Meet the Speakers

Heidi B. Miller
Chief Medical Officer
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

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Dr. Heidi Miller is the Chief Medical Officer of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She previously served as the Medical Director of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission and worked as a population health strategy consultant for multiple nonprofit equity-focused health agencies, including the Missouri Primary Care Association, Missouri Medicaid Primary Care Health Home Initiative, and St. Louis Integrated Health Network. Dr. Miller has maintained her primary care practice at a Federally Qualified Health Center in St. Louis, Family Care Health Centers. She trained at Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and she completed her residency in Internal Medicine Primary Care at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is the recipient the Health Care Champion Award from MHCA and was recognized as one of the St. Louis Business Journal 40-under-40 honorees. Dr. Miller has focused her career on promoting policies that foster integrated, team-based, equitable, and trauma-informed care for our most disenfranchised patients, while improving the health of Missourians overall.

George Turabelidze, MD, PhD
State Epidemiologist
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

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Dr. George Turabelidze is a Missouri State Epidemiologist and a Board Certified Pediatrician. He has 20 years of experience as a public health practitioner and over 30 years as a clinical doctor. Dr Turabelidze is an external faculty at the Washington University School of Medicine and St Louis University School of Public Health. He has over 60 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals on diverse topics in public health and medicine.

Robin Wisch
Medical Officer/Clinical Reviewer/Clinical Research Staff
Immediate Office of Director, Divison of Vaccine and Related Products Applications
Office of Vaccines Research and Review
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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Dr. Robin Wisch joined the FDA’s Division of Vaccines and Related Product Applications, Office of Vaccine Research and Review (DVRPA/OVRR) as a medical officer in the clinical review branch in 2020. In this role, she provides analysis of clinical trial data for vaccines and related biologics. Associated with this primary function, Dr. Wisch reviews study designs and evaluates study reports for evidence of safety and effectiveness in support of biologics license applications. Prior to joining the FDA, she worked as a pediatrician for 15 years. Dr. Wisch obtained her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, completed her pediatrics residency training at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, and is a board-certified pediatrician.

Richard Quartarone
Acting Communication Team Lead
Health Education and Communication Branch
Immunization Services Division (ISD)
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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Richard Quartarone is a Health Communication Specialist and Acting Team Lead at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he supports patient provider vaccine communication and helps health departments and partners build vaccine communication and confidence capacity. Richard has supported domestic immunization for 11 years and served on the CDC COVID-19 Response for two years, initially as a Senior Press Officer, and later serving as Deputy Director for Communication on CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force (VTF). Richard joined CDC in 2009 as a press officer. In addition to specializing in immunization, he worked in disease surveillance, public health informatics, scientific communication, and provider outreach. With 25 years of experience in public health, communication, and community organizing, Richard’s career spans local and state public health departments, academic medicine, healthcare, public relations, journalism, web development, provider relations, community relations, and emergency preparedness.

Jacqueline Miller, DDS
Director of Oral Health
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

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Dr. Jacqueline Miller became the State Dental Director for Missouri on August 1, 2022. Dr. Miller brings an extensive history of leadership, advocacy for dentistry and volunteerism both in Missouri and abroad. She has served multiple positions in the American Association of Orthodontists, most recently on its Council on Communication. In 2011 she was the first female to hold the office of president of the Midwestern Society of Orthodontists. She has made 24 dental mission trips and participated in Give Kids a Smile and Missouri Mission of Mercy. She is planning on continuing her overseas mission trips in 2023.

Dr. Miller earned her DDS degree with distinction from the UMKC School of Dentistry and then was accepted to the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry and graduated with a Master of Science and Certificate in Orthodontics. In July 2022, she earned her Master of Public Health degree from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. She looks forward to using her experience and education to extend dental services to the underserved populations of Missouri, initiating programs to address these dental needs and increase dental education to all Missouri citizens, partners and stakeholders in improving dental health. Visit to learn more about Missouri’s oral health programs. Contact Dr. Miller at or 573-751-5874.

Nikole Cronk, Clinical Psychologist
Associate Program Director
University of Missouri School of Medicine

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Dr. Nikole Cronk is a licensed clinical psychologist and Teaching Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri. She has experience teaching, supervising and conducting Motivational Interviewing (MI) and has been invited to give workshops on MI at professional conferences around the country. She received training in MI from a MINT (Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers)-certified trainer and completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship as the project coordinator for a NIH-funded clinical trial of motivational interviewing for smoking cessation among college students. She currently teaches MI to medical students, nurses and resident physicians, engages in research and has published her work on MI in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Laura Morris, MD, MSPH, FAAFP
Associate Program Director of Family and Community Medicine Residency
University of Missouri School of Medicine

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Dr. Laura Morris is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the Mizzou Family Medicine Residency program. She completed her Master of Science in Public Health in 2012, then an American Academy of Family Physicians Vaccine Science Fellowship in 2019, mere months before ominous news stories came to light about a mysterious respiratory illness spreading in Wuhan, China. Late in 2019, she stepped into a leadership role on MU Health Care’s COVID-19 and Influenza vaccine committees. Currently, Dr. Morris serves as the William C. Allen Endowed Professor of Family & Community Medicine and Associate Chief Medical Officer for Ambulatory Care at MU Health Care. Her clinical practice includes full scope family medicine at Callaway Physicians clinic in Fulton.

Jaimie Vickery, MPP
Government Affairs Lead
Vaccinate Your Family


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Jaimie Vickery joined Vaccinate Your Family (VYF) as Manager of State and Federal Vaccine Policy in May 2021 leading the cultivating and maintaining relationships with U.S. Government officials, Members of Congress, and relevant Committee staff to create opportunities to develop and support sound public health policies that affect immunizations across the lifespan. Jaimie coordinates with local and state public health and immunization partners to support vaccine policies and legislative efforts throughout the nation, including educational programs to support advocacy-building at the grassroots level.

Jaimie comes to the role with a wealth of experience in public health, advocacy, and maternal and child health. Most recently, she was a member of the senior leadership team at Cure SMA, a patient advocacy group for a rare neurological genetic disease. While there, she led both federal and state advocacy efforts to increase screening for the condition, improve access to care and to develop treatments.

She also led federal advocacy and government relations for the March of Dimes Foundation, where she developed and executed several successful advocacy campaigns, resulting in increased funding for health research, greater inclusion of women in clinical trials, and improved immunization efforts for pregnant women and infants. She also managed the Zika Coalition, a diverse group of over 100 organizations, which successfully advocated for public education efforts about the virus, mosquito eradication efforts, and epidemiological research to prevent the spread of the virus.

A native of Southern California, Jaimie holds a B.A. in political science from Azusa Pacific University and a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Heather McNeal, RN
Public Health Manager
Vaccine Coordinator
Public Health Nurse
Butler County Health Department

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Heather McNeal is a proud mother of three wonderful teenage boys.  She explored many different career paths and finally found her calling as a Public Health Nurse and a Critical Care Nurse. She enjoys spending her free time watching her boys do the things they love. When she’s not caring for her patients, you can find her at a ball field or curled up with a good book. Her favorite part of being a nurse is making a difference in the lives of her patients and their families and seeing how that impacts her community.

Lisa Slusher, RN
Immunization Nurse Coordinator
Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center

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Lisa Slusher is a registered nurse and has been in the healthcare field for 12 years, the past two in Public Health. Her job includes overseeing all immunization clinics, vaccines supplies and inventory, and coordinating school and community vaccine clinics. She believes everyone deserves the opportunity to be vaccinated, so she ensures the health department has community outreach clinics to reach as many patients as they can.

She obtained her Associate of Nursing degree from Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

When she’s not at work she enjoys spending time with her husband, Chevy and their two children, Sadie (8) and Elliot (4). She loves to travel and experience new places, shopping and spending time outdoors.

Barbara Chimienti, RN, BSN
Nurse Supervisor
Mississippi County Health Department

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Barbara Chimienti started her Public Health career in 2012 as a License Practicing Nurse at the Mississippi County Health Department. Since then, she has earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing over a 5-year period while raising her four children. Her passion for public health has put her in the position of Nurse Supervisor. Besides training new nurses to be passionate about public health, her job includes everything vaccination related from ordering of supplies to managing vaccine clinics and drive-thru events. Barbara believes that education is the key to improving community health, and it takes collaboration between all healthcare providers in the community to maximize the health of those they serve.

When Barbara is not at work, she enjoys all things outdoors with her husband John and her four kids Katelyn (20), Natalee (18), Hailey (15), and Nicholas (11). Her heart is in serving others and she volunteers regularly at church/community events when she is not traveling with her children’s sporting events.

Ashley Baker lives in Washington, Missouri. She’s 37 years old. Her parents have five kids, with her being the middle child. Ashley is an optician and has been doing that for over 20 years at an ophthalmologist’s office. She and her husband have a 15-year-old daughter that does travel softball, so during the spring and summer, they are a very busy family.

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Kim Kelpe is one of the founding members of the Howard Aslinger Foundation established in 2009. Kim along with her sisters and mother, started the foundation in memory of her father Howard, who was confined to a wheelchair due to having polio at 11 years old. Born and raised in Cape Girardeau, Kim, is also the co-owner of Missouri Running Company. The foundation’s primary fundraiser is a 24 hour endurance run encouraging runners/walkers to follow Howard’s phrase, “It is not a handicap, it is an inconvenience.” The foundation provides scholarships to individuals with disabilities, as well as supporting the Ace Athletes allowing those with disabilities be active in sports.

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Julie Moise is a co-founder and President of Ian’s Rainbow Flu Foundation, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization established in 2004 that is made up of families and friends of the Moise family. As a mother of four, Julie knows personally how important it is to vaccinate children against influenza. In December 2003 Julie and her husband lost their 6½-month-old son, Ian, to influenza. Julie has now dedicated herself to educating others about the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination, particularly in children. Julie was also on the board of Families Fighting Flu and worked with the American Lung Association on their Faces of Influenza campaign.

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  • AstraZeneca
  • Bureau of Immunizations
  • DHSS, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
  • Dynavax
  • GSK
  • Helmer Inc.
  • Merck
  • Missouri Pharmacy Association
  • Missouri Primary Care Association
  • Missouri Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
  • Moderna
  • MODHSS Comprehensive Cancer Program
  • Pfizer, Inc
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • Sanofi Vaccines
  • Show Me ECHO
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • University of Missouri, PANDEMIC Project/MU Family & Community Medicine
  • University of Missouri, Master of Public Health