Dr. Melissa Givens

Executive Director

MD, MPH, FACEP

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

EdD, MPH, CHES

Dr. Aiste Degesys is responsible for the operational and administrative project oversight of health-and-performance education initiatives.
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Andrea T. Lindsey
Director of Performance Nutrition and Director of Operation Supplement Safety

MS

Andrea Lindsey oversees all dietary supplement and Nutrition content for CHAMP. She has extensive experience in the fields of dietary supplements and nutrition.
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Ayanna Shivers
Outreach and Communications Manager

MPH

Ayanna Shivers develops strategic-communication plans and supports internal and external engagement efforts for CHAMP.
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Brooks Ford
Performance Dietitian

MS, RD, CSSD, LD, CSCS

Brooks Ford analyzes and evaluates nutrition research to create practical educational materials within her domain.
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Camila Almeida
Scientist

PhD

Dr. Camila Almeida has worked with neuroscience research and published many articles on traumatic brain injury, neuroprotection, and behavioral alterations.
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Carol M. Stockton
Managing Editor

MArch

Carol Stockton has 35 years of experience as editor, technical editor, copyeditor, and author for professional journals, books, monographs, and other publications.
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Christiane Minnick
Senior Graphic Designer

BFA, MAc

Christiane Minnick is a communication arts professional with experience in print and digital graphic design, corporate identity, marketing, and advertising.
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Christopher Niewinski
Senior Multimedia Specialist

Chris Niewinski brings more than 20 years of experience in creating promotional content using 3D animation, motion graphics, visual effects, and photography.
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Danielle Urey
Program Coordinator

BS

Danielle Urey provides technical support to the WHEC website and is the project’s content planner and administrative manager.
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Gabriel Paoletti
Mental Fitness Senior Scientist

EdD, MAPP

Gabriel Paoletti is a subject-matter expert in mental skills, positive and performance psychology, resilience, and leadership.
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Georgia “Gia” Torpey
Senior Editor

BA

Gia Torpey edits, rewrites, and proofreads articles, graphics, social media and blog posts, and other multimedia content for the HPRC and HPRC Blog websites.
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Josh Kazman
Biostatistician

MS

Josh Kazman has worked on military-specific analyses covering health behaviors, heat illness, health disparities, psychometrics, and measurement.
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Katie Kirkpatrick
Senior Environment Nutrition Manager

MS, RD, CSSD

Katie Kirkpatrick is responsible for the operational oversight of nutrition-environment education and research initiatives, including the Go for Green® program.
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Lauren A. Messina
Director of HPO Education

PhD, LCMFT

Lauren Messina provides operational, administrative, and strategic support to the HPRC team.
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Maria McConville
Senior Nutrition Health Educator

MS, RDN, CPT

Maria McConville designs and delivers nutrition presentations, creates nutrition-related content for HPRC, and helps integrate nutrition into Total Force Fitness.
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Melissa Reichley
Senior Technical Writer/Editor

MA

Melissa strives to make evidence-based info about human performance optimization accessible, accurate, and reader friendly.
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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.
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Shelley Mascia
Editor

BA

Shelley Mascia edits and proofreads content into plain language for Service Members for the Human Performance Resources by CHAMP and HPRC Blog websites.
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Tammy Irelan
Digital Manager

BA

Tammy Irelan is responsible for maintaining and posting content to the HPRC and OPSS websites.
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Timothy C. Gribbin
Senior Scientist

MEd, ATC

Tim Gribbin develops educational materials to promote and enhance Service Members’ physical fitness.
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Contributors

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.

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

MD, MPH

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

MD, LCDR, MC, USN

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

MS, ACSM EP-C, EIM2, USAWL-1

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

BS, PA-C, MPAS

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

MA, DOL

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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