PHHP Outstanding Alumni 2021

The college is proud to recognize 14 graduates with 2021 Outstanding Alumni Awards

Harvey Abrams headshotHarvey Abrams, Ph.D.,
doctorate in speech communication ’80, has served in a number of academic, clinical, research and administrative capacities. These include chief of the audiology and speech pathology service and associate chief of staff for research and development at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, director of research at the Army Audiology and Speech Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, director of audiology research at Starkey Hearing Technologies, and head of audiology research at Lively.

Dawn Bowers HeadshotDawn Bowers, Ph.D., ABPP-CN,
doctorate in psychology ’78, is a professor and clinical/research neuropsychologist in the UF departments of clinical and health psychology and neurology. She is a UF Research Foundation Professor, director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, and neuropsychology director for the UF Health Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration Program. She is internationally known for her expertise in neurocognitive and emotion processing changes associated with age related disorders.

Davidson_ChristineChristine Davidson, P.T., D.P.T.,
doctorate in physical therapy ’10, worked at Orlando Health in the Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation inpatient rehabilitation unit following graduation and developed a passion for stroke gait training and neurorecovery. She achieved board certification in neurologic physical therapy in 2015 and now is a supervisor for the outpatient division of the institute. She is involved in advancement and support of the profession of physical therapy at the state and national levels.

Lauren Tabor-Gray HeadshotLauren Tabor Gray, Ph.D., CCC-SLP,
doctorate in rehabilitation science ’18, is an ALS clinical scientist, speech-language pathology clinician and swallowologist. She is the co-director of the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute ALS Center in Fort Lauderdale. Her current research seeks to develop efficacious treatment regimens to improve cough function and airway protection in individuals with ALS. She works with Holy Cross Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in the management of individuals with ALS, developing novel treatments and precision-based, individualized medical care.

Laura GruberLaura Gruber, M.B.A., M.H.S.,
master’s in health administration ’97, is the associate vice president of administration, strategy, and education for UF Health Physicians, the university’s clinical faculty practice, which provides care for approximately 1 million patient visits per year for patients from every county in Florida and every state in the U.S. In her current role, she is responsible for administrative activities for UF Health Physicians as well as the continuing medical education unit of the UF College of Medicine.

Abenaa JonesAbenaa Jones, Ph.D.,
doctorate in epidemiology ’16, is an assistant professor in the department of human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University. Her work focuses on drug addiction and co-occurring factors associated with drug addiction, such as HIV/AIDS, and evaluating structural and behavioral interventions aimed at reducing substance use and associated health and social consequences. She is the principal investigator of a K01 award, “Opioid Use Disorder among Criminal Justice-Involved Women: Integrating Trauma-Informed and Gender-Specific Care with Medication-Assisted Treatment.”

Ellington PhotoEllington Jones, Dr.P.H., M.H.A., master’s in health administration ’12,
is the executive director of the digestive diseases service line at UChicago Medicine, where he oversees strategy and clinical operations for 14 clinical programs across the health system and biological sciences division at the University of Chicago. He has received numerous leadership awards, competed in national health administration case competitions, and was a finalist in ACHE’s Richard J. Stull Graduate Essay Competition in Healthcare Management while at UF.

Trevor Lentz

Trevor Lentz, P.T., Ph.D., M.P.H., master’s in physical therapy ’06, master’s in public health (health policy and management) ’16 and doctorate in rehabilitation science ’17, is currently an assistant professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at Duke University School of Medicine, and a faculty member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. His work focuses on health care system redesign to improve outcomes and reduce opioid use for patients following orthopedic injury and surgery.

Christine MyersChristine Myers, Ph.D., OTR/L,
bachelor’s in occupational therapy ’95 and master’s in occupational therapy ’00, is a clinical associate professor in the UF department of occupational therapy, where she serves as the director of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program. She is also the director of INSPIRE, a training grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education, that trains occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology students to work interprofessionally in early intervention and school settings.

Neilsen, Chad Chad Neilsen, M.P.H., CIC,
master’s in public health ’09 (epidemiology), is the director of accreditation and infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, and a faculty member at the UF College of Medicine in Jacksonville, where he is responsible for oversight of the facility’s federal accreditation and UF Health Jacksonville’s response to COVID-19. His leadership was nationally recognized by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology in 2019. He also serves as a public health officer for the Florida Air National Guard.

Steven Peterson HeadshotSteven Peterson, M.P.H.,
master’s in public health (environmental health) ’15, is a biologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for leading the re-evaluation process that ensures pesticides continue to meet the statutory standards for protecting human health and the environment. Prior to joining the EPA, he served as a health extension volunteer with the Peace Corps in Tanzania, where he collaborated with community members to implement health projects.

Kathryn RossKathryn Ross, Ph.D., M.P.H.,
master’s in public health (social and behavioral sciences) ’12 and doctorate in clinical psychology ’13, is an associate professor in the UF department of clinical and health psychology and social and behavioral sciences program in public health, where she teaches, mentors graduate students, and conducts research focused on health promotion and behavioral approaches to the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Prior to joining UF, she served on the faculty at Brown University.

Nicole Tester

Nicole Tester, Ph.D., M.O.T., OTR/L, master’s in occupational therapy ’16, is an occupational therapist at UF’s Movement Disorders Clinic, where she conducts evaluations and provides treatment for a variety of movement and neuromuscular disorder diagnoses. She is the lead occupational therapist on the multiple sclerosis team and has made substantial contributions to the program development of the center’s MS fatigue clinic. She also has been instrumental in developing community resources such as the Gainesville Exercise Group for MS.

Lu YouLu You, Ph.D., doctorate in biostatistics ’20,
is an assistant professor at the Health Informatics Institute at the University of South Florida. He works as a biostatistician in the TrialNet clinical research group, an international network dedicated to the study, prevention and early treatment of Type 1 diabetes. His duties include planning studies, writing research protocols and performing statistical analyses in collaboration with other investigators. He works on both conventional and innovative clinical trial designs for Type 1 diabetes.