Program Staff

Dr. ThomasJohn “Fred” Thomas, PhD

John F. “Fred” Thomas, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health and Family Medicine. In addition, he has a secondary appointment in the Colorado School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology. He received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Texas State University, his Masters Degree in Social Work Services with Children and Families  and his doctorate in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

For the past 10 years he has been the Director of Community-based Mental Health Services and Policy at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He was recruited to Children’s Hospital Colorado to lead their telemedicine effort and is currently the Director of Telehealth at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  He is involved in numerous organizations and societies and is recognized as a national leader in telehealth, systems of care and population health.


Duane Pearson, MD
Associate Director

Duane Pearson, MD, is an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Medicine.  He currently serves as the practice director for the CU School of Medicine’s Rheumatology practice. After completing his residency and fellowship in Rheumatology at the CU School of Medicine, focusing on translational research programs in lupus, he moved to Ventura, California to further explore healthcare delivery in a medically underserved population. At the Ventura County Health Care Agency, he served as the Medical Director for Specialty Services, where his main focus was the coordination of care transition between a large primary-care network and a robust specialty panel. Currently, he is also a member of the Clinical Leadership Council’s Subcommittee for Ambulatory Referrals, participating in the Community Health Assessment Grant steering committee, sitting on the Aurora Health Care Access Specialty Task Force, and partnering with CORHIO and HCPF for an e-Consult pilot project to improve specialty care access for Medicaid participants.

Kory ThomasKory Thomas, MPH
Program Manager

Kory Thomas earned her MPH degree in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Prior to the UMSPH, she received a BS in Health and Exercise Science, concentrating in Health Promotion, from Colorado State University. Prior to joining the ECHO Colorado Program Center, she was responsible for the coordination of ECHO activities in the Center for Public Health Practice at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) and Children’s Hospital Colorado. She also provided evaluation technical assistance to health promotion programs with the Community Epidemiology and Program Evaluation Group at the ColoradoSPH. Kory also has experience in various settings including corporate wellness, geriatric rehabilitation, health promotion programming and international development. Her interests include evaluation capacity building, workforce development and encouraging collaboration amongst health equity advocates. She believes in the collective strength and influence of diverse entities in identifying challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned to encourage efforts to end inequalities.

Melodie Proffitt
Fiscal Administrative Manager

Melodie joined the ECHO team after providing administrative support to the epidemiology department chairs and faculty at the Colorado School of Public Health for nearly 4 years. Melodie brings more than twenty years of executive support experience, which includes ten years serving the soldiers and families in the United States Army. She studied business management at Western State College in Gunnison, CO. Melodie is very active in events supporting our military veterans and is an advocate for helping to provide women with the knowledge and tools that will enable them to have better labor and birth experiences.

Michael Kazanjian, PhD
Educational Specialist

Michael has spent the last two years working as an Instructional Designer for the all-online PharmD program at the University of Colorado Denver. He is currently finishing a MA degree Design at CU Denver. His prior life was split between a deep exploration of the seventeenth-century French literary milieu and modern library work at the intersection of technology and teaching. He’s a flexible coordinator, an effective teacher and communicator, and a process geek who can both focus on detail and step back to view the broader picture. Most at home in an environment that requires multiple methods of interpersonal communication, he thrives when given the opportunity to collaborate and creatively solve problems. He’s thrilled to be a part of an innovative team that is pushing the boundaries of healthcare education.

Erin Bishop, MPH

Erin earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University and received her MPH with a concentration in Community Behavioral Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. Prior to joining the ECHO team, Erin worked in a variety of settings including clinical, public health research, and program evaluation. Her areas of interest are in program evaluation and building evaluation capacity, improving health equity by increasing access for underserved populations, and tackling complex health issues through collaborative approaches.

Marisa Piepenbrink, MPH


Marisa is interested in improving access and equity in health through education and community collaboration. She is passionate about the use of technology to elevate practice and establish relationships to solve complex health issues reaching across disciplines and sectors for a shared goal. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Arizona and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago. With a background in healthcare management, communications and nonprofit administration, she brings a comprehensive skillset and natural curiosity to her role as an ECHO Coordinator.