Our Team

Lisa Wooten, MPH, BSN, RN

Injury and Violence Prevention Program Supervisor

lisa.wooten@vdh.virginia.gov

Reasons to Contact? Program initiatives and administration

Lisa is the Injury and Violence Prevention Program Supervisor, and helps mentor and guide a talented team of Injury and Violence Prevention Program experts to conduct statewide work in reducing critical priorities from a public health approach. Lisa has over 28 years of acute and public health registered nursing and prevention experience, primarily focused in maternal child health. She has 15 years of leading public health teams in program development, grants and contract management, and strategic project coordination. Lisa has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Virginia and her Master of Public Health from Liberty University. She is a native of Richmond, and enjoys spending time with her family, art, travel, and all things vintage.

Lauren Yerkes, MPH

Injury and Violence Prevention Epidemiologist

lauren.yerkes@vdh.virginia.gov

Reasons to Contact? Injury and Violence data sources

Lauren Yerkes (pronouns: she/her(s), last name rhymes with 'circus') is the Injury and Violence Prevention Epidemiologist at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), providing subject matter expertise, data analysis, technical assistance, and consulting on injury, violence, and substance use data to inform state policy and program planning. She has nine years of epidemiology and public health experience in injury and violence, substance use and mental health, HIV, and COVID-19. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Virginia Tech and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

Maria Altonen, MA

Violence Prevention Coordinator/RPE Director

Reasons to Contact? Rape Prevention and Education initiatives

Maria oversees sexual violence, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect initiatives associated with the Rape Prevention and Education grant with a special emphasis on enhancing primary prevention efforts throughout the state. They provide technical assistance and training to a variety of community partners and agencies. Prior to joining VDH, Maria earned their Master's in Housing Policy and Urban Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Marcia Franchok-HIll

Statewide Safety Seat Program Coordinator
Reason to contact? Low-Income Safety Seat Distribution and Education Program
Marcia Franchok-Hill oversees the Low-Income Distribution and Education Program's initiatives associated with the Child Restraint Device Special Fund and a 402 Federal Highway Safety grant with a special emphasis on removing financial barriers by assisting eligible families in need of a child restraint device. Funds are used to purchase and distribute child safety restraints and provide education to families that cannot afford to purchase a device. Marcia coordinates and monitors seat allocations statewide, develops staff and recipient training, programmatic operation standards, policies, procedures, and provides technical assistance to a network of approximately 130 distribution sites in collaboration with local Health Departments, Fire Departments, Healthy Families, Dept of Social Services, and hospitals.

Camilla Herndon, MPH, CHES

Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist
Reason to contact? CDC Rape Prevention Education Program initiatives
Camilla oversees initiatives associated with the Rape Prevention Education program with a special emphasis on sexual, intimate partner, and domestic violence prevention. She provides support for grant and budget coordination, contracting, and technical assistance for community-level partner work. Prior to joining VDH, Camilla worked as a Health Educator at the University of Georgia, and Assistant Project Manager at the Council on Alcohol and Drugs. Camilla earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Georgia. Outside of work, Camilla is a dedicated dog mom to a chocolate lab named Peyton.

Jean Hoyt, CMA

Health Systems Coordinator
Reason to contact? State Opioid Response, Child Maltreatment and Neglect SEEK Project
Jean Hoyt is the Health Systems Coordinator and has over 20 years of clinical healthcare experience in specialized outpatient surgical settings and over five years of Public Health experience in IVP in Substance Use Disorder and Overdose Prevention, Child Maltreatment and Neglect,  and Youth Suicide Prevention. Jean oversees initiatives such as the Statewide Opioid Use Disorder Project ECHO associated with the Overdose Data 2 Action Grant, Medication Assisted Treatment training, and advancing healthcare provider initiatives to screen and refer parents and caregivers for risk factors leading to child abuse and neglect. Jean earned her degree as a Certified Medical Assistant from State University of NY Erie and is an AAOMS Certified Dental Anesthesia Assistant from Old Dominion University. 

Bethany McCunn, MPH, CPST

Safety Seat Check Station Coordinator

Email: Bethany.mccunn@vdh.virginia.gov

Reason to contact? Child Passenger Safety Programming

Bethany oversees Child Passenger Safety initiatives associated with the Department of Motor Vehicles grant with a special emphasis on Safety Seat Check Stations. She provides program support and technical assistance to participating sites including collaboration with first responders, medical providers, and other groups interested in safe transportation. Prior to joining the IVP team, Bethany was the Deputy Division Epidemiologist for the Division of Immunizations. Bethany earned her Master’s Degree in Public Health at West Virginia University. On her off time, Bethany likes to spend time outside, running, bicycling, recovering from running and bicycling, and traveling.

Paul D. Ronca

Community Program Coordinator

Paul.ronca@vdh.virginia.gov

Reasons to contact: Concussion management, drowning prevention, community outreach

Paul oversees community initiatives associated with youth concussion maangement with a special emphasis on return to learn/return to play; and coordinates the Consumer Safety Product Commission grant for education in drowning prevention.  Paul provides technical assistance to overdose prevention work for engaging public safety partners. Prior to joining VDH, Paul spent 36 years in law enforcement and retired as a police chief.  Paul earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond. Paul has been married to his wife Karen for 38 years, has two children, two grandchildren, and Mack the dog.

Justin Wallace, MPH

Suicide Prevention Coordinator
Reason to contact? Suicide related programming, funding, and other prevention, intervention, and postvention topics.
Justin Wallace oversees suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention efforts within the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) with a special emphasis on youth suicide prevention. He provides technical assistance to the Campus Suicide Prevention Center of Virginia, co-facilitates the Suicide Prevention Interagency Advisory Group, is the VDH representative for the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, and supports other matters relating to youth suicide prevention across the state, including cross-collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, The Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Criminal Justice Services, . Prior to joining VDH, Justin worked for a decade providing mental health counseling to our neighbors, eventually completing his Masters of Public Health degree and overseeing the Richmond City Health Districts Ryan White HIV Prevention Program. On his off time, he is heavily engaged in work with the group People Addressing and Understanding Suicide Experiences (PAUSE), supporting mutual aid in Richmond, and attempting to bring more native plants to Virginia.

Liz Zaunick, MSW

Overdose Data to Action Grant Coordinator
Elizabeth.Zaunick@vdh.virginia.gov

Reason to contact? Overdose Prevention Projects and Programming

Liz oversees coordination of the CDC Overdose Data to Action grant in Virginia, which collects high quality, comprehensive, and timely data on nonfatal and fatal overdoses, and uses those data to inform prevention and response efforts. She is involved with overdose prevention programming, with particular emphasis on supporting healthcare providers and healthcare systems in overdose prevention, improving linkages to care, and strengthening harm reduction efforts. She works closely with federal, state, and local partners to advance these activities. Prior to joining VDH, Liz coordinated a number of federal grants that addressed various health equity issues. Liz earned her Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University and her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise from Virginia Tech (go Hokies!)