Presentations and Panels

Keynote Address

Richard Besser, MD

Richard Besser, MD, is president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a position he assumed in April 2017. Besser is the former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and ABC News’ former chief health and medical editor.

In Besser’s role at ABC News, he provided medical analysis and reports for all ABC News programs and platforms. His weekly health chats on social media reached millions.

At RWJF, Besser leads the largest private foundation in the country devoted solely to improving the nation’s health. RWJF’s work is focused on building a comprehensive Culture of Health that provides everyone in America with the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible, regardless of finances, geographic location, race, ethnicity, or physical challenges. Access to healthy food, safe housing, employment, transportation, education, as well as clean air and water, are all important contributors to health and well-being.         

Panel Discussions

Panel 1: How can technology support healthy behaviors?


Ritu Agarwal, PhD, Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Director, Center for Health Information and Decision Systems, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Mark Zubrow, MD, Associate Professor and Vice President, Telemedicine, School of Medicine


Nanette Steinle, MD, RDN, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Chief Endocrinology and Diabetes Section, Maryland Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Angela Evatt, Chief, Health Information Exchange, Maryland Health Care Commission

Praduman Jain, Founder and CEO, Vibrent 

Panel 2: Health and science literacy for trust-building with the public


Lisa Bress, RDH, MS, Clinical Assistant Professor & Perryville Clinic Coordinator, School of Dentistry

Cynthia Baur, PhD, Endowed Professor and Director, Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, School of Public Health


Megan E. (Smith) Humphries, Senior Vice President, Edelman Federal Government Services

Leni Preston, Vice-President, Consumer Health First 

Elsie M. Stines, DNP, CRNP, Assistant Vice President, UMB Special Projects and Initiatives

Walkiria E. Pool, President and Founder, Center for Assistance to Families

Panel 3: Do data matter? Informing personal and community decision-making


Soren Bentzen, PhD, DMSc
Professor and Division Director, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics,
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Barbara Curbow, PhD, MA, BA, Professor and Chair, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health


Luisa Franzini, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Health Services Administration, University of Maryland School of Public Health

Edward Sondik, PhD, Former Director, National Center of Health Statistics, CDC; Member, DHHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives

Quynh Nguyen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland School of Public Health

Panel 4: Widening the lens on the opioid epidemic


Amelia Arria, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development, School of Public Health

Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, CGP, FASCP, Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Science & Executive Director, Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging, School of Pharmacy


Kim Burton, Director of Older Adult Programs , Mental Health Association of Maryland 

Kathleen A. Cameron, MPH, Senior Director, Center for Healthy Aging, National Council on Aging

Laura Place, MSW, LCSW-C , Coordinator of Substance Use Intervention and Treatment programs, University of Maryland Health Center, Staff Advisor, Terps for Recovery

Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director, HC DrugFree

Eric D. Wish, PhD, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) , University of Maryland College Park