F. Darlene Traffanstedt, MD

Dr. F. Darlene Traffanstedt is a native of Florence, Alabama, spent 14 years in the practice of general Internal Medicine, and now works as a Medical Director at the Jefferson County Department of Health. Dr. Traffanstedt served on the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, the State Committee on Public Health, the Medical Association of the State of Alabama’s Board of Censors, the Admissions Committee for the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and Governor Ivey’s Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council, where she currently serves as Co-Chair of the Prescribers and Dispensers Committee, leading the development of the ALAHOPE curriculum. Dr. Traffanstedt was recently named a 2022 Human Impact Partners Health Equity Awakened Fellow and is a recipient of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama’s 2022 Ira L. Myers Service Award for faithful and meritorious service to the medical profession, the 2022 Carl Nowell Leadership Award, and the first annual Addiction Prevention Coalition Impact Award. 

Sue S. Feldman, RN, MEd, PhD, FACMI 

Sue S. Feldman is Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Health Informatics in the School of Health Professions as well as Professor in the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research, centered around the development, implementation, and evaluation of health information systems for social good and impact, has been funded by The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, and other State agencies and Private Foundations. Her work has been published in many top-tier health informatics journals including Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS), Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS), PLoS One, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), Frontiers, and others. Dr. Feldman is the recipient of the Faculty Innovator of the Year Award, Dean’s Mentor of the Year, and the HIMSS21 Changemaker in Health Award. Through leadership roles with the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), she has made significant contributions to the professional and educational field of health informatics. Sue’s expertise in educational curriculum content and health informatics contributed to the success of ALAHOPE.

Heather D. Martin, MSBA

Heather Martin is a PhD Candidate studying health services administration and health information systems in the School of Health Professions and a Learning Health Systems Fellow in the Heersink School of Medicine at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Previously she was a financial information technology systems and reporting professional with 10 years of experience specializing in system implementation, training, report creation, analysis, and enhancements. Her dissertation research focuses on finding ways to use health IT to help those with substance use disorder while promoting appropriate pain management. Heather also served 3 years as the past Student Liaison of the HIMSS Alabama Chapter where she promoted opportunities to Alabama health IT students and currently serves on the Health Services Administration PhD Student Professional Development Committee at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Heather’s expertise in substance use disorder and health services administration along with much collaboration from subject matter experts around the state contributed to her developing much of the ALAHOPE curriculum content.

J. Matthew (Matt) Hart, JD, CFE

Matt Hart is Special Counsel to the Executive Director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (ALBME).  Matt earned a BS in Accounting from the University of Tennessee and began his career with the Atlanta, Georgia, accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, LLP.  Matt subsequently earned a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law and joined the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office as a Deputy District Attorney. While there, he served as a prosecutor for the Jefferson County Financial Crimes Task Force as part of the White Collar and Public Corruption Unit.  Prior to joining the ALBME, Matt served as the Executive Director and General Counsel for the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama.  As Special Counsel to the Executive Director, Matt is responsible for the agency’s external relations and the implementation of many regulatory projects of the Board.  In addition to being a licensed attorney in Alabama, Matt is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. Matt serves on Governor Ivey’s Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council as Co-Chair of the Prescribers and Dispensers Committee and provided policy and legal expertise for the ALAHOPE curriculum.

Carla H. Kruger

Carla Kruger is the Public Information Officer for the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (ALBME). After earning a BA in English from Auburn University at Montgomery, Carla worked as a legal assistant and paralegal in the private sector before joining the ALBME Office of the General Counsel. Carla’s paralegal duties expanded to include ALBME communications and public relations, including website creation and management, social media, and print publications. As Public Information Officer, she ensures the quality control of information released by the ALBME. Carla’s legal and communications expertise contributed to the success of ALAHOPE.

Laura McNeill, PhD

Laura McNeill, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of instructional technology in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies at The University of Alabama. She also serves as the program coordinator for the Instructional Technology master's degree program and teaches for UA's Instructional Leadership Ph.D. program. Her research interests include microlearning, teaching presence, and student engagement in online, asynchronous courses. Previously, Dr. McNeill served as a senior instructional designer at Regions Bank, Ascension, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Texas A&M's School of Law, and the University of Alabama. Dr. McNeill is the author of several books, including HarperCollins suspense novels Center of Gravity and Sister Dear. Laura’s expertise in online curriculum development contributed to the success of the ALAHOPE lectures.

Michael Ratner, MS

Michael Ratner is currently a student at the University of Birmingham at Alabama, in their Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.  Michael previously worked as a project and grants manager for an FQHC in rural Pennsylvania where he helped grow their Healthy MOMS program, a substance use disorder program for pregnant women and new mothers, from approximately 15 patients to over 130. During this time, he managed ~$2 million of SAMHSA grants and their associated projects, created educational materials for local strategic partners, helped build the organization’s relationship with NAMI, organized local NARCAN training and distribution, and created a metrics system to monitor patient progress while enrolled in Healthy MOMS. Michael’s expertise in substance use disorder contributed to the success of ALAHOPE and its content.

Justine Maxwell, DrPH, MPH

Justine Maxwell is currently a PhD student in Health Informatics, Health Services Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also works as a Clinical Application Coordinator at the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) focusing on strategic informatics initiatives to support department-wide activities and Tennessee’s drug overdose reporting program. Prior to this position, she worked as a Surveillance Systems and Informatics Epidemiologist in TDH’s Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness division. Her research interest focuses on the intersection of health information technology and health disparities. Specifically, understanding what role the design and implementation of health information technologies may have in producing unintended and negative outcomes and their impact on racial minorities. Justine’s experience in drug overdose and public health contributed to the ALAHOPE curriculum content.