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


Dr. Aiste Degesys is responsible for the operational and administrative project oversight of health-and-performance education initiatives.
Read More
Alaina Hansom
Social Fitness Scientist


Alaina is a subject-matter expert for interpersonal relationships, family communication, relational health, and military families.
Read More
Andrea T. Lindsey
Director of Performance Nutrition and Director of Operation Supplement Safety


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


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


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


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


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


Christiane Minnick is a communication arts professional with experience in print and digital graphic design, corporate identity, marketing, and advertising.
Read More
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.
Read More
Gabriel Paoletti
Mental Fitness Senior Scientist


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


Gia Torpey edits, rewrites, and proofreads articles, graphics, social media and blog posts, and other multimedia content for the HPRC and HPRC Blog websites.
Read More
Hannah-Laura Henderson
Health Communications Social Media Specialist


Hannah-Laura manages CHAMP’s social media content and implements social media health campaigns.
Read More
Josh Kazman


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


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


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


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


Melissa strives to make evidence-based info about human performance optimization accessible, accurate, and reader friendly.
Read More
Melissa Rittenhouse
Nutritionist/Exercise Scientist


Dr. Rittenhouse is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with a PhD in Exercise Physiology. She conducts and translates human performance research.
Read More
Micaiah Corely
Rx3 Project Manager & Education Specialist


Micaiah Corley is an Education Specialist with HPRC who serves as the Project Manager for the rebuild of the Rx3 program.
Read More
Misty “Indigo” Adams
Senior Technical Editor


Misty Adams is responsible for editing content prior to site deployment.
Read More
Shelley Mascia


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


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


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


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.

Benjamin Buchanan
Deputy Director, The Army Heat Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

MD, MAJ, MC, USA, Family and Sports Medicine

As the current Deputy Director of The Army Heat Center, he provides medical assistance and oversight.
Read More
Blair Rhodehouse
Medical Director, The Army Heat Center; MTAC Physician Supervisor

DO, ATC, CPT, MC, USA, Family and Sports Medicine

Dr. Rhodehouse provides medical assistance and oversight as the Medical Director of the Army Heat Center. As the Physician Supervisor for the Fort Benning Athletic...
Read More
Cooper Hazel
Research Assistant

BS Exercise Science

Cooper Hazel's role in MDCRC is to collect clinical data and present cases to the members of MDCRC, communicate their recommendations to the referring physicians...
Read More
David DeGroot
Co-Director of WHEC; Director of the Fort Benning Heat Center

PhD Physiology

LTC David DeGroot is the Co-Director of the WHEC and the Director of the Fort Benning Heat Center. His research interests include environmental injury epidemiology...
Read More
Deb Robinson
Senior Research Associate


Ms. Robinson is currently leading the Military Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool (mNEAT) study with 5 installations enrolled and preliminary findings expected by fall
Read More
Dr. Glen A. Cook
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, USUHS


LCDR Cook is a staff neurologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he is Director of the NCC Clinical Neurophysiology Program...
Read More
Dr. Jonathan Bresner
Associate Program Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Program

MD Neurology

Jonathan Bresner provides neuromuscular input during multi-disciplinary meetings and consultative support for subjects requiring more thorough neurological evaluations.
Read More
Francis G. O’Connor
Medical Director, Consortium for Health and Military Performance; Professor, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Uniformed Services University


COL(Ret) Francis G. O’Connor has led sports medicine education and research for the military for more than 25 years.
Read More
Jake Harp
Program Manager


Jake Harp is a Program Manager for CHAMP. He uses his exercise physiology research background to help organize and manage Exertion Related Injury (ERI) projects.
Read More
Jane Heetderk-Cox
Research Coordinator III


Jane Heetderk-Cox is the coordination lead for research and education activities for the military nutrition environment assessment (mNEAT) tool project.
Read More
John Rains
Clinic Chief at Fort Benning, Adjunct Professor


John Rains has more than 10 years of comprehensive healthcare experience both in the United States and abroad while serving in various military assignments.
Read More
Preetha A. Abraham
Director of Research and Scholarship


Dr. Abraham is the Director of Research and Scholarship at CHAMP, where she plays an active role in organizational development, strategic planning, and team engagement.
Read More
Sarah Hinman
Research Assistant


Sarah assists in the development of research studies, program implementation, and administrative tasks as part of CHAMP’s Go for Green (G4G) team.
Read More
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.
Read More
Tiffany Taylor
Clinical Research Coordinator III


Tiffany Taylor serves as a Clinical Research Coordinator III for G4G, a joint-service performance-nutrition initiative that improves the food environment for Service Memb
Read More