Who We Are
RTI International —an independent, nonprofit, and multi-disciplinary research institute—serves as the Secretariat of the MITS Surveillance Alliance in partnership with ISGlobal. The Secretariat provides the coordination, communications, and logistics infrastructure needed to grow a dynamic community of practice for pathology-based surveillance and advance the standardization, use, and sharing of best practices.
The Executive Committee provides technical and programmatic direction and guidance to the MITS Surveillance Alliance. Comprised of representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, RTI International, ISGlobal, and the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) program office, the Executive Commitee's core functions are to:
- Develop and oversee the Alliance's strategic mission
- Provide guidance to the planning of Alliance activities and feedback on the project implementation for continuous improvement
- Provide guidance to support the governance of the Alliance (e.g. policies and procedures)
- Promote Alliance activities
Executive Committee Members
Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network
Cynthia Gayle Whitney, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator and Executive Director
Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS)
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Dr. Whitney became the Principal Investigator and Executive Director of the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) program in 2020. CHAMPS is a large multicounty program operating in 7 countries that generates accurate information on causes of child mortality using cutting edge diagnostic techniques; CHAMPS is based in the Emory Global Health Institute. Dr. Whitney became a Professor at Emory University in the Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health in 2019. Before that, she was Chief of the Respiratory Diseases Branch in the Division of Bacterial Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and had worked for 25 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Her expertise includes extensive work on pneumococcal disease, pneumonia, antimicrobial resistance, vaccination policy and effectiveness evaluations, disease surveillance, and outbreak investigations. She has over 200 publications including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and invited commentaries focusing on public health issues in the U.S. and in developing country settings. She Is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a frequent consultant for the World Health Organization and other multilateral agencies.
Jaume Ordi, MD, PhD
Dr. Jaume Ordi is a research professor at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGLOBAL), senior consultant pathologist at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and professor of pathology at the University of Barcelona, focused on the gynecological and obstetric pathology. His research focuses on women's diseases in developing countries, causes of death in developing countries and human papillomavirus (HPV) associated cancers and premalignant lesions. The main contributions in these lines of research are the characterization of the placental condition in malaria infections caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the development and validation of a minimally invasive autopsy method to determine causes of death in developing countries, and biomarkers of disease and progression in HPV infection.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Samantha Dolan, MPH
Managing Program Officer
Vaccine Development and Surveillance team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, WA USA
Samantha Dolan, MPH, is a Program Officer with the Vaccine Development and Surveillance team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She oversees mortality surveillance investments related to improving and expanding the use of MITS for collecting better information on causes of death. Prior to working at the Foundation, she led research and evaluation activities for global digital health projects at the University of Washington and PATH. She previously served as a fellow at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on a variety of immunization program evaluations both domestically and globally. She received her MPH in Global Epidemiology from Emory University, her BA in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and is a doctoral candidate in Metrics and Implementation Science at the University of Washington.
Norman Goco, MHS
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina USA
Norman Goco, MHS, has been working in research and project management positions with reproductive health and child survival programs overseas for more than 20 years. He has training in quantitative and qualitative research methods and in the areas of clinical trials research and field epidemiology. He has extensive experience as a project manager for research studies and health service delivery improvement programs in developing countries, including health management information systems and program monitoring and evaluation. Mr. Goco is adept at leading teams and facilitating collaboration in groups of researchers with competing agendas. He has gained expertise in developing study protocols, procedures manuals, data collection instruments, and site monitoring tools; overseeing and performing data analysis; assisting in manuscript development; and developing and training staff in research ethics and study procedures. His project experience includes work sponsored by several National Institutes of Health (NIH) centers including NICHD and NIAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense. His research experience includes the areas of maternal and child health (e.g., reproductive health, birth defects, postabortion care, pregnancy-induced hypertension), HIV/AIDS, and tobacco control. As research operations manager and part of the management team for the Global Network, Mr. Goco leads the Aspirin protocol and oversees implementation, oversees procurement of intervention materials, recommends quality control procedures, oversees the development of the protocol materials, and general research support functions.
Elizabeth McClure, PhD
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina USA
Elizabeth McClure, PhD, a perinatal and infectious disease epidemiologist, has more than 15 years of experience in leading global research in maternal and newborn health. Her experience includes scientific oversight and project management activities including monitoring and overseeing studies, preparing budgets, and maintaining effective communication with investigators for health-related clinical studies at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. McClure has served as the Principal Investigator for the Data Coordinating Center of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research project since 2010, effectively designing and implementing complex multi-country projects to reduce maternal and newborn mortality together with researchers in Argentina, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Guatemala. She provides leadership of maternal and child health studies, collaborating effectively with investigators and research coordinators in the field, leading data analyses, and writing and reviewing manuscripts. In addition, Dr. McClure is the Principal Investigator for two studies funded by BMGF and, in the case of the first, also by GE Healthcare. These studies are the recently completed Ultrasound Study to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes in Low-Income Country Settings and ABCD Trial, which is a monitoring trial of antibiotic use in young children at risk of diarrhea. In addition, she is a consultant advising on the implementation of a study using MITS in Ethiopia, the Study of Illness in Preterm (SIPS) project. Dr. McClure has had a special interest in stillbirth and led numerous scientific papers addressing stillbirth and newborn mortality in low-income countries.