Meet the Ohio AAP Staff

Melissa Wervey Arnold – Chief Executive Officer 

Melissa Wervey Arnold has over 18 years’ experience in the association management, event planning and development field. In her current role as the CEO of the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, she provides leadership to the Chapter and its membership, as well as serves as the head of Ohio AAP Foundation. 

During her tenure, the Ohio AAP has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Chapter of the Year Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics every year eligible in 2006, 2010 and 2014, has increased its operating revenue from $300,000 per year to over $2.7 million, and has established a successful lobbying program that has secured better reimbursement for physicians, as well as advocated for the passage of various child health legislation. Ms. Arnold also serves as the Chair for the Executive Director Steering Committee for National AAP, which is the executive board for all executive directors. In addition, she holds a place on numerous state government councils. 

Prior to her current position, she served in development/fundraising and communications roles in various membership organizations and non-profit organizations. Additionally, she worked in Washington DC doing press secretary work on Capitol Hill as well as developed events and fundraising. 

Ms. Arnold lives outside of Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two children. She serves on the emeritus Board of two Columbus non-profit organizations, serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, just finished a tenure on the Board of Directors for the Ohio University Alumni Association and is a sustainer for the Junior League of Columbus. 

In 2016 was named a finalist for healthcare CEO of the Year from Columbus CEO, and in 2015 she was recognized by the Association Forum as a National Forty Under 40 honoree. Previously in 2006, she was recognized as one of the Forty Under 40 honorees from Business First in Columbus for her outstanding professional accomplishments, awards in her professional field, and commitment to community service. She has also received numerous awards from the association management community. 

Elizabeth Dawson – Chief Operating Officer 

Elizabeth is the Chief Operations Officer for the Ohio AAP and has most recently served as the Director of Programs and Operations for the Chapter. Currently the Program Manager for the Transforming Adolescent Care (TALK) and Chapter Quality Network ADHD programs, she previously managed Preschool Vision Screening, Pound of Cure and Chapter Quality Network Asthma programs. These projects are equal in scope and many of them involve the same experts. Additionally, she leads all CME and MOC Part II efforts for the Ohio AAP, and therefore has a significant background in medical education as well as working with physicians in training and recruitment. 

Elizabeth’s experience in conference planning and association management provides her with an excellent background for her work at the Ohio AAP. She has held meeting planner positions with the Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Society of CPAs. Previously she was the program coordinator for the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), where she planned conferences for 14 state societies nationally. 

Hayley Southworth, MS – Director of Program Management and Training 

Hayley is the Ohio AAP’s Director of Program Management and Training, where she focuses her efforts on ensuring all programs and staff of the Ohio AAP are positioned for success by utilizing her love of logistics and organizational experience to spread and encourage efficient use of best practices. She oversees all Injury Prevention and Safety Initiatives, including infant mortality prevention, bike helmet safety, and other injury prevention QI and community outreach programs. Hayley completed her Master’s of Public Relations in 2010, and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rio Grande with a double major in public relations and mass communications in 2009. Hayley joined the Ohio AAP in 2012 as Administrative Assistant after previous experiences teaching business and general education at a local community college, and working in communications at an environmental office. At home Hayley enjoys camping and traveling with family, particularly her husband, daughter, and Chihuahua. 

Lory Sheeran Winland, MPA – Director of Immunization Programs 

Lory Sheeran Winland is the Director of Immunization Programs at the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. Lory works on the Maximizing Office Immunization (MOBI), Teen Immunization Education Sessions (TIES), Ohio Parents Advocating for Vaccines (PA4V), and several quality improvement projects focusing on increasing immunization rates across Ohio. Lory oversee the training of nurse educators at local health departments on childhood and adolescent immunization best practices, strategies to measure and raise rates, avoid missed opportunities and counsel parents. Lory completed her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies in 2001 at Ohio University and received her Master of Public Administration degree at the Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs in 2008. Lory lives in Lewis Center with her two daughters Cate and Ellie. 

Kristen Stidham Fluitt, MS – Program Manager 

Kristen joined the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in March of 2017 as a Program Manager. She spent the past five years working at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s accountable care organization, Partners for Kids, as a Project Manager. She has focused her career on working to improve quality and outcomes for children with behavioral health conditions. Kristen will always be a southern girl at heart, but she has developed a love for central Ohio and makes her home in Powell with her 6 year old daughter, Presley. Outside of work, she enjoys being a dance mom, traveling, and spending time with family, friends and her yorkie and shih tzu. 

Alex Miller, MPH – Program Manager 

Alex joined the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics in September 2019 and is Program Manager for the Parenting at Mealtime and Playtime and Lead Prevention programs. She also plans regional trainings in Ohio. Alex graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Sustainability and International Studies. After undergraduate school, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Transylvania University. She earned her Master of Public Health degree at the University of Kentucky. She moved to Ohio in May 2019 and continued her public health work at the James Cancer Center prior to joining the Ohio AAP team. 

Olivia Simon – Foundation and Communications Coordinator

Olivia joined the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics in January of 2020 as the Foundation and Communications Coordinator. She helps oversee Foundation initiatives including Put A Lid On It! and Store It Safe, as well as coordinating content for Ohio AAP’s website, social media, newsletter, and quarterly magazine. Olivia graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Nutrition in 2012. Before starting at Ohio AAP, she was working in the Washington, DC area at HMSHost where she was integral in the running of their nonprofit organization, HMSHost Foundation.

Liz Bowman – Executive Assistant 

Liz joined the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics in August of 2019 as the Executive Assistant. She handles a variety of administrative support tasks for the office. After spending many years in the private sector at a graphic design company, she found her passion for non-profit work, mostly centered around housing and food insecurities. This passion for philanthropy led her to the Ohio AAP where she is thrilled to have a small role in helping to improve the lives of children.