The Adolescent Health Initiative is comprised of adolescent health experts from a variety of professional backgrounds. Our team is passionate about working with health care providers and systems to help them improve their care and better serve adolescents.
Ellen Wagner, MPH, MS
Ellen Wagner joined the Adolescent Health Initiative in the summer of 2016. She has a master’s in public health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a master’s in basic medical sciences from New York Medical College. She completed her undergraduate work in politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ellen was previously based in New York City where she led patient outcome improvement projects in a variety of settings including a large health and human services agency, public hospitals, and academic medical centers. Ellen has felt passionate about social justice and health equity since she herself was a teen.
Terrill Bravender, MD, MPH
Terrill Bravender is a pediatrician and adolescent medicine physician who serves at co-medical director of AHI. He attended college and medical school at the University of Michigan, received his residency training in Pediatrics at Duke University, and completed his fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. While a fellow, he received his Master of Public Health from Harvard University. He is currently the David Rosen Professor of Adolescent Medicine and also serves as the Executive Director of the UM Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program. He has served as chair of both the General Pediatrics Exam Committee and the Adolescent Medicine Subboard for the American Board of Pediatrics and is currently the president of the Michigan Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. His career has been focused on breaking down the barriers between physical and mental health care for adolescents and young adults and on training the next generation of physicians regarding the importance of patient-centered care.
Cornelius D. Jamison, MD, MSPH
Cornelius D. Jamison is a Family Medicine physician and health services researcher currently serving as Co-Medical Director of AHI. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana and a MSPH in Public Health Studies from Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine. Dr. Jamison went on to earn his medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and received his residency training at Duke University/Southern Regional AHEC in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He completed his fellowship in the National Clinician Scholars Program at the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan and the US Department of Veterans Affairs as a VA Scholar. His passion revolves around adolescent and sexual health, specifically preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections among minority and underserved individuals. He is interested in developing interventions and healthcare practices that will improve STI prevention, including expanding the use of Expedited Partner Therapy. His career in academic medicine focuses on integrating the clinical duties of a primary care physician with his interests in healthcare research and health policy to improve the care for adolescent and patients in underserved communities.
Jenni Lane, MA
Senior Program Manager
Jenni Lane has worked in the field of positive youth development and adolescent health for the past twenty years in varied settings, including traditional classrooms, outdoor experiential education, sexual health education, and youth-driven peer education and social change programs. She is committed to strengthening youth/adult interactions through expanding adults’ capacity to partner with young people in authentic ways. Jenni has a particular interest in the ways parents and healthcare professionals prepare young people for a lifetime of engaging in their own health, through dialogue, practices, procedures, and policies.
Kaleigh Cornelison, MSW
Lead Program Specialist
Kaleigh obtained her master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St Louis with a specialization in nonprofit management and her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Michigan. She spent the last 10 years working in St Louis and Los Angeles in youth-severing nonprofits, schools and healthcare. She was most recently the Training Coordinator for the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County where she developed and coordinated professional development opportunities for Federally Qualified Health Centers across LA. Kaleigh is passionate about supporting young people by empowering the adults in their lives to meet them where they are.
Azzia Roberts, MPH, CHES
Azzia A. Roberts is the Program Specialist at the Adolescent Health Initiative. She has a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Bowling Green State University, and a master’s in public health with a focus on health education & promotion from the University of Toledo. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. Her previous work experience includes serving as a health advocate for disadvantaged youth, and working with interdisciplinary teams as a health and wellness program coordinator. Azzia’s passion lies in improving health equity for socially disadvantaged and underserved communities.
Lauren Vasquez, MS, CHES
Lauren Vasquez earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Science in Community Health Education from Eastern Michigan University. She also holds a CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) certification. Lauren taught Spanish and Health Education in public schools for eight years, as well as interned at The Summit, a recreation facility in Canton, where she evaluated their health and wellness program. Her previous work experience also includes working as a Wellness Coordinator for EMU’s Wellness Center, where she collaborated with various departments and student organizations to improve health for students and staff. She also worked in Corporate Wellness, and as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She is passionate about educating and empowering youth and parents about sexual and reproductive health, emotional health, nutrition, cultural competency, and women’s empowerment. Lauren is excited to be a part of all the amazing things that AHI is doing to improve health care for adolescents. Her hobbies include writing and playing music, dancing, and spending time with family.
Lauren Leslie, MPH
Lauren Leslie is a passionate health equity advocate who recently received her MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Lauren has spent the early part of her career addressing systemic barriers to health by pursuing research and programming opportunities in the areas of violence prevention, sexual and reproductive health, DE&I, and adolescent health. Her work is committed to addressing the many intersections of identity, culture, power and privilege through inclusive and equitable community engagement.
Valerie Gavrila, MPH
Valerie Gavrila is a two-time Wolverine graduate, earning her Bachelors of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience in 2015 then continuing to earn her Masters of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education in 2017. Before joining AHI in October 2019, Valerie worked as a research coordinator in pediatric endocrinology and focused on both childhood obesity and Type 1 Diabetes research studies and projects. Valerie is super excited to combine her public health passions of adolescent health, especially mental health with her professional experience in Michigan Medicine. Her favorite hobbies include rooting for the Michigan Wolverines during football season as well as trying new Pinterest recipes!
Janine Driver, MA
Janine Driver is an experienced Marketing Specialist that utilizes innovative marketing strategies to cultivate social change. Janine has spent the past nine years working with non-profits across sectors in coordinating and strategically promoting culturally responsive events. She/they are passionate about health advocacy and fostering environments in which adolescents have the support and agency to live healthy lives. Janine has multiple degrees from Eastern Michigan University where her/their studies centered on educational outreach, diversity/equity/inclusion, and communication strategy. Janine’s pronouns are she/they.
Marketing & Communications Assistant
Rachel is the Marketing and Communications Assistant at the Adolescent Health Initiative. She received her Bachelor of Arts in the Arts and Humanities from Michigan State University (MSU) in 2018. Her previous experience in health care communications includes her time as the Writer for MSU’s College of Nursing’s Marketing and Communications Team as well as the Storytelling Coordinator of MSU’s Chapter of Project LETS. Project LETS is a nonprofit that works to create an inclusive environment on college campuses for those with mental illnesses through peer support and advocacy services. Rachel is passionate about mental health advocacy and improving health outcomes for underserved populations.
Marketing & Events Assistant
Stefaney O’Chel is the Marketing & Events Assistant at the Adolescent Health Initiative. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University in 2019 and has spent time working and volunteering at the University of Michigan’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit. Stefaney’s marketing and event experience comes from coordinating various events, including weddings, funerals, social parties, and corporate meetings. For the last year, she held the Registration Director position at an endurance race company, working various angles of event planning and strategically reconstructing large events into virtual experiences. Stefaney is passionate about mental health advocacy and using her education and experiences to create a safe and overall healthier life for the adolescent community. Her favorite hobbies include photography, DIY home projects and decorating, and spending time with family.
Melissa Jedlick received her Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University in 2017 and joined Adolescent Health Initiative in August 2019. Prior to joining the AHI team, she gained experience working with adolescents through her undergraduate and alumni work with Camp Kesem, a non-profit that sends K-12 kids with a parent(s) affected by cancer to a free week of summer camp. Melissa’s journey after graduation also led her into a Naturalist role at a Nature Center in Lansing where she facilitated team-building exercises, worked with Lansing youth in an outdoor setting, and assisted with event planning. Melissa is passionate about educational outreach and positive growth within communities.
Anusha Gupta is a rising senior at Washtenaw International High School in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She has been a member of AHI’s TAC TAC since 2018 and is interning with AHI for the summer of 2020. She is inspired by how much AHI values and focuses on youth voice. Anusha has also worked as a peer educator with Planned Parenthood, an advocate for Free The Pill, and a county-wide community wellness board member. She is keenly interested in public health and medicine and eager to pursue education, research, and a profession around this field. Anusha is passionate about creating positive change in her community through public health, social justice, student leadership, and educational endeavors.
Aliya Moreira is a third-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School who joined AHI in April 2020. She is originally from Boston, MA, and attended college at the University of Chicago, where she received her B.A. in Biology and Psychology. Aliya will be taking the 2020-2021 year off from medical school to pursue a Master’s in Public Health. She is planning to apply to residency in Psychiatry (with an interest in Child Psychiatry) or Internal Medicine. Her interest in working with youth began when she worked as a camp counselor for youth with HIV, cancer, and rare genetic diseases in Boston. It was there that she saw the challenges involved for adolescents in navigating the psycho-social aspects of complex illnesses. Aliya is passionate about working with underserved populations and with mental health advocacy within the health care setting.
Program Assistant Intern
Kayla received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Michigan State University in 2020 and is now a 1st year MSW student at the University of Michigan, where she is studying Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse. She is also an Integrated Health Scholar. She is interested in working with adolescents and young adults struggling with a chronic illness by taking an integrated care approach to intervention by assessing their basic, physical, and mental health care needs. Kayla is passionate about ensuring that patients feel empowered and supported during the treatment process by giving them a voice and connecting them to vital resources. She is excited to begin her internship with AHI. She hopes to learn how to create and successfully implement an inclusive and adolescent-focused healthcare environment that focuses on patient empowerment and ensures that all unique physical health and mental health care needs are met.
Program Assistant Intern
Sheeba received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2017 and now is an MPH student at Michigan’s School of Public Health, where she is studying Health Behavior and Health Education. Her public health education and professional aspirations are informed by her time spent working as a Healthcare Specialist at Planned Parenthood of Michigan, supporting abortion care and family planning services. Sheeba’s interests include incorporating a reproductive justice framework into public health implements, inclusive and affirming sexual education for adolescents, and creating conversations about sexual and reproductive health within South Asian communities. She is very excited to work with AHI and learn more about how to implement adolescent-led and centered care. Her hobbies include dancing while baking and watching movies with cats.
Youth Engagement Intern
Tommy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomolecular Science from the University of Michigan in 2020. He is currently a first-year dental student at the University of Michigan. Tommy has been working with adolescents for the last couple of years through teaching and mentorship. He was also an active member of AHI’s Adolescent Champion Teen Advisory Council (TAC TAC), where he explored youth’s needs and learned from his peers. He is interested in working with adolescents in the future and is looking forward to advocating for them by exploring avenues to include all youth voices.
Members of the AHI Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) represent multidisciplinary professions and are committed to AHI’s mission of advancing innovative adolescent-centered health care through practice improvement, education, research, and youth and community engagement.
Laura Jadwin-Cakmak, MPH
Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities
School of Public Health
Sharon Kileny, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Elisabeth Quint, MD
Medical School/Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Vijay Singh, MD, MPH, MS
Department of Emergency Medicine/Family Medicine/and Internal Medicine
Sara Wiener, LMSW
Comprehensive Gender Services Program
Cindy Darling-Fisher, PhD, FNP
Clinical Assistant Professor
School of Nursing
Jana Stewart, MPH
Project Healthy Schools
Alfreda Rooks, MPA
Community Health Services