Amy Acton

Dr. Amy Acton is the director of the Ohio Department of Health. She has become widely known for her role in leading Ohio's response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Acton advised Governor Mike DeWine, who became the first governor in the nation to shut down schools and limit gatherings to no more than 100 people, despite the fact Ohio at the time had only 3 confirmed cases. Dr. Acton was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. Despite a challenging childhood, she earned a medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 1990, and a master's in public health from The Ohio State University. She has received nationwide praise on her leadership efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the article published about her in the New York Times here:

Frederic Bertley
Ph. D.

Dr. Frederic Bertley is a scientist, scholar, and evangelist for innovating thinking. As President and CEO of COSI, he is shepherding the science center to its next great iteration in a legacy of success. Prior to COSI, Bertley was the SVP for Science and Education at The Franklin Institute. After graduating from McGill University where he studied Physiology, Mathematics and the History of Science, and earned a Ph.D. in Immunology, Bertley worked internationally in preventative medicine and basic vaccines. He continued this focus in a research group at Harvard Medical School, focusing on the development of DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Bertley has spoken at distinguished institutions including The United Nations, The White House, and the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous honors including an Honorary Doctorate (Otterbein University), the George Washington Carver Award, and two Mid-Atlantic, National Academy of Television and Science EMMYS™.

Merle R. Gordon

Merle Gordon was appointed as the Director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health in June, 2016. She leads a team of over 140 people who serve as stewards of the public health for the residents and visitors of the City of Cleveland. At 27, she was the youngest woman elected to serve on Cleveland City Council. Director Gordon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Housing Policy from Hampshire College and studied healthcare management at Case Western Reserve University. She then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John. F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Melba R. Moore

Melba Moore is the Health Commissioner for the city of Cincinnati. Health Commissioner Moore is an advocate for women, children, vulnerable populations and lectures nationwide on health disparities. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology from Webster University, a Master of Science (MS) degree in Health Management from Lindenwood University, a Certificate of completion from Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government for State and Local Executives. In her earlier career Commissioner Moore served as the Chief Executive Officer for the National Coalition for Stroke Prevention and Awareness.

Mysheika W. Roberts

Dr. Mysheika W. Roberts is the Health Commissioner for the City of Columbus. She leads the organization and a team of nearly 500 public health professionals. Dr. Roberts has an 18-year public health background at the local, state and national levels. She built a solid foundation in public health early in her career by investigating outbreaks in Ohio for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She earned her MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and her MPH from the University of Michigan.

Vice Admiral (VADM) Jerome M. Adams
M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Adams is an anesthesiologist and a vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who currently serves as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. Prior to becoming Surgeon General, he served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner, from 2014 to 2017. Dr. Adams graduated high school in the top 5% of his class. He then attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County through a full-tuition Meyerhoff Scholarship, a grant dedicated to minority students interested in the sciences. He went on to earn a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000, with a focus on chronic disease prevention.

Deborah L. Birx

Deborah Leah Birx is a physician and world-renowned medical expert and leader in the field of HIV/AIDS, vaccine research, and global health. As of March 2020, Birx serves as the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the Trump Administration's White House Coronavirus Task Force. Previously, Dr. Birx served in the United States Army for 14 years, achieving the rank of Colonel. She then moved on to be the Director of the United States Military HIV Research Program, where she led the HIV vaccine clinical trial that developed the first supporting evidence of any vaccine being effective in lowering the risk of contracting HIV.

Anthony S. Fauci

Dr. Fauci is a physician and immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Dr. Fauci is widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on infectious diseases. Since January 2020, he has been one of the lead members of the Trump Administration's White House Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Fauci has served American public health in various capacities for over 50 years, and has been an advisor to every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan.

Seema Verma

Seema Verma is an American health policy consultant and since March 2017 administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, serving in the Trump Administration. Verma received a bachelor's degree in life sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1993. She earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1996.

Citizen Healthcare Hero Submission

My name is Leah Sejas-Howdyshell, and I’m an RN on the Rapid Response Team at a Detroit area hospital. This team is a small group of licensed ICU nurses with anywhere from 9-40 years of experience. Our primary goal is to prevent clinical deterioration of patients through early identification and intervention. Like many hospital systems nationwide, we have seen a sharp increase in patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and have adapted to accommodate the specific needs of this patient population. We are the eyes and ears of our ICU team, rounding frequently on COVID-19 patients and working with ICU doctors to provide escalation of care as needed. We also provide education on simple interventions, such as deep breathing exercises and proning, that many patients can perform independently to help better oxygenate.

A special message from COSI President and CEO Dr. Frederic Bertley.

A special message from COSI President and CEO Dr. Frederic Bertley.