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Pediatrics / Jill Halterman Lab / Lab Members


Lab Members

The Preventive Care Program for Children with Asthma team has the fortunate opportunity to work closely with the Rochester community while emphasizing the importance of continued learning. The following quotes are reflections on how our experiences have affected us.

Principal Investigator

  • Jill Halterman, M.D., M.P.H.
    –  Professor, Pediatrics
    –  Division Chief, General Pediatrics
    –  Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research​
    "In my view, our greatest privilege has been the opportunity to develop the relationships that we have with the community. In particular, the city school district and the nurses have been so supportive of our programs, and have worked diligently to improve care for children with asthma." – Jill Halterman, M.D., M.P.H.

Study Team

  • Joy Agunbiade – Human Subject Research Coordinator
  • Emily Aman – Human Subject Research Coordinator
  • Stephanie Betts – Health Project Coordinator
    "I feel very fortunate to be able to work with a team of passionate and dedicated individuals. I am grateful to be in a position to work with families and schools around the Rochester area to help children have better control of their asthma and overcome barriers.​" – Stephanie Betts
  • Susan Blaakman, Ph.D.
    – Professor of Clinical Nursing
    – Project Nurse
    "I have learned a great deal about what it takes to run a major research project while upholding the highest respect both for science and the care of the families who participate. It was my greatest honor to be invited to a home by a family participating in the NICU study pilot and to be introduced to a now healthy and thriving baby who was at birth ‘the smallest baby ever born at Strong Memorial Hospital.’ I’ll never forget being able to hold a miracle (dressed in pink) in my arms that day!" – Susan Blaakman, Ph.D.
  • Maria Fagnano, M.P.H.
    – Associate Director of Clinical Research
    – Senior Health Project Coordinator​
    "I feel very fortunate to work with a wonderful research team that cares about children’s health with great enthusiasm. Our research team always seeks to better understand the families that we work with to ultimately provide better health care to these children." – Maria Fagnano, M.P.H.
  • Fernando Martinez – Human Subject Research Coordinator
  • McKenzie McLaughlin – Human Subject Research Coordinator
    “I enjoy being able to come to work each day and know I am bettering the lives of others. I may have only been here for a short time, but I feel as though I have made so many connections out in the community and even among my coworkers. One of my favorite things to do on this job is interact with the kids. They always want to take pictures with me and some of them even hug me. That is all the thanks I need.” – McKenzie McLaughlin
  • Elizabeth Mekonen – Research Support Associate
  • Savannah Pangrazio – Research Support Associate
  • Halle Platten – Human Subject Research Coordinator
  • Ignacio Sanchez – Health Project Coordinator
  • Reynaldo Tajon, B.A. – Health Project Coordinator
    "Watching our school-based programs evolve into what will potentially be a new model of care for childhood asthma is both challenging and rewarding. In some ways, our approach to asthma care is much like taking apart an outdated vehicle and rebuilding it with more efficient and economical parts. What is very exciting at the moment is that some schools and state health departments across the country are starting to take notice of our approach to school-based asthma care and are trying to implement similar programs! Our overall goal is for these programs to be sustained and disseminated elsewhere, and while we know we have our work cut out, we are looking forward to the challenge. With every study, we are exploring new grounds to provide high-risk children with asthma with the best possible care." – Reynaldo Tajon, B.A.
  • Emily Traw – Research Support Associate
  • Paul Tremblay, R.N. – Project Nurse​
    "To be in a position to contribute as a nurse within this dynamic research team is both meaningful and rewarding. Our work together leads to a better understanding of significant gaps and disparities in the asthma care of urban underserved children. Thanks to visionary leadership we are in a unique position to test community-based interventions that address children’s relievable suffering and improve quality of life for Rochester families. Many memorable experiences with bright-eyed children, concerned parents, committed school nurses and local pediatric providers have left their impressions. One former elementary school child was particularly enthusiastic. Through meetings with his mom and dad, I heard about their struggles with long-standing smoking habits. He was able to breathe noticeably better when he received his preventive asthma medicine through school and his parents wanted to take steps to eliminate smoke exposure at home. At the end of the school year we asked this child if he would pose for a picture; he could not contain his excitement and performed cart wheels for us on his front lawn. His mother smiled big too, sharing his joy and looking very proud. The upside down image of this excited boy later became part of the logo we designed for our School-Based Preventive Asthma Care Technology (SB-PACT) study. We’re able to make a difference for real people and learn what it takes to make asthma a chronic condition that children can live well and lead full lives with." – Paul Tremblay, R.N.
  • Ada Wightman – Research Support Associate

Undergraduate Research Assistants