UAMS Boozman College of Public Health Welcomes New Faculty Members

By Kev' Moye

Melissa Yandell, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) program.

Dirk Haselow, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology.

Scott Alsbrook, M.S., is an instructor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Meg Gorvine, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA).

Yandell, an alumna of the college’s MHA program, says her desire to help her community influenced her drive to become a public health professional.

“After graduating high school in Cabot, I knew I wanted to make a difference for my neighbors and community,” she said. “Community means so much to me. I couldn’t have picked a better field to fulfill my passion to serve others.”

Prior to her employment with the college, Yandell worked for Baptist Health, where she served as the administrative leader for the graduate and medical education programs.

New faculty

Dr. Melissa Yandell is among the college’s new faculty members this semester.

Yandell says she wants to be someone students trust to voice their opinions about the MHA program.

“I teach several classes as well as help administratively run the program by being the faculty liaison to the student association,” she said. “I also have a lead role in our recruitment efforts. One of my major goals is to do my part to help the program maintain a standard of excellence and keep its longstanding accreditation.”

Haselow is a native of Owen, Wisconsin, who was introduced to public health as a youth, thanks to seeing his mom make a difference in the lives of people she worked with.

“My mother was a public health nurse,” he said. “She often showed me how much of a positive impact she made in the community and how much she loved her job. I admired that in her. But I also knew I wanted to be a scientist or a doctor. However, at that time, I didn’t know that you could be a public health doctor. But once I learned that — I knew that public health was a good fit for me, just as it was for my mom.”

Haselow, an alum of the UAMS College of Medicine, also performs clinical work at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Baptist Health. When asked why he accepted the faculty role at the college, Haselow referenced the opportunity to teach and mold Arkansas’ future epidemiologists.

“I’m teaching epi 1 and infectious disease epidemiology,” he said. “I’m excited to also be an advisor to our MD/MPH students. One of the things I aspire to do is improve the relationships and collaborations between the college and the UAMS colleges of Medicine and Nursing.”

Alsbrook, an UCA alum, comes to UAMS after serving as a senior geographic information systems (GIS) analyst with the Arkansas Department of Health. Seeing the harmful social determinants of health in North Little Rock is what sparked his desire to become a public health professional.

“My hometown of North Little Rock is a very diverse place,” Alsbrook said. “Yet, it was apparent to me that the way health issues impact different groups in that city vary greatly. The implementation of public health principles is greatly needed to level the playing field and improve the health of people in every community.”

Having a role in building future public health professionals and being able to do beneficial research was an ideal opportunity for Alsbrook.

“I teach GIS in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences,” he said. “My previous education and experience were a natural fit for this role. I’m excited to educate more students on the use of GIS for public health. I’m also excited to begin my research career. Innovative research has the potential to impact entire communities and change lives in the future.”