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Changing the COVID Conversation: A Panel Discussion with Vaccine Experts
Friday, February 11, 2022, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Category: Webinar

Webinar graphic

Webinar Details

Join IPEC for an important conversation on the vaccine misinformation movement with award-winning producer and director Chris Schueler and vaccine experts Drs. Walter Dehority, Denise Gonzales, and Matthew Probst.

Panelists will share highlights from the recent PBS documentary, Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus, that dispels myths, delves into the history of, and provides scientific information on the importance of vaccines.

Webinar participants will learn strategies to educate their organizations and communities on the importance of vaccines for public health amid a large vaccine misinformation movement and hear from experts in their respective fields starting these important conversations.

Speakers include:

  • Walter Dehority, MD, MSc, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center; Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico
  • Denise Gonzales, MD, Pulmonary Critical Care and Pulmonologist, Presbyterian Hospital
  • Matthew Probst, PA-C, Medical Director and Chief Quality Officer, El Centro Family Health
  • Chris Schueler, Director and Producer, Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus (Moderator)
  • Tanya Smith Brice, MSW, PhD, Vice President of Education, Council on Social Work Education (Moderator)


  • List viewpoints and factors influencing attitudes, towards the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Describe evidence-based strategies to address medical misinformation and have effective vaccine conversations

About the Documentary

As COVID-19 spread worldwide, Americans became increasingly polarized as to its reach, scope, and effects. As a result, vaccinations for this and other diseases have become flash-points in communities across the country.

The full one-hour documentary is available here and portions will be included in the webinar as the participants delve deeper into how educators and clinicians can combat vaccine misinformation. The documentary includes infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, pharmacists, physicians, and various academics with expertise in misinformation as well as health disparities.

To register:

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White male smilingWalter Dehority, MD, MSc, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center; Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico

Dr. Walter Dehority graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 1995, followed by receipt of an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco in 1999. He completed an internship in Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by residency training in Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico (UNM), fellowship training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Diego and completion of an Msc. in Epidemiology from the University of London.

Dr. Dehority provides clinical care to children with complicated infections, both in the inpatient and outpatient setting. From a teaching/educational perspective, in addition to providing infectious disease teaching to residents and housestaff, he teaches evidence based medicine (EBM). Dr. Dehority has taught EBM at McMasters' University (annual summer conference for faculty and housestaff in Canada) and for both residents and housestaff at UNM. His research focuses on bone and joint infections and encephalitis. He is also involved in encephalitis work in Sri Lanka, investigating the long-term neurocognitive effects in children surviving the disease. Interested in research ethics, Dr. Dehority also serves as chair of the IRB at the University of New Mexico and providing presentations on research ethics at the School of Medicine.

Hispanic womanDenise Gonzales, MD, Pulmonary Critical Care and Pulmonologist, Presbyterian Hospital

Denise Gonzales, MD, is the Medical Director of Adult Medical Specialties for Presbyterian Medical Group, as well as a pulmonary and critical care physician, working with patients with breathing disorders and those who need critical care. Dr. Gonzales joined the organization in 2007 and became the founding medical director of Presbyterian’s first 21st-century hospital, Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In her role as medical director of Adult Medical Specialties, she leads a group of physicians who deliver highly specialized care to adults.

Dr. Gonzales is a board member of Burrell College and a member of the board of The ASK Academy, a science, technology, engineering, and math innovation school in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She has also been inducted as a Fellow in the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the largest non-profit medical organization dedicated to promoting excellence and consistency in the practice of critical care.

Dr. Gonzales was born and raised along the U.S.-Mexico border in rural southern New Mexico. Her childhood experiences fostered her passion for improving the lives of others, particularly for those disadvantaged communities. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering, she went on to complete her medical degree from the University of New Mexico and then fulfilled her residency training in internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She then completed the joint National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship program.

Dr. Gonzales thrives in her hospital-based clinical practice, as a bedside educator and physician leader. Her mission to improve the health of all New Mexicans includes changing the way we deliver care, by using telemedicine to access rural communities and focusing on population health.

Male doctor with stethoscopeMatthew Probst, PA-C, Medical Director and Chief Quality Officer, El Centro Family Health

Matthew Probst dedicates his life to cultivating health in his native northern New Mexico. A 2003 graduate of the University of New Mexico PA program, he serves as medical director/chief quality officer at El Centro Family Health, a rural FQHC with 27 clinics across 23,900 square miles. Matt is founding director of Semillas De Salud, a future health professional program which has provided more than 400 clinical rotations for health career students and is growing a healthier tomorrow using an expansive peer health education workforce in rural schools. He serves on the New Mexico Academy of PAs board and on the NM Health Care Workforce Committee. He volunteers as a sports medicine provider and coach for local youth. More than accolades, his greatest pride is his family. They enjoy rural living and value most faith, nature, and community.

White male in blue shirt smiling Chris Schueler, Director and Producer, Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus (Moderator)

Chris Schueler has created over 100 television programs in the past 25 years that have garnered 26 Emmy® Awards and been broadcast around the world. Focusing on educational and social issues, Mr. Schueler’s documentaries have raised public awareness and impacted public policy nationally and internationally through partnerships ranging from the United Nations to the National Institute of Mental Health and the PBS network to the CBS Network Foundation as well as networks and governments worldwide.


African American woman smilingTanya Smith Brice, MSW, PhD, Vice President of Education, Council on Social Work Education (Moderator)

Tanya Smith Brice, PhD, MSW, is Vice President of Education at the Council on Social Work Education in Alexandria, VA. Previously, she served as the Dean of the College of Professional Studies at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD and the Dean of the School of (Education) Health and Human Services at Benedict College in Columbia, SC.

She has served on the faculties of the University of South Carolina, Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), and Baylor University (Waco, TX).

Her research centers on addressing issues of structural violence specifically as it relates to the impact of those structures on African American people. Her publications focus on the development of the social welfare system by African American women for African American children and documents structural barriers to African American families.

She provides consultation to community organizations, religious institutions, and educational institutions on the impact of their policies on African American families. She has taught and lectured all over the USA, as well as in the countries of Ghana, Sweden, Uganda, Colombia and the Republic of Moldova.