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Second Year Clinical Scholars
2015-2017 Cohort

licia Agnoli, M.D.

Alicia Agnoli, M.D. (VA Scholar)
Yale University

Educational Background; Specialty; and Projects/Collaborations:
Alicia Agnoli, MD, MPH is a family physician from Massachusetts. She obtained her undergraduate degree in anthropology from Princeton University. She completed her MD and MPH degrees at Tufts University, with research focused on health disparities and primary care-based addiction treatment. She completed her family medicine residency at Tufts, concentrating on Patient Centered Medical Home transformation and addiction medicine. During residency, Dr. Agnoli served as chief resident and was co-leader in launching an addiction group visit model and comprehensive addiction medicine curriculum.
 
Research/Policy Interests:
Dr. Agnoli’s research interests focus on improving systems of primary care to address social determinants of health and unmet community needs. She seeks to improve access to high-quality primary care, including treatment for substance use disorders and transitional care for vulnerable individuals.
 
Career Interests:
Dr. Agnoli is interested in a career in academic family medicine and continuing health services research to inform the evolution of primary care to better achieve population health outcomes and reduce disparities.

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Claire Ankuda, MD

Claire Ankuda, M.D.
University of Michigan

Dr. Claire Ankuda is a family physician from Springfield, Vermont.  She graduated from the University of Vermont for college and medical school, obtained an MPH in Quantitative Methods at the Harvard School of Public Health, and completed family medicine residency at the University of Washington.  Her focus is on improving care for frail and seriously ill older adults.  During fellowship she has done work around caregiving patterns after incident disability, temporal trends in caregiving, and the impact of caregiver wellbeing on patient healthcare utilization.  Her work on caregiving was published in JAMA.  She also partnered with the Hospice of Michigan to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation of a home-based palliative program for seriously ill high utilizers in the Detroit and Flint regions.

Career Interests:
Dr. Ankuda is interested in spending time at the Center for Medicaid & Medicare Innovation during part of the remainder of her RWJF CSP fellowship as well as continuing collaborations with the Hospice of Michigan.  She will then complete a palliative fellowship.  Ultimately, she aims to continue to do research work in an academic institution partnering with community and state organizations.

Research Interests: 
As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Ankuda focuses on how the health systems can better identify and support high risk older adults with new disability as well as their caregivers.  Also, on how palliative care expertise can be better utilized in the primary and community settings to do so.
 

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Anita Arora, M.D.

Anita Arora, M.D.
Yale University

Educational Background; Specialty; and Projects/Collaborations:
Anita Arora, MD, MBA completed internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree from Pomona College, her medical degree from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. During graduate school she collaborated with the Dartmouth Atlas to publish a report highlighting how the wide variation in practice patterns among the leading academic medical centers in the United States may impact residency training. At Yale she worked with the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation and Healthways, a well-being improvement company, to study the relationship between community well-being and life expectancy.

Research/Policy Interests: 
Dr. Arora is interested in disparities and the health and well-being of underserved communities.

Career Interests: 
Dr. Arora is interested in a career that focuses on making the healthcare system more equitable, cost-effective and patient-centered. She is interested in leadership roles within hospitals and community-based organizations.

Recent Accomplishments; Service on Local/State/National Commissions or Boards; and Grant Awards: 
In May 2016, Dr. Arora presented one of her studies: “Low-income communities with high well-being: Identifying positive deviance” at the Society of General Internal Medicine meeting.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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Dowin Boatright, M.D.

Dowin Boatright, M.D. (VA Scholar)
Yale University

Dowin Boatright, MD, MBA (VA Scholar) completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Denver Health. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and MBA from Rice University. During residency, he conducted research on diversity within Emergency Medicine residencies, the experience of sickle cell patients in the Emergency Department, and high utilizers of the Emergency Room.

Career Interests: Dr. Boatright is interested in developing and implementing strategies in increase diversity within the healthcare workforce. Additionally, he would like to identify factors to improve the quality and delivery of care to sickle cell patients presenting to the Emergency Room. 

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, he hopes to identify barriers limiting diversity within the healthcare workforce and methods to limit hospital admissions for sickle cell patients in a pain crisis presenting to the Emergency Department.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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Martina Caldwell, M.D.

Martina T. Caldwell, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan


Dr. Martina Caldwell
graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Women’s Studies and received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. She completed her Emergency Medicine training in the University of Michigan / St. Joseph Mercy Hospital residency program. She has several ongoing projects, which include:
-    Exploring Women's Acceptance and Priorities for Components of a Contraception Intervention in the Emergency Department: A Mixed Methods Study
-    Factors Associated with Creating a Culture of Racial Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Medicine Residencies
-    Impact of Emergency Department Utilization in Early Pregnancy on Maternal and Neonatal Birth Outcomes
-    Effective Contraception Use by Usual Source of Care among US Women

Career Interests: 
Dr. Caldwell plans to practice Emergency Medicine in Detroit, Michigan at Henry Ford Hospital. She will utilize her research skills to develop, implement and evaluate programs and interventions to improve health inequities. She is also interested in taking on a leadership role in institutional diversity and inclusion efforts.

Research Interests: 
Dr. Caldwell’s primary research interest centers around leveraging the Emergency Department as access to care for vulnerable populations in order to improve health inequities and promote health. More specifically, she is interested in designing evidenced-based, patient-centered interventions in the Emergency Department using a community-based participatory research approach that addresses health inequities regarding unintended pregnancy rates and effective contraception utilization, adverse birth outcomes, women’s sexual health, and health literacy. Her secondary interest is in promoting diversity and inclusion in the health care workforce.

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Dr. Yelba Castellon-Lopez

Yelba Castellon-Lopez, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Yelba Castellon-Lopez completed residency in family medicine at UCLA.  Additionally, she obtained her undergraduate degree in women’s studies at UCLA and her medical degree from the Charles R. Drew/UCLA medical education program.  In 2010, Dr. Castellon-Lopez founded the “Spring into Health: annual event to raise public awareness of local health and wellness resources, promote healthy lifestyles, and provide residents of South Los Angeles with innovative tools for addressing health care disparities.  She was able to secure $12000 in funding and local sponsorships and participation of over 900 residents of South Los Angeles.  For this work, she received a certificate of recognition from the California Legislature Assembly Member, Mike Davis.

Career Interests: Dr. Castellon-Lopez is interested in community based participatory research, immigrant Latino health, and health disparities.  She is currently working with Gerardo Moreno (UCLA CSP Alumnus and Assistant Professor in Family Medicine) on the implementation of an evidence based diabetes self management curriculum which also addresses depression among Latina patients at a safety net clinic. 

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, she would like to focus on Latino health issues, under-resourced communities, and learning community based participatory research methods. 

Dr. Enrico Castillo

Enrico Castillo, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles


Dr. Enrico Castillo completed psychiatry residency at Columbia University. Dr. Castillo obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his MD with a Concentration in Underserved Populations from the University of Pittsburgh. During residency he conducted research on antipsychotic prescribing practices in New York State and was selected as an American Psychiatric Association/SAMHSA Minority Fellow, which included a grant with which he created an online series of filmed interviews focused on Asian American mental health. In 2014-15 he completed a clinical fellowship in Public Psychiatry at Columbia University. He spent that fellowship year as a staff psychiatrist on a north Bronx Assertive Community Treatment team and a “housing first” outreach team for the chronically street homeless in lower Manhattan with the organization Janian Medical/Project for Psychiatric Outreach to the Homeless. During that year, he continued his research as a New York State Office of Mental Health Policy Scholar, completing a pilot project to develop and validate a Medicaid-based algorithm to identify those with treatment-resistant psychotic illness who may benefit most from a trial of clozapine.

Career Interests: Dr. Castillo is interested in community-academic partnerships, outreach-based care models, the reverse-integration of primary care with behavioral health, and healthcare policy. Common themes are a focus on the behavioral and physical health of underserved and at-risk populations, like those with serious mental illness and the chronically homeless.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, he hopes to work with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health at the intersection of health policy and mental health services research, with projects focused on health system reform to address social determinants of health and mandatory outpatient treatment.

Krisda Chaiyachti

Krisda Chaiyachati (VA Scholar)
University of Pennsylvani
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Krisda Chaiyachati, MD, MPH
received his B.S. in microbiology and A.B. in human rights studies from the University of Georgia, his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School, and M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health as a Zuckerman Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership. He completed his internal medicine residency training in the Yale Primary Care Program and continued on as a Chief Resident. Clinically, he is a board certified general internist and primary care provider at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.

He is currently involved in a number of projects studying interventions to reduce the social barriers to care and works on medical education reform. He studies a care coordination and community health worker strategy for high utilizer populations organized by a Philadelphia based Medicaid managed care organization; he is implementing a rideshare-based intervention in collaboration with Lyft; and is assessing changes in healthcare spending for low-income patients receiving legal support through medical-legal partnerships. Within medical education, he is a member of the iCOMPARE project, assessing the clinical and education effects of different duty hour regimens; and he is analyzing the relationship between mentorship network patterns and academic promotion for minorities and women.

Career interests:
He plans to continue practicing primary care while leading health sector innovations that transform how health care can be more accessible, particularly for low-income populations and the chronically ill, and study the impact of accessible high value care on downstream utilization costs within the health sector. His long-term career interests involve translating policy and clinical research into improved public health and healthcare delivery on the state and national level.

Research interests:
Dr. Chaiyachati studies and designs innovative strategies for improving healthcare accessibility and patient engagement by experimenting with initiatives that remove the social barriers to care. He has a particular interest on return on investment opportunities for payers and health systems. He is also involved in medical education reform and leadership development with the goal of strengthening the primary care work force.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

Krisda Chaiyachti

Manik Chhabra (VA Scholar)
University of Pennsylvani
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Manik Chhabra is an internal medicine physician who grew up in Minnesota. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biomechanical engineering from Stanford University, and went to medical school at the University of Minnesota. He completed his residency and chief residency at the Yale Internal Medicine-Primary Care Program.

Career Interests: He plans to pursue a career in academic internal medicine and health policy.

Research interests: Improving access to high quality primary care in underserved communities, housing policy as it pertains to the health of homeless individuals, transitions of care from hospital to home for medically complex patients, provider-patient communication.

Sanket Dhruva, M.D.

Sanket Dhruva, M.D. (VA Scholar)
Yale University

Educational Background; Specialty; and Projects/Collaborations:
Dr. Dhruva is a general cardiologist. Prior to training in cardiology at UC Davis, he completed medical school and internal medicine residency at UCSF and college at UC Berkeley. His prior research has focused on premarket regulation of medical devices, with a focus on device performance in women. He has also studied to evidence base for Medicare National Coverage Determinations. He is currently studying various factors that shape formulary management and impact medication availability to patients.

Research/Policy Interests:
Dr. Dhruva is interested in developing the evidence base for new technologies in cardiovascular medicine and in personalizing care for patients through understanding of benefits and risks. Current projects include using latent class modeling to understand heterogeneity in blood pressure response and performing research with a mobile sync-for-science platform where patients contribute their health data to a research database.

Career Interests:
Dr. Dhruva seeks to be a cardiologist and health services researcher focused on policy-relevant investigation that promotes data-driven, personalized care of patients with cardiovascular disease.

Recent Accomplishments; Service on Local/State/National Commissions or Boards; and Grant Awards: 
Dr. Dhruva is a member of the American College of Cardiology’s Choosing Wisely Subcommittee.
PubMed updates: 26764064 & 27039130.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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Joshua Elder, M.D.

Joshua Elder, M.D.
Yale University

Educational Background; Specialty; and Projects/Collaborations:
Joshua Elder, MD, MPH is an emergency physician who completed his residency training at Stanford University where he also served as a chief resident. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in chemistry and studied abroad at the University of Oxford his junior year. Prior to medical school he was a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Fellow at the National Institutes of Health. As a Regents Scholar, he earned his medical degree from UCLA, where he also obtained his MPH in Health Policy and Management. As a scholar he has helped to create an eConsult system for Medicaid patients to have improved specialty care access, a statewide inventory of acute care services, and an observational study using a Sync for Science mHealth technology. 

Research/Policy Interests
His research interests are the coordination of acute care services and the implementation/evaluation of tele-medicine initiates with the goal of improving population health. His policy interests involve the social determinants of health. 

Career Interests: 
He strives to build healthy communities by combining his career as a clinician, researcher, educator, and through policy/advocacy. 

Recent Accomplishments; Service on Local/State/National Commissions or Boards; and Grant Awards: 
Service on local community health improvement planning board.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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Nicole Gergen, M.D.

Nicole Villapiano (Gergen), M.D.
University of Michigan


Dr. Nicole Villapiano (Gergen)
completed her residency in Internal Medicine / Pediatrics at Brown University.  Dr. Villapiano obtained her undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College.  She received her MD from the University of Minnesota with induction into AOA and the Gold Humanism Honor Society.  During medical school, she was on the administrative board for the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic where she managed staff and provided for underserved patients in Minneapolis' most impoverished neighborhood.  In residency, she served as a volunteer at the Rhode Island Free Clinic for uninsured patients.  Dr. Villapiano's interest in Primary Care practice redesign led her to her involvement with Rhode Island's pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) initiative. She also worked on a study comparing PCMH readiness between residency continuity clinics in Rhode Island.

Dr. Villapiano’s projects include the following:

  • Maternal Opiate Dependence and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Rural America, 2003-2013.  Mentors: Patrick S., Kozhimannil K. – under review
  • “Is your child being poisoned by lead in the water?” – Published in Newsweek –  April 2016.
  • Cervical Cancer Screening, Pelvic Examinations, and Contraceptive Use Among Reproductive-Age Adult Women. Mentors: Dalton V.
  • In-Hospital Mortality Trends Among Rural vs Urban Patients: 2008-2013.  Mentor: Iwashyna T.
  • Clinic Based Interventions to Increase LARC Utilization in Patients at Risk of Unintended Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. Mentors: Chang T., Moniz M., Davis M., Chopra V.
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home Readiness in Rhode Island Primary Care Residency Clinics.  Mentor: McLaughlin S.
  • CMMI externship Sept.-Oct. 2016 – Accountable Health Communities Group

Research/Policy Interests: 
Dr. Villapiano’s research interests include rural population health, patient centered medical homes, and women’s health services delivery.

Career Interests: 
Dr. Villapiano is interested in optimizing the Patient-Centered Medical Home model for underserved patient populations, particularly in rural areas.  She is currently talking with rural health systems about careers that blend rural primary care practice with program development and evaluation – especially around PCMH development, prevention of unintended pregnancy in primary care settings, and building primary care structure and support for managing patients with opioid use disorder.

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Kymberly Gonzalez

Kymberly Gonzalez
University of Pennsylvania


Kym Gonzalez, M.D. is a pediatrician who grew up in Dallas, TX. She earned her undergraduate degree with a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. While there she planned and oversaw educational and mentorship programming for Latino youth. In addition, she founded Health n' Motion, a community-based healthy lifestyles program targeting Latino families. She received her doctorate in medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She furthered her interest in community health and community partnerships by developing a community-based childhood obesity prevention program, Fit For Health. She then completed her residency in pediatrics at Children's Health-Dallas/UT Southwestern. While there, she developed a healthy lifestyles program centering on nutrition and parenting for at risk teen parents. In addition, she spent a couple of months in Peru learning about the barriers to the delivery of health in developing countries. Through that experience, she developed a pediatric preventative care model training model that has been incorporated in a health system in Peru.

Career Interest: She plans a career combining general academic pediatrics, administration, community partnerships, and teaching medical students and residents.

Research Interest: Community partnerships that address community infrastructure and address social determinants of health, Latino health disparities interventions, childhood obesity, and generating research that can impact local and larger policies.

Dina Hafez, M.D.

Dina Hafez Griauzde, M.D.
University of Michigan


Dr. Dina Hafez Griauzde
is an internist and pediatrician who grew up in Hollis, New Hampshire.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies from The College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), and her MD from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine (Maywood, IL).  She completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan.  During that time, she implemented the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) within her resident continuity clinic and worked with key stakeholders, including the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, University of Michigan Adult Diabetes Education, primary care leadership, and local insurers, to develop a plan to sustainably deliver the NDPP throughout UM primary care clinics. 

Career Interests
In the short-term, Dr. Hafez Griauzde is interested in pursuing a third-year research position through the VA.  She will then look for employment opportunities with her husband (neurointerventional radiology fellow), likely within a large, academic institution. 

Research Interest: 
Dina Hafez Griauzde, MD is interested in diabetes prevention and primary prevention of obesity among the pediatric population.  I would like to work on implementing and evaluating clinical programs related to these topics.

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Nia Heard-Garris, M.D.

Nia Heard-Garris, M.D.
University of Michigan


Dr. Nia Heard-Garris
 completed pediatrics residency at Children’s National Health System as a part of the primary care track. Dr. Heard-Garris obtained her B.S. in Biology from Spelman College and her MD from Howard University College of Medicine.  During residency, she conducted research on mild traumatic Brain injury. However, she has always had a strong interest in health disparities. She participated in George Washington University’s Resident Fellow Health Policy course that helped her to realize health policy was the way in which she wanted to bridge the gap in healthcare disparities. In medical school, she was heavily involved in a newly student-founded free clinic that providing medical care to underserved populations to help improve access to care within that community. Dr. Heard-Garris was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and wanted to become a pediatrician to improve the health of the future generations of leaders by not only caring for them, but by also improving healthcare inequalities. Dr. Heard-Garris is a wife and proud mother of a very active toddler.

Career Interests: Dr. Heard-Garris has a strong interest in health care policy and implementation. Specifically focused on meeting the needs of adolescent and underserved populations through legislation and funding. Dr. Heard-Garris plans on pursuing a career that combines patient care with involvement in health policy

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Heard-Garris would like to work on health services research that can better inform policy decisions related to immigrant, minority, and adolescent populations with projects focused on addressing social determinants of health and diversity around healthcare workforce.

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Andrew Ibrahim, M.D.

Andrew Ibrahim, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan


Dr. Andrew Ibrahim
. is a Clinical Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Michigan and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation. He completed his undergraduate and medical degrees education both with Honors at Case Western Reserve University with a year of coursework in architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture. In addition to his policy degree from the University of Michigan, he completed additional policy training as a Crile Fellow at Princeton University and as a Doris Duke Fellow at John Hopkins Hospital.

Career Interests: 

He plans to pursue a career as an academic surgeon focused on policy and payment strategies to optimize the cost and quality of delivery surgical services. 

Research/Policy Interests: 
His research evaluating policy and payment strategies to improve health care delivery has resulted in numerous peer-­review publications, book chapters, presentations and appointment to the editorial and advisory board at the Annals of Surgery.

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Michael Knight

Michael Knight (VA Scholar)
University of Pennsylvania

Michael G. Knight, MD completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the NewYork-Presbyterian –  Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, NY. Originally from New York City, he completed undergraduate studies at Oakwood University, and attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, where he obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree with Special Qualifications in Biomedical Research. He served as the 48th national president of the Student National Medical Association, where he focused on diversifying the face of medicine, achieving health equity, and increasing HIV/AIDS awareness in minority communities. He currently serves as the president of the Renewing Health Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization working to educate, equip, and empower urban communities to improve their wellbeing, and to eliminate ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health. Knight has served on various boards and committees of organizations such as the National Medical Association and the American Medical Association Residents and Fellows Section. He has been an invited speaker on health care disparities at events across the country, including the National Minority Quality Forum and the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. He has received numerous awards including the AMA Foundation Leadership Award, and was selected as one of the Top 30 under 30 Alumni of Case Western Reserve University.

Career Interest: Dr. Knight plans to pursue a multifaceted career combining a clinical career in Obesity medicine, administrative roles in health system quality improvement, and non-profit leadership in minority health promotion. 

Research Interest: Healthcare quality improvement, transitions of care, and health education and chronic disease prevention in ethnic minority communities.

Dr. Gauri Kolhatkar

Gauri Kolhatkar, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Gauri Kolhatkar is currently a fellow in Child Abuse Pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She obtained her undergraduate degree with a major in human biology from Stanford University. She earned her medical degree and a Masters of Public Health from Northwestern University, during which time she worked in clinics in rural Mexico and with the Indian Health Services in Zuni, NM. During this time she also received an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in Community Service and completed her Master’s thesis research with the Family Health Outcomes Project at UCSF. She completed residency and a chief residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Kolhatkar has served as Pediatric Hospitalist at Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland (now UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland).  She has also served as Staff Volunteer Pediatrician at the Venice Family Clinic. She currently cares for patients at a specialized L.A. County clinic that serves children involved with its Department of Children and Family Services. She is also a contributor to the Health Professional Education, Advocacy and Linkage (HEAL) Trafficking Network, where she collaborates to address human trafficking and child rights as health issues.  She is currently working on a project at Harbor-UCLA to increase health care provider awareness of commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Career Interests:Dr. Kolhatkar aims to serve maltreated children by advocating for universal child rights and for compassionate, trauma-informed policies, programs and communities.  

Research Interests: She is interested in health care/system redesign as it applies to child welfare-involved families and in exploring how linkage and analysis of administrative data can inform and improve systems of care for this vulnerable population.

Courtney McMickens, M.D.

Courtney McMickens, M.D.
Yale University

Educational Background; Specialty; and Projects/Collaborations:
Dr. McMickens obtained her undergraduate degree in biology from Tuskegee University. She earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and MPH from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. She completed psychiatry residency at the University of Pennsylvania. During residency she conducted research on the relationship between trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms, and smoking behavior in pregnancy; she was selected as an American Psychiatric Association/SAMHSA Minority Fellow, which permitted additional training in cultural psychiatry and integrated care. In 2013-2015, she completed a clinical fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance. During that time, she participated in a qualitative research study exploring the experiences of families and students who undergo school safety assessments for high-risk behaviors.

Research/Policy Interests:
Dr. McMickens is interested in childhood adversity and trauma, integrated care models, and capacity building for families and communities. Her research examines how child serving institutions can best promote resilience among families that experience adversity and trauma using qualitative and mixed methods approaches.

Career Interests:
Dr. McMickens is interested in a career that spans across sectors of academia, public health, and community-based organizations to best serve children and families using evidence-based, community- and trauma-informed practices in community and medical settings.

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ical Raz, M.D.

Anna Uma Morgan, MD, MSc
University of Pennsylvania

Anna Uma Morgan, MD, MSc
is a general internist from southern California.  She received her BA in Political Science at Swarthmore College and MD from the University of California, Irvine.  Dr. Morgan also holds an MSc in Health, Population and Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where her dissertation focused on the attitudes of Members of Parliament regarding severe mental illness.  She completed residency in Internal Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she spent an additional year serving as Outpatient Chief Resident. 

Research/Policy Interests:
As a scholar, Dr. Morgan has been focused on community-based interventions for addressing the social determinants of health.   This work has been undertaken primarily with the Healthy Library Initiative, a partnership between Penn and the Free Library of Philadelphia aimed at harnessing the power of public libraries to improve population health. 

Career Interests: 
Dr. Morgan is committed to improving outcomes for underserved populations by addressing the social determinants of health, both in the health care setting and in novel locations.  She is also interested in working within systems to ensure that the care provided to vulnerable populations is high quality, patient-centered and efficient.

Sean O’Neill, M.D.

Sean O’Neill, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Sean O’Neill is currently a resident in the Department of Surgery at UCLA and is on track to complete his training in 2020. Dr. O’Neill obtained his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. He earned his medical degree from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Between the second and third years of medical school, he moved to Los Angeles and obtained a PhD in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, where he was the recipient of the Thomas A. Epley Scholarship. His doctoral dissertation was a multiple case-study that examined the mechanisms and determinants of success in implementing quality improvement interventions across all types of health care delivery organizations. While at RAND, he also led and published analyses of the quality of advanced cancer and end-of-life care at the VA.

Career Interests: Dr. O’Neill is interested in organizational quality improvement, surgical outcomes of care, and healthcare improvement leadership. He has worked with Lisa Rubenstein on multiple quality improvement studies, as well as with Karl Lorenz and Susan Ettner on the financing of end of life and hospice care.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, he plans to conduct an evaluation of quality improvement activities across a set of 315 hospitals participating in a national surgical outcomes reporting program (the American College of Surgeons NSQIP). His aim is to understand how and why certain surgical quality improvement interventions have been implemented in response to outcomes measurement, and how effective these interventions have been. He will focus on post-operative re-intubations and 30 day readmissions. 

Alon Peltz, M.D.

Alon Peltz, M.D.
Yale University

Educational Background; Specialty; and Projects/Collaborations: 
I received my MD and Health Care MBA degrees from Vanderbilt University. I completed pediatrics residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center where I was a member of the Urban Health and Advocacy Tract. During residency, I spent 6 months as a postgraduate research participant at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center where I studied health care transformation and ACO quality measurement. As a Clinical Scholar, I completed a visiting policy fellowship with the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission where I conducted evaluations of quality measure alignment among public and commercial insurers in Massachusetts. 

Research/Policy Interests
I conduct research on issues of health care quality, access, and population health management. My current research projects include assessing beneficiary cost-sharing under Health Insurance Marketplace and CHIP plans, developing risk models for predicting recurrent hospital and emergency department utilization, and evaluating financial benchmarking for ACOs.

Career Interests
I am passionate about innovation in health care and particularly interested in how health care systems delivery high quality care to high need populations. Following the Clinical Scholars program, I hope to work with a health insurer or large health system to develop and implement population health management care delivery models.    

Recent Accomplishments; Service on Local/State/National Commissions or Boards; and Grant Awards: Research publications in JAMA and in Pediatrics.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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Carolyn Presley, M.D.

Carolyn Presley, M.D. (VA Scholar)
Yale University

Educational Background; Specialty; and Projects/Collaborations: 
Carolyn Presley, MD earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and her medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School. She completed residency in Internal Medicine and combined fellowship in Geriatric Oncology and Hematology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She is an active member of the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center (COPPER), the Yale Program on Aging, and the national Cancer and Aging Research Group (CARG).

Specialty: Geriatric Oncology

Projects/Collaborations: Dr. Presley is currently focusing on end-of-life care outcomes among Veterans with advanced lung cancer, functional trajectories among community-dwelling older adults with a new cancer diagnosis, and the outcomes associated with multi-panel gene sequencing among adults with advanced lung cancer.  Her community based participatory research is focused on the use of virtual civic engagement and crime in New Haven, Connecticut.

Research/Policy Interests
Dr. Presley’s research and policy interests all focus on generating a robust evidence base in geriatric oncology to improve the care of older adults with cancer.

Career Interests
Dr. Presley is pursuing a career as an academic clinician-scientist. She is also developing geriatric oncology consultation clinics to continue to improve patient-centered treatment outcomes in oncology care.

Recent Accomplishments; Service on Local/State/National Commissions or Boards; and Grant Awards
Dr. Presley was awarded the American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award and the Yale Cancer Center Lung SPORE Career Development Award.

PubMed Click here for a list of available publications in PubMed.

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ical Raz, M.D.

Mical Raz, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Pennsylvania

Mical Raz, MD, PhD
, completed her medical training at Tel Aviv University, from where she also received a PhD in history of medicine.  Before moving to the US for a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale, she worked at the Tel Aviv Medical Center and volunteered with Physicians for Human Rights. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital in 2015.

Research/Policy Interests:
She is the author of The Lobotomy Letters: The Making of American Psychosurgery (U of Rochester 2013), which was awarded the Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome Career Development Award. Her second book, What's Wrong with the Poor? Race, Psychiatry and the War on Poverty (UNC 2013), has been reviewed in medical, historical and public policy venues.

Career Interests: 
A historian of American psychiatry, Raz is interested in the intersection of psychiatry, poverty and politics. Broadly, her new work focuses on how perceptions of mental health shaped child welfare services provided in the city of Philadelphia in the 1960s and early 1970s.  She recently completed a study of the intersection of juvenile justice and mental health in the late 1960s in Philadelphia. Currently she is interested in the history of child abuse laws in the mid 1960s, and their implication for treatment and prevention. She examines how child abuse came to be perceived as an individual problem rooted in the abuser’s psychopathology, rather than a broader social problem. She hopes to use her historical research to help inform current child welfare policy. 

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Dr. Joseph Rojas

Joseph Rojas, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Joseph Rojas completed his pediatric residency in 2014 at UCLA in the Community Health Advocacy Track (CHAT). He obtained his undergraduate degree with a major in Psychology from The University of Arizona and then deferred admission to medical school to spend a year studying at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in Germany. He earned his medical degree from Yale University, where he spent an additional fifth year conducting research for his thesis, “Trends In Primary Care Specialization Among Physicians And Nonphysician Clinicians, 1989-2009.” As a medical student, Dr. Rojas was a member of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and Gay-Straight Medical Alliance (GSMA), where he participated in events to promote diversity in the health professions. He earned several awards including the Dean’s prize for Community Service, the New England Pediatric Society Award, and Yale School of Medicine Farr Scholar Award. Since completing residency, Dr. Rojas has worked full-time attending at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Hub Clinic — a clinic for children in foster care or at risk for detainment from their parents by DCFS. He has also been conducting a study to examine several key health indicators for over 10,000 youth, aged 12 to 17 years, incarcerated in Los Angeles County.

Career Interests: Dr. Rojas’s primary interests are juvenile incarceration, foster care, and child abuse and neglect.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Rojas would like to continue working with the LA County Juvenile Court Health Service and Department of Probation to improve continuity of health services for youth following release from detention. Through this work, he hopes to build a conceptual model of a post-release multidisciplinary clinic whose primary aim is the reduction of recidivism as well as incarceration-associated health risks.

Tara Russell, M.D.

Tara Russell, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Tara Russell is currently a resident in the Department of Surgery at UCLA and is on track to complete her training in 2020. Dr. Russell obtained her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College and went on to complete a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Tufts University School of Medicine – Public Health, where she was awarded the Ian MacNiel Award for Achievements in Biostatistics Analysis and Presentation.  Then she obtained her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. 

Career Interests: Dr. Russell is interested in surgical quality improvement, surgical oncology and transplantation, and effective methods for translating clinical data.  She is drawn to the area of liver transplant and would like to work on identifying factors and implementing interventions focused on reducing prolonged hospitalization and readmission in the liver transplant population. 

Research Interests: She proposes a three phase project including 1) development of a prospective database to identify donor, recipient and medical factors that contribute to prolonged hospitalization and readmission, 2) develop an enhanced recovery pathway (ERP), 3) implement ERP and assess if adherence results in improved outcomes

Lello Tesema, M.D.

Lello Tesema, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Lello Tesema completed her internal medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance.  She obtained her undergraduate degree with a major in Economics and minor in Religious Studies from Cornell University.  She earned her medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She served as a delegate to the Committee for Interns and Residents Union and was actively involved in an appeal to raise the hourly wage of the hospital security staff. Dr. Tesema also chaired a mentorship program between Mount Sinai medical students and high school juniors at Manhattan Science and Math high School in East Harlem who are interested in medical professions.  

Career Interests: Dr. Tesema is interested in the substance abuse, social determinants of health, and health disparities.  She has worked on two projects to gain a better understanding of barriers to treatment for opioid addiction: 1) an audit access to buprenorphine treatment in the state of Massachusetts 2) an evaluation of how opioid addiction and treatment is taught in residency programs in the United States.  She presented her findings at the national American Public Health Association meeting in 2013 and regional and national 2014 SGIM national meeting.

Research Interests: As a Clinical Scholar, she is interested in pursuing a project to explore the effectiveness of screening for opioid disorders, brief interventions and referral to treatment in safety net settings in at risk communities.  She is particularly interested in developing more effective interventions for former inmates with opioid addiction.

Tyler Winkelman, M.D.

Navin Vij, M.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Navin Vij is an Internal Medicine/Pediatric trained physician who grew up in Bloomington, MN.  He completed his undergraduate studies at Rice University, where he majored in Political Science and was a co-founder of the Baker Institute Student Forum at the Baker Institute for Public Policy.  He also spent time working on health policy issues while interning in British Parliament, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and also with the Texas Program for Society and Health.  He subsequently completed an International Health Track during medical school at Baylor College of Medicine.  After completing an Internal Medicine/Pediatric Residency and Chief Residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, he has worked as an Internal Medicine Hospitalist and continued his involvement with education as an Assistant Program Director for the Med-Peds Residency Program at Case Western.  Beyond his interest in academics, Dr. Vij has also been involved with advocacy and outreach efforts related to Hepatitis C.  He has served as a Member of the National Patient Advisory Committee for the American Liver Foundation and is involved with the Caring Ambassadors Program as a Board Member.  

Career Interests: 
Navin plans to continue an interdisciplinary career in academic clinical medicine while leading population health initiatives aimed at transforming the delivery of healthcare across sectors.  He plans to continue his involvement in advocacy at the state and federal levels.

Research Interests: 
 Navin’s research interests center on how cross-sectoral engagement regarding social determinants of health can improve policymaking for vulnerable populations.  In particular, he is interested in focusing on policy-actionable initiatives that can provide value for local and state governments.  His recent policy focus has been on the intersection of the opioid, heroin, and Hepatitis C epidemics.


Tyler Winkelman, M.D.

Tyler Winkelman, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan


Dr. Tyler Winkelman
 completed his Internal Medicine & Pediatrics residency at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Winkelman obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and his MD from the University of Minnesota.  He also has a master’s degree in Health and Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan. During medical school and residency, he led and conducted state and national surveys evaluating medical students’ knowledge and attitudes of the Affordable Care Act and other health policy issues.  His first study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, highlighted knowledge gaps in health policy among medical students in Minnesota.  Because of these findings, Dr. Winkelman collaborated with faculty from the Medical School and School of Public Health to develop and implement a mandatory health policy course for first year medical students, becoming the first Director of Health Policy within the medical school’s Essentials of Clinical Medicine course. In 2015, he was awarded the AAP Section on Medical Students, Residents and Fellowship Trainee (SOMSRFT) District VI Leadership and Teaching Award for this curriculum development.  

Career Interests:
Dr. Winkelman will be starting a position as a clinician-investigator at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN beginning July 2017.  He will be a primary care physician and healthcare provider for justice-involved individuals. He will continue his research and policy work with justice-involved individuals to improve both their social and clinical outcomes through robust primary care interventions. 

Research Interests: 

As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Winkelman has focused primarily on the social and clinical outcomes of health insurance and medical care for justice-involved individuals. He has several papers in press or under review regarding health insurance, healthcare utilization, and health outcomes for both adult and juvenile offenders. He also has another line of inquiry that investigates the effects of increased cost sharing for vulnerable populations. 

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