Dr. Birkhead, holds a Doctor of Nursing Science from The Sage Colleges as well as an MPH from Johns Hopkins University. She is a certified nurse educator and has extensive experience at the college level. She has served as an adjunct faculty at Empire State College and has served as faculty in health maintenance, restoration and support at the Samaritan School of Nursing and the Albany Memorial School of Nursing.
Dr. Birkhead was also a nurse epidemiologist in the Hospital Infections Program at the CDC. She has experience as a consulting health systems analyst and has been a director of nursing and nurse manager among many other positions. Dr. Birkhead has made numerous presentations in the nursing field and has several publications in peer reviewed journals, as well as extensive experience in college programs including time as a Certified Nurse Educator.