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First Year Clinical Scholars

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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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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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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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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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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Second Year Clinical Scholars

William Fleischman, M.D.

William Fleischman, M.D.
Yale University

William Fleischman, MD is an emergency physician who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He received his undergraduate degree from Touro College and his medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine. He completed residency in emergency medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, serving as Academic Chief Resident in his final year of residency. His research during residency focused on how health information exchanges help identify certain challenging ED populations and on studying and reducing monitor alarm fatigue among emergency department staff.

Career Interest: He plans to pursue a career in academic emergency medicine, healthcare management and public policy.

Research Interests: Factors affecting physician clinical decision-making, with a focus on imaging decision-making, alarm and interruption fatigue, and conflicts of interest in medicine.

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

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Nir Harish, M.D., M.B.A.

Nir Harish, M.D., M.B.A.
Yale University

Nir Harish, MD, MBA is an emergency physician who completed his residency training at Denver Health Medical Center in Denver where he also served as a chief resident. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in Biology and International Studies. He then earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, along with an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he studied health care systems and operations. He has previously worked on process improvement for the CDC in India, developed quality improvement curricula for medical students, participated in Emergency Department redesign at two academic medical centers, and worked in business development for a medical device company. 

Career interests: He plans to continue to build a career that combines clinical emergency medicine with research and policy work.

Research interests: How business theory can be used to guide health policy and improve care. As a scholar, he is planning to study factors that contribute to price variation in health care, how price variation affects patient care, and perceptions of price and cost in health care. He is also interested in models of emergency care delivery, including the role of observation units, provision of critical care in emergency departments, and the use of non-hospital-based emergency care.

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Amy Salerno, M.D.

Amy Salerno, M.D. (VA Scholar)
Yale University

Amy Salerno, MD, (VA Scholar) is an internal medicine physician who received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. She received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. During medical school, she spent a year in Ecuador working with a non-profit organization, The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership, leading a development program to assess community needs and implement a community based mental health care program. Dr. Salerno then went on to complete an internal medicine residency at Emory University in Atlanta. After residency, she worked for the Indian Health Service at Tuba City Regional Healthcare Corporation in Tuba City, Arizona on the Navajo Nation as an internist.

Career interests: Dr. Salerno plans to pursue a career to improve the health of our most marginalized populations through clinical work, policy, and outcomes research. 

Research interests: Social determinates of health, clinical outcomes based policy changes and their effect on care. She has specific interest in health policy and hospital based care of Native Americans.

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Wagahta Semere, MD

Wagahta Semere, M.D. (VA Scholar)
Yale University

Wagahta Semere, MD (VA Scholar) received her undergraduate degree in Biomechanical Engineering from Stanford University then spent one year at the National Institutes of Health through the Academy Fellowship studying health disparities. She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan. Dr. Semere completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and served an additional year as a Chief Resident. She is a Clinical Instructor affiliated with Yale Refugee Clinic and Yale Center for Asylum Medicine.

Career interests: Dr. Semere plans to pursue a career in academic primary care focused on underserved populations. 

Research interests: Managing chronic medical conditions among refugees, assimilation of refugees into health care systems, and health disparities medical curriculum development. 

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