PHHP Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series

Sartorius LectureThe College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series brings some of the nation’s top health professions and public health researchers to the University of Florida campus. Lectures are free and open to the public. Check back frequently for more details on the lectures as information becomes available.




Past lectures

Dr. Slotterback and groupDecember 6, 2018

Carissa Slotterback, Ph.D., FAICP

Associate dean and associate professor of urban and regional planning, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

“Advancing Collaboratively Engaged Research: Implication for Transportation Research Now and in the Future”


Slotterback’s research and teaching focus on public engagement and decision making at the intersection of environmental, land use, transportation and health issues. She has led numerous initiatives focused on interdisciplinary engaged research at the University of Minnesota.

Hosted by the PHHP office of the dean and the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center.

Donald RakowOctober 30, 2018

Donald Rakow, Ph.D.

Associate professor, Section of Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University

“Nature Heals: Connecting with Nature to Improve College Student Health”


Rakow conducts research and writes on the human benefits of time in nature and directs the Nature Rx@Cornell program. He served as the executive director of Cornell Plantations (now Cornell Botanic Gardens) from 1996 to 2013. He is the co-author of “Public Garden Management” and the upcoming “Public Gardens and Community Revitalization.”

Hosted by the office of the dean and the department of environmental and global health.

PHHP Diversity Day 2015. Dr. Pedro Greer, Associate Dean for Community Engagement. Professor and Chair Department of Medicine, Family Medicine, and Community Health, FIU, keynote speaker.

November 5, 2015

Pedro J. Greer, Jr., M.D.
Professor of Medicine; Chair of Department of Medicine, Family Medicine and Community Health; Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

“Innovation in Healthcare Education and Delivery: Why It Needs to Change”


Throughout his career, Dr. Greer has been an advocate for health equity by engaging communities to create effective health and social policies and accessible health care systems. Dr. Greer was recently honored with the 2014 National Jefferson Award (often referred to as the Nobel Prize for public service) in the category of Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged. Dr. Greer has also been recognized with the Great Floridian Award in 2013, a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, a Presidential Service Award in 1997, and a MacArthur Fellowship (“Genius Grant”) in 1993. Dr. Greer has published more than 25 articles and book chapters on topics ranging from hepatic and digestive disorders to policy, poverty, and health in America. He authored Waking Up in America, a book about his experiences, from providing care to persons who are homeless, to advising U.S. presidents on health care.

Hosted by the PHHP Diversity Committee in conjunction with PHHP Diversity Day. 


Distinguished Scholar LectureMay 20, 2015

Kenneth Ottenbacher, Ph.D., OTR
Russell Shearn Moody Distinguished Chair; Professor and Director, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch

“Reform and Readmission: The Changing World of Post-Acute Care”

Dr. Ottenbacher holds the Russell Shearn Moody Distinguished Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is professor and director of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences in the School of Health Professions. He is also director of the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition, and associate director for the Sealy Center on Aging. Dr. Ottenbacher’s current research involves using large datasets to study rehabilitation outcomes with a focus on functional assessment, disability and frailty in older adults. He has published more than 300 articles in refereed journals and has received continuous federal funding as principal investigator to support research and training since 1984.

Hosted by the PHHP Office of the Dean.


PHHP hosts a Diversity Day to address issues of diversity and inclusion in education and research. The day features a distinguished speaker, poster presentation and panel discussion.October 23, 2014

Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D.
Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair and the Associate Chair of Research in the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department, University of Florida

“Societal Impacts through Research and Diversity: Who We Are and What We Do”

Dr. Juan E. Gilbert leads the Human Experience Research Lab in the UF College of Engineering’s Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering. He is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, a national associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies, an ACM distinguished scientist, and a senior member of the IEEE. Dr. Gilbert has research projects in spoken language systems, advanced learning technologies, usability and accessibility, ethnocomputing (culturally relevant computing) and databases/data mining. In 2012, Dr. Gilbert received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama, and he was recently named one of the 50 most important African Americans in Technology.

Hosted by the PHHP Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


Dr. Sonia Saxena, PHHP distinguished scholar lecturerOctober 15, 2014

Dr. Sonia Saxena
Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health
Imperial College London

“Tackling the problems of obesity in children: lessons from the UK”


Dr. Saxena is a clinical reader and general practitioner academic who runs the Child Health Unit at Imperial College London, UK in research that addresses key needs of British children. She has championed the role of the GP in tackling medical problems through better prevention and early diagnosis and has a strong track record in research examining childhood obesity and early cardiovascular risk. She has led studies reporting rising medical problems in British children who are obese, evaluated the impact of the National Childhood Measurement Programme in England and developed guidance and tools for GPs to assess and advise families with children who are overweight. She has led a public health campaign to raise awareness of child obesity and contributed to the UK government’s plans to add health education on food and nutrition to literacy and numeracy core curriculum in British schools.

Hosted by the PHHP Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.


Jason Altmire, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Community Engagement, Florida BlueApril 16, 2014

Jason Altmire, M.H.A.
Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Community Engagement
Florida Blue

“How the ACA Implementation Impacts Florida’s Healthcare Delivery System”


Mr. Altmire is responsible for leading and managing Florida Blue’s Government and Community Affairs organization, which also includes oversight of the Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Blue Center for Health Policy. Prior to joining Florida Blue in 2013, Mr. Altmire served three terms as a United States Congressman. A nationally recognized leader on health care policy, he has been profiled by National Public Radio, Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. Before being elected to Congress, he led the department of government relations and community health at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and before that worked at the Federation of American Hospitals.

Hosted by PHHP’s Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.

_KGP6704 - CopyMarch 19, 2014

Donna Hubbard McCree, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.Ph.
Associate Director for Health Equity, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Social determinants of HIV-related health inequities in the United States” 

Dr. McCree has more than 28 years of experience in public health and pharmacy and has held numerous positions in academia, bioavailability research, professional association management, and retail and hospital pharmacy practice. Her training and expertise are in developing and conducting STD/HIV behavioral interventions. At CDC, her work includes projects focused on HIV testing strategies for African American women and men who have sex with men, behavioral interventions for heterosexually-active African American men, HPV prevention and diagnosis, STD/HIV prevention for long haul truckers, and the development of training materials to improve the ability of pharmacists to counsel patients about HIV and other STDs.

Hosted by PHHP’s Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health and the PHHP Diversity Taskforce.

Thomas LaVeist, Ph.D., Director, Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, Johns Hopkins UniversityFebruary 19, 2014

Thomas A. LaVeist, Ph.D.
Director, Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions
William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in Health Policy
Johns Hopkins University

“Explaining Health Disparities: Place is more important than race, but race matters, too”

Dr. LaVeist’s research and writing has focused on three broad thematic research questions: 1. What are the social and behavioral factors that predict the timing of various related health outcomes (e.g. access and utilization of health services, mortality, entrance into nursing home?), 2. What are the social and behavioral factors that explain race differences in health outcomes?, and 3. What has been the impact of social policy on the health and quality of life of African Americans? Dr. LaVeist seeks to develop an orienting framework in the development of policy and interventions to address race disparities in health-related outcomes.

Hosted by PHHP’s Department of Clinical and Health Psychology and the PHHP Diversity Taskforce.

Kathleen F. Gensheimer,April 5, 2013

Kathleen F. Gensheimer, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA

“FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network: A Multidisciplinary/One Health Approach to Foodborne Outbreak Investigations”


Dr. Gensheimer joined the FDA in 2011 in a new senior position with the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine–Chief Medical Officer/Director of CORE. She has overall responsibility for leadership, policy development, decision making, strategic planning, and day-to-day operations for food-related outbreaks and food incidents affecting the public health of the nation and under the purview of the FDA.

Hosted by PHHP’s Department of Environmental and Global Health

January 28, 2013

Sartorius LectureNorman Sartorius, M.D., D.P.M., Ph.D., FRCPsych
Former Director, World Health Organization Division of Mental Health
Former President, World Psychiatric Association

“Public health efforts to fight the stigma of mental disorders” 

Dr. Sartorius joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1967 and soon assumed charge of the programs of epidemiology and social psychiatry. He was also principal investigator of several major international studies on schizophrenia, depression and health service delivery. In 1977, he was appointed Director of the Division of Mental Health of WHO, a position which he held until mid-1993. In June 1993 he was elected President of the World Psychiatric Association. READ MORE

Hosted by the UF Department of Epidemiology

December 5, 2012

Myron Cohen, M.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health; J. Herbert Bate Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology; Public Health Director, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases; Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; Director, Center for Infectious Diseases
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Transmission and prevention of transmission of HIV: Where do we go from here?”

Dr. Cohen’s work focuses on the prevention of transmission of HIV, with emphasis on the role played by STD co-infections. He has conducted landmark studies related to the biology of HIV transmission, and use of antiretroviral agents for prevention. In 2005, Dr. Cohen received an NIH MERIT Award for ongoing support of this work.

Hosted by the Rural South Public Health Training Center

May 16, 2012

Murray Grossman, M.D., Ed.D.
Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; Member, Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences

“What does semantic dementia tell us about semantic memory?”                                                  

The focus of Dr. Grossman’s research is the neural basis for language and cognition. He pursues comparative studies in patients with a variety of neurodegenerative conditions, and obtains converging evidence using fMRI studies in healthy adults. He relates these observations to biofluid biomarkers and biochemical brain analytes obtained at autopsy in neurodegenerative patients. READ MORE

Hosted by the PHHP Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

March 21, 2012

Adewale Troutman, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Public Health Practice and Leadership
University of South Florida

“Creating Health Equity: More Than an Apple a Day and a Walk in the Park”

Adewale Troutman identifies himself through his commitment to social justice, human rights, community activism, health equity and national and global health. His life’s work has been a testimony to this fact. Dr. Troutman has over 40 years of dedication through action to the principles of universal freedoms and the elimination of racism, injustice and oppression.


Hosted by the PHHP Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health

January 25, 2012

Lisa I. Iezzoni, M.D., M.Sc.
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Member, Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital

“Eliminating Health Care Disparities for Persons with Disabilities”

Dr. Iezzoni has spent more than two decades conducting health services research focusing on three primary areas: risk adjustment methods for predicting cost and clinical outcomes of care; use of administrative data for assessing health care quality; and health care experiences and outcomes of persons with disabilities.

Hosted by the PHHP Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy

September 14, 2011

Dan Shapiro, Ph.D.
Arnold P. Gold Foundation Professor of Medical Humanism; Chair, Department of Humanities, Penn State College of Medicine

“What Patients Aren’t Telling Us Because We’re Listening in the Wrong Places: Patients as Teachers, Health Trainees as Filmmakers, and the Video Slam”


Hosted by the PHHP Department of Clinical and Health Psychology