Our Team

Lisa Wooten, MPH, BSN, RN

Injury and Violence Prevention Program Supervisor


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 addressing critical priorities from a public health approach. Lisa has over 29 years of acute and public health registered nursing and public health and injury prevention experience, primarily focused on maternal child health. She has 15 years of leading public health and quality improvement 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 and dog, creating music and art, traveling, and all things vintage.

Lauren Yerkes, MPH, CPH

Injury and Violence Prevention Senior Epidemiologist


Reasons to Contact? Injury, violence, and substance use epidemiology (data trends, interpretation, sources, analyses, and communication)

Lauren Yerkes is the Injury and Violence Prevention Senior 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 over a decade 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.

Tara Keen, MPH

Injury and Violence Prevention Epidemiologist
Email: Tara.Keen@vdh.virginia.gov
Tara Keen is the Injury and Violence Prevention Epidemiologist under the direction of Lauren Yerkes. Tara was born and raised in Virginia. She graduated from JMU with a B.S. in Biology in 2019 (go dukes!) and VCU in 2022 with her MPH. Tara loves to surround herself with animals - Tara and her boyfriend share four dogs, a horse, and a donkey. She is passionate about using epidemiology to facilitate optimal health outcomes. In her free time, she enjoys boating, cooking, and traveling.

Julia Mogren, MPH, CHES

Substance Use Prevention Epidemiologist

Email: julia.mogren@vdh.virginia.gov

Julia Mogren is the Substance Use Prevention Epidemiologist under the direction of Lauren Yerkes. She has several years of public health and epidemiology experience. Julia has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health: Health Promotion and Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Liberty University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.

Justin Wallace, MPH

Suicide Prevention Coordinator
Email: justin.wallace@vdh.virginia.gov
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.

Sarah Wilson, MSW, CVA

Transportation Safety Supervisor
Email: s.wilson@vdh.virginia.gov
Reason to contact? Transportation related programming, funding, and other prevention and intervention topics.
Sarah oversees transportation safety initiatives with a special emphasis on child passenger safety and pedestrian and bicycle safety primarily through the NHSTA Occupant Project Grant, the CDC Core State Injury Prevention Program Grant, and the HRSA Title V Maternal Child Health Grant. She provides technical assistance to a variety of community-level and state partners. Sarah has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Virginia Tech and a Master of Social Work Administration, Planning and Policy from Virginia Commonwealth University with a certificate in nonprofit management. Sarah likes to get outside, hiking, backpacking or playing disc golf. When forced inside, reading, games or cat snuggles will do.