Meet the Team

allison adams FINAL darby andre FINAL Ali Anis final araba assan FINAL emily auerbach FINAL alex battaglia final
alyssa bell FINAL kate boyle steed FINAL brook burkley FINAL cheyenne brown FINAL
ayanna chambers FINAL Esther Choi FINAL christina collins FINAL Travis Cos final karen dugosh FINAL
KatharineHwlabel 2 kerra henkin FINAL
rachel hough FINAL andrew jones FINAL allison kannam FINAL Katheirne Land FINAL
jonathan lewis FINAL jessica lipkin FINAL meghan love FINAL jaime metzger FINAL keli mcloyd_FINAL.png
conor millard FINAL Brenden Molander FINAL wandia mureithi FINAL Nana Nimako FINAL caroline parker FINAL
henisha patel FINAL julius patterson FINAL darion porter FINAL justin powell FINAL
isabelle rocca FINAL alia salam FINAL kathleen shea FINAL laura sosinsky FINAL sarah string FINAL Mary Tabit FINAL
leo thorbecke final pragya verma FINAL kelsey weymouth FINAL Brian Zepka FINAL jenny zhang FINAL
           

 

 

allison adams BW

Allison Adams is a Research Assistant engaged in projects relating to regional tobacco cessation. She received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in Psychology with a focus in child and family studies. Before joining PHMC, Allison worked as a telephone counselor at the Women’s Law Project providing legal information, problem-solving techniques, and support to callers in Pennsylvania. Outside of work, Allison is happiest in the theater and sitting around a good campfire with friends and family.

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Darby Andre is a Research Assistant engaged in projects related to sexual health education, tobacco cessation, and tobacco policy. She has particular interests in qualitative research, sexual health disparities, and the social determinants of health, as well as research experience with healthcare inequalities in LGBTQ+ communities. Darby graduated from Bryn Mawr College where she received a B.A in Sociology. Outside of work, Darby enjoys hanging out in coffee shops around Philly, collecting houseplants, and playing the ukulele while singing very poorly.

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Ali Anis is a Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to diabetes and substance-use prevention and care. Ali is involved in program evaluations at different levels, and likes to use modern techniques and applications to analyze and visualize data. Before joining PHMC, he worked on substance use related projects and policy evaluations at the Treatment Research Institute. Ali received his M.S. in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and has a B.Sc. in Economics and Political Science from Lahore University of Management Sciences. In his free time, you will find Ali exploring gadgets, learning about the cosmos, and planning small community uplift projects for Green Volunteers, a small youth volunteer organization in Pakistan.

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Araba Assan is a Research Assistant working on projects related to tobacco control and prevention, asthma and lung research, and healthy living. She received her B.S. and MPH in Public health with a concentration in Community Health Education at Montclair State University. Before joining R&E Group, Araba worked as a Birth Equity Advocate at March of Dimes providing oversight, management, and implementation of various maternal child health research and evaluation projects. When not working, Araba enjoys reading, watching Netflix and hanging out with friends.

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emily auerbach BW 

Emily Auerbach is an Interviewer engaged in studies on substance use treatment and recovery. They received their B.A. in Psychology with minors in Sociology and LGBT Studies from Temple University. Before joining PHMC, Emily worked as a benefits specialist providing direct service to aging and disabled populations in applying for publicly funded benefits. Emily is passionate about social safety nets, LGBTQ+ health, and process improvements to increase organizational capacities. Outside of PHMC Emily spends their time doing community organizing, playing music, and hanging out with roommates and friends.

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Alex Battaglia is a Research Assistant working on tobacco cessation and asthma prevention projects. She maintains survey data and provides analyses and visualizations for project evaluations. Alex has a B.A. in International Economics from Elon University. Prior to joining PHMC, she was a Data Analyst for a PECO program that promotes commercial energy efficiency in the Greater Philadelphia area. Most of Alex’s free time is spent at concerts, trying to find the best food in Philly, traveling and doing arts & crafts. 

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Alyssa Bell is a Product Manager responsible for a portfolio of evidence-based tools in the field of alcohol and substance use. Utilizing her background in biology, customer service expertise, and varied interests ranging from graphic design to process improvements, she helps to advance and support products that translate research into action in the field. Prior to PHMC, Alyssa worked as an Office Manager and Patient Services Representative at Excel Physical Therapy, helping patients navigate their insurance benefits. She received her B.A. in Biology from Vassar College. Outside of work she can be found doing crossword puzzles or attending quizzo with her wife, teaching herself woodcarving and furniture refinishing, or playing endless games of fetch with her puppy, Kipling.

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Archana Bodas LaPollo is a Senior Project Director, responsible for overseeing projects related to HIV prevention, sexual health, and substance abuse and recovery support among minority populations, women, and adolescents. Archana earned a B.A. in French and Political Science from Rutgers University, Rutgers College and an M.P.H. from Boston University School of Public Health. When she’s not working, Archana loves spending time with her husband and two children, rock climbing, singing, reading, and watching TV.

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Lisa Bond is the Managing Director of the Research & Evaluation Group at PHMC. She is a sociologist by training, and has spent most of her career working in partnership with research colleagues, community members, and other stakeholders to identify effective strategies for addressing the HIV epidemic. In her role as Managing Director, Lisa is responsible for providing strategic direction for the department, and for supporting the work of her talented team of researchers.. Lisa completed her B.A. at the University of Maryland, her M.A. at Johns Hopkins and her Ph.D. at Temple University. On most weekends, Lisa can be found on a baseball field, football field, or basketball court cheering on her son and the Haddon Township Hawks.

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Kate Boyle-Steed is a Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to tobacco prevention and cessation, asthma management and maternal and child health. Her evaluation interests include mixed methods approaches, theories of change, and data visualization. Kate earned a BA in Psychology at the University of New Hampshire and an MPH in Epidemiology at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. In her free time, Kate enjoys plant-based cooking, listening to podcasts, brewing kombucha, participating in the American Public Health Association, and going to music shows.

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Brook Burkley is a Senior Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to medication assisted treatment in drug courts and other substance use evaluations. Before joining PHMC, she worked as a Program Coordinator for the Treatment Research Institute, where she worked on substance use research projects and evaluations. Brook received her B.A. in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma and her M.S.W from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. When she isn’t at work, Brook leads the University of Oklahoma alumni group in the Greater Philadelphia area. You can find her cheering on their football team on almost every Saturday. During the football offseason, she enjoys spending time with her husband, step daughters, and cats.

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Cheyenne Brown is an Interviewer working on the evaluation of a SAMSAH funded Medicated-Assisted Treatment Program at two PHMC Health Centers. Cheyenne earned a B.S. in Public Health at Temple University. Before becoming a full-time employee at R&E Group, she was an intern within the department, a full-time student, and served in the National Guard. Outside of work Cheyenne likes to binge watch various TV series.

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Ayanna Chambers is the Administrative Assistant, supporting the department as a whole with expenses, onboarding and streamlining procedures. Before joining R&E Group, Ayanna worked as part of the administrative team for PHMC affiliate, Health Promotions Council, where she focused on credentialing. Ayanna is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business at the University of Phoenix. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, making the most out of life.

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Esther Choi

Esther Choi is a Research Assistant involved in substance use projects. Before joining PHMC, she worked on an evaluation of medication assisted treatment in drug courts at the Treatment Research Institute. Esther received her
B. A. in psychology and law and society, with minors in politics and philosophy, from Oberlin College. She spends much of her free time being ordered around by her demanding avian baby.

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Christina Collins is an Interviewer and Locator for the Peer Recovery in Primary Care project. Drawing on her background in mental health, she conducts follow-up interviews with participants who have histories of incarceration and substance use. Data collected in the project informs program decisions and contributes to knowledge around health outcomes, particularly related to mental health, substance use, and HIV/AIDS. Christina studied Communications at the College of New Jersey. Outside of work, Christina likes to write poetry, visit art galleries, and volunteer.

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Travis Cos is a Research Scientist with a focus on integrated health care and substance use research. He is a psychologist with strong research and clinical interests on improving care delivery in health settings, bolster individual coping with distress and chronic health conditions (particularly persistent pain), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/ Acceptance Commitment Therapy. He previously worked as a Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultant for the PHMC Care Clinic for seven years. Travis completed his B.A in Psychology & Political Science at Hartwick College and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Drexel University. Travis enjoys being active through running, floor hockey, and exploring urban areas near and far.

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Karen Dugosh is a Senior Scientist and Director of the Center on Addictions. She oversees a number of research trials and systematic evaluations of interventions for people who have substance use disorders. Much of her work focuses on individuals with substance use disorders who are criminal justice-involved. Karen received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Gettysburg College and a graduate degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington. Outside of PHMC, you’ll find her cheering on her son, Ezra, at his soccer games, doing spin, CrossFit, and yoga with her husband Jeremy, or snuggled up with a book and her tiny Chihuahua Lulu.

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Alexandra Ernst is a Project Manager, responsible for evaluation projects related to tobacco cessation, healthy homes and clean air, nutrition and physical activity, and asthma. Alexandra enjoys incorporating her skills in geographic information systems and data visualization to deliver actionable reports and recommendations for policymakers and community organizations. She earned her B.A. in Environmental Engineering from Rice University and her Master’s in Public Health from Drexel University. When she’s not at the office, you can find Alexandra running with Back on My Feet, teaching yoga sculpt classes, wandering farmers’ markets, or singing in the rain (she is from Seattle, after all).

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Kelly Feighan directs the Division of Teaching and Learning, a unit within the R&E Group that evolved out of Research for Better Schools and specializes in producing independent, actionable research related to schools and lifelong education. She is a sociologist with expertise in educational evaluation design and implementation, grant writing, and data analysis. Kelly’s advanced degrees in sociology include a PhD in from Temple University and an MA from the University of Maryland at College Park. Over the past two decades, she has conducted more than 80 educational evaluations as well as qualitative, ethno-graphic research, randomized controlled trials, and analyses of large-scale Census data. Kelly is active in several professional associations and slated to serve as president of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society—an affiliate of the American Evaluation Association—in 2020. She enjoys playing the guitar in a band whose members share no musical aspirations beyond enjoyment.

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Livia Greenbacker is a Senior Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to tobacco prevention and control, early childhood education, chronic disease, and sexual health. Livia enjoys analyzing large datasets in order to assess programs’ impact and outcomes and provide evidence-based recommendations to her clients. While her background in psychology has cultivated a strong interest in behavioral and mental health, she is also interested in worksite health and early childhood education. Livia graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in Psychology and earned her M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University. Livia likes to spend her spare time outdoors, hiking or playing tennis, and dominating local trivia competitions.

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Gabrielle Grode is an Evaluation Specialist, responsible for leading projects related to perinatal health and nutrition. Gabrielle enjoys the process of helping clients discover their own driving research questions and the search for novel ways to visualize data. Prior to joining PHMC, Gabrielle worked at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, studying nutrition and physical activity at child care centers. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University and an M.P.H. from Temple University, with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of New Haven. Gabrielle is a fan of the home design website Houzz and eagerly anticipates reading the Modern Love column in the New York Times each week.

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Mary Harkins-Schwarz is a Senior Project Director, responsible for overseeing the Community Health Database and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey. Her research interests include the impact of community on health; social determinants of health; injury prevention; adverse childhood experiences; and child and adolescent health.  Mary received a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers College, Rutgers University and an M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina. In warmer months, Mary enjoys paddling on the Schuylkill River with her dragon boat teammates.

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Kate Hemady (née Bamberger) is a Research Scientist and Director of the Division on Family Strengthening and Child Wellbeing. Kate is interested in achieving public health impact by embedding programs in families’ lives through integration into familiar service delivery venues and through real time intervention with mHealth (mobile health). She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University and was a NIH-funded pre-doctoral fellow at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. Kate is a painter and new mom learning to love city living but still pining for a vegetable garden.

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kerra henkin BW

Kerra Henkin is an Interviewer for the NIAAA – CBT Relapse Prevention Toolkit Study visiting implementation sites around SEPA and Delaware. She received her BS in Health Sciences from Ithaca College. Before PHMC, she completed a year of service with the Philadelphia chapter of the National Health Corps as a Community Health Educator. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

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rachel hough BW

Rachel Hough is an Interviewer engaged in studies related to treatment for substance use disorders and sexual health education. Before joining PHMC, she received her MSc in Human Geography from the University of Amsterdam and her BA in Sociology and Spanish from Temple University. Her professional interests include the role of geography in understanding phenomena, nutrition and access to healthy foods, and engaging with migrant populations. Outside the office, Rachel assists with English as a Second Language classes at Nationalities Services Center, an immigrant and refugee service organization, and enjoys going for walks in Fairmount Park with her dog.

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andrew jones BW

Andrew Jones is a Research Assistant engaged in projects primarily related to the Community Health Database and tobacco cessation. He enjoys analyzing community health data and developing plans to positively address pressing health needs. He earned his M.P.A. and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Villanova University and a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Richmond. Prior to joining PHMC, Andrew was a postgraduate researcher on a multi-year biography project centered on Earl Browder, a 20th century political and cultural figure. He enjoys horology, reading science fiction, and rooting for his hometown Houston Astros.

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allison kannam BW

Allison Kannam is a Research Assistant engaged in projects relating to tobacco prevention and cessation, and sexual health. She received a B.A. in Community Health from Tufts University, where she conducted research projects relating to summer nutrition programs and medical decision-making for elderly patients with kidney disease. She is interested in public health issues relating to the social determinants of health, children and families, education, and nutrition. In her free time, Allison enjoys singing, doing yoga, visiting friends and family, and volunteering with the Girl Scouts.

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Jennifer Keith

Jennifer Keith is the Deputy Director of the Research & Evaluation Group, working on development, implementation, and coordination of evaluation activities across a variety of programs. Jen enjoys working with R&E Group’s diverse set of partners to collect and use data with a focus on maximizing impact and value. Prior to joining PHMC, Jen was a Peace Corps volunteer in central Asia. She earned a B.A. in Sociology at the College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State) and an M.P.H. from the University of Michigan. Jen loves to travel and laugh with her kids.

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Gary Klein is a Senior Data Analyst, engaged in projects involving specialized programming to clean, merge, aggregate, and analyze data. Gary analyzes population-level census and vital data and sampled health survey data, incorporating a variety of statistical techniques. Prior to joining PHMC, Gary taught statistics and sociology classes at various universities across the Philadelphia area. Gary has earned many degrees in Sociology, including a B.A. from Gettysburg College, an M.A. from Temple University, and a Ph.D. from Temple University, conducting research in South Africa. In his spare time, Gary enjoys running, a hobby he took up at age 40.

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Katherine Land is a Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to sexual health and tobacco. Katherine enjoys combining qualitative and quantitative research methods to evaluate programs’ effectiveness. Before joining R&E Group, she worked on a federally-funded population health initiative for medical students and in public health preparedness. Katherine received a B.A. in Sociology from Dickinson College and an M.P.H. from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, completing a thesis on the impact of natural disasters on health disparities. Outside of work, she enjoys reading and teaching pilates, and is a founding member of her book club’s Quizzo Subcommittee.

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 jonathan lewis BW

Jonathan Lewis is a Research Assistant engaged in projects related to lung health, tobacco control and prevention, and perinatal health. He enjoys analyzing large data-sets to uncover behavioral trends, develop policy recommendations, and better understand the health needs of a population. Jonathan earned his B.S. in Public Health Science with a minor in Statistics from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining PHMC, he worked at the Center for Substance Abuse Research conducting quantitative analysis of national and community level toxicology data. Outside of the office, Jonathan enjoys spending his time playing tennis, taking care of his fish, and endlessly watching Friends.

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Jessica Lipkin is a Research Coordinator responsible for working on research projects and evaluations related to improving outcomes and policies for substance users. Before joining PHMC, she worked as a Research Assistant at Treatment Research Institute. Jessica received her B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware. Outside of the office, Jessica is the Co-President of the Pennsylvania chapter of DanceSafe, a non-profit public health organization that provides harm reduction services and drug education at music festivals and nightlife events. She likes to spend her free time cooking, taking fitness classes, and binge watching Parks & Rec (again).

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 meghan love BW

Meghan Love is the Product Director for the Treatment Research Solutions team and is responsible for providing day to day oversight for the development and delivery of new products and services. This includes overseeing the distribution and support of software for treatment programs and problem-solving courts, and developing and implementing training programs. Prior to PHMC, Meghan led the successful development and implementation of products, solutions dissemination, and licensing initiative for 9 years at the Treatment Research Institute. Over the past 27 years, she has managed a variety of research projects in the field of substance use and mental health, including managing the Drug Evaluation Network System (DENS) project between 1998 and 2004. Meghan graduated with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. Besides cheering on the Nittany Lions, she spends her free time on the sidelines watching her sons play soccer, walking her rescue dog Sugar, or in a yoga studio.

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jaime metzger BW 

Jaime Metzger is a Research Assistant engaging in projects related to mental health and substance use disorders. She conducts bilingual interviews and uses data analysis to create data visualizations. Before joining PHMC, Jaime earned a B.A. in Linguistics and Spanish at Haverford College and worked for the National Science Foundation building online Zapotec dictionaries in Oaxaca, Mexico. You might run into her at a concert in Philly, or at a coffee shop.

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Laura McCann is a Senior Project Manager, leading the evaluation of tobacco control and prevention, asthma, diabetes prevention, and early childhood education projects. Before joining R&E in 2015, she worked on research and evaluation projects in the substance abuse, hospice and palliative care, and afterschool fields. Laura received her B.S. in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s University and her M.S.Ed. in School & Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, listening to Fresh Air, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

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Keli McLoyd is a Policy Analyst, focusing on substance use disorder policy development and implementation. Keli is passionate about increasing access to substance use disorder treatment for vulnerable populations and utilizing evidence-based practices to help people move towards recovery. Prior to joining PHMC, Keli was a Policy Analyst at the Treatment Research Institute. Keli received a BA in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from the University of Michigan. Outside of work Keli teaches Aviation Law and Aviation Legislation courses, and happily chases after her spirited toddler, Maya.

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Conor Millard is a Research Assistant engaged in projects relating to opioid use disorder treatment and recovery as well as cancer control. Prior to joining PHMC, Conor received a B.A. in Biology and Public Health from Brown University, where he was passionate about sexual health education and harm reduction research and practice. Conor is happiest when taking care of his plants, reading, and taking long runs to explore Philadelphia.

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Mary Milnamow is a Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to sexual health, adjudicated youth, and low-income families. Mary earned a B.A. in Psychology from Temple University and a Master of Social Service from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research with a concentration in Community Practice, Policy, and Advocacy. When she is not working, Mary enjoys spending time with her family – especially cheering on her younger brother at Special Olympics – black and white photography, and all things food-related.

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 Brenden Molander BW

Brendan Molander is an Research Assistant working on projects related to sexual health education, tobacco, and opioid use disorder treatment. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Temple University. Prior to joining PHMC, Brendan worked in a variety of clinical neuropsychology settings where he collected and analyzed data to diagnose neurological and psychological disorders, as well as in school therapeutic services across the city of Philadelphia working with youth with behavioral disorders and crisis. When he’s not at work, Brendan enjoys spending time with his wife and their cats, anything Sci-Fi/Horror, and playing video and tabletop games with his friends.

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wandia mureithi BW

Wandia Mureithi is a Research Assistant working on projects related to diabetes, early childhood education, youth opioid abuse prevention, and anti-human trafficking programs. She received a B.A. in Health and Societies from the University of Pennsylvania worked as a research assistant at the Penn Center for AIDS Research before joining the R&E Group. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, finding reasons to be outside and watching reruns of her favorite 90’s sitcoms.

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 nana no banner

Nana Nimako is a Research Assistant evaluating projects related to sexual health and substance abuse recovery. She is interested in women’s reproductive health, health inequity, as well as program design and evaluation. Nana attended Washington University in St. Louis where she received a B.A. in Anthropology: Global Health and Environment. Outside of work, Nana enjoys writing, baking, and shopping unnecessarily.

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caroline parker BW

Caroline Parker is an Interviewer for the NIAAA project involving alcoholic relapse prevention. She visits implementation sites across the Philadelphia area, conducting interviews and assessments of research participants. She received her B.S. in Exercise Sports Science from Ursinus College. Before PHMC, she was a program coordinator at Turning Points For Children for a federal research grant investigating family engagement in elementary schools. She enjoys walking dogs in Northern Liberties, being down the shore with friends and family, cooking with her fiancé and early morning spin classes.

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henisha patel BW

Henisha Patel is a Research Assistant working on a variety of projects regarding statewide nutrition initiatives, education, and the CDC’s policy response to the opioid epidemic. Henisha earned her MSW from University of Pennsylvania and her BA in Psychology and Sociology from Boston College. Prior to joining R&E Group, she served as the Forensic Case Manager for Access Services, and a Research Assistant for the SexGen Policy Lab at University of Pennsylvania. Outside of work, Henisha enjoys cooking, reading, yoga, and kickboxing.

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Julius Patterson is an Interviewer for Brothers Speak, a research study that engages young black men in a theater-based teen pregnancy prevention program. Julius is currently enrolled at Camden County College pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Before joining PHMC, he worked at Hopeworks, a non-profit in Camden, NJ, training other professionals on trauma-informed practices. Outside of work, Julius likes to enjoy all aspects of music.

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Alexander Peters is a Research Assistant, engaged in projects related to sexual health and diabetes self-management. Alexander has interests in community health, international health, and infectious disease epidemiology, and enjoys engaging youth across diverse Philadelphia settings. He attended Temple University, where he earned a B.S. in Public Health. In his free time, Alexander enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants.

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Justin Powell is an Interviewer on projects related to sexual health education and substance use. Previous to joining R&E Group, Justin worked at PHMC for both The Bridge & The Care Clinic, where his focuses were juvenile substance use treatment and Hepatitis C outreach. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in English & Film Studies. An avid film fan, when not at the movies, Justin likes to spend time traveling, reading, and seeking new experiences.

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Darion Porter is a Research Assistant, engaged in projects related to education, tobacco cessation, and nutrition. Darion is interested in mixed methods research and he enjoys using tools like GIS to help visualize data in new ways and make it more accessible to people. He earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Temple University, and prior to joining the PHMC team he was a GIS intern at the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation. When not at work, he likes to read, play video-games, snowboard, and tinker with things.

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Megan Richardson is a Senior Project Manager with expertise in STEM education, early childhood and K-16 interventions, teacher and principal preparation, teacher induction support, professional development studies, and higher education policy. She completed her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and her MA in Sociology & Education at Columbia University. As a member of R&E Group's Division of Education (formerly Research for Better Schools), Megan designs complex quasi-experimental and randomized controlled trial evaluations for clients across the educational spectrum. She participates in “green school” initiatives aimed at building healthier and more environmentally conscious school communities and works with state departments of education to obtain hard-to-track longitudinal information about novice teachers. Megan is an avid amateur genealogist and a ninth generation Philadelphian.

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Isabelle Rocca is a Research Assistant engaged in projects relating to sexual health, tobacco control, cancer prevention, and technology assistance for children with special needs. Her experience in health research and advocacy has made her dedicated to improving health outcomes locally, and fighting for health equity world-wide. Isabelle earned a B.S. in Public Health with a minor in biochemistry from American University. In her free time, Isabelle enjoys exploring running trails throughout Philly, crafting things for her apartment, and tending to her growing collection of plants.

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alia salam BW 

Alia Salam is a Research Assistant engaged in projects related to cancer screening and perceptions, opioid use disorder, and tobacco-related disparities. She earned her M.P.H. from Thomas Jefferson University and her bachelor’s degree from Temple University, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology. Prior to joining the R&E Group, Alia lived near the Syrian-Lebanese border to manage a psycho-social support project serving Syrians affected by war. On the weekends, Alia loves to shop for the trendiest clothes and home-decor items with her mom and watching psychological thrillers with her husband.

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kathleen shea BW

Kathleen Shea is a Project Manager currently working on projects related to asthma management and early childhood education. She has her MS in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in anthropology from the University of Delaware. Kathleen’s research experience includes studying how state and federal health policy impacts access to effective community-based treatment for individuals with behavioral health conditions. In her free time, Kathleen enjoys traveling, listening to music, reading about health policy, and drinking way too much coffee.

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laura sosinsky BW

Laura Sosinsky is a Research Scientist conducting evaluations of programs for children and families with a focus on interventions designed to build the capacities of teachers and parents to promote healthy early development and school readiness. Trained as a developmental psychologist, Laura has expertise in infant and child development, early care and education (ECE) quality improvement and professional development, as well as state, federal, and local ECE policy. Laura received her B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Yale University. Outside of PHMC, Laura enjoys classic movies, good music, traveling to new places, and spending time with her family.

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sarah string BW

Sarah String is a Project Manager involved with projects related to STEM education, community public health needs assessments, and healthcare coordination for chronic disease management. Sarah earned her M.P.H. from Arcadia University and a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Houghton College. Her research interests include healthcare coordination, patient centered decision making, workforce development, and issues related to human ecology. She enjoys being outdoors, traveling with her husband, and volunteering with international health development organizations.

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Mary Tabit is a Senior Project Director working on public health and policy-related projects. Mary completed her PsyD in Clinical and School Psychology at James Madison University, her MS in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and her BS in Psychology at Saint Joseph’s University. Prior to joining PHMC, Mary worked at the Treatment Research Institute on policy and substance use-related projects. Outside of PHMC, Mary enjoys traveling and practicing yoga.

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leo thorbecke BW

Leo Thorbecke is a research assistant engaged in projects related to substance use and lung health. They received their B.A. in Social Work from Warren Wilson College, where they fell in love with macro practice and applied research working on projects ranging from child welfare worker time and retention to horticulture therapy. Leo is interested in the influence structures have on health and behavior and re-imagining structures to improve community well-being. Outside of work, you can find Leo in one of their many gardens – this year, he focused on growing flowers, and especially enjoyed learning more about roses.

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Kelly Thompson is a Policy Analyst, responsible for managing legal research projects and policy initiatives. She helps to provide a legal perspective on multidisciplinary teams developing public health law projects, which span topics from health and social equity concerns of vulnerable populations to emergency preparedness. Her favorite focus areas are intersections of criminal justice issues with public health outcomes. After graduating with a dual B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the University of Delaware, Kelly moved to Philadelphia to earn her J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. Away from the office, Kelly enjoys being active outdoors, eating sweets, binging podcasts, and meeting dogs while walking her dog.

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pragya verma BW

Pragya Verma is a Project Manager working on multiple evaluation projects related to lung health as well as opioid use disorder. Prior to joining PHMC, Pragya worked as a data analyst and project manager supporting behavioral health and child welfare programs at a direct service organization in Philadelphia. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from The College of New Jersey. Outside of work Pragya enjoys crafting & woodworking, photography and traveling.

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kelsey weymouth bw

Kelsey Weymouth-Little is a Research Assistant engaged in projects related to asthma, opioid prevention, and early childhood education. They earned their B.A. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College. Prior to joining PHMC, they worked on education research as part of the Camden Promise Neighborhood Research and Evaluation team at Center For Family Services. Outside of work, Kelsey is involved in community organizing around criminal justice issues, and enjoys playing Settlers of Catan, trying and failing to fix their bike on their own, and competing for the affections of their roommate’s cat.

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Brian Zepka BW

Brian Zepka is a Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to nutrition, chronic disease management, and health promotion. He is passionate about leveraging research and program evaluations to facilitate inclusive health policy decision-making for vulnerable populations. Before joining PHMC, Brian worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Virginia where he provided support for a variety of programs addressing health literacy, sexual health, and chronic disease prevention. He earned a B.S. in Biology from West Chester University and an M.P.H. from Thomas Jefferson University, completing a thesis on adolescent mental health in the U.S.–Mexico Border Region. Outside of work, Brian likes to go on long runs and write young adult novels with resilient teen protagonists.

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jenny zhang BW

Jenny Zhang is a Research Assistant engaged in projects focused on evaluating educational initiatives, ranging from preschool to adult learning. She received her B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the R&E Group, Jenny gained valuable research and evaluation experience while interning at the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Research and Evaluation. She has also worked with Asian Americans United, supporting their youth programming and civic engagement initiatives. Outside of work, Jenny enjoys reading, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and exploring the city by foot or public transit.

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