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National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Agenda

National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Agenda
Updated Mar. 25, 2021
On This Page

If you registered and participated in the Forum you can currently view all plenary and town hall sessions on-demand by logging in hereexternal icon.

Federal Government Keynote and Panel

10:00 – 11:00 AM EST | Federal Leadership Panel on COVID-19 Vaccination

Leaders from agencies across the federal government, including the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS),  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  National Institutes of Health (NIH),Health Resources and Services Administration  (HRSA),  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will highlight the federal governments progress to address effective, equitable vaccine implementation.

  • Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH | Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Diana Espinosa, MPP | Acting Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration
  • David Bibo | Acting Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Joshua Peck | Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Elizabeth Richter | Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Moderator: Richard Besser, MD | President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Day 1: Building Trust and Vaccine Confidence

The opening plenary will showcase national leaders who will highlight trust as foundational to the success of vaccination efforts, the important connection between trust and health equity, and provide an overview of vaccine safety. The plenary will also highlight the major components and research-based insights for the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative.

Master of Ceremonies: Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA | Chief Health Equity Officer, CDC’s Response to 2019 Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19); Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

11:00 – 11:30 AM EST | Science Plenary

  • Cameron Webb, MD, JD | Senior Policy Advisor for Equity, White House COVID-19 Response Team
  • Kizzmekia Corbett, PhD | Lead, Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team, National Institutes of Health
  • Lisa Sherman | President and Chief Executive Officer, The Ad Council

11:30 – 12:30 PM EST | Promising Practices Plenary Panel – Vaccinating with Confidence

Building trust and vaccine confidence is an essential part of successful vaccine implementation and uptake. Transparent communication, providing clear and accessible information on vaccine benefits and safety, addressing misinformation, promoting vaccine confidence among healthcare personnel, and engaging communities to collaborate with trusted messengers are all components of reinforcing confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. This panel discussion will highlight examples of promising practices for addressing trust and building vaccine confidence, with a focus on combatting misinformation, empowering healthcare providers, and engaging with communities, with perspectives from the national, state, and local levels.

  • Monica Bharel, MD, MPH | Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN | President, American Nurses Association
  • Sybil Madison, PhD | Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services, City of Chicago
  • Joe Smyser, PhD, MSPH | Chief Executive Officer, Public Good Projects
  • Moderator: Julie Morita, MD | Executive Vice President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

1:30 – 3:00 PM EST | Concurrent Practitioner Town Hall Sessions

 Town Hall 1: Empowering Healthcare Personnel

  • This Town Hall discussion will highlight strategies for empowering healthcare providers, emphasizing their role as trusted messengers of vaccine information, and addressing vaccine hesitancy among healthcare providers and allied health professionals. Discussants will share lessons learned and practical information for addressing challenges from national organizations, healthcare organizations, and innovative digital communication perspectives.
    • David Gifford, MD, MPH | Chief Medical Officer, American Health Care Association
    • Rose Marie Leslie, MD | Resident Physician, University of Minnesota
    • Kimberly Manning, MD | Professor of Medicine, Emory School of Medicine at Grady
    • Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH | Chief Health Equity Officer and Group Vice President, American Medical Association
    • Moderator: Carlos del Rio, MD | Executive Associate Dean, Emory School of Medicine and Grady Health System
  • Town Hall 2: Combatting Misinformation
    Addressing and mitigating misinformation is a critical component for building vaccine trust and confidence. This Town Hall discussion will highlight how and why misinformation spreads, why it matters for vaccine confidence, and tools and strategies to identify and mitigate vaccine misinformation. (This Town Hall discussion will only be 60 minutes)
    • Saad Omer, PhD, MPH, MBBS | Director, Yale Institute for Global Health
    • Lauren A. Smith, MD, MPH | Chief Health Equity and Strategy Officer, CDC Foundation
    • Claire Wardle, PhD | Executive Director, First Draft News
    • Moderator: Lori Dorfman, DrPH, MPH | Director, Berkley Media Studies Group
  • Town Hall 3: Community Engagement for Vaccine Confidence
    Community engagement is a critical component for building vaccine trust and confidence. This Town Hall discussion will highlight innovative community engagement strategies to build vaccine confidence with various groups and populations, including communities of color and rural communities.
    • Gina Febbraro, MPH | Prevention Services Division, Director of Strategy and Performance, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
    • Kimberly Hayman, PhD(c), RN, FCN | Faith-based Outreach, Arkansas Department of Health
    • L. Wendie Veloz, MSW | Director, Office of Policy and Planning, Harris County Public Health
    • A. Toni Young | Co-Founder, Rural Health Service Providers Network
    • Moderator: Reed Tuckson, MD, FACP | Founder, Black Coalition Against COVID-19
  • Town Hall 4: Communication Strategies for Vaccine Confidence
    Effective communication is a critical component of ensuring vaccine trust and confidence. This Town Hall discussion will highlight communication strategies and public education campaigns to build vaccine confidence at local, city, and state levels, showcasing innovative approaches to ground communication activities in community needs. (This Town Hall discussion will on be 60 minutes)
    • Jennifer Avegno, MD | Director, New Orleans Health Department
    • Kathryn Brookmeyer, PhD | Behavioral Scientist,Vaccinate with Confidence Team, CDC
    • Jennifer Kraschnewski, MD, MPH | REACH Project Director, Penn State College of Medicine
    • Umair Shah, MD, MPH | Secretary of Health, Washington State Department of Health
    • Moderator: Reginald Ware | Chief Executive Officer,

Day 2: Data to Drive Vaccine Implementation

National leaders will highlight the federal government’s commitment to vaccine implementation strategies that are grounded in data and science and that prioritize improving health equity. A summary of the current national vaccination and COVID-19 response data and an overview of federal data sources and tools, such as COVID Tracker and v-safe, will be included.

Master of Ceremonies: Jay Butler, MD | Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

11:00 – 11:30 AM EST | Science Plenary

  • Bechara Choucair, MD | White House COVID-19 Response Team, Vaccinations Coordinator
  • Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH | Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

11:30 – 12:45 PM EST | Promising Practices Plenary Panel – Using Data to Inform Vaccine Implementation Strategies

This Promising Practices Plenary Panel discussion will feature state, tribal, and local leaders and experts who will share their perspectives using data across vaccine implementation strategies, including assessing community needs, informing equitable distribution, communicating effectively to the public, and monitoring demographic data to ensure equitable administration.

  • Samantha Artiga, MHSA | Vice President and Director, Racial Equity and Health Policy Program, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Virginia A. Caine, MD | Director, Marion County Public Health Department, Indiana
  • Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., JD | Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • Judith Persichilli, RN, BSN, MA | Commissioner of Health, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Nirav Shah, MD, JD | Director, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Moderator: Henry Walke, MD, MPH | Incident Manager, CDC’s Response to 2019 Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

1:30 – 3:00 PM EST | Concurrent Practitioner Town Hall Sessions

  • Town Hall 1: Using Technology to Manage COVID-19 Vaccination
    Providing COVID-19 vaccines nationwide will require unprecedented logistics and coordination of effort among public health authorities and private-sector partners. This Town Hall discussion will highlight examples of public health agencies and their partners using integrated IT systems and other technology to manage COVID-19 vaccination.
    • James Daniel, MPH | Lead, State and Local Public Health, Amazon Web Services
    • Joseph Kanter, MD, MPH | State Health Officer, Louisiana Department of Health
    • LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH | Director, District of Columbia Department of Health
    • Sargis Pogosjans, MPH | Analytics Director, Communicable Disease and Immunization Team, Public Health – Seattle and King County
    • Moderator: Oscar Alleyne, DrPH, MPH | Chief of Programs and Services, National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Town Hall 2: Using Data to Understand and Address Health Disparities
    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact certain populations and communities, including many racial and ethnic populations. This Town Hall discussion will highlight innovative methods of collecting and analyzing data to understand health disparities and community needs and assets and use data to inform work in communities to reduce barriers and ensure efficient and equitable vaccine administration.
    • Gloria Addo-Ayensu, MD, MPH | Director of Health, Fairfax County Health Department, Virginia
    • Kirsten Durzy, MPH | Evaluator, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and New Hampshire Governor’s COVID-19 Equity Response Team
    • Edgar Monterroso, MD, MPH | Senior Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Ashli Owen-Smith, PhD | Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Georgia State University
    • Victoria Warren-Mears, PhD, RDN, FAND | Director, Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center
    • Moderator: Renee Branch Canady, PhD, MPA | Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Public Health Institute
  • Town Hall 3: Using Data to Inform Equitable Vaccine Distribution
    Ensuring equitable vaccine distribution and tracking disparities in the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is critical to mitigating the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on certain populations and communities. This Town Hall discussion will highlight innovative practices in using several population-based data sources and maps to inform equitable vaccine distribution plans. 
    • Rachael Banks, MPA | State Public Health Director, Oregon Health Authority
    • Linda Bell, MD | State Epidemiologist, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
    • Este Geraghty, MD, MS, MPH, GISP | Chief Medical Officer and Health Solutions Director, Esri
    • Hemi Tewarson, JD, MPH | Visiting Senior Policy Fellow, Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy
    • Moderator: Claire Hannan, MPH | Executive Director, Association of Immunization Managers (AIM)
  • Town Hall 4: Using Data for Effective Risk Communication
    This Town Hall discussion will highlight use of data to communicate to the public using risk communication principles such as understanding your audience, making facts work in your message, building credibility and trust, and engaging the community.
    • Ayne Amjad, MD, MPH | Commissioner and State Health Officer, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health
    • Robert Jennings | Executive Director, National Public Health Information Coalition
    • Bob Rauner, MD, MPH | Chief Medical Officer, OneHealth Nebraska ACO and President, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln
    • Stephaun Wallace, PhD, MS | Director of External Relations, COVID-19 Prevention Network
    • Moderator: Glen Nowak, PhD | Director, Center for Health and Risk Communication, University of Georgia

Day 3: Optimize and Maximize Equitable Vaccine Access

The Plenary will showcase national leaders on the “all hands on deck” plan to operationalize the National Response Strategy to ensure vaccines get into people’s arms as quickly as possible, while ensuring equitable access.

Master of Ceremonies: RADM Felicia Collins, MD, MPH, FAAP | Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS

11:00 – 11:30 AM EST | Plenary – Operationalizing the National Response Strategy: Maximizing Equitable Vaccination

  • Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS | Equity Coordinator, White House COVID-19 Response Team; Chair, US COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force
  • Jo Linda Johnson, JD | Director of Equal Rights, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Nancy Messonnier, MD | Senior Official, Vaccine Taskforce, CDC’s Response to 2019 Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

11:30 – 1:00 PM EST | Promising Practices Plenary Panels

Efficient and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine requires a coordinated effort across multiple partners and sectors, including federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial governments; healthcare providers; businesses; community-based organizations, and unions. This Promising Practices Panel will highlight innovative strategies, practical approaches, and strategic partnerships focused on increasing vaccine access to all populations, especially those at increased risk for COVID-19 and those who face systemic barriers to vaccination.

  • Optimizing Equitable Access
    • Dave A. Chokshi, MD, MSc | Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    • Lilly Immergluck, MD, MS, FAAP | Professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; Attending Physician, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    • James McAuley, MD, MPH | Indian Health Service, White Mountain Apache
    • Moderator: Janet Murguia, JD | President and Chief Executive Officer, UnidosUS
  • Maximizing Access
    • Deidre S. Gifford, MD, MPH | Acting Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Health
    • Nick Macchione, MS, MPH, FACHE | Agency Director, Health & Human Services Agency, County of San Diego, California
    • Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH | Executive Vice President of Health and Wellness, Walmart
    • Moderator: James Blumenstock, MS | Senior Vice President for Pandemic Response and Recovery, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST | Concurrent Practitioner Town Hall Sessions

  • Town Hall 1: Reducing Barriers to Equitable Access
    Critical to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine is the development and implementation of targeted strategies to address barriers which disproportionately impact people at increased risk from COVID-19. In this Town Hall session, government public health officials and non-governmental organization leaders will highlight innovative solutions and practical strategies to address some of those barriers, such as accessibility, proximity to services, mobility, technology, and transportation.
    • Allison Arwady, MD, MPH | Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health
    • Scott Bogren | Executive Director, Community Transportation Association of America
    • Sandy Markwood | Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
    • Roger Rennekamp, PhD | Director, Health Extension, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Cooperative Extension
    • Shaylin Sluzalis and Germán Parodi | Co-Executive Directors, The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
    • Moderator: J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE | Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Trust for America’s Health
  • Town Hall 2: Strategies for Reaching Communities at Increased Risk to Ensure Equitable Access
    Meeting people where they are live and work and leveraging community and social support infrastructure is an effective strategy to ensure we are reaching communities at highest risk.  In this Town Hall session, tribal leaders, organizations representing essential workers, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations will highlight partnerships with trusted community organizations to ensure COVID-19 vaccine is accessible to all people in all communities.
    • Debra Fraser-Howze | Founder, Choose Healthy Life and National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS
    • Ron Herrera President, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
    • Jill Jim, PhD | Executive Director, Navajo Nation Department of Health
    • Ingrid Johansen, MN, MPH, RN | Manager of Clinical Care and Outreach, M Health Fairview: Minnesota Immunization Networking Initiative
    • Susan West Levine, MPH | Chief Executive Officer, Lowell Community Health Center
    • Moderator: Derrick Johnson, JD | Chief Executive Officer, NAACP
  • Town Hall 3: Leveraging Networks and Partnerships to Maximize Equitable Access
    Community engagement is essential to an equity-centered approach to getting shots into arms efficiently while maintaining a focus on reaching communities at increased risk.  In this Town Hall session, state, local, and community public health leaders and national organization leaders will highlight effective partnerships focused on maximizing access, including local and state public health, community-based organizations, health centers, and pharmacies. 
    • Theresa Cullen, MD, MS |Public Health Director, Pima County, Arizona
    • Marwan Haddad, MD, MPH | Medical Director of the Center for Key Populations, Community Health Center, Inc.
    • Rina Shah, PharmD | Group Vice President, Pharmacy Operations & Services, Walgreens
    • Steven J. Stack, MD, MBA | Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Public Health
    • Darrin Anderson, Sr., PhD, MS | Chief Executive Officer, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance
    • Moderator: James Macrae, MA, MPP | Associate Administrator for Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Town Hall 4: Building Bridges between Public Health and Healthcare Systems to Ensure Equitable Vaccination
    Creating venues and opportunities for people to be vaccinated is central to ensuring that all Americans who wish to receive a vaccine can. Many people are accustomed to receiving vaccines when accessing routine healthcare services through their trusted providers and hospital systems. Given the central role of the public health system in rapidly expanding immunization delivery, vaccines may not currently be available during routine healthcare services. During this Town Hall, healthcare system leaders, healthcare providers, and government public health leaders will focus on fostering relationships among public health and healthcare and hospital systems to accelerate equitable vaccine implementation to Americans.
    • Louito Edje, MD, MHPE, FAAFP | Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Professor of Family Medicine
    • G.E. Ghali, DDS, MD, FACS, FRCS(Ed) | Chancellor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Shreveport
    • Michael A. Kaufmann, MD, FACEP, FAEMS | State EMS Medical Director, Indiana Department of Homeland Security
    • LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH | Director, Office of Minority Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    • Rhonda Medows, MD | President, Providence Population Health Management; Chief Executive Officer, Ayin Health Solutions
    • Moderator: Dana Meaney Delman, MD | Medical Officer, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Moderator: Susanna Visser, DrPH, MS | Associate Director for Policy & Extramural Program, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

4:00 – 5:30 PM EST | Workshop – Outreach to refugees, immigrants, and migrants about COVID-19 Vaccine

This session is intended for Immunization Program Managers, Health Department staff, and Refugee Health Coordinators

Efficient and equitable access to COVID19 vaccine requires a coordinated effort across multiple partners and programs.  This workshop will focus on building bridges among health departments, immunization programs, clinicians, and organizations serving refugees, immigrants and migrants, including farmworkers.  This workshop will include up to 4 field experts who will share best and/or promising practices, concrete examples of partner coordination and resources, and expertise.  Presentations will be followed by group question and answer.  The workshop will be moderated by CDC experts Michelle Weinberg, Emily Jentes, and Alfonso Rodriguez Lainz.

The first speaker(s) will share experiences and expertise from the National Resource Center for COVID-19 Contact Tracing, Mitigation and Prevention Activities for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants (NRC-RIM).  This program is focused on vaccination strategies to reach refugees, immigrants, and migrants and highlight critical partnerships, including International Rescue Committee,, and Migrant Clinicians Network. The second speaker, Dr. Kristi Rodrigues, is a pediatrician at Denver Health who is working on projects highlighting the use of patient/cultural navigators to outreach to non-English, non-Spanish speaking patients about COVID-19 prevention measures, including vaccination.  The third speaker is Sylvia Partida, CEO for the National Center for Farmworker Health. Her organization is leading a collaboration of a national network of farmworker-serving organizations, in partnership with the CDC, to plan and implement coordinated vaccination outreach for farmworkers. Strategies include community health workers, targeted radio and social media communication, and rapid surveys to monitor farmworkers COVID-19 vaccine knowledge, attitudes and vaccination coverage.

  • Erin Mann, MPH, Global Collaborations Coordinator, Center for Global Health and Social Responsibilityexternal icon, University of Minnesota
  • Sylvia Partida, MA, CEO, The National Center for Farmworker Health
  • Kristi Rodrigues, MD, Medical Director, Non-English, Non-Spanish (NENS) Navigation Program, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Denver Health Pediatric Emergency Department and Urgent Care
  • William Stauffer, MD Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Director, Human Migration and Health, Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, University of Minnesota
  • Facilitator: Nina Marano, DVM, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC
  • Facilitator: Emily Jentes, PhD, MPH, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC
  • Facilitator: Alfonso Rodriguez Lainz, PhD, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC