Who We Are
Melissa A. McDiarmid, MD, MPH, DABT
Dr. McDiarmid is Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine where she teaches, sees patients, and directs a surveillance program for Gulf War Veterans.
Dr. McDiarmid received her B.A. degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, in Biological Sciences; her M.D. from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and her M.P.H. from The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health where she also completed fellowship training in Occupational Medicine. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Occupational Medicine and Toxicology.
Dr. McDiarmid was Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine for the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in Washington, D.C., a position she held from 1991 until 1996. From 1987 until moving to OSHA, she was Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health where she directed the Occupational Medicine residency. She retains her Hopkins affiliation as an adjunct professor of Environmental Health Science.
Dr. McDiarmid has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on occupational and environmental medicine topics related to: healthcare workers, medical surveillance and management, reproductive hazards, occupational cancers, and Gulf War environmental exposures.
Joanna Gaitens, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN
Dr. Gaitens is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and serves as the Coordinator for the VA’s Toxic Embedded Fragment Surveillance Center and Registry which allows the VA to follow and manage the medical surveillance for veterans who have retained fragments from wounds received while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dr. Gaitens received her A.D.N. Degree from Norwich University in 1994; her BSN Degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1997; her MSN/MPH Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2000; and her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2006.
Prior to joining the University of Maryland faculty, Dr. Gaitens worked for several years as a nurse in skilled care before transitioning into public health. Her dissertation focused on the neurobehavioral effects associated with polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in older adults. She also has worked in the field of lead poisoning prevention.
Patricia Welsh Gucer, PhD
Dr. Gucer is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is co-Principal Investigator on two studies examining safe resident lifting practices and their impact on caregiver injuries in long-term care facilities. She also works on a surveillance study of Gulf War Veterans exposed to depleted uranium.
Dr. Gucer received her A.B. Degree from Dumbarton College of Holy Cross in 1963, and her PhD from the Johns Hopkins University Department of Sociology in 2001.
Dr. Gucer has taught secondary school science, managed data for a longitudinal study of school children, and has been Baltimore Study Manager for a large multi-center clinical trial testing the effects of beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer.
Stella Hines, MD, MSPH
Dr. Hines, received her B.A. degree in Biochemistry in 1998 from Rice University; her MD from the Texas A&M University College of Medicine in 2002; and her Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in 2009 from the University of Colorado, Denver. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Chicago in 2005, and fellowships in both Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine and Occupational & Environmental Medicine at The University of Colorado, Denver in 2008 and 2009. She served as Instructor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver from 2009-2010, in the Division of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, and served as the Medical Director of the Pulmonary Physiology Unit. During that time, she held academic appointments in the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health.
Dr. Hines is board-certified in Occupational Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Internal Medicine. She is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Thoracic Society and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Dr. Hines joined the faculty at The University of Maryland in November 2010, with joint appointments in both the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, where she teaches, sees patients and serves as the Medical Director of Employee Health for the University Physicians Inc.
Dr. Hines’ research interests include pulmonary function and symptom analysis in occupational worker groups. She has participated in medical surveillance and studies of workers exposed to epoxy resins, artificial flavoring ingredients, coal, hard rock and uranium miners and workers exposed to beryllium. She has made invited presentations at local and international conferences and is the newest member of the Depleted Uranium program here.
Marc Oliver, RN, MPH, MBA
Mr. Oliver is a research nurse and data analyst for the VA’s Depleted Uranium program and various research projects including collaborative work with NIOSH. Mr. Oliver does data management for the Employee Health program for the faculty practice of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Mr. Oliver received his A.D.N. Degree from Alfred State College in 1996; his MPH Degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1998 and his MBA from University of Maryland University College in 2005.
Gary Orr, MS, PE, CPE
Mr. Orr is a certified ergonomist and industrial engineer who collaborates with the division staff on assessments of workplace musculo-skeletal hazards and ergonomic and human factors interventions. He worked for OSHA on the development of the ergonomics standard, enforcement cases, outreach, and education. He has worked with the Joint Commission on the integration of ergonomics into the environment of care standards. He has assisted OSHA in the development of their ergonomics guidelines. He received a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University and a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering/Human Factors from the University of Oklahoma.
Krystle Purnell is the newest member of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She has a dual role as receptionist/office clerk. Prior to joining the division, she worked for five years as an accounting clerk for the University of Maryland Dental College. Krystle is pursuing her BA Degree in Psychology from University of Baltimore. Following graduation, Krystle plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nursing at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
Tracy S. Roth, RN, BSN
Tracy is a research nurse on the Occupational Health team, where she organizes outreach programs, health education and the development of educational materials. She is the study coordinator for several University of Maryland medical surveillance programs.
Tracy received her Bachelor of Nursing Science degree in 1980 from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. She has worked in multiple clinical and public health settings.
Katherine Squibb, PhD
Dr. Squibb is a Professor in the Department of Medicine of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She also serves as a Co-Director of the University of Maryland System-Wide Graduate Program in Toxicology and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. Dr. Squibb received her PhD in biochemistry from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in 1977 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, NC. She served on the faculty of New York University’s Institute of Environmental Medicine in Tuxedo, NY for six years, prior to joining the University of Maryland in 1992, and has worked with the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine on VA sponsored Gulf War Veteran health surveillance programs since 1998.
Dr. Squibb has authored numerous articles and book chapters on the toxicity of metals based on laboratory animal studies and human exposure studies. She has also worked in the risk assessment/public health field, providing technical support to citizen groups involved in the evaluation of health effects and remediation of hazardous waste sites in their communities.
Sheila Williams, A.A.
Ms. Williams is our executive administrative assistant and focal point of the division. Before joining our program in 2000, she worked in health care for 10 years. Her wide variety of skills comes from working in such various environments as mental health, family preservation, and shelters for women, and administration. She provides executive assistance to the division faculty and staff while also serving our programs’ patients, clients and students.
Ms. Williams received her Executive Administrative Assistant A.A. Degree from Baltimore City Community College. She is currently pursuing her BS Degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland University College.