Dr. Melissa Givens

Executive Director


Melissa (Missy) Givens, MD, MPH, FACEP, Colonel, MC, U.S. Army (Retired) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  Dr. Givens has over 25 years experience with the Department of Defense and her roles spanned tactical to strategic operations involving inter-agency, academia, private industry, and international engagements. Dr. Givens is board certified in Emergency Medicine and Clinical Toxicology and has a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine from the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Givens’ diverse career has afforded her the opportunity to be a thought leader, innovator, educator, and advocate known for collaboration across multiple domains.  She pioneered a program in Sub-Saharan Africa: Medical Capacity for African Nations, Growing Regional Operability (MEDCAN-GRO) which brought medical evacuation capability to the region through partnership with African nations, Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of State (DoS). Dr. Givens led the negotiations for a partnership between the United Arab Emirates, the Mayo Clinic, and U.S. DoD and DoS to form the first international accredited trauma center in the Middle East.  During the height of the COVID19 pandemic, Dr. Givens, in partnership with NewYork Presbyterian, established a field hospital in New York City, employing veterans from across the country in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  She is a former small business owner who brought cutting edge health and wellness modalities to her community.

Dr. Givens’ previous work includes clinical, administrative, and academic leadership in both civilian and military organizations.  Her military experience includes assignments in both conventional and Special Operations Forces with multiple combat and peace-keeping deployments in Joint and Combined environments.  In her assignments with Special Operations Forces, she managed Human Performance Optimization programs for battalion to theater sized elements. She promoted cutting edge regenerative medicine techniques which improved return to duty across the force.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine Royal College of Surgeons and Royal College of Physician of Ireland, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, and a certified Medical Acupuncturist. Dr. Givens is the past President of the Government Services Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Missy is a strong community leader and has served as a personal fitness coach, high school football coach and team physician, cheer team physician, and volunteer at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.  She is a 3-time National Collegiate powerlifting champion and International Figure Competition champion who uses her experience in the weightlifting and bodybuilding community to promote safe supplement use and encourage scientific dialogue regarding ergogenics.

A few of Dr. Givens awards include the Daughters of the American Revolution Margaret Cochrane Corbin Award, Joint Service Consultants’ Lifetime Achievement in Emergency Medicine, the U.S Army Surgeon General Physician Recognition Award and membership in the Order of Military Medical Merit. Her numerous military awards include the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star.

Dr. Givens is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, holds a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of Texas, and received her medical doctorate from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  She is the proud mother of three daughters, Aja, Maya, and Jada.

Aiste Degesys
Education & Production Administrator


Aiste Degesys is HPRC’s Education & Production Administrator. She is responsible for the operational and administrative project oversight of health-and-performance
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Andrea T. Lindsey
Director of Performance Nutrition, Director of Operation Supplement Safety


Andrea Lindsey is the Director of Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS.org) and Director of Performance Nutrition for CHAMP. She has extensive experience as a program manage
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Ayanna Shivers
Marketing & Communications Manager


Ayanna Shivers is HPRC’s Marketing & Communications Manager. She brings an extensive academic background in social psychology to her communications practice.
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Brooks Ford


Brooks Ford is a Performance Dietitian and Nutrition Content Lead for HPRC's Nutrition domain. She is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetic
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Carol M. Stockton
Senior Editor


Carol Stockton is Senior Editor for CHAMP Education (including HPRC, OPSS, and special projects), with an editing background of more than 30 years as technical editor, co
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Christiane Minnick
Senior Graphic Designer


Christiane Minnick is the Senior Graphic Designer for HPRC. She is a full-time communication arts professional employing her skills in print and digital graphic design, c
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Christopher Niewinski
Multimedia Specialist

Chris Niewinski is HPRC’s Multimedia Specialist. Chris brings experience working in 3D animation, motion graphics, and video in a variety of industries and products. Pr
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Danielle Urey
Program Coordinator


Danielle Urey is a Program Assistant/Program Coordinator for CHAMP. She serves as a contributor to the Warrior Heat- and Exertion-Related Events Collaborative (WHEC) and
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Gabe Paoletti


Gabe Paoletti is a Performance Psychology Scientist with HPRC, where he translates research in the domain of Mental Fitness. Previously, he has provided resilience, leade
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Gia Torpey
Senior Technical Editor


Gia Torpey is a Senior Technical Editor for CHAMP’s HPRC and HPRC blog websites. She also provides editorial support for multiple HPRC campaigns and special projects. S
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Josh Kazman
Senior Research Biostatitician and Branch Chief of Analytics


Josh Kazman is Senior Research Biostatitician and Branch Chief of Analytics for CHAMP/HPRC. He works with web analytics for HPRC, including providing feedback to HPRC wri
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Katie Kirkpatrick
Senior Nutritionist


Katie Kirkpatrick is Senior Nutritionist for the Go for Green® and Performance Nutrition projects for CHAMP/HPRC. She is a registered dietitian.
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Lauren A. Messina
Director of HPO Education and Training


Lauren Messina is CHAMP's Director of Human Performance Optimization (HPO) Education and Training. She supports HPRC in translating and disseminating HPO and Total F
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Maria McConville
Senior Nutrition Health Educator


Maria McConville is a Senior Nutrition Health Educator for CHAMP. She is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, and Health & Wellness Coach. Trained
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Melissa Reichley
Senior Technical Writer/Editor


Melissa is a Senior Technical Writer/Editor for CHAMP’s HPRC website and related content, striving to make evidence-based info about human performance optimization acce
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Melissa Rittenhouse
Nutritionist and Exercise Scientist

PhD in Exercise Physiology

Melissa Rittenhouse focuses her work for HPRC on Human Performance Optimization. She also serves as an Assistant Professor at USU and helps with lectures on nutrition and
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Rebecca Ilene Mintz
Health Communication and Social Media Specialist


Rebecca is a Health Communication and Social Media Specialist for HPRC and OPSS. She focuses on translating health information and current research into engaging online c
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Sarah Steward


Sarah Steward is HPRC's subject-matter expert for the Social Fitness domain. She has worked in a clinical setting providing therapeutic services to individuals, coup
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Tammy Irelan
Digital Manager


Tammy Irelan is Digital Manager for HPRC. She is responsible for posting content to the CHAMP websites and works closely with the web developer and content staff to plan
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Timothy C. Gribbin
Senior Scientist


Tim Gribbin is HPRC’s Senior Scientist for Exercise Physiology and Content Lead for the Physical Fitness and Environment domains. Tim previously was laboratory manager
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The following people are regular, qualified contributors to special sections of the HPRC website, such as the Warrior Heat- and Exertion-Related Event Collaborative. Some are staff from other divisions of CHAMP, while others are from the Uniformed Services University or other military-related organizations.

Andrew Stranieri
Research Associate

MS, Kinesiology

Contributor, WHEC Andrew joined CHAMP in November 2020 as a research associate. He is the manager of the Human Performance Lab, and his primary research project is the Ex
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Cooper Hazel
Research Assistant

BS Exercise Science

Contributor, WHEC Cooper Hazel graduated summa cum laude from Salisbury University. He started as an intern with CHAMP in December 2018 and was brought on as a research a
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David DeGroot
Co-Director of WHEC; Director of the Fort Benning Heat Center

PhD Physiology

LTC David DeGroot is the Co-Director of the Warrior Heat- and Exertion-Related Event Collaborative and the Director of the Fort Benning Heat Center. His research interest
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Dr. Benjamin Buchanan
Deputy Director of the Heat Center

MD Family and Sports Medicine

Contributor, WHEC Dr. Buchanan completed an internship and residency in family medicine at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, followed by a fellowship in sports medicine at
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Dr. Francis G. O’Connor
Co-Director of WHEC; Medical Director for CHAMP; Professor, Military and Emergency Medicine


A recently retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Dr. O’Connor has been a leader in sports medicine education and research for the military for more than 25 ye
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Dr. Glen A. Cook
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, USUHS


Contributor, WHEC MDCRC LCDR Cook is a staff neurologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he is Director of the National Capital Consortium (NCC) Cli
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Dr. Jonathan Bresner
Associate Program Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Program

MD Neurology

Contributor, WHEC MDCRC Jonathan Bresner is a neurologist at WRNMMC and Associate Program Director for the Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Program. He provides neurom
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Jake Harp
Program Manager


Contributor, WHEC Jake Harp is a Program Manager for the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP). He uses his exercise physiology research background to he
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John Rains
Clinic Chief at Fort Benning, Adjunct Professor


Contributor, WHEC John Rains is board certified and a member of the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). John has more than 10 years
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Preetha Anna Abraham
Director of Research and Scholarship at CHAMP


Contributor, WHEC Preetha Anna Abraham serves as the Director of Research and Scholarship at the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP). She has expertise
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Shanell Brown
Program Assistant

BS Health Science

Contributor, WHEC Shanell Brown is the program assistant at the Fort Benning Heat Center. Her administrative role entails data collection, maintenance, and reporting.
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