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1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

Student Engagement As Workforce Development 

This panel discussion explores the win-win-win achieved by engaging students in experiential learning (mentored professional practice) and how such arrangements reinforce the culture of a learning health system. Panelists discuss the advance planning needed to conceptualize and mentor student engaged learning; the supervision needed during student augmented projects; the synergies such as the expanded scope, reach, and dissemination engendered by such projects; and the benefits accrued to students, the preceptor/agency, and, most importantly, the communities these projects serve.  

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Amogh Bandekar
Levine Scholar, BS Biology/Economics and
MS Economics Candidate - UNC Charlotte 2023 (Belk College of Business)

Amogh Bandekar is a Levine Scholar and early-entry graduate student pursuing a master’s in Economics, and undergraduate degrees in Biology and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Amogh hails from Milwaukee, WI. He is interested in the intersection of Health Economics, Public Health Innovation, and Medicine, and aspires to use science and research to contribute to positive community change as a physician-scientist. Amogh currently interns full-time for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and has previously interned with the U.S. Census Bureau's Health and Disability Statistics Branch. At UNC Charlotte, Amogh serves as a research intern for the Academy for Public Health Innovation where he has worked on the implementation and evaluation of a Tobacco Free Campus Policy at Behavioral Health Facilities across Charlotte. In his free time, Amogh enjoys spending time outdoors, whether that’s hiking across the Appalachian Mountains or relaxing in parks. 

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Ashley Finke, MPH, MS
Consultant, Premier Inc.
MPH and MS Health Informatics and Analytics - UNC Charlotte 2021

Ms. Finke is currently a Consultant for Premier Inc. Women and Infant Services helping support a multi-year partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Women's Health to use a data-driven initiative to improve U.S. maternal health. Ms. Finke received her Master of Public Health (MPH), with a concentration in Epidemiology, and Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics (MS) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) in 2021. Ms. Finke completed her Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) from UNCC in 2019. During her graduate degrees, Ms. Finke completed an internship with the Academy for Population Health Innovation (APHI) where she collaborated with the Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) Department and the McLeod Addictive Disease Center to develop evidence-based policy implementation protocols and evaluation metrics for creating a tobacco free workplace. 

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Vanessa Mallory, MPH
ORISE Fellow
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
MPH - UNC Charlotte 2021

Vanessa Mallory is currently an ORISE fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vanessa received her Bachelor's degree from Alabama State University and graduated from UNC Charlotte's Masters of Public Health program in May 2021. Vanessa completed an internship with the Academy for Population Health Innovation (APHI) during the summer of 2020 where she assisted with the implementation of a Tobacco-Free Campus policy at the McLeod Center. 



Mary H. Ward, MBA, BS
McLeod Addictive Disease Center, Inc.

Mary joined the McLeod Addictive Disease Center as President in April 2017.  Prior, she was with Carolinas HealthCare System (now Atrium Health) for 2 years as an Assistant Vice President of Behavioral Health Services; specifically in Addiction Medicine.  There, she was responsible for 3 hospital and non-hospital-based service sites and helped launch the System’s first office-based Medication Assisted Treatment service model for opiate use disorder.   Starting her career as a probation/parole officer for the State of NC, she has spent over 25 years working with people who experience multiple social determinants that negatively impact health.  She holds a Master in Business Administration from Queens University McColl School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Mary led the work to take all nine McLeod Center locations in Piedmont and Western NC 100% tobacco free during 2020, despite the disruption of the pandemic.  All locations became tobacco free on January 1, 2021.

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Kim Bayha, BSPH, CTTS
Tobacco Prevention & Control Supervisor
Mecklenburg County Public Health

Kim Bayha is the Tobacco Prevention & Control Program Supervisor in the Office of Policy & Prevention at Mecklenburg County Public Health. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and has over 30 years of experience in public health education and health policy programs in community, governmental and school settings, with expertise in tobacco prevention and control with an emphasis on policy, systems, and environmental changes, and is certified as a tobacco treatment specialist.

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