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Innovation and Diversity Summit Speakers

  • RADM Denise Hinton is FDA’s Chief Scientist.  In this capacity, she is responsible for leading and coordinating FDA's cross-cutting scientific and public health efforts.
  • CAPT Richardae Araojo serves as the Associate Commissioner for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  In this role, CAPT Araojo provides leadership, oversight, and direction on minority health and health disparity matters for the Agency. The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity aims to promote and protect the health of diverse populations through research and communication of regulatory science that addresses health disparities.
  • Ms. Jovonni Spinner serves as a Senior Public Health Advisor and Outreach and Communication Co-Lead in the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  She provides oversight and direction for the Outreach and Communication Program, serves as a national spokesperson on minority health issues and health disparities, and provides expert guidance on implementation of laws regulating FDA’s communication to minority and underrepresented populations.  In her role, she advances the mission of the Office by overseeing efforts related to clinical trial diversity, providing meaningful stakeholder engagement, and conducting outreach through multiple platforms such as multi-media campaigns, social media, and scientific lectures.
  • Dr. Quincy J. Byrdsong is the Executive Director for Research Administration at the WellStar Research Institute for WellStar Health System, the largest Health System in the State of Georgia. Dr. Byrdsong has extensive expertise in providing strategic vision, operational organization and programmatic infrastructure to complex institutions of higher education and healthcare systems. Currently, he functions as the Chief Research Administration Officer with operational oversight of all research administration activity and serves as the liaison to pharmaceutical sponsors and other funding agencies. In his role, Dr. Byrdsong analyzes, evaluates, and develops metrics for all research activity for mission alignment and productivity as well as informs the organizational agenda for research to include areas of strength, areas of opportunity, and areas of growth. He continues to speak to national audiences in the areas of executive research administrative oversight and the establishment of dynamic education programs and curricula for research administration, responsible conduct of research, conflicts of interest, and human subjects protections. Through his career, Dr. Byrdsong has served in several roles in academic medicine and research administration at Virginia Commonwealth University, Meharry Medical College, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • YCCI recognizes that broadening community participation in clinical research involves linking investigators directly to resources in the community. To facilitate this, YCCI has partnered with Junta for Progressive Action and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church to ensure that clinical trial participation reflects the diversity of New Haven’s population and will benefit patients in the community and beyond. Junta is the oldest Latino community based non-profit organization in New Haven and the AME Zion Church is New Haven’s oldest African American congregations.
  • Dr. Robert Alpern was appointed Dean of Yale School of Medicine in June 2004, continuing a career that has combined his interests in research, clinical practice and teaching. As Dean, he oversees one of the world’s leading institutions for biomedical research and advanced medical care.
  • Dr. Velazquez's research interests include the evaluation and management of heart failure, particularly with coronary artery disease; hypertension; valve disease; and cardiovascular imaging. Dr. Velazquez has led global clinical trial operations for numerous cardiovascular clinical trial programs including VALIANT, ACCOMPLISH, the Heart Failure Network and STICH. He is currently the principal investigator for the NHLBI-funded STICHES Program and an NHLBI-funded Global Health Program for Chronic Cardiovascular Diseases in Eldoret, Kenya.
  • Linda Coleman is the director of the Human Research Protection Program.  In her role, she is responsible for providing administrative and regulatory oversight over the Yale IRBs, RDRC, RIDC, and performing a number of functional duties including, serving as the lead for inquiries regarding audits and inquiries from regulatory agencies and accreditation bodies; assessing HRPP policies and practices for operational efficiency and compliance with applicable laws, guidelines, accreditation standards, and local context requirements; and collaborating with University stakeholders on operational initiatives related to research.  Ms. Coleman also serves on several Yale University committees including the Institutional Conflict of Interest Committee, Investigator Conflict of Interest Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, Institutional Research Compliance Committee, Data Safety Monitoring Committee, and other committees focused on research policy matters.
  • Allen Hsiao, MD, is Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO), Yale New Haven Health and Yale School of Medicine. In this role, Allen leads a team of physician informaticians responsible for medical leadership of the electronic health record system (EHR) and supporting information technology systems to provide the functionality, clinical decision support, and innovation needed to deliver the best healthcare possible. Allen also oversees the DBAs, data architects, and the Joint Data Analytics Team (JDAT), a team of over 45 analysts that provide the reporting and analytics for the System and the School, supporting operational, clinical, and research reporting and data needs. Current priorities include strategies to address growing physician burnout, patient engagement, population health, and supporting genomic medicine.
  • Tesheia Johnson, MBA, MHS, is Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of YCCI and the Associate Director for Clinical Research for Yale School of Medicine, where she provides leadership and direction in the area of clinical research.