The American Academy of Health Behavior

Speaker Profiles 2020

Back to Conference Overview


Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH

Senior Advisor and Director, Strategy and Innovation

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control 

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)     

Dr. Christopher Jones currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Injury Center Director and Associate Director of the Office of Strategy and Innovation in the CDC Injury Center. As Senior Advisor, he provides strategic policy and scientific direction and coordination on a broad range of injury and violence topics including drug overdose, suicide, and adverse childhood experiences. In addition, as the Associate Director for Strategy and Innovation, he leads strategic planning efforts and the development of innovations across Injury Center programs and topics; leads a team of scientist and public health practitioners to advance innovative approaches to using data science to inform prevention efforts, builds partnerships to advance public health data and surveillance, and strengthens interagency and nongovernmental collaborations on injury and violence prevention; and serves as a senior scientist conducting epidemiological and policy research.

Prior to joining CDC, he served as the first Director of the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). During his career, Dr. Jones has served in multiple leadership roles across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including as Acting Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Data Policy and Director of the Division of Science Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at HHS, senior advisor in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the lead of CDC’s drug abuse and overdose activities.

Dr. Jones is a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Dr. Jones received his Bachelor of Science degree from Reinhardt College, his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University, his Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College, and his Doctor of Public Health in Heath Policy at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. He is a nationally recognized subject.                                                                                                                          

Jennifer Manganello, Ph.D., M.P.H.

School of Public Health

University of Albany 
I am a Professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health. I am a health communication scholar who uses theories, concepts, and methods from the fields of public health and communication. My research focuses on health literacy as well as the effects of media on attitudes, behaviors, and policies that put young people (children, adolescents, young adults) at risk for negative health outcomes.

My main area of expertise is health communication. My work in this area has primarily focused on the effects of media and/or technology use on health attitudes, knowledge, and behavior, health information seeking among youth and parents, and identifying best practices for the dissemination of health information to the general public, including through news and social media. It has also involved a focus on health literacy. Much of my work focuses on children, adolescents, young adults and parents, and I often seek to include groups impacted by health disparities. I also examine the use of digital technology for health information and health interventions, also known as eHealth.

I have published my work in journals such as the Journal of Health CommunicationPediatricsPublic Health Management and Practice, Journal of Children and Media, and Public Health Nutrition.

​Before starting at UAlbany, I was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. I earned my Ph.D. from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Philip Massey, PhD, MPH

Department of Community Health and Prevention

Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

Dr. Massey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia, PA. He earned his PhD and MPH from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. His research draws from principles in public health and health communication and uses online data and social media strategies for surveillance, intervention, and evaluation in cancer prevention, substance use, and global health. His current NCI-funded R01 study tests a population-level social media intervention to increase HPV vaccine uptake through an innovative narrative-focused intervention. The intervention is designed to communicate evidence and information about the HPV vaccine to parents who use social media as a health information source. He has also examined patterns and shifts in public opinion toward HPV vaccination and vaping on Twitter and Instagram, focusing on what types of messages are shared and how this is related to reach and impact, to inform policy and intervention. This work has led to state-supported partnerships with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, where he has developed resources for policymakers, parents, and educators on the potential exposure to vaping products through social media platforms including Instagram. Finally, he is co-leading a Gates-funded online evaluation of a serial drama about health in West Africa that produces and shares content on various social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Using a mixed methods approach, this evaluation study examines publicly available online data in addition to longitudinal data from an online cohort in West Africa recruited through social media.

Transforming Talks - TEDx Inspired Speakers


Katie M. Heinrich, PhD, FAAHB

Department of Kinesiology

Kansas State University

Dr. Katie M. Heinrich is an Associate Professor of Exercise Behavioral Science in the Department of Kinesiology at Kansas State University (KSU). She is the Director of the Functional Intensity Training Laboratory (, providing mentoring in applied exercise behavior and obesity research. The FIT Lab also promotes education and service by providing opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community members to participate in exercise training through K-State CrossFit. Dr. Heinrich is recognized nationally and internationally for her research on high intensity functional training (HIFT), exercise and chronic disease, and the built environment. Her research aims are to study the effects of HIFT on fitness, health and psychosocial outcomes delivered in a group-based context. She focuses on populations across the lifespan including youth, active duty military (, healthy adults, overweight/obese adults, and cancer survivors.


Daphne C. Hernandez, PhD, MSEd, FAAHB

Department of Research, Cizik School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston

The majority of my interdisciplinary research program is centered around family-related factors, such as poverty and family structure, and their influence on food insecurity/food assistance program participation and obesity; however, I also realize that nutrition and health do not occur in isolation. For that reason, I have also focused on stress, social support, depression, and cardiovascular health.

My target populations are socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups with a specific emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities, women, and children. While the majority of my research has used longitudinal secondary data, I also have a complementary concentration on community-based research that focuses on low-income Hispanics immigrants. I am specifically interested in how chronic and acute stress influences the physiology and long-term health of Hispanics.


Jessica King, PhD, CHES

Department of Health, Kinesiology, & Recreation

University of Utah

My research involves informing and evaluating policies and interventions for tobacco use prevention and cessation. I specialize in youth and young adult use of non-cigarette tobacco products (e.g., e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah). I collaborate on research across cancer prevention and health promotion, including skin cancer and obesity prevention. My research on the optimizing the visual aspect of warnings for e-cigarette advertisements led to an interest in data visualization and more broadly using visuals to communicate our findings to the public.


Elizabeth G. Klein, PhD

College of Public Health

The Ohio State University

Dr. Klein is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair in the Division of Health Behavior & Health Promotion at Ohio State University’s College of Public Health.   She is a public health “lifer” as she completed her undergraduate training in Community Health Education, her MPH in Epidemiology/Biostatistics, and her PhD in Behavioral Epidemiology. Dr. Klein’s research has focused on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of tobacco use within priority populations of youth, young adults, as well as among rural adults across the diversity of tobacco products, including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, cigarillos, and waterpipe tobacco.  Recently, she has focused her research on the use of biobehavioral methods, focusing around eye tracking technology, to optimize attention to health-related messages to prevent and/or reduce tobacco use.


Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D., M.F.T.

University of California, Davis

Dr. Simmons is Chair and Professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California, Davis, Director of the Health Equity Across the Lifespan (HEAL) Lab, and Co-Director of the UC Davis Perinatal Origins of Disparities (POD) Center. The overall aim of Dr. Simmons’ research, which has been funded by the NIH, the USDA, and the Veterans Health Administration, is to promote population health equity in the incidence and prevalence of common chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, depression, cardiometabolic disorders, cancer) with a specific focus on childbearing women, rural residents, and underrepresented minorities. She has published extensively and presented nationally and internationally on three core areas of scholarship: (1) characterizing co-occurring chronic disease risk factors for specific disparities populations (e.g., rural, minorities); (2) understanding the impact of early life exposures (e.g., prenatal, family, and community environments) on later life chronic disease risk; and (3) developing and testing remote delivery models (e.g. text, telephone) of personalized behavioral change interventions to reduce chronic disease risk. Dr. Simmons earned a PhD in child and family development from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in couple and family therapy from MCP-Hahnemann University (now Drexel University), and a BA in literature/writing from the University of California at San Diego. Between 2005-2010 she served as a Health Disparities Scholar through the NIH Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Simmons has extensive policy experience, having served as a Congressional Fellow on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).


M. Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, FAAHB

Baylor University

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software