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RAND Health Staff

Rachel Burns

Rachel Burns (MPH, Epidemiology, University of Michigan) is a project associate at RAND, where she primarily works within the Center for Military Health Policy Research. During her tenure at RAND, she has contributed to projects focused on mental health and well-being of military personnel returning from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, suicide epidemiology and prevention, the impact of deployment on the well-being of children and families of military members, mental health and well-being of gifted children, adolescent health behaviors, occupational health and safety, access to and utilization of health care services, vaccinations, and patient safety and quality of care in hospitals. She is a proficient SAS programmer and has experience in qualitative and quantitative data management, collection, and analysis.

Matthew Chinman

Matthew Chinman (PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of South Carolina) is a Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation where his recent focus has been to develop strategies to enhance the prevention capacity of community-based prevention practitioners. As such, he co-developed the Getting To Outcomes (GTO) model and led the development and testing of several Getting to Outcomes-based guides that are aimed at assisting local communities in planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention programs in the areas of substance abuse prevention, underage drinking prevention, and youth development. Dr. Chinman is also a Health Science Specialist at the VISN-4 Mental Illness, Research, and Clinical Center at the Pittsburgh VA. At the VA, his overall focus is developing and testing various interventions to improve the recovery of individuals with serious mental illnesses. As part of that focus, he recently has been developing and assessing strategies that involve mental health consumers in service providing roles in order to improve the quality of their care.

Jake Dembosky

Jake Dembosky (MPM, University of Maryland) is a project associate at RAND, where he serves as a project manager and research assistant on projects in education and health, including a multi-year evaluation of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s patient safety initiative; an analysis of state efforts to improve policy, planning, and programmatic activities for people with co-occurring mental and addictive disorders; a plan for improving the delivery of maternal and child health care services in Allegheny County; an investigation of the ways in which school districts in Southwestern Pennsylvania are pursuing data-driven decisionmaking; and a study to estimate the impacts of providing value-added assessment results to teachers, principals, and district administrators in Pennsylvania. On these and other projects, he assists with survey and interview protocol development, data collection, data analysis, and report writing.

Andrew W. Dick

Andrew Dick (PhD, Economics, Stanford University) is a senior economist at RAND. Before joining RAND in 2005, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester where he maintains an adjunct faculty position. While there he was the director and principal investigator of the Pre and Post-Doctoral NRSA Training grant. He has completed three evaluations of the New York State Child Health Plus program (New York’s version of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program [SCHIP]) and led several multi-state studies to determine SCHIP’s effects on access, utilization, quality, and satisfaction as well as the dynamics of enrollment and how the program interacts with Medicaid and private insurance. He has led the economics team on an MCHB funded center to study financing of care for children with special health care needs. He is the principal investigator of the MADIT CRT-D cost-effectiveness study, a world-wide study including over 1,500 subjects in nearly 100 sites that will determine the health effects and cost consequences of cardiac resynchronization devices in implantable defibrillators. He has also been the principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute (NIH) grant to determine the cost-effectiveness of treatments for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, a localized form of breast cancer. He has published numerous articles on risk-adjustment methods for assessing quality.

Tamara Dubowitz

Tamara Dubowitz (ScD, Harvard School of Public Health; SM, Harvard School of Public Health; MSc, University of Pennsylvania) is an associate policy researcher at RAND trained in social epidemiology with concentrations in maternal and child health and public health nutrition. Her research interests include neighborhood effects, particularly those related to the built physical and social environment, obesity and diet related disease, and the health and nutrition effects of social policy (e.g., housing policy, food stamps, and WIC) and monitoring and evaluation. Her work has utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine individuals within their social and structural contexts, immigrant status and duration of residence in the United States, structure of the workday, access to childcare and competing daily-life constraints alongside of neighborhood socioeconomic status and racial composition. Dr. Dubowitz has also worked internationally on women’s health programs and development with the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and an evaluation of a maternal and child nutrition program led by UNICEF India. More recently, she has looked at factors of the built environment and their association with prevalence of obesity in Pittsburgh, Pa.

John Engberg

John B. Engberg (PhD, Economics, University of Wisconsin—Madison) is a senior economist at RAND. Dr. Engberg has worked on a variety of health policy and health care research projects, with an emphasis on using longitudinal non-experimental data to infer causality. Examples include his examination of the impact of organizational and market factors on the efficiency of health maintenance organizations and his analysis of transient psychological factors that lead to smoking cessation and relapse. He is currently principal investigator of a CMS study to evaluate demonstration projects aimed at improving opportunities for home care workers and co-principal Investigator on a multi-year evaluation of tobacco settlement programming expenditures on smoking behavior and health outcomes in Arkansas. He joined RAND in 2002 after fourteen years on the faculty of the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. He completed post-doctoral training in psychiatric statistics, jointly sponsored by the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Statistics and University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. He also served as the research director of the Carnegie Mellon Census Data Research Center, one of only a few places in the country where researchers can obtain access to confidential Census data.

Carrie Farmer

Carrie Farmer, Ph.D., is a Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. She holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University. Her research focuses on the measuring and improving the quality of mental health and substance abuse treatment. She is the co-Principal Investigator on a large Department of Defense-funded project to assess and evaluate military psychological health programs. Recently, she was a co-investigator on a large evaluation of the quality of care delivered by the Veterans Administration for serious mental illness. Dr. Farmer has also worked to develop quality measures based on administrative and medical record data to assess the quality of care for alcohol use disorders, bipolar disorder, and depression. Prior to joining RAND, Dr. Farmer was a post-doctoral fellow focusing on mental health services research at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh.

Walid Gellad

Walid F Gellad (MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, MPH, Harvard School of Public Health) is an associate natural scientist at RAND and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a core faculty member of the VA Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP). Prior to joining RAND, Dr. Gellad was an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and completed health services research training at Brigham and Women's Hospital. His research focuses on policy issues affecting access to medications for seniors, including Medicare Part D and prescription drug costs. Dr. Gellad is board certified in Internal Medicine and completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He sees primary care patients at the Pittsburgh VA and attends on the inpatient general medical service.

Michael Greenberg

Michael Greenberg (PhD, Psychology, Duke University; JD, Harvard University) is a clinical psychologist and a lawyer. Prior to joining RAND, he worked as an attorney at Ropes & Gray, a large Boston law firm, and held a psychology internship at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. Dr.Greenberg’s work at RAND has included empirical research projects on topics spanning health care, civil justice, and national security. Two recent examples of his work include a study of the relationship between patient safety outcomes and medical malpractice claiming in California; and serving as the contractual evaluator for AHRQ’s national Patient Safety and Medical Liability Reform Demonstration program. Dr. Greenberg is broadly interested in policy problems related to the delivery of health care, and at the interface between the health care system, government regulation, and the civil justice system. Dr. Greenberg also serves as the Director of the RAND Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance, where he leads RAND efforts to develop new projects and pathbreaking symposium events on related law and business issues. Beyond his role at RAND, Dr. Greenberg also has adjunct appointments at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, and at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University.

Marla C. Haims

Marla C. Haims (PhD, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a Senior Management Scientist at RAND and Associate Director of Global Health. Her fields of study and work are sociotechnical systems engineering, organizational design and management, occupational safety and health, quality of care, international health policy and systems design, and the intersection of development and security. As a charter member of the core research staff at the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute in Doha, Qatar through 2005, she gained broad experience working directly with public institutions in the Arabian Gulf to develop sound policy options and strategic plans. Dr. Haims is now located in Pittsburgh, PA but is still playing a key role in assisting the Qatari government and other international clients to develop and implement innovative and sound policies in the areas of healthcare, foreign assistance, and public services. Dr. Haims has done extensive work in conducting program evaluations. She has developed and conducted numerous formative and implementation evaluations, including evaluations of the development of regional coalitions for health care quality improvement, the effectiveness of quality measures in the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey (CAHPS), the effectiveness and impact of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) patient safety program, and the implementation of various participatory work practices and community programs. More recently, Dr. Haims has developed a guidebook for monitoring and evaluation Department of Defense humanitarian assistance activities and has been involved in a variety of other initiatives looking at the intersections of health, development, and security. Prior to her position at RAND, Dr. Haims was a scientist at the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, UW-Madison and served as a consultant at the Office of Quality Improvement, UW-Madison. Her research has dealt with a diverse array of environments, such as the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, major hospitals, health care providers, and health care consortiums in the United States and abroad, the United States Air Force, and a wide variety of government entities within the State of Qatar.

Amelia Haviland

Amelia Haviland (PhD, Statistics and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University) is an associate statistician at RAND. Her research focuses on longitudinal data analysis, adapting statistical methods for complex survey data, and causal analysis with observational data. Previously at the University of Pittsburgh Epidemiology Data Center, she worked with the NHLBI Dynamic Registry team to investigate gender and racial differences in health outcomes. Her previous research also includes using nonparametric methods to assess gender and racial wage gaps with complex educational survey data and using Bayesian methods to compare the effectiveness of food pantries and food stamps in alleviating food insecurity. In these projects, she worked extensively with large government datasets, such as the Long Form of the Decennial Census and the National Survey of College Graduates. Dr. Haviland consulted with the NSF on the ongoing development of the SESTAT system of databases.Currently she works with large health databases such as the HCUP NIS and the MCBS on a project evaluating AHRQ’s Patient Safety Initiative. She is also creating the sample design for a study of the impacts of consumer directed health care; refining and expanding the methodology to address causal analyses (Nagin and Haviland, forthcoming); investigating the effects of first time gang membership on violence over time among high-risk youth and testing whether these effects differ by developmental trajectory group (Nagin and Haviland, forthcoming); and for the IMPACT study, investigating the effects of trauma on drug use and high-risk sexual behavior.

Marcela Horvitz-Lennon

Dr. Marcela Horvitz-Lennon is a Physician Scientist at RAND since September 2010. She is also adjunct faculty of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and a member of the medical staff at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Previously, she was affiliated with the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance, and the Dept. of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, and with the Chilean Ministry of Health. She has conducted mental health services and policy research on patterns of service use and quality of care for persons with mental illnesses. Her main research interests are health care disparities, diffusion of innovations, underuse of evidence-based practices, overuse of ineffective or low value interventions, care of medical comorbidities, and physician prescribing behavior. She is also interested in methodological issues in psychiatric research. Her main population focus is people with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses, including those who are homeless. She has served and continues to serve as principal investigator or co-investigator of NIMH and other federally-funded research. Dr. Horvitz-Lennon earned her MD in Santiago Chile, and completed her psychiatric residency training at the University of Maryland Medical School and a fellowship in Community Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. She earned a Masters degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Susan Lovejoy

Susan Lovejoy (MS, Health Care Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University) is a project associate at RAND, where she is supporting a number of health care-related research projects including a community-based initiative to improve maternal and child health care in the Pittsburgh area, an evaluation of the Arkansas tobacco settlement funds program, a review of physician pay-for-performance programs, and several projects within RAND’s Patient Safety Evaluation Center. Prior to joining RAND, she worked as an intern and a consultant on several community health care initiatives and had a career in the financial services sector. She is president of the Board of the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and recently served on the Pressley Ridge Board and the Allegheny County MH/MR Advisory Board.

Steven Martino

Steven C. Martino (PhD, Psychology, University of Minnesota) is a behavioral scientist at RAND. Much of his research focuses on psychosocial aspects of adolescent substance use, social cognitive processes involved in adolescent sexual behavior, and the influence of various media (including television, movies, music, and various forms of advertising) on adolescents’ beliefs and behaviors regarding sex and substance use. Dr. Martino also has experience conducting research on informational interventions for health care consumers using cognitive testing, surveys, focus groups, lab studies, and field evaluations. For the past 5 years he has been a key member of RAND's Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) project, directing development and testing of consumer reports on health care quality, conducting lab studies of how consumers use quality reports in decision-making, and developing and testing physician feedback reports.

Dan McCaffrey

Daniel McCaffrey (Ph.D., Statistics, North Carolina State) is a Senior Statistician at RAND and Head of the RAND statistics group. Dr. McCaffrey has extensive experience analyzing complex survey data from his work on HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study where he developed variance estimation methods and his work on the review of the mental health and substance abuse block grant formula and the estimation of drug use prevalence in California which involved modeling the data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Recently Dr. McCaffrey has worked on RAND's Adolescent Outcomes Project that is using propensity score methods to estimate the effects of different treatment programs by comparing outcomes for youths assigned to the various programs.

Ateev Mehrotra

Ateev Mehrotra (MD, University of California, San Francisco; MPH, University of California, Berkeley; MS, Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health) is a policy analyst at RAND and an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Prior to joining RAND, he worked as a researcher at the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. His research has focused on the measurement of health care quality and efficiency and the impact of innovations in health care delivery design. In previous work, he has evaluated the use of report cards created by employer coalitions and he recently completed as part of a Robert Wood Johnson sponsored Rewarding Results initiative an evaluation of the impact of pay-for-performance incentives on Massachusetts physician groups. Dr. Mehrotra is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. He completed his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Boston. His clinical work has been both as a primary care physician and as an adult and pediatric hospitalist.

John Mendeloff

John Mendeloff (PhD, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of California-Berkeley) recently joined RAND's Policy Sciences group as the Director of the RAND Center for Health & Safety in the Workplace. John is a professor in and director of the public management and policy program in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He also has joint appointments in the School of Law and in the Graduate School of Public Health in the Health Services Administration and Environmental and Occupational Health departments. He taught at the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-San Diego, and SUNY-Albany before coming to the University of Pittsburgh. His research has focused on government regulation of health and safety risks, especially by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. He is also currently studying the FDA's regulation of new drugs. His other research interests have included trauma care, mental health services, and organ procurement.

Kristy Morganti

Kristy Gonzalez Morganti, Ph.D., is an associate policy researcher at RAND. She received her doctorate degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Health Policy and Administration and her Master of Public Health degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining RAND, Morganti worked at Deloitte Consulting, LLP for approximately three years as a senior consultant specializing in strategy and operations. While working for Deloitte Consulting, LLP, Morganti gained significant experience conducting interviews, leading focus groups, and developing and analyzing survey data. Her research focus includes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Her key areas of research focus include: public health preparedness, program evaluation, strategic planning, social determinant of health, public health systems, access to care, health care quality, global health, and health economics.

Christopher Nelson

Christopher Nelson (PhD, Political Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) is a political scientist at RAND. His work on occupational safety and health has focused on the linkages between organizational processes and organizational safety outcomes. This work has included projects on participatory safety rules revisions, behavioral feedback systems, process improvement methods, and fatigue management in the U.S. railroad industry. Dr. Nelson is also coauthor of a forthcoming examination of the role of firm and establishment size in worker fatality rates. Recently, he was appointed acting director of the RAND Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace, a multidisciplinary research center based in RAND’s Pittsburgh Office. His interest in safety also extends to public health emergency preparedness (including bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and other threats). He is currently leading an HHS-funded effort to develop a new system for assessing state and local capacity to receive and distribute materiel from the Strategic National Stockpile. Other recently completed projects were designed to (a) improve the quality of federal bioterrorism guidance and performance measures, (b) examine applications of quality improvement methods to public health emergency preparedness, and (c) understand the role of state-local governance structures in public health preparedness.

Stuart Olmsted

Dr. Stuart Olmsted (PhD, Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University) is a natural scientist at RAND. At Johns Hopkins, he studied and tested reproductive technologies including contraceptives and microbicides for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in microbiology at the Magee-Womens Research Institute in Pittsburgh. He joined RAND in 2002 and has worked on policy issues focusing on bioterrorism, public health preparedness, military health technologies and biotechnology. He has worked on a number of projects related to health care technology/biotech including the evaluation of an electronic diary system designed to gather patient responses to the smallpox vaccination, an evaluation of best practices at human tissue repositories for genomics-/proteomics-based research and a project modeling the benefits of diagnostic health technologies for the developing world.

John Pane

John F. Pane (Ph.D., Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University) is a Senior Scientist and manager of federal education research funding opportunities in RAND’s Education unit. He co-directs the Carnegie Mellon and RAND Traineeships in Methodology and Interdisciplinary Research (CMART), an IES postdoctoral training program. Dr. Pane is an experienced researcher of the implementation and effectiveness of educational innovations, with a focus on math, science, and education technology initiatives. His expertise includes the application of experimental and rigorous quasi-experimental methods in education settings, value-added analysis, and assessing the impact of new technologies on individuals and organizations. He is principal investigator of random-assignment experiments testing technology-based mathematics curricula in schools, including an effectiveness trial in 150 schools in 50 school districts in seven states. Dr. Pane has also led evaluations of a NSF Math and Science Partnership and a school district’s one-to-one laptop initiative, and investigated data-driven decisionmaking practices in education and the effects of the 2005 hurricanes on public school students in Louisiana. Sponsors of Dr. Pane’s research have included the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army, the Heinz Endowments, and the Grable, Pittsburgh, and Benedum Foundations.

Andrew Parker

Andrew M. Parker (PhD, Behavioral Decision Theory, MS, Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University) is an associate behavioral scientist at RAND. His research applies core concepts in behavioral decision research to the understanding of individual decision makers’ behavior in complex real-world situations. Past projects focusing on decision quality and risk perception have addressed low-income consumption, adolescent sexual and contraceptive behavior, drug and alcohol use, and teen expectations for major life events. In work with collaborators (Baruch Fischhoff and Wändi Bruine de Bruin) at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Parker was principal investigator on a project validating an adult measure of decision-making competence, which has been used to predict major life outcomes.

Kerry Reynolds

Kerry A. Reynolds, (Ph.D., Social/Health Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University), is an Associate Behavioral/Social Scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her work broadly addresses adolescence and adjustment to chronic illness. Much of her work has focused on individuals with diabetes, examining the effect of family and peer relationships, developmental processes, and decision making strategies on psychological, behavioral and physiological outcomes during adolescence and emerging adulthood. Her work has incorporated a variety of quantitative and qualitative research designs.

Deborah Scharf

Deborah Scharf (Ph.D., Psychology, University of Pittsburgh) is a clinical and health psychologist and an Associate Behavioral Scientist at RAND. Deb is an expert in research methods broadly relevant to behavioral health including clinical trials and program evaluation, as well as methods for electronic data collection in “real-time” (e.g., Ecological Momentary Assessment). Her content expertise is in the area of health behaviors and behavioral health. Specifically, Deb’s research has involved characterizing patterns of health behaviors, and then developing and applying strategies at the person-, provider-, and/or policy-level intended to improve health. Specifically, Deb has been involved in projects targeting cigarette smoking, substance use, stress, eating, as well as behaviors affecting chronic disease (asthma) and adolescent risk (sex, firesetting). More recently, Deb’s work has also included studies of care systems and disparities in access to behavioral health care. For example, Deb is currently the co-PI on a SAMHSA-funded initiative to evaluate the impact of integrating primary care services into community behavioral health clinics serving persons with serious mental illness. She is also leading an evaluation of a novel intervention for military servicemembers with subclinical symptoms of PTSD.

Dana Schultz

Dana Schultz (M.P.P., Harvard University) is a policy analyst at RAND with experience in research design, data collection and analysis, and program evaluation. Her research focuses on child welfare, children’s exposure to violence, and community-based mental health services. Ms. Schultz is the co-principal investigator of a project examining the effectiveness of community-based mental health interventions that attempt to reduce the harmful effects of children’s exposure to violence. She also leads the evaluation of a comprehensive quality improvement project to improve systems of care for families experiencing both parental depression and early childhood developmental delays. She recently led a project to develop adaptation materials for implementing a school-based mental health intervention with youth in foster care and conducted an evaluation of a quality improvement to bridge physical and behavioral health care for women at-risk for maternal depression. Her qualitative research skills include designing and pilot testing interview protocols, conducting interviews and site visits, conducting focus groups, and synthesizing findings into case studies, reports and publications.

Claude Setodji

Claude Messan Setodji (PhD, Statistics, University of Minnesota) is a statistician at RAND with interest in applications of statistics to public policy, causal inferences, sampling techniques, data reduction and visualization. He designed the sampling frame for the RAND-CDC study that evaluates the scope of rapid HIV testing in urban U.S. hospitals. He was also part of the RAND-CDC team that assessed the influence of immunization rates on the likelihood of influenza-like illness clusters in nursing facilities. Dr. Setodji has extensive experience in quality of health care assessment and he co-authored the article “Who is at greatest risk for receiving poor-quality health care?”, for the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the top medical journals, that has important policy implications on how health care is delivered in the US.

William Shadel

William G. Shadel received his doctorates in clinical health psychology and social/personality psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1995. He was on the faculty at Brown University and the University of Pittsburgh before joining RAND in 2005. He also holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, and is an member of the Biobehavioral Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. His research ranges from basic human laboratory work designed to understand the biopsychosocial mechanisms that contribute to smoking initiation and cessation, to evaluating cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological smoking cessation interventions in the clinic and in public health settings. He has published over 65 peer review papers and book chapters since 1993 and has been continuously funded as a Principal Investigator by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Drug Abuse since 1998. Current grants examine how cigarette advertising contributes to adolescent and young adult smoking behavior and investigate the psychosocial mechanisms that underlie relapse in adult smokers. He has been or is currently on the editorial board of several peer review journals, was associate editor of the American Psychological Association journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors from 2005-2007, and has served as a regular and ad hoc member of several grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health since 1999.

Shoshana Shelton

Shoshana Shelton (MPH, Health Behavior/Disease Prevention, Ohio State University), is a Project Associate/Project Manager at RAND Corporation. Her current projects focus on developing performance measures, program evaluation, and crisis decision making. Ms. Shelton is a FEMA certified Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP), and has designed, implemented, and evaluated exercises for public health agencies throughout the nation. Before joining RAND, she spent three years as a Program Manager at the Center for Public Health Preparedness at The Ohio State University, where she developed and delivered trainings to public health agencies and response partners; topics included exercise design, risk communication, social marketing, and health education.

Melony Sorbero

Melony Sorbero (PhD, Health Services Research and Health Policy, MS, Public Policy Analysis, University of Rochester) is a policy researcher at RAND. A health services researcher with a background in public policy analysis and public health, her research interests include quality of care, economic effects of variations in medical care, comparative effectiveness, and program evaluation. Dr. Sorbero currently has projects in breast cancer quality of care and outcomes, care for elderly patients, performance measurement, pay for performance, and patient safety. Dr. Sorbero's current work is funded by a mix of grants and contracts from the National Cancer Institute, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, CMS, ASPE (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation in the US Department of Health & Human Services), HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration in the US Department of Health & Human Services) and the DoD (Department of Defense).

Bradley Stein

Bradley Stein (MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh; PhD, RAND Graduate School) is associate director for mental and behavioral health in the RAND Center for Domestic and International Health Security and a natural scientist at RAND. He is the senior director of Research, Evaluation, and Outcomes at Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and a visiting associate professor of psychiatry at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He has extensive experience in the school mental health and child trauma field at both the local and national levels. He is lead author of a paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) documenting the effectiveness of a program providing school-based mental health services to children exposed to violence that was developed as part of a participatory research collaboration between RAND, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and UCLA. He is also leading a federally funded study examining the implementation of the LAUSD Youth Suicide Prevention Program. His other current research activities include a study of the social and functional impact of depression in teens identified in school-based health clinics and in other primary care settings, an examination of treatment patterns for youth diagnosed with PTSD, ongoing analyses of national survey data regarding American’s emotional and behavioral response to terrorism, and research examining behavioral health issues and strategies related to terrorism and bioterrorism preparedness and response.

Susan Straus

Susan Straus (PhD, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, University of Illinois) is a behavioral scientist at RAND and adjunct associate professor of human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining RAND in 2001, she was on the faculty in organizational behavior at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Straus's research addresses the social impacts of information and communication technologies. Areas of interest include health information technology, distributed learning, and collaboration and performance in distributed teams. Current and recent projects include development of a toolset for implementing e-prescribing in ambulatory care practices, evaluation of an electronic referral system for outpatient specialty care, assessment of provider-patient communication in information technology-guided disease management interventions, a study of BlackBerry adoption in law enforcement teams, and a series of studies assessing the effectiveness of distributed learning in the military.

Shannah Tharp-Taylor

Shannah Tharp-Taylor (PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Pittsburgh; Certification in Program Evaluation and Public Policy) is a social scientist at RAND. A specialist in interview, survey, and focus groups she integrates qualitative methods into otherwise quantitative designs. Her work studies the effectiveness of institutions that provide health education/services or implement educational reforms. Additionally, her work with community service providers lends technical assistance that builds and implements rigorous evaluation strategies based on an outcomes oriented approach. In addition to her evaluation work, she exercises her expertise as a developmental psychologist through her partnership with neighborhood initiatives, including the Homewood Children’s Village, focusing on improving outcomes across multiple domains in children at risk for developmental delay. She led the evaluation of the Pittsburgh Public Schools Excellence for All Initiative and continues to work with the Teacher Incentive Fund evaluation examining the effects of the pay-for-performance initiative on principals, schools, and classroom instruction. She is currently serving as a co-investigator on the PHRESH (Pittsburgh Hill/Homewood Research on Eating, Shopping and Health) project, sponsored by the NIH, which investigates the impact of the built environment on health and health behaviors. And she leads the evaluation of the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement programs developing relevant indicators and outcomes, while maintaining a focus on the programs’ strategic goals.

Henry Willis

Henry H. Willis is a Senior Policy Researcher at RAND Corporation and Associate Director of the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Center. His research has applied risk analysis tools to resource allocation and risk management decisions in the areas of public health and emergency preparedness, terrorism and national security policy, energy and environmental policy, and transportation planning. He is the author of dozens of publications, book chapters and op-ed pieces and has testified before Congress as an expert on applying risk analysis to terrorism security policy. Dr. Willis’ recent research has involved: assessing the costs and benefits of terrorism security measures like the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and evaluating the impact of public health emergency preparedness grant programs like the Cities Readiness Initiative. Dr. Willis serves on the Editorial Board of the journals Risk Analysis and Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression and served on the National Academies of Science Committee on Evaluating Testing, Costs, and Benefits of Advanced Spectroscopic Portals. Dr. Willis earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and holds degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.) and in Environmental Science from the University of Cincinnati (M.A.).

Hao Yu

Hao Yu (PhD, Health Services Research and Policy, University of Rochester; Master and Bachelor of Medicine, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, China) is a policy researcher for RAND Health. His research interests focus on health insurance market, international health, and access to, expenditures on, and quality of health care for children, especially children with special health care needs. He is currently involved in research project on patient safety and access to care. Prior to coming to the U.S., he spent five years as an assistant professor at the Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, China, studying China's health insurance reform in the 1990s. Those studies were funded by international agencies, such as the International Health Policy Program in Washington, D.C., the International Development Research Center in Ottawa, Canada, the British Council in London, UK, and the European Union in Brussels, Belgium. As part of those studies, he worked for one year as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, U.K. His previous research also included an investigation of antibiotics over-use in primary care, and a cost-effectiveness analysis of parasitic diseases control in China.

Karen Yuhas

Karen Yuhas (RN, NP, MS, MPH, Syracuse University, University of California, Los Angeles) is a certified adult nurse practitioner with years of experience conducting community-based research projects including the hiring, training, and supervision of field technicians and research interviewers. Ms. Yuhas has developed survey interview instruments, written procedure and field manuals and conducted physical assessments designed specifically for data collection. On RAND projects, she has been the lead abstractor for a team of RNs abstracting medical records using data collection software, has oriented new abstractors and written abstraction guidelines. She is currently the project manager for the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey.