Missouri Immunization Conference | June 20-23, 2022

Meet the Speakers

Amruta Padhye, MD
Pediatric Infectious Diseases
University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics

Dr. Padhye is a pediatric infectious diseases provider and Assistant Professor of Child Health at the University of Missouri – Columbia, where she has been since 2017. She completed medical school in India, pediatric training in the United Kingdom, and residency at the University of Illinois in Peoria. She then completed her fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Washington University in St Louis. Dr. Padhye sees children in both inpatient and outpatient settings at University of Missouri Health Care. Her clinical interests include: pediatric vaccinations, antimicrobial stewardship, COVID-19 in children, and bone and joint infections in children. Dr. Padhye is passionate about teaching pediatrics.

Kendra Holmes, PharmD, CHCEF
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Affinia Healthcare

Dr. Kendra Holmes is a St. Louis native and graduate of the University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy in St. Louis. She currently serves as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for Affinia Healthcare. Affinia Healthcare consists of eleven health centers which provide primary and preventive health services to underserved residents of St. Louis City and County. Dr. Holmes oversees health center operations including: medical, dental, behavioral health, urgent care, nursing, community outreach, accreditation, laboratory, radiology, quality improvement, facilities, security, maternal child, and unhoused services. She serves as director of pharmacy operations.

Dr. Holmes started her career at Affinia Healthcare in 2003 as a staff pharmacist. Within two years, she was promoted to Director of Pharmacy Services. In 2012, she was promoted to Director of Pharmacy and Radiology services. In 2014, she was again promoted to Vice President of Clinical Integration and Ancillary Services. In July of 2015 she was named Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Holmes received the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Distinguished African American Alumni Award in 2013. She also serves as Secretary of the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis Board of Trustees and Trustee of Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. Dr. Holmes is a member of the 2015 St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class and received the St. Louis American Foundation’s Excellence in Healthcare Award in 2016. She was named one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Business Women in 2019. In 2020 Holmes received the Bayer YMCA Human Dignity Award and was named the YWCA Leader of Distinction in Health Administration. Dr. Holmes has a passion for improving the lives of underserved populations. She is an advocate for social and economic justice. As a part of St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell’s Transition Team, Dr. Holmes chairs the Diversion Advisory Committee. In 2020 Dr. Holmes received the Better Family Life Excellence in Public Health Award and the Next Generation Pharmacist Patient Care Provider of the Year Award. In 2021 Dr. Holmes was named the St. Louis American Foundation’s Stellar Performer in Health Care.

A. Patricia Wodi, MD
Public Health Physician
Immunization Services Division, CDC

A. Patricia Wodi, MD, is a public health physician with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Immunization Services Division, located in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Prior to joining the CDC, Dr. Wodi worked in clinical practice and clinical drug development for over 15 years. At the CDC, she is the co-lead for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice Combined Immunization Schedule Work Group, editor for the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Disease textbook (Pink Book), provides immunization educational resources and training to healthcare providers, and has worked on several vaccine safety research studies. Dr. Wodi holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the College of Medicine, University of Port-Harcourt in Nigeria, and is board certified in general pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases.

Christine Deppong, PhD
Assistant Professor, St. Louis Community College
Adjunct Professor, Maryville University

Christine Deppong, PhD,is an Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Louis Community College. She works to teach future health professionals and the general public about basic biology, microbiology, vaccines, and immunology. After completing her undergraduate degrees in both biology and chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Deppong received her PhD in Immunology from Washington University; where she also completed a postdoc researching immunity within the respiratory system.

Mark Ellis, MD, MSPH
Physician Lead
CoxHealth Initiative for Physician Resilience and Enrichment

Mark Ellis, MD, MSPH, has served the largest provider of healthcare in Southwest Missouri for the past twenty-two years: first, as residency faculty; then, for seventeen years, as a full time clinician. His work in visioning and building a new practice between 2015 and 2022 has given him passion for helping physicians to be healthy, engaged, and purpose-driven. He serves as physician lead for the CoxHealth Initiative for Physician Resilience and Enrichment, a multi-faceted intervention that seeks to assist physicians throughout their practice lifespan via prevention of burnout, forward-thinking practice management, foundations education, and opportunities for volunteerism.

Craig Rooney, PhD
Office of Clinician Well-Being
University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics

S. Craig Rooney, PhD, is the Program Director and Counseling Psychologist for the Office of Clinician Well-Being at the MU School of Medicine and MU Health Care. In addition to coordinating well-being efforts for the Office, he provides short-term counseling services for medical research and clinical faculty, residents, fellows, and advanced practice clinicians. He has worked with physicians and other health care workers for many years in various roles in the private sector and within the University of Missouri.

Kenneth Haller, MD
Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics
Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Dr. Kenneth Haller offers well-child and sick-child care, evaluations for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adolescents. He also specializes in health literacy and cultural competency.

Dr. Haller is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He serves as joint associate chair for faculty development.

Research interests include: resident education in community settings; advocacy for underserved populations; effects of media on children; and health care needs of LGBT youth.

Memberships include: American Academy of Pediatrics; American Medical Association; Physicians for Social Responsibility; St. Louis Physicians for Human Rights; and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

Dr. Haller uses theater techniques to improve communication with patients. He teaches a course for first-year medical students called “Acting Like a Doctor,” using acting techniques to help students be empathetic and mindful in their patient interactions.

Mr. Kelechi Onyeaka, MPH
Public Health Educator
Missouri Immunization Coalition

Kelechi Onyeaka is a Public Health Educator with the Missouri Immunization Coalition (MIC) and has spent his career supporting disease prevention strategies and policies. Some of his roles include: Supporting the MIC’s efforts in reducing the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as providing statewide trainings, programs, and events that promotes vaccine uptake; Using promotional and educational approaches to encourage vaccination by engaging with diverse audiences on the benefit of vaccines and how it keeps their communities safe; Creating and distributing vaccination educational and training materials to support clinics and communities across Missouri.

Kelechi holds a master’s degree in Public Health (Health Promotion & Policy) from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Prior to joining MIC, he was a Summer Fellow at Community Health Center, Inc. Connecticut, where he worked improving healthcare services to underserved population. He also has international experiences working in the Nigerian Public Health sector where he contributed immensely to improving access to routine immunization for children; an effort which led Nigeria to be declared polio free by the WHO.

In addition to his work experiences, Kelechi has co-authored academic papers in peer-reviewed journals on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among African Americans, and the role of health promotion programs in improving access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Karen North, BSN, RN

Ms. North is a two-time cancer survivor. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Cervical Adenocarcinoma and treated with chemotherapy and radiation. She is the Community Administrator with Cervivor – a nonprofit dedicated to cervical cancer advocacy and support. She is also a member of the Missouri Immunization Coalition and Immerman Angels. Feel free to contact her at Karen@cervivor.org.

Katie Van Tornhout

Katie is a mother to four, plus one bonus child, ranging in ages from 7 to 24.

Katie suffered 5 miscarriages before becoming pregnant with Callie in 2009. Callie was their perfect Christmas Eve baby but was tragically taken from them after only 37 days. After losing Callie to pertussis, Katie and her husband joined forces with Vaccinate Your Family to become vaccine advocates, a decision that would forever change their world.

Katie is a Parent Vaccine Advocate for Vaccinate Your Family and the Indiana Immunization Coalition. She and her husband have shared their story on Good Morning America, CNN, CBS News, as well as many local and regional media outlets and have done a satellite TV and radio tour with the Sounds of Pertussis. Katie has also shared her story in Dr. Richard Besser’s book, Tell Me the Truth Doctor.

Katie was named a 2015 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for the state of Indiana for her efforts to educate other parents about the importance of pertussis vaccination. She has traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with state legislators and had the opportunity to sit with then-US Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, to share Callie’s story. Katie was introduced to Dr. Adams during his tenure as Indiana’s State Health Commissioner. They remain close friends and she considers him a huge blessing in her life.

Katie and her husband, Craig, have founded a nonprofit organization called Callie Cares, in their daughter’s memory. The organization provides bags of toiletries to parents of newborns and sick children during their stays at hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses. Each bag contains a card that shares Callie’s story and reminds parents about the importance of Tdap vaccination. Callie Cares has made 20,000 bags that have been distributed in 18 states! This outreach helps spread Callie’s wings even more.

In her spare time, Katie helps to run her mom’s restaurant and is a substitute teacher at the elementary school where her children attend. She considers her life a circus and she sometimes wonders, “How do we do it all?”

Sonya Satterwhite

Sonya is a registered dietitian with WIC, campus minister with InterVarsity, and married with three young children. She tested positive for COVID-19 in September 2020 and has suffered from multiple symptoms as a COVID long-hauler since then. She is an active member of the Survivor Corps support and advocacy group for COVID long-haulers. She hopes her story will encourage vaccination and other preventative measures as well as continued research into and access to effective treatments for long COVID.


  • Department of Health and Senior Services: Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
  • Dynavax
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Learfield
  • Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC)
  • Missouri Association of School Nurses
  • Missouri Primary Care Association
  • Pfizer
  • Sanofi
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Conference Schedule

Monday (June 20th)

11:00 am CDT
Effects of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy on Routine Vaccinations
Dr. Amruta Padhye, MD
Pediatric Infectious Diseases
University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics

12:20 pm CDT
Equitable Access to Vaccinations
Dr. Kendra Holmes, PharmD, CHCEF
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Affinia Healthcare

In order to honor the observation of Juneteenth on Monday, June 20th, the Missouri Immunization Coalition will be offering Monday’s presentations on-demand. Registration for the conference includes access to the on-demand sessions. Information on how to access the on-demand sessions will be sent to all registrants following the live conference.

Tuesday (June 21st)

11:00 am CDT
ACIP Vaccination Schedule and Heterologous Vaccination Series
Keynote Speaker – Dr. A. Patricia Wodi, MD
Public Health Physician, Immunization Services Division, CDC

12:20 pm CDT
Threats of Re-Emerging Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Dr. Christine Deppong, PhD
Assistant Professor, St. Louis Community College,
Adjunct Professor, Maryville University

Wednesday (June 22nd)

11:00 am CDT
Pain We Feel but Do Not Speak: The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Emotional Toll on Healthcare
Dr. Mark Ellis, MD, MSPH
Physician Lead, CoxHealth Initiative for Physician Resilience and Enrichment

12:20 pm CDT
Self-Care for Healthcare Providers
Dr. Craig Rooney, PhD
Office of Clinician Well-Being
University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics

Thursday (June 23rd)

11:00 am CDT
History of Vaccines:
Dr. Kenneth Haller, MD
Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics
Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Mr. Kelechi Onyeaka, MPH
Public Health Educator
Missouri Immunization Coalition

12:20 pm CDT
Vaccination Personal Stories:
Ms. Karen North (HPV Vaccine)
Ms. Katie Van Tornhout (Pertussis Vaccine-TDap)
Ms. Sonya Satterwhite (COVID-19 Vaccine)