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Our Scholars

Our Scholars
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Alice Abernathy, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Exploring the links between restrictive abortion legislation and maternal mortality, evaluating the impact of preconception and postpartum insurance coverage on maternal mortality rates, and integrating discussion of pregnancy-associated risk into preconception counseling.

Adynski Gillian

Gillian Adynski, RN

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Investigating the role of nurses in building a strong global health workforce to provide high quality and cost-effective health services to populations around the world.

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Adesuwa Akhetuamhen, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCSF

Utilizing cross-cultural education, implementation science, and community-based participatory research methods to improve disparities in emergency medical care, specifically for patients with cardiovascular disease

Sallie Allgood, PhD(c), RN

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Examining how the integration of community health workers into primary care systems affects patients’ health outcomes and primary care utilization as well as population level health disparities and chronic disease risks.

Shoshana Aronowitz, FNP-BC, MSN, RN

Penn

Investigating the intersection of criminal justice and healthcare, the health effects of incarceration, re-entry after incarceration, substance abuse, and the impacts of racism and bias on health and healthcare.

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Sydney Axson, BSN, PhD

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Evaluating changes in opioid prescribing and elucidating the impact of health policies on patient outcomes, public health, and harm reduction efforts.

Balasuriya Lilanthi

Lilanthi Balasuriya, MD, MMS

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Addressing health policies and SDOH that contribute to disparities in health for patients with serious mental illness. Strategies in diversity, equity, and inclusion to retain the future leaders of healthcare.

 

 

Barcelo Nicolas

Nicolás E. Barceló, MD

UCLA

Examining structural barriers to health and healthcare in marginalized and rural communities; healthcare work force development.

Beck Dana

Dana Beck, FNP-BC

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Exploring solutions to the provision of person-centered comprehensive sexual and reproductive health rooted in culturally relevant community strengths.

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Lurit Bepo, MD, MPH

UCSF

Identifying policies to increase access to care for vulnerable populations by understanding effects of COVID-19 on unemployment, Medicaid enrollment, and healthcare utilization and increasing education in diversity, equity, and inclusion

Nicholas Berlin, MD, MPH

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Improving decision-making and incentivizing value in surgical care with decision support tools, telemedicine, and health policy.

Amanda Bettencourt, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN-K, ACCNS-P

Michigan

Evaluating the factors influencing the research-to-practice gap in critical care settings, and testing implementation strategies targeting the interprofessional team to improve the uptake of evidence-based care. 

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Mariah Blegen, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Expanding uptake of lung cancer screening in vulnerable populations using implementation science approaches.

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Sidra Bonner, MD

Michigan

Investigating multi-level interventions to address social determinants of surgical patients to improve access to timely surgery and transitions of care at discharge. Exploring hospital and population level variation in lung transplantation outcomes.

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Zoe Bouchelle, MD

Penn

Investigating barriers to equitable healthcare access and outcomes in the pediatric population.

Bressman Eric

Eric Bressman, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Examining the impact of Medicare policy and health system initiatives targeted at keeping patients out of the hospital, with a particular focus on innovation surrounding transitions of care

Dominique Bulgin, PhD(c), RN

Duke

Investigating the influence of stigma on sickle cell disease self-management and identifying interventions to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with sickle cell disease 

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Michele Buonora, MD

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Exploring multidisciplinary approaches for treating chronic pain, and working to develop patient-centered and equitable approaches to opioid risk mitigation.

Burnside Melissa

Melissa Burnside, MD, MHS

Duke

Investigating the role of racism and implicit bias on health care, medical education, and health policy.

Cebert Morine

Morine Cebert, MSN, FNP-C

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Investigating biological, clinical, and sociocultural factors that influence disparities in reproductive endocrinology decision-making among African American women; developing interventions and policy aimed at eliminating barriers to infertility treatment access and utilization.

Marcelo Cerullo, MD, MPH

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Investigating lung cancer screening guidelines and surgical referrals, imaging in oncologic decision-making, and insurance market and expansion and consolidation.

Grace Chao, MD

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Investigating how policy affects disparities in bariatric and general surgery and identifying barriers to accessing obesity management and treatment in order to design effective change and to advocate for patients

Katherine Chen, MD

UCLA

Examining the effects of urban planning and public policy on population health; understanding how neighborhood development affects health disparities in populations vulnerable to displacement.

Rushina Cholera, MD, PhD

Duke

Improving health outcomes and access to care for children in Spanish speaking immigrant families through identifying and mitigating psychosocial barriers to healthcare engagement

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Cherie Conley, PhD, MHS, RN

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Designing and disseminating community-based interventions that promote cardiometabolic health equity using systems and implementation science

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Leon Cushenberry, MD

Penn

Exploring interventions to address the impact of racial trauma and intersections of structural oppression within community, academic, and institutional settings as well as developing historically informed models for organizational change.

Christina Cutter, MD, MSc

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Analyzing the integration of decision systems, prescriptive analytics, and innovative delivery models to enhance capacity and achieve more efficient, higher-value care at lower cost across the acute care continuum.  

Darby Anna

Anna Darby, MD, MPH

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Investigating the cradle-to-prison pipeline and identifying the most high-impact areas of intervention in order to prevent incarceration, reduce recidivism, and promote community health.

Delgado Jeanne

Jeanne Delgado, MD

UCLA

Identifying the role of social determinants of health in HIV transmission and developing methods to address sexual and reproductive health needs in immigrant and global health.

Adrian Diaz, MD, MPH

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Investigating the intersection of health, delivery systems, geography, and policy to optimize access, quality, and value to surgical patients

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Tammy Eaton, MSN, RN, FNP-BC

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Improving the quality and delivery of care for critical illness survivors and their families. Developing interventions to decrease overall symptom burden and improve quality of life for critical illness survivors.

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Thomas Elliott, MD

UCLA

Investigating community based innovations in pediatric mental healthcare delivery to alleviate socioeconomic barriers to health in vulnerable urban populations.

Eswaran Vidya

Vidya Eswaran, MD

UCSF

Investigating how social determinants of health impact patients’ Emergency Department visits, specifically those with primary psychiatric diagnosis, and studying how workforce diversity impacts clinical care for vulnerable patient populations. 

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Jessica Faiz, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Increasing workforce diversity in healthcare and assessing and combating the effects of racism on patient health outcomes in emergency medicine.

Fauer Alex

Alex Fauer, BSN, RN, OCN®

UCLA

Examining the influences of health policies and innovative models of care on access, quality, and patient-centered outcomes in the contexts of cancer care and cellular therapy.

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Natalia Festa, MD

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Investigating disparities in the ascertainment, incidence, and prevalence of diseases and syndromes of advanced age, including dementia and frailty. Evaluating opportunities to prolong functional independence for older adults.

David Flood, MD

Michigan

Addressing disparities in non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, evaluating self-management interventions; and applying tools of implementation science 

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Rachel French, BSN,RN

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Improving the quality of care individuals with substance use disorders receive by determining the best strategies to successfully implement evidence-based practices in hospital and community settings.

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Ilana Garcia-Grossman, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCSF

Investigating interventions to improve health outcomes of vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ individuals and individuals impacted by carceral systems

Cameron Gettel, MD

Yale

Evaluating healthcare delivery and care coordination of geriatric patients in the emergency department to improve system-wide quality, efficiency, and access to care.

Kamal Golla, MD, MPH

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Developing value-based care redesign pathways for urologic oncology patients and investigating targets for financial toxicity mitigation.

Nichole Goodsmith, MD, PhD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Building, evaluating, and improving systems of care to disrupt the cycles of homelessness, trauma, and incarceration faced by many individuals with serious mental illness.

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Justin Grischkan, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Exploring and implementing innovative health care delivery models to provide high value-care and improve patient outcomes

Gupta Ravi

Ravi Gupta, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Exploring how health policy and systems can better serve vulnerable populations by eliminating health disparities and improving access to affordable medicines

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Geoff Gusoff, MD, MBA, MTS

UCLA

Exploring how healthcare institutions can radically transform the social determinants of health, particularly through supporting community ownership strategies such as food buying clubs, community land trusts, and worker-owned cooperatives. 

Gutierrez Jose

José I. Gutierrez Jr., MSN, FNP-BC

(VA Scholar)
UCSF

Identifying preference factors and relationships predictive of acceptability and uptake for HIV/HCV interventions by at-risk and/or marginalized populations. 

Melissa Harris, BSN, RN, PhDc

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Improving the quality of life and care for older adults living with dementia and their family caregivers by examining innovative, non-pharmacologic interventions to better manage challenging symptoms of dementia

He Yuan

Yuan He, MD, MPH

Penn

Harnessing cross-sectoral collaboration to address social and structural determinants of health; identifying and evaluating community-based interventions to prevent child maltreatment

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Caroline Hogan, MD

Michigan

Investigating the sociopolitical underpinnings of childhood vaccine hesitancy, including concerns regarding SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, as well as novel communication strategies to promote vaccine uptake.

Louisa Holaday, MD

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Exploring how the concentration of poverty contributes to adverse health outcomes, and translating that research into concrete policy change.

Ryan Huerto, MD, MPH

Michigan

Investigating the health impact of workforce diversity, examining the best practices of pipeline programs, and disaggregating the health outcomes of understudied racial and ethnic minorities.

Hwong Alison

Alison Hwong, MD, PhD

(VA Scholar)
UCSF

Examining disparities in medical care for persons with serious mental illness and developing effective, scalable interventions to close the mortality gap.  

Ike John David

John David Ike, MD

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Exploring the contemporary and historical intersection between the arts and health, specifically as it relates to medical education and the promotion of health equity. 

Kimon Ioannides, MD

UCLA

Assessing the discriminatory impact of artificial intelligence in healthcare, and using "big data" tools to narrow health disparities and improve the quality of emergency department care for underserved populations.

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Kortney James, PhD, RN, PNP-C

UCLA

Exploring postpartum mental health disparities which affect Black birthing persons, develop policies, and identify interventions that increase their access to care and enhance their mental well-being. 

Utsha Khatri, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Improving the quality of medical care and social service delivery for vulnerable populations, with a focus on individuals with a history of incarceration and those with substance use disorder. 

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Hazar Khidir, MD

Yale

Identifying gaps in health care access and outcomes of vulnerable populations, and investigating how social service interventions delivered in the ED can improve the health outcomes of socially vulnerable populations.

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Jasmine Khubchandani, MD

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Investigating health disparities with a focus on women’s health, equitable access to surgical care, and health policy, and utilizing community based participatory research to create an anti-racist healthcare system.

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Olivia Killeen, MD

Michigan

Eliminating avoidable blindness by investigating barriers to eye care, designing interventions to strengthen the delivery of ophthalmic services, and advocating for policies that improve vision health around the world.

Rachel Kishton, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Designing novel models of health care provision which intergrate mental health and primary care for vulnerable populations both domestically and internationally.

Krass Polina

Polina Krass, MD

Penn

Investigating how policy and funding structures impact reproductive health outcomes in adolescents

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Jaime La Charite, MD, MPH

UCLA

Improving health equity with a focus on issues relevant to the Latinx community including pediatric obesity, mental health and adverse childhood experiences, trauma and building resiliency.

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Megan Lane, MD

Michigan

Investigating the effects of health policy on gender-affirming surgery and patient decision-making, examining value and financial toxicity in trans* healthcare

Lipsky Rachele

Rachele Lipsky, MSN, PMHNP-BC

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Investigating gene-environment interactions that increase one’s susceptibility to psychopathology, and identifying targeted pharmacotherapies to treat such illnesses.

Ludomirsky Avital

Avital Ludomirsky, MD, MPP

Yale

Analyzing innovative health care delivery models and their impact on socially complex populations; utilizing value-based health care methods to develop delivery system reform that also addresses social determinants of health.

Lynch Kimberly

Kimberly Lynch, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Improving transitions of care and advance care planning of medically and socially complex patients through implementation science.

Allison Mak

Allison Mak, MD

Penn

Characterizing pediatric trauma and the multifaceted approach necessary for its prevention and treatment, with a focus on gun violence, injuries and their care in urban versus rural settings.

Mansfield Lisa

Lisa Mansfield, RN

UCLA

Developing, implementing, and evaluating multi-level interventions addressing social determinants of health, with a focus on reducing disparities in HPV-associated cancers and HPV vaccination among racially and ethnically diverse populations.

Adrienne Martinez, MSN, RN, PHN

UCLA

Streamlining care delivery systems using a scope-sensitive, multidisciplinary model to improve treatment experiences among Latino and African American older adults living with co-occurring physical and mental illness.

Jennifer May, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, PhDc

Duke

Investigating the role of healthcare workers' implicit bias (i.e., prejudice and stereotyping) toward sexual and gender minority older adults in long-term care/assisted living facilities, health outcomes, and health policy.

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Sean McClellan, MD

UCSF

Understanding the distinct ways chronic conditions affects different populations with an emphasis on global health and disparities and a specific focus on Mexico and immigrant populations in the United States

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Michael Mensah, MD, MPH

Yale

Identifying, elucidating, and implementing equity in medicine and health for and in partnership with BIPOC, women, LGBTQI, and identity intersections therein.

Elliott Miller, MD

Yale

Investigating clinical outcomes as well as the organization structure and delivery of care in the modern cardiac intensive care unit.

Miller Samuel

Samuel Miller, MD

Yale

Improving the processes of informed consent and preoperative assessment for geriatric surgical patients so that we can help them to understand what to expect before, during and after surgery.

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Stephen Miranda, MD

Penn

Advancing neuro-palliative care, implementing care pathways to support shared decision-making, and developing patient-centered quality metrics in neurosurgery

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Fabiola Molina, MD

Yale

Examining structural determinants of health among vulnerable populations with a focus on immigrant and refugee communities and exploring equitable health delivery models tailored to promote the health of these populations.

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Melanie Molina, MD

UCSF

Identifying and addressing social needs within the emergency department, reducing disparities in access to care, and promoting health equity

Elizabeth Moore, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Improving access to mental health care through health system redesign and informatics initiatives; investigating care delivery for people who are homeless with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. 

John Morgan, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Understanding behavioral, structural and social determinants of ambulatory care utilization in order to inform the design of delivery platforms that effecitvely allign payer, provider, patient and public interests.

Morone Jennifer

Jennifer Morone, MA-ATR, BS-RN

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Investigating the influence of social determinants on family and self-management of pediatric chronic illness and exploring root causes of ethnic and racial disparities in pediatric illness.

Katie Nash, MD

Yale

Developing and evaluating equity-oriented quality measures, evaluating the impact of racial justice education, implicit bias training and quality reporting on systems change, physician behavior and health equity.  

Neiman Pooja

Pooja Neiman, MD, MPA

Michigan

Building data-driven assessments of the largest current and proposed health care programs, assessing the positive and negative consequences of those programs with specific focus on their impact on America's most vulnerable populations.

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Rachel Odes, PhD (c), RN

(VA Scholar)
UCSF

Understanding patients' and their family members' experiences of community-based mental health crisis interventions; improving safety for patients and staff in psychiatric treatment settings

Carlos Irwin Oronce, MD, MPH, MSc

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Understanding the effects of health reform on access to care, quality, and outcomes for marginalized populations and the impact of payment policy on safety net health systems. 

Robin Ortiz, MD

Penn

Identifying how childhood experiences and lifestyle factors influence health and chronic disease outcomes throughout the life course by studying biomarkers and epigentics and demonstrating how to mitigate risk by interventions that build resilience. 

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Aaron Parzuchowski, MD

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Evaluating health systems reform and health policy effects in achieving reduced costs and improved patient outcomes for our most vulnerable populations.

Patanwala, Maria

Maria Patanwala, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Engaging with local government and community organizations in order to improve health outcomes of individuals experiencing homelessness and examining the effects of urban planning on health outcomes of vulnerable populations.

Peralta Jennifer

Jennifer Brazier Peralta, MD, MST

UCLA

Exploring effective care delivery models, community partnerships and equity and value-based payment models that address health disparities and unmet social needs among Children with Medical Complexity (CMC)

Jaclyn Portanova, PhD

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Investigating ways to reduce pain and symptoms by developing aging-friendly technologies and uncovering how persistent pain is linked to the social determinants of health. 

Jacob Quinton, MD, MPH

UCLA

Improving the value of care delivery by exploring high needs high cost care and spreading innovation within Medicaid. 

Ramachandran Reshma

Reshma Ramachandran, MD, MPP

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Evaluating the role of medical professionalism including financial conflicts of interest on treatment guidelines, prescribing behavior, and patient outcomes.

Alisha Ranadive, MD

UCLA

Investigating disparities in the identification and management of developmental delays and the ensuing impact on school readiness.  

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Robert Rock, MD

Yale

Advancing health equity in interdisciplinary health professional education and evaluating community accountability in hospital community benefits spending.

Michelle Salazar, MD

Yale

Analyzing current cancer care to find interventions that improve outcomes and quality; and to identify factors impacting disparities of care amongst minorities.

Salhi Rama

Rama Salhi, MD, MHS

Michigan

Evaluating existing systems of care for time-sensitive conditions, including ways in which they influence and are influenced by social determinants of health.

Salzman Garrett

Garrett Salzman, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Examining perioperative factors impacting geriatric patients undergoing surgical procedures, and how they can be augmented to produce better outcomes, while reducing morbidity and mortality, particularly in the VA system.

Karen Scherr, MD, PhD

Duke

Examining the use of clinic-community partnerships to empower individuals, families, and communities to improve their health and wellbeing, with a focus on reducing disparities in obesity and obesity-related illness.

Seidenfeld Justine

Justine Seidenfeld, MD

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Identifying and characterizing frequent users of the emergency department, and developing tools to better meet their complex health and health-related social needs in the emergency department setting.

Hafifa Shabaik, PhD, MSN, RN

UCLA

Exploring resilience, long-term health outcomes and preventive health behaviors of resettled refugees and asylum seekers in the US and abroad; how health systems may utilize quality measures that capture social determinants of health in low-income and uninsured populations. 

Rivfka Shenoy, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Examining the use of narcotics used in the perioperative settings. Understanding how to decrease excess prescriptions through standardization and patient and physician education, and gaining a deeper perspective into the decision making processes used for prescribing habits. 

Laura Sinko, PhD, RN, CCTS-I

Penn

Investigating socio-cultural influences of gender-based violence, the impact of trauma-informed care, and sexual violence healing and recovery.

Rachel Solnick, MD, MSc

Michigan

Examining how Medicaid access and community resources impact health disparities in terms of women's reproductive health outcomes and utilization of emergency care.

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James Stewart, MD

(VA Scholar)
Michigan

Addressing disparities in heart transplantation tied to accessing donor organs, as well as pre- and post- transplant care. Developing community-based programs to better support minority populations with end-stage heart failure.

Suen Leslie

Leslie Suen, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCSF

Investigating implementation solutions and healthcare interventions to better serve the needs of patients with substance use disorders. 

Taylor Kathryn

Kathryn Taylor, MD

Michigan

Exploring how policy influences disparities in access to surgical care and outcomes for underserved populations. Leveraging surgical systems strengthening to improve overall healthcare delivery in low-resource settings.

Teixeira da Silva Daniel

Daniel Teixeira da Silva, MD

Penn

Addressing healthcare policy gaps that reinforce inequity in HIV infection, and implementing healthcare services that improve engagement in primary care among marginalized populations living with HIV or at increased risk for HIV infection

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Ashish Thakrar, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Implementing and improving evidence-based treatment for addiction using principles of harm reduction and patient-centered care

Keitra Thompson, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC

(VA Scholar)
Yale

Understanding the role of policy, structural violence, and adverse childhood experiences in shaping health disparities across the lifespan and exploring equitable interventions, particularly as it relates to incarceration and health.

Tolentino Anthony

Anthony Tolentino, MA, RN-BC

Michigan

Developing technology-based interventions to manage Type-2 diabetes in Filipinx-/Americans by exploring the impact of health behaviors, cultural values, health disparities; examining informatics data to identify care outcomes in vulnerable populations. 

Tolliver Destiny

Destiny Tolliver, MD

Yale

Understanding and addressing the drivers of health inequities, examining justice and educational systems on child health to develop collaborative solutions, educating physicians about implicit bias and structural racism

Tong Jason

Jason Tong, MD

(VA Scholar)
Penn

Investigating the clinical and financial impact of bundled payments on socioeconomic minorities in America undergoing surgical oncologic care in order to identify opportunities for improvement.   

Torres Jesus

Jesus R. Torres, MD, MPH

UCLA

Investigating the intersection of Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA ) and migrant health, disparities in emergency medicine and infectious disease.

Valbuena Valeria

Valeria Valbuena, MD

Michigan

Investigating the barriers to organ transplantation in minority populations. Creating community-based educational interventions to increase awareness around altruistic organ donation. Exploring solutions to systematically improve workforce diversity in healthcare.

Ashlee Vance, MA, RN, RNC-NIC

Michigan

Improving infant and parent outcomes by reducing health disparities and optimizing the care environment.

Aditi Vasan, MD

Penn

Developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative population-based strategies aimed at screening for and addressing social determinants of health across healthcare settings, in order to improve child health outcomes and reduce health disparities.

Velazquez Manana Ana

Ana Velázquez Mañana, MD, MSc

UCSF

Investigating factors associated with racial disparities in cancer outcomes and evaluating the quality of care delivered to underserved and racial minority cancer patients. 

Jasmine Weiss, MD

Yale

Understanding the intersection between health and education for children from underrepresented communities. Exploring innovative strategies to increase diversity in the physician workforce.

Wilpers Abigail

Abigail Wilpers, PhD, WHNP-BC

Yale

Improving health services and outcomes in the care of women and families undergoing fetal diagnosis and treatment; developing evidence-based, person & family-centered health policy for fetal therapy.  

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Mignote Yilma, MD

(VA Scholar)
UCSF

Investigating barriers to solid organ transplantation as well as exploring the role of primary language, educational level, and social support on transplant waitlist evaluations and transplantation outcomes

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Mackensie Yore, MD, MS

(VA Scholar)
UCLA

Investigating neighborhood-level differences in health outcomes; using thoughtful urban and regional planning, public policy, and community engagement to mitigate health inequities; surveilling public health from the emergency department.

Zhang Yuqi

Yuqi Zhang, MD

(VA Scholar)
Duke

Studying the trends of rural/community hospital closures, the policies driving the phenomenon and its effects on access to surgical care.