Cathy Meade, PhD, RN, FAAN
I am a community-minded behavioral researcher with interests in the areas of health disparities, community engagement and outreach, and cancer communications. My early research delved into the area of patient understanding and health literacy whereby mismatches were identified between patients’ reading levels and reading levels of health information. As a member of the IOM’s Health Literacy Committee, which produced the 2004 report titled Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, I was inspired to find ways to bring health information, services, and scientific advancements ‘right back to communities’ in ways that were straightforward, salient and sensible. As a result, this led to the development of the Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network (TBCCN), a community-academic network founded in 2005. The TBCCN serves as a continual springboard for community informed work by applying principles of community based participatory research and relevant behavioral theories to produce, test, and disseminate evidence-based interventions toward health-promoting behaviors. An essential imperative of TBCCN is keen attention to culture and health literacy. A current research initiative centers on improving colorectal cancer screening uptake in Federally Qualified Health Centers through implementation science.
Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc
Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc is Vice-Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. He concomitantly serves as Chief of Cardiology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He holds the Magerstadt Endowed Professor of Medicine Chair and also holds an appointment as Professor of Medical Social Sciences.
Traci L. Alberti, PhD, FNP-BC
Dr. Traci Alberti is the Associate Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College. She earned her PhD in Nursing and Health Promotion through the University of Massachusetts Lowell and is a family & community health nurse practitioner. Her published work includes examination of health literacy and health information seeking in urgent care and adolescent populations. Dr. Alberti is currently investigating the effects of a health literacy and health information resource education program for English as second language learners in a community setting and is a Co-Investigator on the ARISE-MP Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial, currently under NIH review.
Samantha Belfrage is a current PhD student at the University of Winchester, UK. Her research interests include health literacy, including the voices of those seldom heard in research and patient and public involvement. Samantha has a MSc in Public Health from the University of Southampton, UK. She has ten years’ experience of working in a local authority public health team where most of her work focused on improving the health of children and young people. Samantha is also a qualified secondary science teacher, having taught in both mainstream state schools and alternative provisions.
Timothy Bickmore, PhD
Dr. Timothy Bickmore is a Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston. The focus of his research is on the development and evaluation of embodied conversational agents, virtual and robotic, that emulate face-to-face interactions between health providers and patients, with a particular focus on the emotional and relational aspects of these interactions that serve to establish therapeutic alliance relationships. These agents have been used in automated health education and long-term health behavior change interventions, spanning preventive medicine and wellness promotion, chronic disease management, inpatient care, substance misuse screening and treatment, mental health treatment, and palliative care. His systems have been evaluated in multiple clinical trials with results published in medical journals including JAMA and The Lancet. Prior to Northeastern, Dr. Bickmore served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of
Medicine. Dr. Bickmore received his Ph.D. from MIT, doing his dissertation work in the Media Lab studying interactions between people and embodied conversational agents in task contexts, such as healthcare, in which social-emotional behavior can be used to improve outcomes.
Stephan Van den Broucke
Stephan Van den Broucke is Professor of Public Health Psychology at the Psychological Sciences Research Institute and the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. He formerly held the positions of senior expert at the Flemish Institute for Health Promotion (Belgium), project officer at the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers of the European Commission, and Associate Professor at the Department of International Health of Maastricht University (Netherlands). His main research and teaching interest include preventive health behavior change, health promotion planning and evaluation, self-management education for chronic disease, health literacy, and public health capacity building. He participated as principal investigator in several large scale international projects, including the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU), Reviewing Public Health capacities in Europe, Action-For-Health, and IC-Health, and coordinated the EU Diabetes Literacy project. He has been an evaluator for research proposals submitted to ZON-MW (Netherlands), the German Federal Ministry of Research, the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal), the Israel Science Foundation, the Hong Kong Healthcare and Promotion Fund, and the Kuwait Research Foundation, and serves regularly as an adviser for the European Commission and the World Health Organization. Stephan is an Executive Board Member of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (UHPE), Advisory Board Member of the Asian Health Literacy Association, and President of the Well Done Health Literacy Awards. He is an associate editor of Health Promotion International and editorial board member of Archives of Public Health and Journal of Public Health Research
Tamara Cadet, MSW, MPH
Dr. Cadet is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. Dr. Cadet is a public health social work researcher who advances health equity by promoting health interventions and translating research to practice. Her work focuses on health disparities of older people, particularly around cancer screening and cancer care. Her work is at the intersection of health and social work, spanning the areas of evidence-based health promotion interventions, facilitators, and barriers to reducing disparities in preventative health behaviors, and health care service utilization among vulnerable populations. Her work has a continuing focus on issues of health among the underresourced, underserved, and underrepresented which has earned her a place as a leading scholar in the arena of social work and public health. She has been funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Aging.
Jessica Cheng graduated from Pomona College in 2016 with a B.A. in Economics. Following graduation, she worked as a data analyst in Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Analysis Group in Los Angeles, assessing the budgetary impact and cost effectiveness of immunotherapies. She also worked at the Chicago nonprofit MAPSCorps and created an after-school data science curriculum for high school youth. Jessica is a second-year medical student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Under the mentorship of Dr. Valerie Press, Jessica currently conducts research on eHealth Literacy and its role in electronic health services.
Joyline Chepkorir, MSN, RN
Joyline Chepkorir, MSN, RN received her Bachelor of Science in nursing degree with a minor in health promotion from Michigan State University (Honors College). She previously worked as a registered nurse in a medical-oncology unit at Sparrow Hospital in Michigan. She is currently pursuing her doctoral study at Johns Hopkins University with interests in breast and cervical cancer prevention and control in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has dedicated her time to volunteering in marginalized communities in Kenya and the US to decrease the knowledge gaps that exist in cancer. She is also the founder of Mwangaza Cancer Initiative, a community-based non-profit organization registered in Kericho County, made up of 28 volunteers who are committed to the mission of raising awareness of breast and cervical cancer among women of reproductive age.
Carol Cummings, PhD
Carol Cummings, Ph.D., CHES, is a Professor of Public Health Promotion and Health Education at Rhode Island College and Interim Associate Dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Cummings's research focuses on culturally responsive and engaging health education and health promotion efforts that support health literacy and health outcomes. She teaches courses in the undergraduate B.S in Community and Public Health Promotion, the B.S. in Health Education, and the master’s in health education programs. She is a co-PI with Dr. Greaney on a grant funded by the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health & Human Services that is being discussed today. She has also been an investigator on research funded by the Rhode Island Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has several peer-reviewed publications.
Carolyn Cutilli, PhD, RN, NPD
Dr. Carolyn Cutilli is a patient education specialist at Penn Medicine, Philadelphia and adjunct professor at the American International College, Springfield, MA. She spearheads patient and family education initiatives at the unit through corporate levels. Carolyn is the immediate past president of the Health Care Education Association (HCEA) and co-chair of the HCEA’s patient education guidelines work group. Her scholarly work focuses on geriatric health literacy and she has obtained grants in health literacy and communication. Carolyn has published extensively and speaks nationally/internationally.
Chelsea Dade, MS
Chelsea Dade is a connector with a goal to ensure that everyone sees their role in the mission for health equity. A communicator at heart, dedication to the principle of community has consistently guided her. Though she’s from Virginia, it was under the backdrop of Chicago that Chelsea developed her interest in health literacy and health policy. She is grateful to be back in the DC area to build unity, trust, and empowerment through cross-sector partnerships with community organizations and KFF. Chelsea has work experience in copywriting, electoral organizing, program facilitation, and civic leadership and youth empowerment for girls of color. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Public Health from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Science in Health Communication from Northwestern University.
Nisha Dalvie, MD
Nisha Dalvie is a second-year resident in the Boston Combined Residency Program (BCRP) with a research focus in health disparities for medically complex children. She graduated from MIT in 2016 and Yale School of Medicine in 2020. She has been working with Dr. Jonathan Litt and Lindsay Rosenfeld since 2019 on projects to improve health literacy, care coordination, and family experience in the NICU GraDS program.
Jessica DeFrank, PhD
Jessica DeFrank is a Health Behavior Research Scientist with the Center for Communication Science at RTI International. Dr. DeFrank in an investigator on research studies funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and American Cancer Society. Her research focuses on health decision-making, patient-reported outcomes and perceptions, and evaluation of health promotions and programs with a focus on cancer, prescription drugs, and vaccination.
Joy Deupree, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAAN
Joy Deupree, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAAN is a Professor and the Associate Dean for Practice Innovation, Partnerships and Policy at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing in Columbia.
Dr. Deupree’s health literacy (HL) contributions include research, consulting, and curricula development at the state and national levels. In 2004, while at UAB she developed an interprofessional/interdisciplinary HL course. More than 2,000 nursing, medical, dental and public health students learned to identify populations at-risk for poor outcomes due to low HL, plain language principles, research methodology for HL, patient-provider-family communication and engagement techniques. Her HL research includes development of fever management programs for caregivers of children ages 6 months to 6 years and the study of polypharmacy for community dwelling seniors. In 2015, Dr. Deupree was appointed by Alabama’s Governor to Chair a 25-member HL Task Force which led to the establishment of the Alabama Health Literacy Initiative now recognized by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Along with Dr. Cathy Meade, Dr. Deupree organized and facilitated the SIG for Nursing at HARC since 2014.
Dr. Deupree received her BSN and MSN, from the UAB School of Nursing and earned her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Promotion in a joint program from the UAB Schools of Public Health and Health Education and the University of Alabama School of Human Studies.
Katrina R. Ellis, PhD, MSW, MPH
Katrina R. Ellis is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include family health interventions, cancer survivorship, racial and ethnic disparities in health, and family management of chronic health conditions. An overarching goal of her research is to support the health of families facing multiple, coexisting illnesses, with a specific focus on African Americans. Dr. Ellis employs a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in her work with families, clinicians and community groups. Her published research includes examinations of the influence of co-occurring illnesses on the psychosocial
and behavioral health and well-being of cancer survivors and their family caregivers. She has also published research investigating psychosocial factors that influence the health behaviors and well-being of African Americans.
Jennifer Gan, MBA, CRS
Jennifer Gan, MBA, CRS is a Research Instructor and Manager in the Center for Health Literacy (CHL), Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). With over 20 years of clinical, research, and higher education administration in academic medical institutions, Jennifer is passionate about her work in healthcare. Jennifer’s current research interests include health disparities with a focus on health literacy, rural health, race/ethnicity, and gender. Jennifer is a facilitator for UAMS CHL field testing of health education materials, interprofessional education events, implicit bias training, and the UAMS Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity program. Jennifer is the chair of the UAMS Academic Senate Research Committee and a member of diversity task force for the national Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.
Jennifer’s first responsibility in the UAMS CHL was to manage a multi-site pragmatic diabetes education study, conducted in rural areas of the state. Before joining the UAMS CHL, Jennifer worked as deputy director of clinical research for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, Depression, and Anxiety. Jennifer has managed numerous clinical research studies, surgical urology resident educational program, the Statewide California Alliance for Minority Participation, and the California Summer School for Math and Science at the University of California, Irvine.
Jennifer has an undergraduate degree in sociology and a healthcare focused MBA, both from the University of California, Irvine. Jennifer is currently a graduate student in the UAMS College of Public Health, Healthcare Analytics program.
Christine Gunn, MA, PhD
Dima Hadid is a senior research assistant in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. She received her Masters in Public Health from Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom. Her research interest areas focus on evidence-based health management: using or developing rigorous evidence to guide health management decisions, quality, safety, and interface of work-life among healthcare workers, looking at the use of smart devices in healthcare, impact on safety, patient satisfaction and provider satisfaction. Dima has also worked on projects that explore media and information uses of individuals living in Lebanon during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of these studies was to understand which media and information sources people prioritize and trust during pandemics, their relation to people’s knowledge, perceived knowledge, belief in myths, fears, and compliance with prevention measures. Her research has appeared in several top tier journals across disciplines such as: Annals of Emergency Medicine, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, PLOS one, and Health Communication.
Hae-Ra Han, PhD, MSN, RN
Hae-Ra Han, PhD, MSN, RN is the associate dean for community programs and initiatives at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Dr. Han’s research focuses on improving health care for traditionally underserved ethnic minority populations by improving health literacy. Her transformational research has advanced thinking from the traditional paradigm of knowledge transfer from provider to patients to developing skills of patients to traverse the landscape of health screening and patient self-care to promote health equity. Through her work, Dr. Han has helped improve cervical cancer screening among African and Asian immigrant women and women living with HIV, and promote resilience and self-management among patients and families living with common chronic conditions such as dementia, diabetes, and hypertension. Dr. Han has received numerous awards from organizations that include the Urban Health Institute, the Southern Nursing Research Society, the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, the American Public Health Association, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health, and the Sigma Theta Tau International. Dr. Han holds a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public School of Health.
Janette Helm, MA, RN, MCHES
Janette Helm is an Organizational Development Specialist and Registered Nurse with over 25 years’ experience in executive leadership roles in hospital systems. Her roles have included Education, Learning and Development, Organizational Development, and Mission Integration.
She is also an Adjunct Faculty member for the Indiana University, with experience teaching Organizational Behavior in the Master of Health Administration program, and teaching workshops on Building Resilience to Lead Change in the Executive Education program.
Janette has served in leadership roles on multiple non-profit boards for professional associations and community-based health clinics. Her interest in patient education began during an internship as an undergraduate student, and has continued in her various roles in health care education. She has presented at multiple local and national conferences on a variety of health education topics throughout her career.
Ashley Housten, OTD, MSCI
Ashley Housten, OTD, MSCI, is an assistant professor at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Housten’s research focuses on supporting cancer screening and treatment decision-making to reduce health disparities and to address challenges associated with health literacy in diverse populations. Specifically, she is interested in the dissemination and implementation of decision support strategies to improve health behaviors and outcomes, particularly among those who experience cancer-related health inequity. With a focus on how people evaluate and apply health information, her research uses qualitative and mixed methods to identify challenges and opportunities to strengthen patient-provider engagement in decision-making across the cancer care continuum.
Carol Howe, PhD, MSN, BSN
Dr. Howe is an Associate and the Paula R. and Ronald C. Parker Endowed Professor of Nursing in the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Howe has been a nurse and diabetes care and education specialist for over 20 years, providing care to children and adults living with diabetes. Her research focuses on health literacy from the perspectives of patients, healthcare providers, and healthcare systems for improved patient outcomes. Dr. Howe has received several honors for her clinical and research efforts, including the Leadership Award from the American Diabetes Association, the Excellence in Education Award from the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society, the Alumni Clinical Excellence Award from the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, and induction as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
Emily Hurstak, MD, MPH, MAS
Emily E Hurstak, MD, MPH, MAS, is an Assistant Professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Hurstak is a general internist and addiction medicine specialist who provides primary care to underserved patient populations in the Boston area. Dr. Hurstak has a strong interest in how health communication strategies impact outcomes. She conducts research on health communication, opioid safety, overdose prevention, and alternatives to opioids for chronic pain.
Aziza is a social-impact driven entrepreneur who founded LiteraSeed after a personal tragedy in her family. She has developed a visual-based communication platform that helps bridge the communication gap between patients and providers. The software helps low and mixed literacy patients describe their symptoms and health condition using pictures for easy, simple communication. Aziza is a self-taught software engineer who bootstrapped LiteraSeed over several years. In 2021, LiteraSeed was awarded a $256k NSF STTR in collaboration with the Machine Learning Laboratory at Virginia Tech to develop AI-assisted product features. The company has launched a 600 patient clinical study with Valleywise Health, the largest safety-net healthcare system in Arizona, and has a pipeline of domestic and international partnership interest. Additionally, Aziza is a 2021 Phoenix Business Journal Health Care Hero.
Dr. Alla Keselman is a Senior Social Science Analyst in the Office of Engagement and Training, National Library of Medicine, of the National Institutes of Health. There, she specializes in designing evaluation for health information programs that target diverse audiences. Dr. Keselman has studied lay understanding of complex health concepts, the relationship between scientific literacy and health literacy, and health information provision outside healthcare (e.g., in schools and public libraries). With Dr. Catherine Arnott Smith, she is a co-author of “Consumer health informatics: Connecting people with Health Information,” a textbook published Taylor and Francis, and a co and a co-editor of the book “Meeting Health Information Needs Outside of Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges.” Dr. Keselman holds a doctorate in human cognition and learning and a master’s degree in biomedical informatics from Columbia University.
Laura W. Koo, MS, RN, FNP-BC is a PhD candidate in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing at Boston College. She is a family nurse practitioner and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. In addition to teaching, she practices as a nurse practitioner in a pre-operative evaluation clinic. More than 25 years of experience with patients and their families have fueled her passion to improve patients’ chronic disease outcomes through health-literate interventions. Her research explores the relationships among health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy. Health literacy is an integral part of her clinical practice, teaching, and scholarship activities. She enjoys gardening and going for walks with her family.
Aisha Langford, MPH, PhD, MPH
Aisha Langford, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health, Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Decision Science within NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine. She is also an affiliate faculty member of the Division of Medical Ethics within Population Health. Under NYU Langone Health's Clinical and Translational Science Institute, she co-directs the Recruitment and Retention Core (RRC). In her role as RRC co-director, Dr. Langford advises study teams across the medical school on recruitment feasibility and ways to maximize participant retention, covering all stages of clinical trial and health research study design. A large proportion of these consultations include ways to enhance inclusion of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and adults aged 65 and older in clinical research. Broadly, Dr. Langford's research explores how health communication can improve individual decision making and reduce population health disparities for conditions or behaviors that lead to preventable mortality and morbidity. Historically, she has done work in cancer prevention and minority clinical trial participation in community-based settings. Her current work has expanded to include cardiovascular disease broadly, with a particular interest in hypertension-related decision making and patient-physician communication.
Mag. Dr. Thomas Link
Jonathan Litt, MD, ScD, MPH
Dr. Litt is a practicing Neonatologist and health services researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess
Medical Center and is the director of the NICU Growth and Developmental Support Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. He holds an MD from Case Western Reserve University School of
Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio and a doctoral degree in social science research methods at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. His dissertation work centered on the impact on early intervention programs for low birth weight infants on functional outcomes at school age. As an early career investigator, Dr. Litt has published several studies relating to learning disabilities and academic achievement among low birth weight children and adolescents, care coordination for children with special health care needs, and the effect of early intervention programs on school-age functional outcomes. His body of research is focused on the long-term health and neurodevelopmental outcomes of high-risk infants, evaluating the utilization and effectiveness of community-based intervention services, and improving models of community-based care after NICU discharge.
Olivia Mac, MPH
Kelly Anne McCullagh, MD
Kelly Anne McCullagh, MD is a Chief Resident in the Boston Combined Residency Program. She obtained her medical degree at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency in the Boston Combined Residency Program. As Chief Resident she is based out of Boston Children’s Hospital. In addition, she serves as a Pediatric Hospital Medicine attending physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and is an Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
Mary Greaney, PhD, MPH
Mary Greaney, Ph.D., MPH, is an associate professor with tenure in the Department of Health Studies at the University of Rhode Island and chair the department. Dr. Greaney's research is focused on understanding personal, social, and environmental factors, including health literacy, that influence physical activity and other healthful behaviors across the lifespan. She has authored or coauthored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She is a co-PI with Dr. Cummings on the grant funded by the Rhode Island the Executive Office of Health & Human Services that is being discussed today. She has also been an investigator on research funded by the National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Andrea Morrison, MD, MS
Dr. Morrison is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician and health literacy researcher, and advocate. Her vision is to transform healthcare communication to help children and families understand and make decisions about their health, including caring for chronic illnesses and when to seek emergency care. Her research has focused on the effects of parent health literacy and seeking emergency care for children. Dr. Morrison also is interested in ED use by children with chronic illnesses, including asthma and sickle cell disease. She is studying the impact of health literacy-focused interventions on ED use in patients with chronic illness. She has published work regarding health literacy and ED utilization, health literacy measurement in parents, health literacy-focused asthma education, and health literacy and clinical care in the ED. Dr. Morrison serves as the Co-Director of the Children’s Wisconsin Health Literacy Task Force, including a health literacy project work, document review service, consult service, new employee orientation module, and yearly health literacy month campaign. As Health Literacy Task Force project work, Dr. Morrison and the group recently published groundbreaking work in patient safety and health literacy and clinician training in health literacy. She spearheads health literacy quality efforts at Children’s Wisconsin and was recently appointed the Medical Director of Health Literacy in the Quality Department. In this role, she will focus on health literacy-focused interventions at a systemwide level of impact. The current portfolio of work includes patient safety, discharge medication safety, asthma education, and health equity.
Cosmin Munteanu is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology at University of Toronto Mississauga, and the Director of the Technologies for Ageing Gracefully lab (TAGlab). He has dedicated more than two decades to research on facilitating natural, meaningful, and safe interactions between people and digital media and devices. Cosmin's interests include designing intelligent applications that improve access to information, support learning late in life, and reduce digital marginalization, such as for older adults whose enjoyment of life and participation in society could be better supported by advances in interactive assistive technologies such as voice, conversational, or virtual reality interfaces. For this, he draws from a wide range of disciplines such as computing sciences, engineering, critical theory, and technology and society studies. Prior to his current tenure at the University of Toronto, Cosmin held a position of Research Officer with the National Research Council Canada, where he led several projects that combined ethnographic research with the design and engineering of a wide range of interactive applications and systems in support of education, healthcare, or public safety training.
Danielle Muscat, PhD
Berit Nielsen, PhD
Berit Nielsen, PhD (tentative) is an accomplished researcher with DEFACTUM in Denmark focusing on the social and health services labor market in the Central Denmark region. Dr. Nielsen similarly launched a large cohort study among adults with chronic health conditions to study the psychosocial consequences of COVID-19 among those at higher risk in terms of physical and mental health and access to services.
Brett A. Niessen, MPH
Brett Niessen works as a senior health educator at Seattle Children’s Hospital, communicating complicated medical, diagnostic, surgical, and therapeutic patient education in a health literate manner. He is adjunct faculty at University of Washington, teaching rural community health in the Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) MPH Program. And he has a consulting business, providing sex education teacher training, meeting facilitation, and advice on organizational development, culturally inclusive services, and community organizing strategies to schools, non-profits, and government agencies. His consulting work has included: faculty facilitator for the Northwest Public Health & Primary Care Leadership Institute, graduate seminar about LGBTQIA+ health, anti-racist discussion group facilitation, and teacher curriculum development. He has worked as a training manager for many years, assisting health departments, tribal organizations, non-profits, and youth service agencies with evidence-based sexual health education curriculum, continuing medical and nursing education, and inclusive communications. He’s also been a middle school science teacher, Peace Corps Volunteer, and social marketer. He is particularly interested in helping young people achieve happy, healthy sexual and romantic lives no matter their past trauma, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, class, or religion.
Michael Paasche-Orlow, MD
Michael Paasche-Orlow, Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center. As a primary care clinician and a nationally recognized expert in the field of health literacy, I have dedicated my career to improving the care of vulnerable populations. I am currently a PI on seven clinical studies that examine health literacy and doctor-patient communication, various modes of patient education, and empowerment. I have been the lead designer of nine patient-oriented interactive behavioral informatics programs and have helped create and evaluate a range of patient empowerment and decision support tools. With over 200 peer-reviewed papers, my work has brought attention to the role that health literacy plays in racial and ethnic disparities, improving informed consent, and improving advanced care planning, as well as to the fact that appropriately designed information technologies can be empowering for patients with low health literacy. I serve as the Editor-in-Chief for Health Literacy Research & Practice and as the Director of the HARC.
Lauren Ospasnick, MS
Lauren Opsasnick, MS is a trained biostatistician and doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Prior to her graduate studies, Ms. Opsasnick led methodological and analytic efforts for the COVID-19 & Chronic Conditions (C3) study at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Jürgen Pelikan, PhD
Jürgen M. Pelikan, PhD is Professor emeritus for sociology at University of Vienna /Austria and Director of the WHO-CC for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care at the Austrian Public Health Institute in Vienna / Austria. He has co-initiated the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU) and was its PI for data analysis and reporting. Later he was directing further research on health literacy of specific populations (adolescents, migrants) and on health literate health care organizations in Austria and was PI in an EU-Project on diabetes health literacy. He is a co-editor of the WHO publication Health Literacy – The Solid Facts. He was co-chairing a working group on “Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Literate Health Care Organizations” of the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services. Actually he is co-chairing the Action Network for Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL) of the European Health Information Initiative (EHII) of WHO-Europe and is the international PI of M-POHLs European health literacy survey HLS19. He is a member of the Executive Board of the International Health Literacy Association (IHLA) and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Asian Health Literacy Association (AHLA).
Samantha Ratakonda is a first year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine. As a student with congenital hearing loss, she has been navigating opportunities to improve quality and accessibility of healthcare to individuals with disabilities, particularly the Deaf and hard of hearing population. In 2019, she graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Biological Basis of Behavior, minors in Health Services Management and Chemistry, and a Certificate in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. Samantha has also recently obtained a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from New York Medical College. Before matriculating into medical school, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator of Health at the University of Michigan Family Medicine Department and MDisability with Dr. Michael McKee, Dr. Philip Zazove, and Dr. Paul Chandanabhumma on multiple projects related to assessing healthcare navigation and communication barriers among the Deaf and hard of hearing population. Samantha is a member of the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) and hopes to be more involved in other initiatives that advocate for those with hearing loss in the future.
Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM
Dr. Lindsay Rosenfeld is a social epidemiologist with research, practice, and policy interests in the social and structural determinants of health, child equity, and health literacy. She is currently an Instructor at the Harvard School of Public Health where she teaches two courses in Health Literacy. She also leads research focused on families with kids with complex needs at: Brandeis University, Heller School, Institute for Child, Youth, & Family Policy; Boston Children’s Hospital, Division of Newborn Medicine, NICU GraDS [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Growth and Developmental Support program]; and Harvard Medical School, Undiagnosed Diseases Network Coordinating Center. She is a longtime member of the American Dental Association’s Health Literacy in Dentistry Committee – and the mother of two former micropreemies – now 4th graders – each with their own complex developmental and medical journey.
Sienna Ruiz is a Public Health Research Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. She graduated from Washington University with a BA in Anthropology and Spanish and works for Dr. Ashley Housten and other PIs on multiple grant-funded research projects.
Marina Serper, MD, MS
Marina Serper, MD, MS is a transplant hepatologist, health services researcher, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Staff Physician at the Corporal Michael J Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Serper’s research focuses on: 1) investigating barriers to access and high quality care for patients with liver disease, 2) designing behavioral and health-system interventions utilizing health technology to improve care delivery and outcomes in chronic liver disease and liver transplantation, 3) evaluating how health literacy, medication understanding, and cognitive function affect medication adherence, self-care and health outcomes.
Katie Siek is a professor and chair of Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington. Her primary research interests are in human computer interaction, health informatics, and ubiquitous computing. More specifically, she is interested in how sociotechnical interventions affect personal health and well being. Her research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Science Foundation including a five-year NSF CAREER award. She has been awarded an NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award (2019), a CRA-W Borg Early Career Award (2012), and Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance Distinguished Visiting Fellowships (2010 & 2015). Prior to returning to her alma mater, she was a professor for 7 years at the University of Colorado Boulder. She earned her PhD and MS at Indiana University Bloomington in computer science and her BS in computer science at Eckerd College. She was a National Physical Science Consortium Fellow at Indiana University and a Ford Apprentice Scholar at Eckerd College.
Indrani Medhi Thies
Indrani Medhi Thies is a Principal Researcher in the Technology and Empowerment area at Microsoft Research in Bangalore, India. She is currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Her research interests are in User Interfaces, User Experience Design, and Information and Communication Technologies and Development. Over the years, Indrani’s primary work has been in user interfaces for low-literate and novice technology users. Her distinctions include an MIT TR35 award and an ACM SIGCHI Social Impact Award. Indrani has a PhD from the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, India.
Sherrie Flynt Wallington, PhD
Sherrie Flynt Wallington, Ph.D., is a tenure-track assistant professor and health disparities researcher specializing in oncology in the Policy, Populations, and Systems department. Dr. Wallington teaches and researches health communication, social determinants of health, and community-based participatory research strategies that focus on prevention, health disparities, and clinical trial recruitment and engagement. She has a particular interest in cancer, particularly prostate, breast, and HPV-associated cancers. The American Cancer Society, the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Cancer Institute support her research. She has authored several peer-reviewed publications and serves as a scientific grant reviewer for the NIH and other national foundations. In addition, she is a program evaluator and consultant on NIH-funded, governmental, and foundation grant awards.
Michael Wolf, PhD, MPH, MA
Michael Wolf, PhD MPH MA is the James R. Webster, Jr. Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Applied Health Research on Aging (CAHRA) at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a health services researcher with longstanding interests in health literacy, aging, chronic disease self-management, and the design of health system interventions to promote health, particularly among more medically complex, older adults living with multiple chronic conditions. Dr. Wolf is the principal investigator of the COVID-19 & Chronic Conditions (C3) cohort study.
Lauren Tsao-Wu, MSN, RN
Lauren Tsao-Wu, MSN, RN currently practices as a registered nurse in a pediatric medical care unit at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. She earned her Bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in human needs and global resources from Wheaton College (IL) in 2019 and a Master of Science in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University in 2021. Present research interests include health education and health literacy for minority women and pediatric populations.
Drenna Waldrop, PhD
Dr. Drenna Waldrop serves as the Assistant Dean for Research Operations and Training at NHWSN where she oversees the training of postdoctoral fellows and works on research mentoring and research operations in the school and through the Office of Nursing Research. She is also the Co-Director of the Developmental Core for the Emory Center for AIDS Research. She brings this expertise to the CFAR Developmental Core with a particular interest in building the next generation of HIV investigators with a focus on equity and inclusion of underrepresented minority faculty in the research pipeline. Drenna is a licensed psychologist with specialized training in neuropsychology. She is a tenured Professor at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN) and is jointly appointed in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Waldrop’s primary research and scholarly interest is in treatment adherence, cognitive & affective symptoms, and health literacy among persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Lorraine S. Wallace, PhD
Lorraine S. Wallace, PhD is an Associate Professor in the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University. She is an active health literacy researcher and educator. Dr. Wallace was a Fulbright Scholar in the Republic of Moldova in 2009-2010. She received her BS from Rutgers University, her MS from Ball State University, and her PhD from The Ohio State University.
Molly Fraust-Wylie, MA
Molly Fraust-Wylie, MA is the NICU Family Program Manager at the Klarmarn Family NICU at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. After her own NICU experience with her first son, Max, Molly left her career in Marketing to become a parent advocate and educator on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Molly offers a unique parent voice on multidisciplinary teams with the aim of improving the overall experience for families with infants in the hospital. From developing materials and running educational programming on the unit to bedside support and community organizing with NICU graduate families, Molly’s focus is on involving and empowering parents in all aspects of the NICU experience. Molly holds an MA from Emerson College in Integrated Marketing Communication and is a graduate of Dickinson College. In addition to her role at the BIDMC NICU, Molly sits on the leadership team of the Massachusetts NeoQIC Family Engagement Collaborative, a quality improvement project aimed at improving the experience for families in the NICU. Molly also sits on the Board of Directors for Project Sweet Peas, a national nonprofit that supports families of premature or sick infants and those who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss.
Diane Levin-Zamir, MD
Professor Diane Levin-Zamir is the National Director of the Department of Health Promotion of Clalit, Israel's largest non-profit healthcare organization. She is Professor at the University of Haifa School of Public Health in Israel, and teaches in the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine’s School of Public Health. She is one of the founders and leaders of the Global Working Group on Health Literacy of the International Union Health Promotion and Education, and of the Israel Health Promoters and Health Educators Association. She chairs the National Council of Health Promotion of the Israel Ministry of Health. Diane has published extensively scientific articles, book chapters and co-edited two books. She specializes in health promotion action, research and policy and among children/adolescents, people with chronic conditions, in community, hospital and media settings cultural appropriateness, media/digital and population health literacy. She was principal investigator for the National Survey on Health Literacy in Israel in 2012 and 2020, leading the working group on Digital Health Literacy for the Euro MPOHL project. She is a scientific advisor for the Asian Health Literacy Association, and for the Health Literacy for Children and Adolescents project in Germany. She serves on the WHO Expert Advisory Group for the European Action Plan on Health Literacy, on the editorial board of the Global Health Promotion Journal. and on the executive board of the International Health Literacy Association.