Achievements & Accolades

    • October 25, 2012

Community Health Leaders
Dana Harvey, MS, (’10) was honored during the week of September 11 by the White House as a Champion of Change for strengthening food security. Harvey, executive director of Mandela MarketPlace in Oakland, Calif., appeared at the White House to discuss her efforts to bring healthy food options to underserved communities. “I couldn’t be more humbled and honored than by being recognized by the Obamas,” Harvey told the In Oakland Blog. “I actually cried on my panel because it’s very emotional.” Each week, the White House honors and invites individuals who are doing extraordinary work in their communities to the White House to share their ideas.

Read More Achievements & Accolades >>

Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College
Maria C. Mejia de Grubb, MD, MPH, a second-year resident at Meharry Medical College and native of Colombia, recently received a mini-grant award totaling $4,000 for nine months from the American Psychological Association’s Socioeconomic Status Related Cancer Disparities Program (sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). It was awarded for her project, “Training Resident Physicians to Address Cancer-Related Health Disparities.” The project’s goal is to develop an educational module on cancer-related health disparities to introduce physicians-in-training in primary care and preventive medicine to evidence-based, practical strategies in cancer care for minority populations. It also is aimed at providing them with basic knowledge of cancer health disparities and methods to address these disparities.

Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico
Julia Austin, PhD, one of the first graduates of the RWJF Center’s doctoral fellowship program, recently accepted a prestigious postdoctoral position with the Clinical Psychology Fellowship Program at Stanford University.

Angelina Gonzales-Aller (’11) was recently awarded a Women’s Research and Education Institute (WREI) Fellowship in partnership with the Women’s Congressional Caucus. Gonzales-Aller, who is working on her PhD in political science, was chosen from a national pool of highly qualified candidates, and will be working on Capitol Hill from January through August 2013 as part of this recognition.

Clinical Scholars
Clinical Scholar alumna Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, MPH, (’97) a professor in the departments of pediatrics and internal medicine and an adjunct professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, was recently appointed chair of the adult immunization work group of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Named to the ACIP by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2010, Coyne-Beasley serves on the influenza, measles/mumps/rubella, and human papillomavirus work groups.

Clinical Scholar Danil Makarov, MD, MHS, (’10) assistant professor of urology and health policy at New York University, received a five-year Career Development Award from the Health Services Research and Development Service for his study on optimizing imaging use among veterans with prostate cancer.

Clinical Scholar alumnus Aasim Padela, MD, MSc, (’11) co-authored an op-ed for (posted on September 11, 2012) about growing evidence that the post-9/11 climate of discrimination and marginalization against Muslim and Arab Americans has translated into worse health among these groups.

Clinical Scholar Gordon Sun, MD, (’13) was one of four recipients of the Guidelines International Network Conference Scholar Award, presented by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. This award will allow Sun to attend the 2012 Guidelines International Network North America E-GAPPS conference in New York City in December to learn about design and dissemination of evidence-based guidelines.

Executive Nurse Fellows
Jeanette Andrews, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN, (’07) has been named dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing. Currently an associate dean for research at the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing, Andrews will start her new position in January 2013.

Debra J. Barksdale, PhD, RN, FAAN, (’11) associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, was invited to the White House to attend a discussion between nurse leaders and senior administration officials on improving care quality and patient health. Sponsored by the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, the meeting focused on delivery system transformation and how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) can support nurses’ efforts to provide high quality patient care. Barksdale attended the meeting as president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. She described the event as an opportunity for nurse leaders to come together to discuss the ACA and other important issues, such as expanding the nursing workforce, future workforce development, and practicing to the full scope of one’s education and training. “It was an honor to be involved in a discussion of ways that nurses can help in improving the health of the American people,” Barksdale said.

Amy Barton, PhD, RN, FAAN, (’05) professor and associate dean for clinical and community affairs, and the Daniel and Janet Mordecai Rural Health Nursing Endowed Chair at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, is principal investigator for a $1.5 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support the faculty practice at Sheridan Health Services, Inc., and to support expanded service at the college.

Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, cNAA, FAAN, (’00) has been named the dean of the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in St. Louis. Bleich most recently served as the dean, Dr. Carol A. Lindeman distinguished professor of nursing, and vice provost for interprofessional education and development at Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing. Bleich began his duties as dean on August 13.

Ann Cary, PhD, MPH, RN, (’05) director of the School of Nursing at Loyola University in New Orleans, and Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, (’07) dean of Thomas Jefferson University’s Jefferson School of Nursing, were selected to attend the inaugural American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)-Wharton Executive Leadership Program, held on August 14–17 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. AACN formed this world-class enrichment program to enhance health care leadership and address challenges facing academic health care leaders. Cary and Swan were among only 37 nurse educators selected from 25 states to participate this year.

Elias Provencio-Vasquez, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP, (’09) dean and professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso, was the keynote speaker at the annual “Faculty In-Service” day at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, Ariz., held on August 14. Provencio-Vasquez, an alumnus of GateWay, spoke about his career and how starting at the community college motivated and inspired him.

Elizabeth Speakman, RN, EdD, CDE, ANEF, (’12) an associate professor of nursing at Thomas Jefferson University, has been appointed co-director of the Jefferson Center for Interprofessional Education (JCIPE). In this role, she will co-lead JCIPE to develop and achieve goals; provide direction in planning, implementing, and evaluating interprofessional education programs; and develop and administer the annual budget to promote growth in interprofessional education.

Kristen M. Swanson, RN, PhD, FAAN, (’04) dean and alumni distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, was appointed as Virginia Mason Medical Center’s first Distinguished Nursing Scholar in recognition of her contributions to nursing and to the Virginia Mason Nursing Model of Care. Virginia Mason Medical Center recently launched a new model of nursing care that uses the tools of the Virginia Mason Production System to implement Swanson’s Theory of Caring. The theory identifies the five components of caring as knowing, being with, doing for, enabling, and maintaining belief in others (e.g., patients, families, co-workers).

Debra Ann Toney, PhD, MS, BSN, FAAN, (’06) carried the Olympic torch in Kirtlington, England. One of 22 Americans selected by Coca-Cola, Toney carried the flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Coca-Cola, an Olympics sponsor, chose Toney because of her work with the community in Las Vegas and her experience promoting healthy lifestyles. Toney is director of nursing for Nevada Health Centers and immediate past president of the National Black Nurses Association.

Health & Society Scholars
Alison Buttenheim, PhD, (’09) released a study, “Exposure of California Kindergartners to Students With Personal Belief Exemptions From Mandated School Entry Vaccinations,” in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The study finds that intentionally unvaccinated children can place others at risk for infectious diseases. The research received coverage in Medical News Today and the Greenville [S.C.] News.

Natasha Dow Schüll, PhD, MA, (’03) authored the book Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, which examines the world of machine gambling—an increasingly popular and absorbing form of play that, according to Schüll, “blurs the line between human and machine, compulsion and control, and risk and reward.” The book draws on 15 years of field research in Las Vegas, showing how the mechanical rhythm of electronic gambling pulls players into a trance-like state they call the “machine zone” in which worries, social demands, and even body awareness fade away.

Tiffany Green, PhD, (’07) an assistant professor of health care policy and research at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, is one of five recipients of the 2012 Foundation for Child Development Young Scholars Program grant award. The award supports the work of early career researchers examining the education and health of young children living in low-income immigrant families. Green will receive nearly $150,000 to support her project “Prenatal Insurance, Prenatal Care, and Early Life Health Among the Children of Black Immigrants.”

Mark Hatzenbuehler, PhD, (’10) has accepted a position of assistant professor of socio-medical sciences at Columbia University. In addition, he serves as co-director of the Center for the Study of Social Inequalities and Health. He recently received a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (KO1) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study determinants of substance use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents and young adults.

Lindsey Leininger, PhD, MA, (’08) is the recipient of a State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) program grant. SHARE is an RWJF program that supports rigorous research on health reform issues at the state level, with a focus on state-level implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other efforts to increase coverage and access. Leininger’s project will examine self-reported health measures collected at the time of enrollment in Wisconsin’s 2009 Medicaid expansion.

Belinda Needham, PhD, MA, (’06) is now a research assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health. Her research focuses on health disparities, seeking to identify, explain, and reduce gender, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and sexual orientation health disparities.

Julianna Pacheco, PhD, (’10) is now assistant professor of political science at the University of Iowa. Her research explores political behavior, public opinion, state and local politics, and health policy. Pacheco is currently working on a project explaining state attention to two public health issues: anti-smoking legislation and vaccine regulation.

Aric Prather, PhD, (’10) released a study “Sleep and Antibody Response to Hepatitis B Vaccination,” which received coverage in the New York Times. “The vaccine works for almost everyone, irrespective of their sleep,” Prather told the newspaper, “and there’s no evidence that changing your sleep pattern improves vaccination response. What was most surprising to us was that shorter sleep duration predicted a person’s likelihood of being protected six months later.” The study appeared in the August issue of Sleep.

New Connections
Olivia Affuso, PhD, (’10) has been awarded an RO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Her project will focus on the effects of body composition changes on public health. She will develop a novel tool that promptly analyzes fat and skeletal muscle mass using computer imaging technology that is safe, accurate, inexpensive, painless, and portable.

Alumna Ninfa Pena-Purcell, PhD, (’06) received a $200,000 award from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Rural Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture. She will pilot-test Wisdom, Power, Control, a diabetes self-management education program targeting African American adults with Type 2 diabetes.

Nurse Faculty Scholars
Nancy Hanrahan, PhD, RN, PhD, FAAN, (’08) the Dr. Lenore H. Kurlowicz Memorial term chair and associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, is heading a technology and innovation lab created by the School of Nursing. She will teach the course “Innovation and Tech in Health Care,” which, along with the hands-on aspect of the lab, encourages nursing students to develop innovative ideas about the future of health care.

Physician Faculty Scholars
Deverick Anderson, MD, MPH, (’09) was quoted in an August 23 article in the Associated Press (AP). The article noted that over a six-month span, a deadly germ untreatable by most antibiotics spread in the nation's leading research hospital. “This is really exciting stuff, cutting-edge technology, to try and better understand how these infections get spread,” Anderson said. He is an assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases and department of medicine at Duke University Medical Center. The AP story was featured in several media outlets, including USA Today, CBS News online, Huffington Post, US News & World Report, and the Washington Times, among others.

Ingrid Binswanger, MD, MPH, (’08) was recently promoted to associate professor in the division of general internal medicine at University of Colorado. She was also selected as a visiting fellow at the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lynn Fiellin (Sullivan), MD, (’06)—in collaboration with Yale colleagues and others, including Physician Faculty Scholars’ national advisory committee member Gail Slap, MD, MSC—has formed the Play2Prevent initiative. Its goal is to develop innovative, evidence-based educational materials and targeted video game interventions for risk reduction and prevention in youth and young adults. Fiellin’s formative work for this project has been published in the Games for Health Journal.

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, (’09) associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University, was featured in the Chicago Tribune. In the June 8 article, Gupta speaks about her recent study finding that children in urban areas of the United States have a higher incidence of food allergies than those in rural areas. Gupta noted, “What we’ve found for the first time is that population density and environment have an impact.… The big question now is what in the environment is the trigger?”

Samir Shah, MD, MSCE, (’08) was recently promoted to professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati.

Rebecca Sudore, MD, (’09) was named the 2012 Society of General Internal Medicine Junior Investigator of the Year. She is the fourth RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar to receive the award. Sudore follows Louise Walter, MD, (’06) the 2007 recipient; Virginia Chang, MD, PhD, (’07) the 2008 recipient; and Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, (’06) the 2009 recipient. National advisory committee member Laura Petersen, MD, MPH, FACP, was the 2001 recipient.

Most Requested