DPBH Leadership


Lisa Sherych
Lisa Sherych has over 20 years of experience supporting and advocating for individuals with intellectual, developmental and psychiatric disabilities.  She started state service in August 2000, primarily serving in Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement roles within Developmental Services and Behavioral Health under the Department of Health and Human Services.


She has also worked as an Executive Branch Auditor in the Division of Internal Audits under the Governor’s Finance Office, and as the Agency Manager of Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health where she was responsible for a 30-bed inpatient Psychiatric Hospital and Outpatient Behavioral Health Services. 
In August 2017, Lisa was appointed Deputy Administrator of Developmental Services for the Aging and Disability Services Division. She was responsible for statewide developmental services provided through Desert Regional Center (DRC) to include DRC’s state-run Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ICF/IID), Rural Regional Center (RRC) and Sierra Regional Center (SRC). 
In April 2019, Lisa was appointed as the Interim Administrator for the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, and was named to the position permanently in July 2019.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Women’s Studies, Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is Green Belt certified in Lean Six Sigma.

Administrative Services Branch

Debi Reynolds
Deputy Administrator - Administrative Services
Debi Reynolds has served the State of Nevada for 20 years, most recently as an Executive Branch Budget Officer in the Governor’s Finance Office where she served as the budget analyst for Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, Division of Child and Family Services, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange and the Department of Veterans Services.

Prior to this, Debi worked for the Division of Public and Behavioral Health for 15 years as an Administrative Services Officer, Budget Analyst, Management Analyst and Executive Assistant. Debi’s extensive experience with DPBH includes budget planning and development, financial analysis and reporting, budget oversight and management, budget reconciliation, cost allocation, development of indirect cost rates, contract management, regulation adoption and executive support to the State Board of Health.

Clinical Services/Mental Health

Jennifer Sexton, Ph.D.
Deputy Administrator
Jennifer Sexton, Ph.D., worked for the Department of Corrections since January 2016 and was most currently the Mental Health Director where she led a team of mental health professionals and line staff. Prior to that she worked as a counselor with Maricopa County Adult Probation where she provided substance abuse and behavioral health counseling, implemented evidence-based and trauma-informed interventions and facilitated drug court IOP groups for youth and adults. She is a national board certified counselor (NCC) and has an associate's license with the Board of Behavioral Health in Arizona. Jennifer is also a certified correctional health care professional with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and has a PhD in Counseling and Educational Psychology.

As Clinical Services deputy administrator for DPBH, Jennifer's specific program responsibilities include: Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services (Rawson Neal Civil Hospital, Stein Forensic Hospital, and all outpatient services), Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services (Dini Townsend Civil Hospital and all outpatient services), and Lakes Crossing Forensic Hospital.​

Community Health Services

Julia Peek, MHA, CPM
Deputy Administrator
Julia Peek is a native Nevadan, born and raised in the Carson Valley. She went to school at Douglas High School, then went on to the University of Nevada, Reno to get her Bachelor's Degree in Health Ecology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies and a Certificate in Gerontology. Julia moved to Seattle to get her Master's Degree in Health Services Administration with a focus on rural and underserved communities at the University of Washington. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Great Basin Public Health Leadership Institute and is currently enrolled in the state's Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program.

Julia has been with DHHS since 2006, starting as a health resource analyst and then was promoted to the manager of the Office of Public Health Informatics and Epidemiology (OPHIE). During her public health career thus far, Julia has received several awards for her work, including the Dr. John E. Worden Award for excellence in public health from the University of Nevada, Reno and the Public Health Leader of the Year and Public Health Advocate of the Year from the Nevada Public Health Association.

Julia lives with her husband and three children in Reno.

Disease Prevention and Investigation

Deputy Administrator

Regulatory and Planning

Margot Chappel
Deputy Administrator - Regulatory and Planning Services
Margot Chappel is the DPBH deputy administrator over the Regulatory and Planning Services Branch, which includes programs that oversee health facility inspection, environmental health, medical marijuana regulation, emergency preparedness, radiation control and more.

Margot started with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services in 2006 as the Head Start State Collaboration Office Coordinator in the Director’s Office. Her work led to the creation of the Office of Early Learning and Development (now housed within the Nevada Department of Education) before she took a role with the Aging and Disability Services Division where she developed provider certification standards for early intervention service providers and led quality assurance efforts for programs providing developmental services, and services for people who were aging or had physical disabilities. Most recently Margot was the manager of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Program and then the Primary Care and Health Workforce Development Office, where she researched topics regarding funding, best practices, national trends and other information needed to address health care disparities related to primary health care.

A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, with an associate’s degree in prekindergarten education and bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies, Margot earned a Master of Science degree in human services in 2015. Margot lives in Sparks with her husband and dog Rowan. She and her husband have five grown children between them and six grandchildren.

Chief Medical Officer

Ihsan Azzam, Ph.D, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Ihsan Azzam oversees public health surveillance, epidemiology and disease control activities. He advises state and local health authorities, healthcare providers and community-based organizations, and provides professional education, guidelines, clinical updates and recommendations to prevent, control and contain disease outbreaks. Dr. Azzam represents Nevada on state and national forums, advisory bodies, and academic institutions, and he coordinates investigations and surveillance activities among state, local and federal agencies.

Dr. Azzam earned his medical degree from Cluj University of Medicine in Romania in 1982 and completed his OBGYN residency in 1986. He also holds a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Demography from the University of Seattle School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and a CDC Chronic Disease Epidemiology Certificate from the Penn State College of Medicine. At the University of Nevada, Reno, Dr. Azzam completed his MPH in 2002 and PhD in 2010. He has been the recipient of several awards, including the 2011 National Sheppard Award for Excellence in Epidemiology.

Medical Epidemiologist

Stephanie Woodard, Psy.D.
Dr. Stephanie Woodard is the State Mental Health Authority and the Single State Authority for Substance Abuse. She provides oversight and quality assurance to behavioral health providers statewide; designs, plans, funds, and implements systems of care, including behavioral health prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery support services; establishes funding priorities for behavioral health services and supports through close collaboration with communities and stakeholders; evaluates outcomes of behavioral health interventions; and guides policy and financing options across the Department of Health and Human Services.

State Biostatistician

Kyra Morgan
Kyra Morgan is the State Biostatistician for the Department of Health and Human Services. She works closely with all the divisions within DHHS as the principal consultant to advise program management on data for decision making and data-driven projects. Kyra plans, organizes, and directs research studies and methodologies for program evaluation throughout DHHS. She serves as technical leadership to 29 analysts.

State Epidemiologist

Melissa Peek-Bullock
State Epidemiologist
Melissa Peek-Bullock is the Nevada State Epidemiologist, which means she provides technical assistance, advice and direction for disease control specialists, epidemiology staff and other health professionals throughout the state regarding disease control investigation, intervention and prevention.

Melissa served as an epidemiologist for Washoe County from 2010 to 2016, during which time she served as incident commander for a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that was determined to be associated with eggs; held a lead collaborative role in the multistate Hepatitis A outbreak; and served as the Influenza Surveillance Coordinator. Prior to serving as Washoe County’s epidemiologist, Melissa worked for Washoe County as a public health investigator for five years, and prior to that she worked as an emergency department clinical analyst for Renown South Meadows Medical Center in Reno. During her career, Melissa has presented at numerous conferences and spoken to the media on topics such as influenza, West Nile Virus, Ebola, hepatitis and gastrointestinal outbreaks at a casino. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health ecology and is working to complete a Master’s in Public Health degree at the University of Nevada, Reno.