2016-18 NCSP/VA Scholars
Lindsay Admon, MD (VA Scholar) is an obstetrician-gynecologist from Marblehead, Massachusetts. She received her undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Public Health Studies. She went on to receive her medical degree and complete her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan. Throughout medical school and residency, she conducted research related to patient and physician knowledge and communication surrounding treatment decisions.
Career interests: She plans a career as an academic obstetrician-gynecologist during which she will integrate her clinical practice with efforts to improve the provision of preventive health care services among reproductive aged women and underserved populations through research and policy initiatives.
Research interests: Her specific interests include patient versus provider health care knowledge and values, providers' preparedness for primary care delivery, primary care reform and health equity.
Dr. Jason Ahn is an emergency medicine resident at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley with a double major in molecular and cell biology and history. He earned his medical degree from Harvard School of Medicine, and obtained a Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Zuckerman Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership. Dr. Ahn was also a Fulbright Scholar in Seoul, Korea, where he conducted an independent qualitative research study to understand the social factors that affect the health of North Koreans. Dr. Ahn also created, led, and executed the production of a documentary film called “Divided Families,” which chronicles the plight of Korean Americans separated from their loved ones, forced apart by the Korean War. He successfully recruited volunteers, raised $60,000, and presented the film to influential leaders and groups.
Career Interests: Dr. Ahn hopes to become an active agent of change by improving health care delivery for the underserved as a clinician, researcher, health policy and public health practitioner, and advocate.
Research Interests: Dr. Ahn is interested in emergency department surveillance and utilization, health literacy, innovations, geographic information systems, and community and population health. As a Scholar, he would like to understand and address the challenges that low-income, minority and immigrant communities face before and after encountering the healthcare system.
Chethan Bachireddy (VA Scholar) is an Internal Medicine trained physician who grew up in Deep East Texas. He attended Harvard College where he majored in economics, conducted research on the intersection of microfinance and health in Mexico and Indonesia, and worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative to deliver life-saving medications in resource-poor settings. He directed an ESL program for immigrant children in Boston and founded the Health Advocacy Program to empower middle-school students to become health advocates for themselves and their communities in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. He completed his medical degree at Yale University, where he directed a free clinic and led a team of researchers and policymakers in a multi-site study of integrated health services for HIV-infected injection drug users in Ukraine. His work has been presented internationally and led to expansion of integrated services in Ukraine, Malaysia, and Russia. Currently, Chethan is an Internal Medicine Primary Care Resident Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he was recently named a Harvard Medical School Primary Care Innovation Fellow. Through this position, Chethan has pioneered new methods for improving the delivery of preventive health services in the primary care setting.
Career Interests: He plans to pursue a career dedicated to improving health for vulnerable populations through social entrepreneurship and advocacy.
Research Interests: Primary care innovation for vulnerable populations, particularly around issues of mental illness, addiction, HIV, and end of life care. Applying principles of management, design, and behavioral economics to primary care delivery.
Sue Anne Bell
Sue Anne Bell, PhD, FNP-BC is a nurse scientist and family nurse practitioner originally from Tallahassee, Florida. She completed an undergraduate degree in Nursing at The Florida State University, followed by a Masters in Nursing at Emory University, where she was a Robert W. Woodruff Fellow. She worked for ten years as a nurse practitioner in emergency care and community health in diverse settings, including India, the Caribbean and Cambodia, and also as a nursing faculty member teaching graduate and undergraduate nursing students in the United States. She completed a PhD in Nursing with an emphasis in Women’s Health, along with a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan in 2014 where she was the recipient of a Rackham Merit Fellowship and an NIH T32 predoctoral fellowship. Sue Anne has been active in emergency preparedness and response activities through the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System, the American Nurses Association and the Emergency Nurses Association. She developed and is now implementing an accredited Bachelor of Emergency Nursing in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. She is also conducting policy related research on the effects of U.S. emergency response activities on persons with health disparities.
Career Interests: Sue Anne plans a career as a scholar, activist and leader focused on improving the health of persons affected by disasters.
Research Interests:Her research focuses broadly on the health effects of disasters and the impact of climate change on human health, within a health equity framework. She is particularly interested in the long-term impact of disasters on women’s health, in developing policy that addresses women’s health throughout the disaster management cycle, and in the relationship between community resilience, health disparities and disasters.
Dr. Carl Berdahl is an emergency physician from California. He obtained his undergraduate degree from UCLA with honors and majored in Music Performance. He earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine, where he completed his thesis on “Emergency Department Computed Tomography Utilization in the United States and Canada,” and was awarded the James G. Hirsch Endowed Medical Student Research Fellowship. During residency at LA County + USC, Dr. Berdahl served as Chief Resident, where he helped create a new departmental focus on physician wellness, organizing educational modules and extracurricular activities designed to combat and prevent resident burnout. Furthermore, he spearheaded the departmental effort to analyze the efficacy of a pediatric emergency department imaging protocol for the diagnosis of appendicitis that utilized ultrasound and MRI. He also embarked on a research project using a large national dataset to analyze how emergency department workup intensity varies by patient insurance status and hospital ownership.
Dr. Berdahl is interested in a career in academic emergency medicine that includes a combination of health services research, medical education, and clinical practice.
As a scholar, Dr. Berdahl plans to examine how nonclinical factors affect physician decision-making and how new quality measures and clinical decision support systems impact resource utilization and patient-centered outcomes. General research interests include health services, health policy, health economics, emergency imaging, physician decision-making, and resource utilization.
Danielle Erkoboni is a pediatrician who was raised in Central New Jersey and attended Wheaton College in Southeastern Massachusetts for her undergraduate training. She graduated from Wheaton as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and dual minors in Biology and Vocal Performance. Following her undergraduate training she worked for four years as a Research Coordinator at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During her time there she designed and implemented several interventions to promote child passenger safety across the United States and in China. Her work and publications on the translation of public health interventions across cultures has been adapted by research teams across the country to bring existing messages to underserved communities. Danielle did her undergraduate medical training at The Chicago Medical School, where she developed her interest in Pediatrics and Injury Prevention. She completed her Pediatric training at St Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where she led a study investigating resident attitudes, behaviors and beliefs related to child passenger restraint and subsequently designed a resident curriculum for child passenger safety.
Career Interest: Dr. Erkoboni looks forward to a career dividing time as an academic researcher, general pediatrician and teacher/mentor to medical students and residents.
Research Interest: The effects of media on the health and development of young children, design of technology based interventions, specifically related to injury prevention, and the promotion of child passenger safety for school-aged children
Dr. Andrea Garcia is a General and Preventive Medicine resident with the California Department of Public Health. She is carrying out her practicum experience at the Los Angeles Department of Public Health in the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention. She completed an internship in internal medicine at White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights. She is a proud graduate of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program where she obtained her master's degree in health and medical sciences from UC Berkeley, and her medical degree from UCSF. She earned her undergraduate degree with a major in biology and liberal arts from Whittier College. Dr. Garcia considers her two year fellowship with the NIH Academy a pivotal experience in introducing her to health inequities. During medical school she served as national President of the Association of Native American Medical Students, and engaged in research projects related to American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) health. During residency her projects continue to focus on the health and wellness of AIAN in Los Angeles, and workforce diversity.
Career Interest: Dr. Garcia is interested in a career that spans the topics of urban American Indian health policy, health systems transformation, health equity, and workforce diversity.
Research Interest:As a scholar, her community partner will be the Department of Health Services, and it would be her dream to participate in the creation of a health equity department for the new Health Agency. She is also interested in expanding upon her current research looking at the role of restructuring scholarship and loan repayment programs to achieve equitable access and health outcomes in underserved communities.
Hayley Germack, PhD, RN completed her undergraduate degrees in anthropology and nursing at the University of Pennsylvania where she recently completed her PhD in health services research. Dr. Germack is a competitive runner and elite/semi-pro triathlete.
Research Interests: Dr. Germack is interested in using mobile technology to improve outcomes for patients requiring mental health services, understanding the value of the nursing workforce in improving quality. She also hopes to gain experience working with CMS measures to influence health policy.
Margaret Greenwood-Ericksen, MD, MPH (VA Scholar) is an emergency medicine physician with a research interest in population health and health services. Her interest initially stemmed from her health care policy work in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. and her NIH-funded post-baccalaureate intramural research award in epidemiological and public health research on the Gila River Indian Reservation near Phoenix, AZ. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, and completed her MD/MPH at the University of Arizona. She received her training in Emergency Medicine at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program, where she served as chief resident. By pairing Emergency Medicine - a field that straddles public health and medicine - with health policy research, she plans a career focused on exploring how variation in emergency department admission rates and treatment patterns in underserved and rural communities impacts population health.
Career Interest: To develop a career as a clinician-researcher and policy leader in her community. She plans to apply her research findings to inform policy on emergency department-based healthcare in rural communities in the western US. She hopes to ultimately pursue a position as a state-level health commissioner, or state-level Medicaid director.
Research Interest: To continue research focused on informing policy to improve health outcomes of underserved populations. To study how variation in emergency department admission rates and treatment patterns impacts health outcomes in rural, medically underserved communities. To identify hospital-level and patient-level predictors of morbidity and mortality, and to apply policy-based approaches to improve population health in western states - with a focus on rural emergency departments.
Cornelius D. Jamison
Cornelius D. Jamison, MD, MSPH (VA Scholar) is a Family Medicine resident at Duke/Southern Regional AHEC in Fayetteville, NC. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana. He earned his medical degree from East Carolina University School of Medicine. Prior to medical school he attended Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine earning his public health degree.
Career interest: He plans to pursue a career that integrates the clinical duties of a primary care physician with his interests in public health and health policy to improve the care for patients in underserved communities.
Research interest: Dr. Jamison is interested in developing interventions and programs that will improve STI and HIV prevention, particularly in the minority and underserved communities.
Raymond Jean, MD, MA earned his undergraduate degree in engineering sciences at Harvard University. He went on to Washington University in St. Louis where he earned his medical degree and a Master of Arts. Dr. Jean is currently a general surgery resident at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Research Interests: Dr. Jean is interested in comparative effectiveness research. He aims to use large datasets and computational modeling to improve surgical outcomes and promote healthcare quality improvement.
Stacey M. Kallem
Stacey M. Kallem, MD is a pediatrician who completed her residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Originally from New York, she pursued her undergraduate training at Stanford University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Human Biology and was a Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Women's Health Scholar.
Following graduation, she served as a course associate in the Human Biology Department at Stanford University. She then received her Doctor of Medicine from the Yale School of Medicine, where she also received a Certificate in Global Medicine. While at Yale, she dedicated an additional year to research in childhood obesity prevention. As a pediatrics resident, Dr Kallem led an initiative providing pertussis booster vaccines for caregivers at newborn well visits.
Career Interests: She plans to pursue a career combining primary care pediatrics, health services research, and community advocacy.
Research interests: Childhood obesity prevention, vaccine preventable diseases, socioeconomic disparities in pediatric primary care.
John McDougall, MD (VA Scholar) earned his undergraduate degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and his medical degree from the University of Washington. He completed internal medicine residency training at Dartmouth and is currently a rheumatology fellow at the Yale University School of Medicine. His non-academic interests include snow sports and fly-fishing.
Research Interests: Dr. McDougall is interested in the healthcare and outcomes of patients living in rural areas, particularly Alaska natives and Native Americans. He is also interested in the use of telemedicine to improve access to longitudinal subspecialists.
Tiffany M. Montgomery
Tiffany M. Montgomery, PhD, RNC-OB, C-EFM is a women’s health nurse from Long Beach, CA. She obtained her PhD in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles; Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Nursing Education, from California State University, Dominguez Hills; and Bachelor of Science in Nursing and minor in African-American Studies from San Jose State University. Dr. Montgomery spent the majority of her nursing career as a Labor & Delivery nurse, but also broadened her scope of practice to obstetric and gynecology. She has held numerous leadership positions in local and national nursing organizations. Currently, she is a member of the National Black Nurses Association Women’s Health Committee, author of Taking Hold of My Dreams, a blog hosted by Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (STTI), and a reviewer for Nursing for Women’s Health, the practice journal of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). Dr. Montgomery is also an advocate for women who are affected by sexual and reproductive health disparities. As a previous member of the AWHONN Public Policy Committee, she published multiple articles on legislative action in nursing, lobbied on Capitol Hill for the reauthorization of the PREEMIE Act, and visited Indonesia to observe and support frontline maternal health workers.
Career Interests: Tenure track position at a historically Black college/university or other minority-serving institute of higher education.
Research Interests: Addressing sexual health disparities, including high-risk sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases, and unplanned pregnancy, through community-based participatory research.
Dr. Jamal Nabhani (VA Scholar) is urology resident at LA County + USC. He obtained his undergraduate degree from UC San Diego with honors and majored in human biology. He earned his medical degree from Boston School of Medicine. He was awarded First Prize at the AUA Western Section in 2014 for his Health Policy Essay, “The Marriage of Translational Health Services Research: A Policy Imperative”. He was also awarded the James L. Goebel Grand Prize for the best poster, “Cost Analysis of Enhanced Recovery after Surgery in Patients Undergoing Radial Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer,” at the 2014 American Urologic Association Western Section Meeting.
Dr. Nabhani is interested in health care delivery and implementation as well as patient engagement and decision aids. He is also interested in patient-centered health care value. As a resident he was involved as the Departmental Quality Officer, acting as an independent quality assurance officer by auditing medical records for inpatient surgeries and creating reports for surgeons by comparing their outcomes to department and national benchmarks.
Career Interests: Dr. Nabhani is interested in implementation of disease-specific interventions focused on refining delivery models, as well as measuring and improving patient-centered health care value. He would like to focus on trauma and reconstructive urology in a large public hospital.
Research Interests: As a Scholar, he is interested in working on health care delivery innovation and testing the feasibility of a multidisciplinary benign prostatehyperplasia (BPH) program centered on primary care engagement appropriate timely and coordinated transitions of care disease-specific early inclusion of patient preference and patient decision aid tools, and provider information technology tools and dashboards.
Jeremy O’Connor, MD earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Northwestern University and his medical degree from Indiana University. During medical school, he was the recipient of the John B. Hickam Award for outstanding achievement in Internal Medicine, and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He is currently completing internal medicine residency training at the University of Chicago, where he has been assisting with research on the concept of "financial toxicity" in cancer care. Dr. O’Connor enjoys cooking, playing music, and spending time with his partner, Gina, and their dog, Arthur.
Research Interests: Dr. O’Connor is interested in costs of care and the effects of health policy decisions on cancer outcomes. As a Scholar, he hopes to promote greater access to high quality and cost-effective care for patients in medically underserved communities.
Benjamin Oldfield, MD (VA Scholar) attended Swarthmore College where he earned his undergraduate degree in comparative literature. He went on to Harvard Medical School for his medical degree and is currently a resident in the combined internal medicine and pediatrics urban health residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. There, he co-developed a narrative medicine reading group, AfterWards, which brings together staff members in discussion about literature and art to foster professional cohesiveness and develop narrative skills useful to the work of care providers.
Research Interests: His research focuses on the metaphors used for heart disease in literature and pop culture, and how these affect public perceptions of the pathophysiology and treatment of coronary artery disease. Dr. Oldfield is interested in narrative and storytelling as tools for self-efficacy among individuals and groups in under-resourced communities. He is also interested in the use of narrative to foster shared decision-making between individuals and their providers.
Josh Rolnick (VA Scholar) completed his residency in internal medicine at Stanford. Originally from Southern Connecticut, Dr. Rolnick earned a Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy from Brown University. After working in medical imaging technology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, he went on to pursue a combined MD/JD program between Stanford School of Medicine and Yale Law School. Dr. Rolnick served as president of the Stanford student organization, Access and Delivery of Essential Medicines, and worked on global health policy issues for the World Health Organization and the Argentine Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. He has also studied prescription drug coverage under the Affordable Care Act in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation and conducted fieldwork in Guatemala on the connection between intellectual property laws and access to medicines. Currently, he works as a hospitalist at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a safety-net hospital in San Jose, CA, and precepts residents in the General Medicine Clinic at the Palo Alto VA.
Career Interests: Dr. Rolnick is interested in a career as a clinician-investigator, and plans to combine research with government involvement in policy-making.
Research Interests: Dr. Rolnick is interested in end-of-life care, the role of legal rules and institutions in health care policy, and ethical and policy issues in the uses of digital health data and health information technology.
Elizabeth Samuels, MD, MPH (VA Scholar) earned her undergraduate in history from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and her medical degree and Master of Public Health from Tufts University. Before medical school she worked with community-based organizations that provided harm reduction services to homeless adolescents and organized in communities disproportionately impacted by the prison industrial complex. She is currently a Chief Resident in emergency medicine residency at Brown University. During residency, she implemented an ED naloxone distribution program that provides patients at risk of overdose a take-home naloxone rescue kit and consultation with a peer recovery coach to provide recovery support and referral to addiction treatment.
Career Interest: Dr. Samuels is pursuing a career in academic emergency medicine and public health. In addition to practicing clinically, she wants to design, evaluate, and disseminate evidence-based ED public health interventions in partnership with community based organizations and departments of public health.
Research Interests: Dr. Samuels is interested in emergency department-based public health interventions that address social and behavioral determinants of health, improve resource utilization and health care outcomes, and promote health justice. She is interested in continuing research on opioid dependency as well as examining the utility of using information gathered in ED visits to monitor community-level social and health inequalities.
Sarah Shubeck, MD is a current general surgery resident originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Notre Dame and her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. While at U of M, she began her health services research career with initial focus in clinical care guidelines, patient education, and reducing overuse of surgery. She remains at U of M for her general surgery training where she will participate in the National Clinician Scholars Program during her Academic Development Time.
Career Interest: Dr. Shubeck is planning a career in academic surgery as a health services researcher in order to guide improvement in health care delivery for populations.
Research Interest: Dr. Shubeck's research interests include improving quality, broadening access, and increasing efficiency of surgical care.
Kia Skrine Jeffers
Dr. Kia Skrine Jeffers is a community-based Registered Nurse who has a background in both art and science. She received her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from North Carolina A&T State University, and has appeared in many stage and television productions. She entered the field of nursing through the Master's Entry Clinical Nurse program in the UCLA School of Nursing, where she also obtained her doctoral degree. Dr. Skrine Jeffers was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholar, a UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute Summer Training Fellow, a Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar, and was a recipient of the four-year Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship and Kaiser Permanente/Deloras Jones Scholarship. She has worked on three research projects with the Los Angeles Community Academic Partnership for Research in Aging (LA CAPRA), was a collaborator on the development of the Ethnocultural Gerontological Nursing Model with the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Gerontological Nursing Science, and is a member of the UCLA Public Health Critical Race Working Group.
Career Interest: Dr. Skrine Jeffers is interested in conducting interdisciplinary research that addresses the disparate health and social conditions of African Americans who reside in underserved communities within Los Angeles.
Research Interest: Dr. Skrine Jeffers' research interests entail generating community-partnered, evidence-based knowledge that informs policies aimed at systematically narrowing health and social disparities between racial groups. She is particularly interested in addressing diabetes self-management, structural racism, and other social factors that negatively impact African Americans' health and health-related behaviors across their life courses.
Esther R. Smith-Howell
Esther R. Smith-Howell, PhD, RN is the Dean’s Distinguished Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She completed her PhD in Nursing Science at Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN. Originally from Winter Haven, FL, she earned her first undergraduate degree with a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences from the University of Florida, and earned her second undergraduate degree with a Bachelor’s in the Science of Nursing from Indiana University. In 2011, Esther was awarded a National Research Service Award to support her training and fund her research, which focuses on improving end-of-life decision-making and communication among African Americans with serious illness and their families. In 2012, Esther was one of only five PhD students in the U.S. to be competitively selected as a Johnson & Johnson-American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Minority Nurse Faculty Scholar. Ms. Smith-Howell used this prestigious award and recognition to further her mission to increase diversity in schools of nursing in the Indianapolis area and nationally. Esther has been a national speaker on diversity in academia, including as an invited speaker at the National Invitational Forum for Diversity Conference hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to being a champion for diversity, Esther has been a national student-leader and peer-mentor. Specifically, she gave a national presentation for AACN’s Graduate Nursing Student Academy. Esther has received numerous awards and honors, including Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis’ (IUPUI) Elite 50, Premiere 10, and Best in School of Nursing awards. The Elite 50 represent the top one half of one percent of the graduate and professional student body at IUPUI, whereas the Premiere 10 represents the top 10 of the Elite 50. Beyond research, Esther has worked as teaching associate for undergraduate and graduate courses, served as historian’s assistant of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., Eta Chi Chapter, and served on numerous faculty committees as a graduate student representative. Esther belongs to several professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Career Interests: Esther plans to pursue a tenure-track faculty position at a top tier, research-intensive university where she will conduct methodologically sound, translational research that informs health policies and results in high-quality end-of-life care for dying patients and their families.
Research Interests: Eliminating end-of-life care disparities among African American patients and their families by improving patient-family member-provider communication and decision-making.
Brian Stagg, MD is an ophthalmologist from Grand Junction, Colorado. He studied neuroscience and Portuguese as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University. He graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2012 and will be completing his Ophthalmology Residency at the Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah in June of 2016. For two years during residency, Brian was the resident member on the ACGME Residency Review Council for ophthalmology. In this role he participated in the evaluation of ophthalmology programs seeking accreditation. During residency Brian received a research grant from the ARCS Foundation, which he used to study ways to improve the efficiency and safety of cataract surgery.
Career Plan: Brian plans a career focused on providing clinical care in addition to high quality research. He plans to apply Health Services Research principles to a broad range of ophthalmology-related diseases.
Research Interests: Evaluation of clinical guidelines and preferred practice patterns. Using computerized algorithms to manage glaucoma. Measuring outcomes and value of cataract surgery.
Dr. Angela Venegas-Murillo completed her residency in Social Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. She earned her undergraduate degree with a major in psychobiology and minor in Spanish from UCLA. She obtained her medical degree from Stanford University and MPH in Epidemiology from UC Berkeley. During medical school, Dr. Venegas–Murillo went to Oaxaca, Mexico where she helped performed a needs assessment, and conducted a resource and hazard mapping study to understand local health issues. She later collaborated with a local community organization in Central California to better understand the plight of accessing interpretation services by indigenous Mexican migrants. During residency, she turned her focus on access to confidential care by urban adolescents and local advocacy for fair chance hiring.
Career Interests: Dr. Venegas-Murillo has a strong interest in health care policy regarding community safety, juvenile justice and mental health care access. She plans to dedicate her career towards the health care needs of her hometown of South Central Los Angeles.
Research Interests: As a Scholar, she would like to focus on developing effective methods of reducing violence and recidivism among youth in impoverished communities. In particular, she would like to study the effectiveness of juvenile justice re-entry programs and assess the needs of the community for improved access to mental health services before and after a conviction.
Dr. Andrew Wilson (VA Scholar) is a neurology resident at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is a 4 site applicant. He obtained his undergraduate degree with a major in neuroscience and mathematics from Vanderbilt University. He earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and his MBA with a specialty in healthcare from Rice University Jones School of Business. Currently, he serves as a resident informaticist working on EPIC electronic health record improvement projects. He also serves on the Housestaff Quality Improvement Council where he works on creating and implementing quality improvement projects.
Career Interests: Dr. Wilson is interested in analyzing the performance of Accountable Care Organizations in hopes of restructuring healthcare delivery systems both locally and nationally. In addition, he is interested in incorporating telehealth into his practice to improve cost, quality, and access of neurologic care.
Research Interests: As a Scholar, he is interested in evaluating effectiveness of innovative care models, managing the change process of an organization when adopting new care models, and informing local and national policies to support and accelerate innovation.
Jos’lyn Woodard is a neurosurgery resident at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Yale University with a major in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and minor in Neuroscience, where she was named most decorated track and field athlete in the history of the Ivy League in 2006. She earned her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine and earned the distinction of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Between her undergraduate studies and medical school, Dr. Woodard spent 2 years serving a Teach for America volunteer where she taught high school environmental science and biology and served as department chair. She also coached track and field, cheerleading and dance. During this time, Dr. Woodard also earned her Masters in Teaching from the National Louis University in Chicagco, IL.
Career Interests: Dr. Woodard intends to be the leader in comparative effectiveness analysis, outcomes research, and decision making tools within the field of neurosurgery. She is interesting in providing objective, rigorous work that will later guide neurosurgical practice and potentially be the basis of changes in health policy.
Research Interests: Dr. Woodard is interested in pediatric neurosurgery, patient related outcomes assessments, and understanding the limitations in access to health care. As a scholar, she is interested in creating consistent, concrete systems to evaluate neurosurgical interventions and to thus criteria to assist in physician-patient communication in the peri-operative period and beyond.
Dr. Brandon Yarns (VA Scholar) is completing a clinical fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed residency at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, where he was chief resident in 2014-15. He was also awarded the Resident Research Award for outstanding contributions to psychiatric research throughout residency. Dr. Yarns obtained his undergraduate degree in music (clarinet performance) from Arizona State University where he was a National Merit Scholar. He earned his medical degree from East Carolina University School of Medicine, where he was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. He developed a weekly program including a video and other resources to reduce preoperative anxiety in children and their families. Dr. Yarns was awarded first place in the Early Investigator Poster Contest by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in 2015 for his work entitled, “Decreased connectivity between the default mode network and right hippocampus correlates with ECT neurocognitive effects: An fMRI study.” Additionally, he currently the 2015-16 Member-in-Training Board Member for the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
Career Interests: Using health services research methodology, Dr. Yarns would like to investigate how individuals' (and particularly older adults') problems with experiencing and expressing feelings affect psychiatric nosology-classification, patient experiences of therapeutic interactions, prevention of psychiatric disorders, patient interfaces with health care, health outcomes, and health care systems.
Research Interests: Dr. Yarns is interested prevention of psychiatric illness in older adults, patient centered outcomes in geriatric psychiatry, and using psychotherapy to improve health outcomes. As a Scholar, he plans to understand how novel interventions addressing conflicted emotions in older adults will predict a decrease in incident psychiatric illness and cognitive impairment, improved health behaviors and outcomes, reduced burden on health care systems, and cost-effectiveness.
Maria Yefimova (VA Scholar) is a registered nurse and Ph.D. candidate at the UCLA School of Nursing. After completing her undergraduate degree in nursing at UCLA, she continued in the accelerated BS-PhD program and received her en-route master’s degree with a focus in gerontological nursing. Ms. Yefimova expanded her expertise in aging-related issues with a graduate certificate from the USC School of Gerontology. Her clinical background is in community and home health nursing, working with ethnically-diverse geriatric patients in Los Angeles. Ms. Yefimova worked on multiple research projects ranging from exploring bio-behavioral markers in patients with dementia to modeling the effect of geriatric syndromes on the trajectories of emergency department readmissions. Her dissertation, “Using In-Home Monitoring Technology to Identify Deviations in Daily Routines Preceding Changes in Health Trajectory of Older Adults,” investigates activity patterns of older adults living in smart homes – apartments equipped with sensors – in relation to clinical events recorded in their electronic health records. Her work is conducted in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Career interests: Ms. Yefimova strives to improve care of older adults by conducting multidisciplinary research on health technology, translating her findings into professional practice, and shaping public policy.
Research interests: Ms. Yefimova plans to continue the evaluation of health-monitoring technology to support community-dwelling older adults in managing their multiple chronic conditions. She is also interested in translational, systems and policy issues in implementing these technologies to improve healthcare delivery and reduce long term care costs for the growing aging population.
Jane M. Zhu
Dr. Jane M. Zhu is an internist from Tampa, Florida. She earned an undergraduate degree in International Development and Global Health as an Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University. After completing a Fulbright fellowship in Shanghai, China, working on healthcare seeking behaviors among rural-to-urban migrants, she obtained a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She also earned a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a John Knowles Scholar. In medical school, she conducted research on Massachusetts health reform and the Affordable Care Act and helped to start a chronic disease clinic, implementing novel strategies to improve hypertension and diabetes management. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was involved in quality improvement initiatives and researched mental health disparities. Over the years, her interests in health equity and systems reform has led to work in resource-poor settings in Guatemala, China, India, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Beyond clinical medicine, Dr. Zhu is interested in pubic policy advocacy, and worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and for the Partnership for a New American Economy, a pro-immigration reform coalition.
Career Interest: Dr. Zhu is interested in combining medicine and public policy to advocate on behalf of the underserved, and maintains a deep interest in health insurance reform as a key mechanism for improving the health of the US population. Long term, she hopes to translate health services research into equitable, effective policy at the local and national level.
Research Interest: As a clinician scholar, Dr. Zhu would like to focus on disparities in quality of care, access to care, and health outcomes. She is particularly interested in these themes as they pertain to mental health, chronic disease management, and health insurance design.
2017-19 NCSP/VA Scholars
Nauzley Abedini, MD, is a current third-year Internal Medicine resident from Sammamish, Washington. She received her Bachelor of Science in neurobiology with College Honors from the University of Washington. She later obtained her medical degree from the University of Michigan, graduating with Distinction in Medical Education, Service, and Research, and also completed a year-long research fellowship as a Fogarty Scholar in Kumasi, Ghana. She is now completing her residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. Throughout her career, she has been active in scholarly and community-based projects with vulnerable populations as well as research related to the professional development and training of physicians both locally and internationally.
Career Interests: Dr. Abedini plans to have a tripartite career as an academic hospitalist, health services researcher, and medical educator in hopes of developing interdisciplinary strategies to develop and retain a diverse healthcare workforce equipped to provide comprehensive, high quality care to all patients, particularly those who are traditionally underserved. She also hopes to use her role as an educator to empower learners to also serve as advocates for health equity and social justice.
Research Interests: Improving access to quality medical care; enhancing transitions of care; improving inter-professional education and teamwork; building healthcare worker capacity in underserved settings and understanding factors that drive healthcare worker misdistribution and turnover.
Anish Agarwal, MD, MPH, (VA Scholar) is an emergency medicine physician who grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Though he has strong family ties to the area, he ventured towards Boston to attend Tufts University as an undergraduate. There, Anish double majored in chemistry and biomedical engineering and became heavily involved with the campus-wide emergency medical services. Anish explored his interest in community/public health while an undergraduate and stayed at Tufts for his MD and MPH degrees. While in medical school he completed research on cost savings for inpatient laboratory testing and became interested in innovative solutions to complex, everyday issues. As a part of his public health training, Anish traveled to rural Tanzania to conduct HIV/AIDS community health research and led a focused intervention working with local businesses and guest houses along major trucking routes. After completing his medical and public health training in Boston, Anish returned home to Philadelphia (and his beloved Philadelphia Eagles) to begin an OB/GYN residency at Pennsylvania Hospital. Despite an excellent exposure to clinical training, his career interests changed and Anish found his heart belonged in the ER. He spent a year working with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Emergency Care and Policy Research as a research fellow where he conducted a multicenter project studying the application of telehealth within the ER. He also completed projects studying the acute resuscitation of cardiac arrest and sepsis patients. Currently, Anish is one of the chief residents within the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout his training, Anish has had the opportunity to present his work at multiple national and international emergency medicine and critical care conferences. As a resident, he has been selected to participate in the hospital-wide Healthcare Leadership and Quality Improvement Track. Amongst all of this, Anish is most proud to have recently become a father; he and his wife welcomed a baby boy in August 2016.
Career Interests: Anish plans to continue to work clinically within the urban ERs of Philadelphia and is interested in methods of improving the delivery of emergent and urgent care through innovation and health policy.
Research Interests: He is interested in the application of app-based technology, social media, and technological advancements to expand and improve the approach to emergent and urgent health care delivery.
Nnenaya Agochukwu, MD, is a urology resident at Yale New Haven Hospital. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, where she majored in biological sciences with a minor in Spanish. She received her medical degree, also from Louisiana State University. During medical school, she took a year off and participated in the Clinical Research Training Program at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. There she did research on cost effectiveness, which sparked her interest in health services research. In addition, she participated in cost expenditure, equipment utilization, and a spectrum of surgical procedures in regional hospitals in Ghana.
Career Interests: She plans a career as an academic urologist participating in health services research, with an integration of health policy specifically in the area of erectile dysfunction, urinary reconstruction, and urinary incontinence. In addition, she plans to participate in global health outreach and initiatives.
Research Interests: As a scholar, she is interested in quality of life in the elderly population. She would like to assess the impact of urological disease on quality of life. In addition, she is interested in surgical quality and outcomes in low and middle income countries in comparison to high income countries.
Liza Buchbinder (VA Scholar) is an internal medicine physician from Los Angeles, California. She went to Barnard College for undergraduate and majored in biology. After college, she went to Togo, West Africa, and did the Peace Corps for two years prior to starting medical school at UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. During medical training, she completed a PhD in medical anthropology from UC Berkeley and UCSF. Her dissertation focused on the limits of naming violence against adolescent domestic servants through the rights discourse on child trafficking and called for an alternative framework to address child labor exploitation in West Africa. She completed her internal medicine residence at UCLA Oliveview.
Career Interests: She plans a career as an academic internist and anthropologist within the field of social medicine, providing care to vulnerable and underserved populations, including a combination of ethnographic research, medical education, and advocacy.
Research Interests: Dr. Buchbinder's research interests include human trafficking within the United States and the disparate ways in which trafficking victims interface directly and indirectly with local hospitals, clinics, and the correctional health facilities. She is also interested in the greying California prison population and the experiences of released elderly prisoners as they navigate the safety net health system to manage chronic illnesses, as well as the ways in which compassionate release programs reflect on contemporary attitudes towards aging, criminality, and public safety.
Jade Burns, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, has undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing from the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her PhD in Nursing at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in 2016. Dr. Burns has over ten years of experience working with children and youth ages 0-21 in a variety of clinical and academic settings ranging from the emergency room to several public schools within Metro Detroit. She is the former director of Healthy Teens Community Care Center, an adolescent school-linked clinic in the heart of Detroit. The clinic is part of a larger non-profit, Detroit Community Health Connection (DCHC). Her area of expertise in clinical practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner is adolescent health care, family planning, health promotion, and STI prevention. During her time in the non-profit sector she was afforded the opportunity to work closely with DCHC executive staff and community and academic partners to create service-learning experiences to expose healthcare professionals and students to work in underserved areas. Dr. Burns was previously selected as a Paul Ambrose Scholar through the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research as well as a McNeil Scholar through the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. She is also a proud American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Jonas Scholar Alumni.
Career Interests: Dr. Burns looks forward to having career that will build upon her current research practice, a career that will allow her to translate her findings and experiences to the clinic and classroom as faculty in an institution of higher education to nursing and other health disciplines.
Research Interests: As a scholar Dr. Burns is interested in innovative approaches using community based participatory research and technology to improve healthcare and outcomes among adolescents at community health care centers. She has secondary interest in improving nursing practice and training programs in underserved areas.
Dr. Kristen Choi is a registered nurse (RN) who obtained her Bachelor of Science and PhD degrees in nursing from the University of Michigan in an accelerated BS-PhD program. Her doctoral education was supported by a National Research Service Award (F31) from the Eunice K. Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health and the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation through the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation. She studies trauma-informed service delivery, traumatic stress, and dissociative disorders among children who have experienced maltreatment, as well as other types of complex trauma and interpersonal violence. Dr. Choi has conducted quantitative and qualitative research studies in the US, Europe, and Africa on a variety of topics related to traumatic stress and service delivery for trauma survivors, including human trafficking, child abuse and neglect, and trauma-informed nursing care in perinatal settings. Her dissertation research project, “Service usage typologies among trauma-exposed children: The roles of PTSD and dissociation,” was conducted at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress at the Duke University School of Medicine. She used a national clinical dataset from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to identify patterns of service utilization across healthcare, mental health, school, juvenile justice, and social service sectors and to investigate co-occurring PTSD and dissociation symptoms among trauma-exposed adolescents.
Career Interests: Dr. Choi hopes to improve service delivery systems for survivors of trauma and to reduce interpersonal violence in communities by developing a long-term program of action-oriented research and advocating for policy change.
Research Interests: Dr. Choi is interested in health services research, policy, and system interventions to address interpersonal violence, child maltreatment trauma, and trauma-related mental illness.
Benjamin Cobb, MD, (VA Scholar) is an anesthesiology-trained physician who was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Virginia. Upon graduating from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science in analytical chemistry, Benjamin was inducted into the Golden Key International and Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Societies. For medical school, he attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and served as his class Vice-President. At Pitt, he was an Albert Schweitzer Health Equity fellow and used the Transtheoretical Model of Change to develop a sustainable, multi-disciplinary smoking cessation curriculum for incarcerated adolescents and men. He was Pitt’s Vice-President of the Student National Medical Association and during his term, chaired a weekly soup kitchen and used the American Medical Association’s resources to create a health education program at a non-profit men’s shelter. Through a Foundation of Anesthesia Education and Research grant, he studied maternal satisfaction and peripartum safety at Magee Women’s Hospital and has published and presented his work nationally. As a resident physician at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Cobb was awarded the Robert D. Dripps Research Scholarship, which promotes early mentorship, academic development, and prepares physicians for careers in academia as independent researchers. He plans to pursue specialized training in obstetric anesthesia.
Career Interests: Benjamin plans to pursue a career in academic medicine to conduct rigorous health services research and promote and mentor students and residents to become leaders in healthcare.
Research Interests: Improving the quality of parturient care and increasing maternal safety through obstetric anesthesia. Interracial and socioeconomic disparities in peripartum healthcare.
George Dalembert, MD, is a pediatrician from Connecticut. He attended Yale University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, with a concentration in psychology. His undergraduate work included social psychology research on motivated reasoning in relation to subjective experience of unconscious biases. He received his medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. As a medical student, he helped organize community outreach efforts to minority and underserved populations and began his exploration of social determinants of health. He subsequently completed his residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). At the conclusion of his residency, he received the Nancy Elizabeth Barnhart Award in recognition of his dedicated efforts to improve the health and well-being of children in the community. He is currently completing his Chief Residency at CHOP. He has continued to study unconscious biases, examining how such biases may impact workforce diversity.
Career Interests: George plans to use his experience from an active academic primary care practice to inform his research-based advocacy on the behalf of underserved populations, especially youth, while refining his skills as a medical educator.
Research Interests: Addressing social determinants of health through the patient-centered medical home; creative use of technology in the medical home to address barriers that impede the engagement of underserved and minority communities with the health care system.
Dr. Molly Easterlin completed Pediatrics residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, majoring in Biology and Society, and graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While at Cornell she was also a 4-year member of the Cornell Women’s Varsity Soccer team. She earned her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, where she ran a subspecialty free clinic and conducted research examining age differences in surgical outcomes that was supported by the National Institute on Aging.
Career Interests: She plans to pursue a career dedicated to improving the quality of pediatric medical care and the efficiency of the medical system. She hopes to become an agent of change to improve health care for pediatric patients, to encourage change in individual behavior to promote health throughout life, and to improve the practice, provision, and efficiency of care at the system level.
Research Interests: Her research interests include social and behavioral determinants of life-long health, long-term health implications of early exposures to adverse circumstances and risk, as well as large scale clinical-outcomes research, quality of care, and healthcare systems research. As a Scholar, she would like to further understand adverse childhood experiences, how behaviors and activities established at young ages affect long-term health in adulthood, and how adverse social circumstances can be overcome.
Shelli Feder, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC (Nursing), (VA Scholar) is a family nurse practitioner and a PhD candidate at the Yale School of Nursing. Shelli received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Florida State University and her masters’ in nursing degree from the Yale University School of Nursing. She has worked for six years as a nurse practitioner in acute care and inpatient hospice/palliative care settings. As a PhD student, Shelli received the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare Nurse Leaders Scholar Award and the National Hartford Centers for Gerontological Nursing Excellence Patricia G. Archbold Scholar Award. Shelli’s dissertation research focuses on identifying factors associated with palliative care referral among hospitalized patients with heart failure.
Career Interests: Shelli plans to pursue a career that combines her interest in palliative and end-of-life care research with her clinical practice in palliative care.
Research Interests: Shelli’s research interests include palliative and end-of-life care, medical informatics, quality improvement, health services research, and patient-centered outcomes of care.
Calista Harbaugh, MD, is a current general surgery resident from South Lyon, Michigan. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Biomedical Engineering. She went on to receive her medical degree and enter her residency in General Surgery at the University of Michigan.
Career Interests: She plans to pursue a career in academic pediatric surgery as a health services researcher, with a particular clinical interest in acute care surgery and trauma among youth.
Research Interests: Her interests include improving access to surgical care for pediatric patients and their families and optimizing quality of care in the perioperative period. She has a specific interest in perioperative narcotic prescribing to children and adolescents and its contribution to the national opioid epidemic.
Jordan Harrison is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, where she also completed her undergraduate nursing degree. As a member of the first cohort of students in the Hillman Scholars Program at Michigan, her research has been focused primarily on heart failure in women and in oncology populations. The topic of her dissertation research is quality of life, functional status, and long-term survival among breast cancer survivors with chronic heart failure.
Career Interests: Jordan plans to pursue a tenure-track faculty position at a research-intensive university conducting policy-relevant health services research to improve health care delivery for patients with complex chronic conditions.
Research Interests: Management of complex chronic conditions in older adults; delivery of care to high-cost, high-needs patients (health care “superutilizers”); use of national administrative data to conduct large-scale health policy analyses.
Benjamin A. Howell
Benjamin A. Howell, MD, MPH (Internal Medicine), (VA Scholar) grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University. He received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, along with a Master of Public Health from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. He completed residency training in the Internal Medicine-Primary Care residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is currently the Chief Resident for Advocacy and Community Health in the Yale Internal Medicine-Primary Care residency program, where he has developed a curriculum focused on community engagement and advocacy for resident trainees. Outside of his academic interests, Dr. Howell enjoys traveling and backpacking with his wife, Lacey, and practicing finger-picking style guitar.
Research Interests: Dr. Howell is interested in improving the health outcomes of individuals who have experienced incarceration, increasing access to harm reduction strategies for addiction (specifically naloxone access and buprenorphine treatment), and developing innovative models of primary care delivery.
Dr. David Johnson (VA Scholar) is a urologic oncology fellow at UCLA who completed urology residency at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics at Duke University and his medical degree and master’s in public health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. While pursuing his MPH degree, Dr. Johnson established an ongoing research collaboration in Cuba to study ways to reduce the burden of prostate cancer mortality in a health system with limited resources. He also began work on innovative ways to improve the shared decision-making process for men with localized prostate cancer that he continued into residency. Dr. Johnson focused his research efforts during residency on studying quality and appropriateness of care, overtreatment and overdiagnosis, and surgical outcomes for patients with urologic malignancies. He was honored for his work during residency by receiving the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center’s John William Pope Clinical Fellow Award recognizing outstanding work in clinical cancer research, the UNC Lineberger Cancer Outcomes Research Travel Award, and the British Journal of Urology International’s Coffey-Krane Prize awarded to the urology trainee who contributed the best paper published in the journal in 2014-2015.
Career Interests: Dr. Johnson is interested in combining clinical care of patients with urologic malignancies with system-level redesign towards the “quadruple aim” of improving population health, controlling costs, enhancing the patient experience, and maximizing provider well-being.
Research Interests: As a Scholar, Dr. Johnson plans to continue working with physicians and public health officials in Cuba to implement and study population-level measures to reduce the mortality from prostate cancer. He is also interested in innovative delivery system redesign to better align patient values with treatment decisions and incentive high value, patient-centered care.
Paul Joudrey, MD (Internal Medicine), (VA Scholar) earned his undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University and a master of secondary education from the City College of New York while teaching high school science in the South Bronx. He went on to New York University, where he earned his medical degree and a MPH. Dr. Joudrey is completing residency training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Primary Care Social Internal Medicine program. His projects include an investigation of waterpipe businesses supplying ready-to-use waterpipes directly to consumers in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, as well as assessing the adoption of medication-assisted therapy for alcohol use disorders within primary care settings.
Career Interests: Dr. Joudrey plans to pursue a career in academic medicine or a government position related to substance use treatment. Ideally he hopes to continue to work as a clinician part time and be a research mentor to future clinician scientists.
Research Interests: Dr. Joudrey’s research interests include medication assisted therapy for alcohol use, implementation science, and primary care treatment of substance abuse disorders.
Alan (Taylor) Kelley
Alan (Taylor) Kelley, MD, (VA Scholar) is a general internist and pediatrician raised in Morgantown, West Virginia. He completed a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in music at Brigham Young University, a medical degree at the University of Texas-Houston McGovern Medical School, and a master of public health degree in health policy and management at Harvard. He fulfilled residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Other significant life experiences include serving a two-year Spanish-speaking mission in Portland, Oregon, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; spending summers abroad promoting health education and advocating public health policy in rural Ecuador and Amman, Jordan; and working regularly within immigrant and refugee communities in the United States. He is one of eight children and father of four.
Career Interests: Taylor desires to help communities and the nation rethink how health care services are made available and provided to immigrant, refugee, and other underserved U.S. populations by engaging leaders, insurers, and policy makers toward patient-centered and cost-effective solutions.
Research Interests: Taylor’s research interests include evaluation of plan behavior and care quality in Medicaid managed care; barriers to primary and specialty care for immigrant, refugee, and other vulnerable populations; cost and resource effects of the Affordable Care Act; and innovation in value-based insurance design.
Anna Krupp, PhD(c), MS, RN, is a critical care clinical nurse specialist originally from Madison, Wisconsin. She completed an undergraduate degree in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, followed by a master’s in nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In May 2017, she is anticipated to complete a PhD in Nursing with an emphasis in Industrial and Systems Engineering, along with a graduate certificate in clinical and community outcomes research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the recipient of a Nurses for Wisconsin fellowship. She has worked for fourteen years in adult critical care nursing, with the last ten years as a clinical nurse specialist. In her role as a clinical nurse specialist, Anna has co-led the implementation of multiple evidence-based interventions to improve outcomes for mechanically ventilated patients. She is an active local and national member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
Career Interests: Anna plans a career in health services research as a nurse scientist focused on ICU system redesign and implementation and dissemination of interventions to improve long-term outcomes for ICU patients.
Research Interests: Her overall program of research aims to create sustainable, systems-based interventions to improve long-term outcomes for ICU patients. She is particularly interested in nurse decision-making within the context of early mobility interventions.
Cathryn Lapedis, MD/MPH, (VA Scholar) is a pathologist from Wynnewood, PA. She received her BS in biology and education from University of Richmond, her MPH from University of Michigan, and her MD from Michigan State University. She completed residency at Boston University Medical School and fellowships in renal pathology and surgical pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as GI pathology at University of Michigan. Throughout her training she has been committed to understanding the relationships between health and poverty.
Career Interests: Dr. Lapedis aims to be an academic pathologist who bridges the fields of public health and pathology.
Research Interests: Cathryn is interested in studying the relationship between social disparities and chronic kidney disease by specifically understanding how factors like race, minority status, income, and structural inequalities translate into physical manifestations of disease by studying the morphology of the kidney.
Margaret Lowenstein, MD, MPhil, (VA Scholar) is a general internist who completed her residency training at the University of California, San Francisco. Originally from Upstate New York, she earned a BA in biology at Williams College and then a Master’s degree in biology and biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Maggie attended the University of Pennsylvania for medical school, where she was a 21st Century (Gamble) Scholar. At Penn, she conducted research on doctor-patient communication about healthcare costs, worked with vulnerable patients in Botswana, and led HIV testing and counseling in West Philadelphia. During residency at UCSF, Maggie was part of the UC Primary Care track and received additional training in health advocacy and care the for underserved as well as addiction medicine. She also conducted research on integrating mental health treatment into primary care through electronic consultation. She is currently on faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine at UCSF focusing on primary care and addiction treatment.
Career Interests: Dr. Lowenstein plans to pursue a career in academic general medicine combining health services research, advocacy, and primary care practice.
Research Interests: Primary care innovation in the areas of doctor-patient communication and behavioral health, particularly around issues of mental health, addiction, and value in healthcare.
Dr. Priscilla Mpasi completed her pediatrics residency at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital with a certificate in Advocacy. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Duke University and her MD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. While in medical school she actively participated in community service, having worked closely with Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT) youth programs and served as medical student coordinator of the CARITAS Health Clinic for the Homeless. She held leadership roles on several boards, including VCU Board of Visitors and Rural Education and Community Health (REACH) for Ghana. With a strong interest in child advocacy and pediatric health outcomes, she served on the Children’s Hospital of Richmond Advocacy Committee and joined the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In residency her dedication for advocacy evolved as she engaged in B’More Fit For Kids, a community partnership geared to introduce healthy lifestyles to early school-aged children. She also held national executive leadership positions for the AAP Section on Pediatric Trainees. Dr. Mpasi served as National Vice-President of the Student National Medication Association in the 50th administration and currently serves in dual roles on the organization’s Strategic Planning Council and as the Future Leadership Project Director. She has received numerous awards, including the NMA Billie Wright Adams Scholar Award, AMA Physicians of Tomorrow Award, NAMME National Scholarship, and selection as a National Health Service Corps Scholar. Raised in Silver Spring, MD, she aspired to become a pediatrician at an early age. She now strives to become a community leader in health care delivery and an advocate to improve the overall health status among medically underserved pediatric populations. Her faith and family support provide her the strength to embark on this professional and personal journey.
Career Interests: Dr. Mpasi desires to pursue a clinical career in community pediatrics that intersects with child health advocacy and health policy implementation. She additionally wants to focus on educational preparation and leadership development for minority physicians to promote diversification of the medical field.
Research Interests: Medicaid network adequacy, social determinants of health in poverty, health literacy, school readiness, and early childhood education.
Dr. Shaw Natsui is an emergency medicine physician with an interest in urban health. He trained at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Natsui is a graduate of Harvard College, where he became deeply involved in local youth work and organizing in Boston, first through the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), a student-run, community-based, nonprofit public service organization. He served as President of PBHA, which consists of more than 80 programs, involving 1,500 volunteers and serving 10,000 people in Greater Boston. After graduation, he worked briefly for Physicians for Human Rights on a campaign to reform the juvenile justice system on individual state levels. Dr. Natsui then worked at a local Boston community health center to develop and run multiple programs focused on peer leadership, youth development and youth-led organizing, violence prevention, obesity and diabetes prevention, and mental health intervention.
With the support of the Harvard Trustman Fellowship, Dr. Natsui spent the following 1.5 years in Lima, Peru, working on various projects related to community development and HIV/tuberculosis. He earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan, and obtained a Master of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he focused on urban and social policy, as a Fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government. Dr. Natsui has additionally worked as a public health researcher in the Dominican Republic and as a clinician educator in Peru and Haiti.
During residency, his research focused on acute stroke care for non-English-preferring patients, predictive analytics and machine learning approaches to improving diagnosis, and the ED patient experience. He also helped organize a series of collaborative efforts to improve the ED care for vulnerable patients, particularly the homeless.
Career Interests: Dr. Natsui is interested in improving the quality of acute care delivery and access to care for vulnerable populations. He plans to focus on the implementation science of leveraging health services research to inform and lead multidisciplinary interventions and policies on the local, state, and national levels.
Research Interests: Dr. Natsui is interested in urban health, systems of care delivery, data science including predictive analytics and machine learning, and complex policy analysis.
Kathleen O'Neill, MD, is currently completing her residency training in General Surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University in biology and anthropology. Afterwards she worked for a community based organization in NYC that assisted people living with AIDS and HIV. She then spent time in Haiti working in a small rural health clinic. She earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. During that time, she did research in global surgery with the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School.
Career Interests: She plans to pursue a career in academic surgery in the field of trauma and critical care. She hopes to incorporate health services research and community advocacy alongside clinical work to improve healthcare delivery to medically underserved populations.
Research Interests: Dr. O’Neill’s research interests include catastrophic medical expenses, hospital-based violence prevention programs, cost of care and global surgery.
Akshay Pendyal, MD (Cardiology), earned his undergraduate degree in English literature, with a concentration in creative prose, from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Internal Medicine residency at the University of Colorado. He is currently Chief Cardiology Fellow at Oregon Health and Science University.
Career Interests: Following completion of his training, Dr. Pendyal hopes to pursue a career in research, public service, and writing. One of his goals is to assist in crafting meaningful legislation that may ameliorate the health of the urban poor.
Research Interests: Dr. Pendyal's research interests center on the impact of structural racism on cardiovascular health in marginalized urban populations. He is particularly interested in the downstream health effects of housing and education policy, as well as the intersection of health and the criminal justice system.
Katie Piwnica-Worms, MD (Pediatrics), earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and her medical degree from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. During medical school, she was the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award and served as president of her school’s Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter. She also worked closely with George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy conducting research on the redistribution of unused residency slots under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. She is currently completing her pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where her health policy research focuses on pediatric Accountable Care Organizations, the role of geocoded risk factors and data science methods in pediatric asthma research, and innovative healthcare delivery models for medically complex children.
Career Interests: Dr. Piwnica-Worms is planning a career in pediatric hospitalist medicine, health policy research, and policymaking.
Research Interests: Dr. Piwnica-Worms is interested in healthcare delivery systems, evaluating the impact of legislative policies on healthcare access, cost, and quality, Graduate Medical Education and its role in serving the nation’s physician workforce needs, and healthcare quality metric development and evaluation.
Dr. Altaf Saadi is a neurology Chief Resident at the Partners Neurology Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School, where she completed a thesis about preventive health practices among refugee women at a local Boston community health center. Her community involvements included leading a student group providing social services to refugee families and serving as a counselor for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. In recognition of her work, she received the Harvard Medical School Dean’s Community Service Award.
In residency, her interest in health equity has led her to work in resource-limited settings in Zambia, Tanzania, the Navajo Nation, and locally at the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. Her passion for enhancing diversity in medicine led to important changes in her residency program, such as the creation of a diversity and inclusion certificate program and increased didactics on neurologic health disparities. Because of her leadership and community involvement, she was selected to participate in the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum and the Enhanced Residency Leadership Program at the AAN annual conference.
She received her undergraduate degree from Yale College, where she double majored in psychology and international studies. She received the Nakanishi Prize for enhancing race relations and the David Everett Chantler Award for high moral character and purpose.
Career Interests: Dr. Saadi believes in promoting social justice through equity in health care, and hopes to become a leader-advocate for marginalized communities in the United States and abroad, by combining her interests in health disparities, health services research, and implementation science. She is also interested in promoting diversity in medicine.
Research Interests: Dr. Saadi is interested in health services research that identifies and addresses challenges faced by low-income, minority, immigrant, refugee, and limited English proficient patients in obtaining neurological care. She hopes to translate clinical research into improved public health and healthcare delivery on the local, state, and national levels.
David Silvestri, MD, MBA, is an emergency medicine physician with a longstanding interest in equity, quality, and sustainability of acute care delivery worldwide. Born in Massachusetts, Dr. Silvestri graduated magna cum laude in the comparative study of religion from Harvard College. He earned both his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Business Administration at Vanderbilt University, where he was also awarded a research fellowship to study migration plans among medical and nursing trainees in Asia and Africa. Subsequently, he returned to Boston where he completed the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency. Dr. Silvestri has undertaken numerous projects related to global health systems, with his labors taking him to over thirty countries. In his spare time, Dr. Silvestri enjoys training for and competing in triathlons.
Career Interests: Dr. Silvestri wishes to continue research that bridges international and domestic health systems policy and innovation, with a particular interest in leveraging large data sets to strengthen acute care quality, efficiency, and equity.
Research Interests: Dr. Silvestri seeks to explore the potential of big data to identify and address local and system-wide opportunities to improve acute care outcomes. He is also interested in acute care financing and the effects of divergent payment schemes on consumer and provider behavior.
Elizabeth (Liza) Sonnenberg
Elizabeth (Liza) Sonnenberg, MD, is a General Surgery resident in her third year of training at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the I.S. Ravdin and Jonathan Rhodes surgical scholarship prizes. She served as vice president for the Agnew Surgical Society, where she revamped their Surgery 400 course and worked with representatives from all Philadelphia-area medical schools to plan multiple Philadelphia Surgical Symposiums. She volunteered at United Community Clinic in West Philadelphia run by University of Pennsylvania students. Liza is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism medical honor societies. Sonnenberg graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia, where she majored in the interdisciplinary major of Human Biology. She worked in Lesotho for her undergraduate thesis studying HIV testing in rural Lesotho and a review of the role of support group members. As an undergraduate, she volunteered as emergency medical technician for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad.
Career Interests: She plans to pursue a fellowship and career in abdominal transplant surgery.
Research Interests: Organ allocation policy, outcomes after kidney and liver transplantation, disparities in access to transplantation.
Daphna Stroumsa, MD, MPH, is an obstetrician-gynecologist whose work focuses on addressing the needs of gender and sexual minorities. Originally from Jerusalem, Israel, Dr. Stroumsa obtained her medical degree from Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School. During that time, she was part of a small cohort that introduced LGBTQ healthcare into Israel. Having trained for three years in obstetrics and gynecology at Hadassah University Hospital, she completed an MPH with focus on health management and policy from the University of Michigan, where she researched health policies affecting transgender people. Following this, Dr. Stroumsa trained in obstetrics and gynecology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where she continued to advocate for transgender patients in her practice, research, and teaching, and served on hospital and regional committees dedicated to improving transgender and LGBTQ health.
Career Interests: Dr. Stroumsa anticipates a career devoted to creating welcoming environments in which LGBTQ people receive knowledgeable and informed care. She plans to use her work as a clinician-researcher to teach, advocate, and affect policies related to the health and care of gender and sexual minorities.
Research Interests: Dr. Stroumsa’s approach to research is informed by feminist and queer methodologies. She is committed to community-driven research. She plans to conduct research on the health needs of LGBTQ people, with a particular focus on interactions with healthcare providers and on the intersections of reproductive justice and queer health.
Dr. Sae Takada (VA Scholar) is an aspiring HIV primary care physician and researcher. She graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences, where she directed a student-run homeless shelter. Seeing the connection between urban poverty in the US and poverty abroad, she pursued a master’s degree in global health policy at the University of Tokyo, where she collaborated with the Laotian Ministry of Health in evaluating the implementation of a child health training program. Inspired to become a provider while pursuing research, she then obtained a combined MD-PhD degree at Harvard University. Her doctoral research focused on social networks and health-related stigma, with projects examining the impact of social ties on HIV stigma in agrarian Ugandan villages. She also served as teaching fellow for undergraduate courses in global health and medical sociology, for which she won teaching awards.
Career Interests: Sae plans to become a primary care physician specializing in the care of HIV-positive patients, while generating knowledge and designing interventions on community factors that influence health beliefs and behaviors.
Research Interests: Sae is interested in examining how health beliefs and behaviors are propagated through interpersonal relationships. She plans to use her interdisciplinary training to integrate quantitative methods with anthropological and historical perspectives to generate a complex understanding of social relationships and health. She ultimately hopes to understand how to leverage these social relationships to make communities healthier.
Dr. Tarak Trivedi (VA Scholar) is an emergency medicine physician and researcher with a background in public health and epidemiology. He graduated summa cum laude from Wayne State University with an undergraduate degree in biology, followed by a medical school degree from the University of Chicago as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. During medical school, Dr. Trivedi was a research fellow in applied epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focusing on the global and domestic burden of viral gastroenteritis. After medical school, he completed his residency training in emergency medicine at Highland Hospital, the safety-net hospital in Oakland, California. As a doctor in a high volume urban emergency department, he witnessed the acute and chronic health consequences of underlying social issues. He believes that by bringing more attention to these issues through research and data analysis, more accountability can be brought to the public and private agents capable of instituting change.
Career Interests: Dr. Trivedi is interested in a career in academic emergency medicine that combines the clinical care of socially disadvantaged patients with research and policy work that will give agency to emergency department providers to improve the lives of their most vulnerable patients.
Research Interests: Dr. Trivedi has a keen interest in better understanding and alleviating pressing problems faced by emergency room patients, such as interpersonal violence, substance abuse and addiction, and the severe societal deficit of acute psychiatric care in the United States. As a scholar, Dr. Trivedi plans to focus his research on these problems by studying the social epidemiology of emergency psychiatric evaluations, more commonly known as “involuntary holds.”
Mary C. Zeng
Mary C. Zeng, MD, (VA Scholar) is a psychiatrist from Somerville, Massachusetts. She received her AA in Liberal Arts at Simon’s Rock College, her BA in Classics and Biology at Brown University, and her MD at the State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine. She joins the National Clinician Scholars Program after completing her postgraduate training at the MGH McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Program. She is currently a Public Psychiatry Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. During residency, she focused on clinical and research work while developing additional interests in advocacy, governance, and policy.
Career Interests: She hopes to leverage a solid grounding in clinical experience and research methodology to advocate for mental health policy changes that will benefit military service members and veterans.
Research Interests: Her research interests include trauma and PTSD, substance use disorders, and access to care.