All for Them
All for Them is a vaccination initiative that assists schools in planning, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive immunization clinics to help students reach their vaccination milestones. Funded by The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, All for Them implements evidence-based approaches to increase HPV vaccine initiations and completion rates among medically underserved adolescents in Texas.
Paula M. Cuccaro, PhDPrincipal Investigator
Dr. Cuccaro is an assistant professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science and a researcher at the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at the UTHealth School of Public Health. She has over 25 years of experience working on projects focused on improving the health of children and adolescents. Her current research activities involve the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of interventions to improve HPV vaccination uptake, breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as improving the health and wellness of vulnerable youth. Dr. Cuccaro is invested in community engagement research and efforts, including serving as an Associate Director of Community Engagement of the Texas Prevention Research Center and leading the community engagement efforts for Harris SAVES, an initiative to increase COVID-19 testing in Harris County. She was the project director and a co-investigator for Healthy Passages, a large multi-site cohort study to understand the trajectories of adolescent risk and protective behaviors.
Sally W. Vernon, PhDCo-Principal Investigator
Dr. Vernon is the former Chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and the Blair Justice Professor in Mind-Body Medicine and Public Health. Her training is in epidemiology and behavioral sciences. She received her bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Oklahoma, her master’s in sociology from New York University, and her doctorate in philosophy from the UTHealth School of Public Health. Since 1985, Dr. Vernon has conducted interdisciplinary research in the area of cancer prevention and control with an emphasis on breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. Her work has been conducted in community, worksite, and medical care settings where she has developed and tested interventions to promote the uptake of cancer screening behaviors for which there is a scientific evidence base. Her most recent research has focused on developing and evaluating strategies to promote the initiation and completion of HPV vaccination. Dr. Vernon has published more than 250 scientific articles and book chapters and is currently a member of several journal editorial boards including the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Preventive Medicine, and Cancer Causes and Control. She is a Fellow and past president of the American College of Epidemiology.
Lara Savas, PhDCo-Investigator
Dr. Savas is an Associate Professor at the UTHealth School of Public Health in the Division of Behavioral Sciences. Her intervention planning, implementation and evaluation research focus includes the application of epidemiologic, behavioral science, and community-based participatory research methods to develop and evaluate community-, clinic- and school-based health promotion programs. Her research focuses on health problems in underserved populations, such as un- and under-insured groups, ethnic/racial minorities, rural populations, and veterans. Her intervention research experience includes the development, implementation, and evaluation of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening and HPV vaccination, smoke-free homes, acute stroke, and most recently COVID-19 testing behavioral interventions. Her health promotion research includes collaborations with clinic systems, community health centers, community health worker programs, and other non-profit organizations. Dr. Savas graduated from Tufts University and received her doctorate and master’s in science in Epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. She completed a National Cancer Institute Pre-doctoral fellowship in Cancer Prevention at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes Services Research.
Diane M. Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, PHNA-BC, FSAHM, FAANCo-Investigator
Dr. Santa Maria was named dean of Cizik School of Nursing on Sept. 1, 2020, after leading the school on an interim basis for two years. She holds the Jane and Robert Cizik Distinguished Chair and the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in Nursing Education Leadership. She is a tenured Associate Professor with expertise in public health nursing, adolescent health, HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention, intervention development, randomized controlled trials, mobile technology, and predictive modeling. She has served as the principal investigator and program director on research and demonstration grants on multiple NIH-, CDC-, ACF-, and foundation-funded prevention projects. With wide-ranging experience working in underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad, she currently is conducting HIV prevention and mindfulness research with youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, at-risk youth and their families. Dr. Santa Maria is an adjunct faculty member in the Center for Health Promotion and Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from The Ohio State University, her Master of Science in nursing in Public Health Nursing from Case Western Reserve University, and her Doctor of Public Health in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from the UTHealth School of Public Health.
Elizabeth Baumler, PhDCo-Investigator and Statistician
Dr. Baumler is a Senior Biostatistician and Director of Biostatistics for the Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She has worked in Public Health for over 20 years. She has served as the lead statistician on numerous NIH- and CDC-funded, multi-site longitudinal studies in multiple areas, including violence prevention, youth risk behavior, vaccination uptake and cancer prevention screening. Her primary area of expertise is the design and analysis of studies using complex data sets evaluated as randomized controlled trials. Dr. Baumler enjoys collaboration with multiple research teams across the country from many different disciplines analyzing various types of behavioral, psychosocial and community-level data. Her research interests focus on using multilevel modeling to evaluate intervention effectiveness in school, clinic, and community-based studies as well as the integration of qualitative research to refine and inform complementary quantitative analyses.
Sanghamitra M. Misra, MD, FAAP, ABIHMCo-Investigator
Dr. Sanghamitra Misra is an integrative pediatrician with a passion for serving vulnerable populations including immigrants and refugees. She is the medical director of the Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic Program, which brings comprehensive healthcare including immunizations and behavioral healthcare to underserved children in the Houston area. She is also the director of the Integrative Medicine Program at Texas Children’s Hospital, which focuses on research and education on complementary and integrative therapies in pediatrics. Dr. Misra is an associate professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatric core clerkship at Baylor College of Medicine. She is a published author of research articles, book chapters and a book on topics including immunizations, refugee health, mobile clinics and integrative medicine. Dr. Misra is an elected member of the executive committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Integrative Medicine. She is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors of Doctors for Change and a member of the Board of Directors of Undies for Everyone, Inc. Dr. Misra is a section editor of UpToDate, an electronic clinical resource tool for physicians and patients. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Fellow. Dr. Misra is a proud daughter, sister, wife and mother of three.
Sharice Preston, PhD, CHESCo-Investigator
Dr. Preston is an Assistant Professor at the UTHealth School of Public Health at the Dallas Regional Campus. She is a skilled health promotion and prevention researcher with experience in public health intervention design, implementation, and evaluation. Dr. Preston currently conducts transdisciplinary research to improve HPV vaccination uptake. She currently collaborates on the HEAREM Project, focused on improving provider communications with diverse families; the CPRIT-funded Adolescent Vaccination Program— a multicomponent, multilevel HPV vaccine promotion program; and All for Them — an initiative to help improve the delivery of HPV vaccine services to underserved pediatric populations. Additionally, Dr. Preston collaborates on work to improve the survivorship experience for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors. Her research interests include cancer prevention, health equity and reduction of health disparities, and vaccination hesitancy.
Erika Thompson, PhD, MPH, CPHCo-Investigator
Dr. Erika Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Her research interests address sexual and reproductive health, and maternal and child health issues. Most of her research is centered on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and prevention. HPV prevention is critical for reducing cancer morbidity and mortality, specifically cervical, anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers. Using mixed-methods approaches, Dr. Thompson and colleagues have examined HPV vaccine decision-making among adults, reasons for non-vaccination among parents, school-entry policies, and alternative health care providers and settings for HPV prevention. Finally, her work involves examining social determinants for maternal and child health issues in our community, such as housing insecurity, early childhood education and violence. Dr. Thompson collaborates with All for Them to expand services and work in Tarrant County.
Efrat K. Gabay, MPHProgram Manager
Efrat manages the daily operations of the All for Them vaccination initiative, including supervising project staff and coordination with partner district leadership. She has extensive experience in project management, development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of public health intervention programs. She has coordinated several research projects at the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research since 2010, mainly in the areas of HPV vaccination, adolescent sexual health and healthy relationships. Efrat previously coordinated the development and production of several curricula, including Me & You, a healthy relationship/dating violence prevention curriculum for 6th-grade students; IYG Tech, a computer-based sexual health education curricula for 7th- and 8th-grade students; and Your Game, Your Life, a classroom- and computer-based sexual health education curricula for high school students. She also coordinated the development of iCHAMPSS, a decision support system for school districts to adopt, implement and sustain evidence-based sexual health curricula, and the Adolescent Vaccination Project, focusing on increasing HPV vaccine uptake in a network of pediatric clinics. Her research interests include cancer prevention, prevention of adolescent risk behaviors, child and adolescent mental health and chronic disease management in youth. Efrat earned her Master of Public Health degree (Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences) at the UTHealth School of Public Health and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Tulane University.
Mayra Aguilar McBride, MSResearch Coordinator
Mayra is the HISD coordinator for the All for Them vaccination initiative at the UTHealth School of Public Health. Her roles include parent and student HPV vaccine education, scheduling and coordinating the vaccine clinics and managing and monitoring the ALL5 phone line and project website. Mayra has also worked at the Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth, where she performed cognitive, social, and emotional assessments with children ages 3-6-years-old. Mayra earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree in Clinic Psychology from California Lutheran University. Her research interests include cancer prevention, HPV vaccination uptake and language and literacy development in early childhood.
Sarai Saldana, MAResearch Coordinator
Sarai is a research coordinator at the UTHealth School of Public Health. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of public health with a focus on children and adolescent health initiatives. Her primary role on this project is to coordinate the implementation of All for Them Baytown with our partners in Goose Creek CISD and Be Well Baytown. She is dedicated to improving the quality of health in children and adolescents by providing education and access to resources to underserved communities.
Sergio ChauletResearch Coordinator
Sergio is the FWISD coordinator for All for Them vaccination initiative at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. His responsibilities involve being the liaison between the schools at FWISD and The University of North Texas Health Science Center Pediatric Mobile Clinic, parent and student HPV vaccine education, scheduling and coordinating the vaccine clinics and collecting data from participants at the clinics. Sergio has a long history at the School of Public Health. In the past 18 years, he has worked in many projects such as Safer Choices, Safer Choices II, Healthy Passages, and It’s Your Game… Keep it Real. He has covered different roles on each project including Data Collector, Supervisor and Coordinator. Sergio is interested in reaching out to minority communities in regards to education and health.
Sharon Coan, MSData Manager
Sharon is a Senior Statistician who has worked at UTHealth School of Public Health for over 25 years. She serves as Database Manager for the All for Them vaccination project and works as statistician and database manager for several other CPRIT projects that focus on HPV vaccination in pediatric practices in Texas. She has worked with Dr. Sally Vernon in the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR) for over 20 years and is also working on projects with Drs. Lara Savas, Ross Shegog, Dr. Paula Cuccaro and Maria Fernandez. She is experienced in database management, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Sharon has many years of experience working with survey data and survey software, e.g., Qualtrics and Redcap; creating and maintaining literature databases with Endnote; Stata statistical software; and MS Excel spreadsheet software.
Anusha Sajja, MBBSGraduate Research Assistant
Anusha Sajja is a graduate research assistant for the All for Them vaccination project. Anusha obtained her undergraduate degree in Medicine at the Sri B. M. Patil Medical College in Karnataka, India to serve the vulnerable populations residing in rural areas of Southern India, after which she worked as a research assistant studying effective freezing methodology for cell-based therapies at the Canadian Blood Services and the University of Alberta, Canada. Due to her desire to learn more about methods to promote health in underserved communities, she enrolled in the Master of Public Health program (department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences) at the UTHealth School of Public Health. Her primary roles include parent and student HPV vaccine education, assisting with management of a school nursing education course, and data collection and data entry. Her research interests include cancer prevention, infectious diseases, and maternal, child and adolescent health.
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is a state agency that funds cancer research in the state of Texas. It was founded to create and expedite innovation in the area of cancer research and attract, create, or expand research capabilities of public or private institutions of higher education that will promote a substantial increase of quality cancer research. CPRIT is the second largest public funder of cancer research in the United States. All for Them is funded through CPRIT grants PP170046 (2017-2021) and PP200017 (2020-2023).
All for Them Baytown is supported by Be Well™ Baytown, an initiative of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center sponsored by ExxonMobil.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health is one of six schools of UTHealth, the most comprehensive academic health system in The University of Texas System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region. In addition to the School of Public Health (UTSPH), UTHealth is home to schools of biomedical informatics, biomedical sciences, dentistry, medicine, and nursing. The mission of UTSPH is “Changing the culture of health through excellence in graduate education, research, and engagement”. Our vision is “Health without boundaries”. The mission and vision of our organization are exemplified by our values of collaboration, leadership, transformation, and diversity. Our research team functions within the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR) at UTSPH. The Center’s mission is “To conduct research to develop, evaluate, and disseminate health promotion and disease prevention programs in diverse settings and populations.” The CHPPR includes accomplished behavioral scientists and researchers focusing on a number of health promotion projects, targeting topics such as cancer prevention and screening, HPV vaccination, tobacco cessation, adolescent sexual health, HIV, and substance use.