My 24 years as a transplant surgeon, occupational medicine physician, and public health my patient care domains have spanned a wide range of health care environments, including in-hospital and outpatient clinical settings. As a surgeon, I learned to be both flexible and decisive. As an occupational medicine physician, I have developed expertise working in care settings that require close multidisciplinary collaboration and accountability, thereby bringing teams together toward shared goals. As a public health professional, I have state-level experience including leadership at the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) as Medical Director for Healthcare Services, and Medical Director of the federally funded Iowa Bioterrorism Cooperative Agreement. During my work at IDPH, I communicated with a diverse group of community and government stakeholders to build a strong public health infrastructure to address disaster preparedness across Iowa. With a long-standing interest in health disparities, I focused my MPH graduate thesis on the relevance of the medical home model to the healthcare safety net.
Currently, my work in occupational medicine enables me to focus on large groups of individuals who experience injury or illness in the workplace, including immigrant, migrant and refugee populations. I have experience in work related to the health and safety of workers, including hazard recognition, evaluation, control, and policy development. My interest in underserved populations now includes a focus on health-related disparities within the workplace and the Workers’ Compensation System (WCS). At the University of Iowa, I am a co-leader of Immigrant and Refugee Health and Well-being Research Group, a multidisciplinary group of University faculty. I also serve as Director of the new University of Iowa Global Health Network. As Associate Director of Employee Health, I am deeply involved in University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) incident command during the pandemic and a leader within the COVID-19 vaccine campaign for UIHC and other university employees. In this massive effort, I provide clinical care and oversight in my capacity as Associate Director of Employee Health. Within the larger Iowa state community, I work with Proteus, Inc., a nonprofit organization that serves migrant and seasonal farmworkers, immigrants, and others. Much of my current work includes the preparedness and response for public health emergencies among migrant and seasonal agricultural farmworkers, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently this work has focused on partnering with Proteus and state entities to prepare for vaccination opportunities for the migrant and seasonal farmworker population. My work has been informed by expertise gained through my participation in leadership of the UIHC COVID-19 vaccination campaign.