Our chapter serves both the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia region. Our members include Infection Preventionists, Epidemiologists, vendors and friends who are seeking to collaborate on activities centered around patient safety and care.
Marko Predic is Director of Infection Prevention at Orange Park Medical Center. He holds a Master's in epidemiology as well as a Bachelor's in microbiology and cell sciences from the University of Florida. In addition to his microbiology degree he has spent time working as researcher within a genetics lab. He comes in with experience in infection control from UF Health in Gainesville and Jacksonville, having both worked and conducted research while at the Infection Prevention and Control department. He currently oversees a mix of hospital units, including intensive care units and tuberculosis units. Marko is actively working on research and publication along with his daily tasks within the department. His interests include surveillance epidemiology of both infectious diseases and multi-drug resistant organisms.
Ronnie Owen is an Infection Preventionist at Mayo Clinic Florida. He has been an Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner since 2015. His nursing experience started in Mississippi as a nursing assistant while attending nursing school, graduating with an RN degree in 2008 from Hinds Community College . Ronnie received his Bachelor Degree in Nursing from the University of North Florida in 2013. His nursing experience prior to Infection Prevention and Control is ER, ICU, Med/Surg nursing and Nurse Supervisor. Ronnie’s current role at Mayo is focused primarily in the Outpatient setting.
Aleya Byrd is a Nurse Epidemiologist for Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Ms. Byrd is a registered nurse and has a Bachelor Degree in Community Health. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and is board certified in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Aleya has experience in infection prevention that spans to include long term care, a rehabilitation hospital, adult acute care and pediatrics. She was named one of the Great 100 Nurses for Advocacy of Northeast Florida in 2017. She is currently the treasurer of APIC Ch. 50 and she was elected to serve on the national APIC education committee. Aleya will be presenting at the Society for Pediatric Nursing national conference this spring on the topic of the Collaboration between Quality and Infection Control. She was instrumental in process improvements at her hospital that lead to the facility being given the 2018 John Curran Quality Improvement award.
Dr. Melody Wu - Ballis is a former fellow at the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Public Health in Washington D.C. During her experience at the VA, she worked on the Infectious Diseases Division, HIV and HCV and Clinical Public Health Pathogens and she is also a former fellow at The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Wu - Ballis holds an MPH degree from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia with a concentration in Epidemiology. She received her Undergraduate and Professional Doctorate degrees from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima, Peru where she is originally from. Dr. Wu- Ballis is board certified in Infection Prevention and Control, and currently serves as the president for the Northeast Florida region APIC Chapter.
Stefanie Buchanan is an Infection Preventionist at the UF Health Downtown campus. Stefanie's educational background includes an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing from Florida Community College at Jacksonville and a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Central Florida. Mrs. Buchanan is board certified in Infection Control and began her Infection Prevention training in the ambulatory setting and transitioned from there into acute care and has over eight years of experience in the field. Her nursing background includes work in various healthcare settings including community, academic and research hospitals. Beyond her infection control practice, her professional experience includes service as a perioperative nurse in ambulatory surgery, operating room circulator in Urology/Gynecology/Robotics, and Sepsis Coordinator for one of the first hospitals certified by the Joint Commission for sepsis management. Stefanie is also a member of APIC and currently serves an active role as Board Member in the Northeast Florida region APIC chapter.
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