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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.

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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

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Sydney Axson, PhD, MPH

(VA Scholar)
Yale

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Rachel French, BSN,RN

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

Kamal Golla, MD, MPH

(VA Scholar)
Duke

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

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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

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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. 

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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

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.

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.

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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

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Rachel Odes, PhD, 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

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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

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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.