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
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
Danielle Urey
Program Coordinator


Danielle Urey provides technical support to the WHEC website and is the project’s content planner and administrative manager.
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
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 and Exercise Scientist

PhD in Exercise Physiology

Melissa Rittenhouse focuses her work for HPRC on Human Performance Optimization.
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.

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
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 Warrior Heat- and Exertion-Related Event Collaborative and the Director of the Fort Benning Heat Center. His research interest
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
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