in direct service models as well as the role of the community pediatrician in schools. Sara is currently the director of our School Based Health Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital consisting of 13 School based health centers around Columbus, Ohio. She is passionate about improving the access of comprehensive health care to families in our community and continuing to teach the next generation of pediatricians about innovative health care systems and community engagement.
Erica 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 Program and the National Improvement Partnership Network. Dr Gibson completed medical school at the University of Vermont and a pediatric residency at Doernbecher Children’s 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 (AAP), 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 DC.
Peter 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.
Viju Jacob, MD, FAAP currently serves as the AVP for Medical Regulatory, Policy and External Affairs at a large federally qualified health center (FQHC), Urban Health Plan, in Bronx, NY. In addition, he is also the Immediate Past Board Chair of the NY School Based Health Alliance, the primary advocacy organization for the agencies that sponsor School Based Health Centers in NY. His day to day responsibilities include providing oversight for 12 School Based Health Practices, 2 Family Practice sites and shares responsibilities in managing 6 School Based Dental Practices.
Interestingly, as a new immigrant to the Bronx, Dr Jacob was also a user of a School Based Health Center; he received some of his earliest dental care from the School Based Dental Clinic located in PS 8 in the North Bronx. He completed his Bachelor’s from the Sophie Davis School for Biomedical Education at The City University of New York. He received his MD from State University of New York-Health Science Center Brooklyn. He completed his Pediatric Residency and Chief Residency from the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at The Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York. He currently lives with his wife and 16 year-old twins in Westchester, NY.
Dr Jacob has extensive experience in data analysis and developing practice flows in electronic health records (EHR) to both document high quality care and also to be able to use structured fields in an EHR to help capture data to continuously improve the care provided to patients. He serves on various city-wide, state-wide and national committees related to health, technology and community-based research with an eye towards improving access to high quality comprehensive services for pediatric and adolescent populations and their families.
Marian Larkin, MD, FAAP is assistant medical director for the high school program of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of School Health, which provides medical and nursing services to approximately 1.1 million students in 1800 schools. Prior to joining the NYC DOHMH in 2016, she worked with the Montefiore School Health Program, where she was a medical provider in school-based health centers for 6 years. She precepted residents in the school health setting and helped lead a QI project on obesity in the SBHCs. She also served as assistant medical director of that program for 1-1/2 years, supervising physicians and nurse practitioners at 12 school-based health centers in the Bronx. She has extensive experience providing reproductive health services for adolescents in the school setting, both with Montefiore and OSH. She has served as chair of her local AAP chapter's School Health committee since 2016 and is a peer reviewer for Pediatrics, especially in the areas of asthma, obesity, and school health.
Dr Larkin completed medical school at SUNY-Downstate and residency in Social Pediatrics at Montefiore Medical Center. After residency, she worked in primary care for 7 years at the South Bronx Health Center for Children and Families, where she served as co-director of a pediatric obesity research and education program in an urban inner-city community.
Ryan Padrez, MD, FAAP is a pediatrician and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Ryan is also the Medical Director of The Primary School, a new integrated health and education model that serves low income children and families in East Palo Alto, CA. The school’s approach is working to integrate primary education and primary care, effectively braiding together education, health, and family support services starting at birth. In doing so, The Primary School hopes to expand the traditional definition of “school” in order to prepare all children to succeed in college, career, and life. While at The Primary School he continues to care for patients and teach pediatric residents and medical students at Gardner Packard Children's Health Center, a federally qualified health care center. He remains dedicated to promoting models and policies that ensure high quality care is accessible to all children. Dr Padrez graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Human Biology and earned his MD at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He then went on to complete his pediatrics residency in the UCSF and participated in the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) program. He completed a chief resident year at The San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
Heidi 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.
Liaison: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
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.
Liaison: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Shashank Joshi, MD, FAAP 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).
Liaison: National Association of School Nurses
Linda Mendonca, RN, MSN, PHNA-BC, NCSN, FNASN has been a registered nurse for 38 years practicing school nursing for 23 years overseas and in five states as a military spouse. With the practice of school nursing in the arena of community health; Linda has had the opportunity to network and collaborate with many community partners in Rhode Island. She has served on school nursing organization boards on the state and national level and is the President-elect of the National Association of School Nurses. She currently teaches community/public health nursing at RI College School of Nursing and consults part-time as a state school nurse consultant at the RI Department of Health. Linda is passionate about environmental health and currently serves on the RI leadership and Northeast boards for the American Lung Association and the RI Asthma coalition. Other work includes her role as VP serving on the Healthy Schools Network board; a national organization advocating for a healthy school environment and is a member of the ANA-RI environmental health subcommittee.
Liaison: School Based Health Alliance
Delaney Gracy, MD, FAAP
Immediate Past Chairperson
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.