Health Concentration

Sasha Albert, PhD student in health policy

Sasha Albert

Sasha Albert is a PhD candidate in health policy. She holds an MSc from the University of Amsterdam in Sociology (Gender & Sexuality Studies), and a BA from Vassar College in History. Her research interests include reproductive health, state-level policymaking, and access to health services. A paper based on her masters’ thesis was published in the journal Sexualities.

Rendelle Bolton

Rendelle Bolton is a PhD student studying health policy. She received her MPH in Social and Behavioral Health, MSW in Clinical Social Work, and MA in Psychology from Boston University. She also holds a BA in Biology and Psychology from Franklin Pierce College.  Most recently she has worked as a qualitative analyst at the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR), a health services research center of innovation within the US Department of Veteran Affairs. Her research has examined policy/program implementation; organizational transformation aligned with patient-centered care; patient-provider communication; and patient experiences of care. Her interests include understanding how organizational characteristics impact healthcare delivery, including the role of relationships across organizational levels.  She has presented her work at numerous national conferences, and contributed to publications in both medical and health services journals.
Yaminette Diaz-Linhart, PhD candidate

Yaminette Diaz-Linhart

Yaminette Díaz-Linhart, MSW, MPH, is a PhD student and AHRQ Fellow focused on healthcare management. She received her MSW/MPH from Boston University and her BA from Mount Holyoke College in Anthropology and Psychology. Before coming to Heller, Ms. Díaz-Linhart practiced as a behavioral health clinician, coordinated multiple federally-funded research studies and directed a legislative commission on postpartum depression for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Most recently, she worked as a Program Director at Boston Medical Center overseeing research and clinical programs that utilize social healthcare staff, like community health workers and patient navigators. Her research interests include studying the impact of social healthcare staff on health outcomes by understanding workforce and economic development issues, innovative financing models for this type of healthcare role, and more broadly, the management of social healthcare staff to promote healthcare systems integration. 

Paul Dismukes

Paul Dismukes is a PhD candidate who received an MPA with a concentration in healthcare management services (2015) from Roosevelt University and a BA in political science with a concentration in international relations (2002) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests include the inner workings of public healthcare organizations and how their administrative decision-making impact service delivery, particularly in vulnerable communities. His dissertation will explore nonpecuniary barriers to service delivery in the inner city and how the culture within a public healthcare organization could either complement or contradict policy legislation such as the ACA. Current work also includes a practical application for communities of practice (CoPs) to influence broad health system change, exploration into the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative, and a collaborative study on a self-diagnosed, self-referred PTSD tool compared to a researcher-administered tool given to vulnerable populations that visit the ED.
Lindsay Garito, MPH, PhD student and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Training Fellow

Lindsay Garito

Lindsay Garito, MPH is a PhD candidate and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Training Fellow studying consumer health-related decision making and insurance benefit design. She received her Master of Public Health degree in Health Management and Policy from the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Communications & Rhetoric from the University at Albany, State University of New York.  Her research is focused on improving the value of health services by examining how consumers of health and behavioral health services use health insurance benefits (or lack thereof) to obtain care from health care providers, and when and how insurance benefit designs contribute to out-of-pocket spending.
Yara Halasa, MS'06, PhD student and research associate

Yara Halasa

Yara Halasa, MS '06, has been working on economic evaluation of health and health-related projects both in the United States and internationally for the past decade. She received her first MS in International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy from Bocconi University, Italy (2002), and her second MS in International Health Policy and Management from Brandeis University, as well as a BS of dental science from Aleppo University, Syria (1993). Her research experiences include using contingent valuation methods to value public goods, developing costing tools, estimating the cost of illness, modeling the effectiveness of interventions and estimating the burden of disease. She currently works as a research associate at Heller’s Schneider Institutes for Health Policy.

Andrea Harris

Andrea is a Ph.D. student and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Training Fellow interested in healthcare disparities, social determinants of health and comparative systems. After earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, she received her Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and went on to also earn professional certification from Stanford in Advanced Project Management (SCPM). Before coming to Heller, Andrea spent years serving as a management consultant to government and private industry clients within and outside of healthcare. Recently, she returned to the area after concluding a federal health quality consulting engagement to manage the utilization of one of the region's largest insurers, and to direct the development and growth of the insurer's health disparities program. Her research is focused on the circumstances surrounding and the transfer of solutions for health disparities across health systems.

Jennifer Kales

Jennifer Kales', MA, MS, ANP, BC, ACHPN, research interests include aging, palliative care, nursing workforce issues and transitions in healthcare. Her educational background includes a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Economics from NYU where she later returned for her BSN in Nursing. Her MS/ANP is from the Hunter–Bellevue School of Nursing in the City University of New York, where she graduated with Department High Honors. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau (International Nursing Honor Society) and holds certifications as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Adult Primary Care as well as Hospice and Palliative Care. Currently, she is exploring factors contributing to hospital readmissions within 30 days after discharge. She has worked with the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative at Heller as well as on research projects in palliative care funded by the United Hospital Fund and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. While writing her dissertation, she is working as a Nurse Practitioner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute on the Palliative Care Consult Service and the Intensive Palliative Care Unit. She is an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Training Fellow and a Health Policy concentrator.
Hyosin Kim, PhD candidate studying health policy

Hyosin Kim

Hyosin Kim is a PhD candidate studying health policy. She received her MA in Bioethics and her BS in English Literature and Political Science from Ewha Woman's University in Korea. Her research interests are centered on understanding health care systems that facilitate health care professionals in providing family- and patient-centered care for the frailest patients. Her dissertation investigates how a new delivery and payment model affects the intensity of end-of-life care for advanced cancer patients. Current work also includes a study aiming to measure the effects of residential services for people with chronic acquired brain injuries, and a project examining organizational changes in relational coordination in healthcare settings after the relevant intervention.

Christian Lopez

Christian Lopez is a Social Policy PhD student, concentrating in Health, and is an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Pre-Doctoral Trainee. Her research interests are centered on health care utilization among newly insured individuals, the effects of immigration status on household healthcare utilization trends, and organizational factors that promote efficiency at federally qualified health centers. Christian is focused on work related to Latinas/os in the U.S. and on the measurement of racial and ethnic health disparities. Her previous research experience includes the study of social determinants of health, substance use and prevention in the Latina/o community, and community resilience in public health. Christian has published work in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors Journal, the Journal for Disaster Management and Public Health Preparedness, at the RAND Corporation, and with the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at USC. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s degree in Latina/o Studies and Political Studies from Pitzer College.

Siyu Ma, PhD student studying health policy

Siyu Ma

Siyu Ma is a PhD candidate studying health policy. She received an MBA/MS in Health Care Policy and Management from Brandeis University, and a MD from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China. Her research interests include health economics and outcome research, and health care quality measurement. Current work includes a study analyzing comprehensive care for joint replacement model using Premier, claims, and NHSN (CDC) data.
PhD student Ekwu Ochigbo

Ekwu Ochigbo

Ekwu B. B. Ochigbo is a doctoral student in the Health concentration.  He holds an M. Phil. with distinction in HIV & AIDS Management from the Africa Centre for HIV & AIDS Management, Stellenbosch University. Previously, Ekwu worked as a pharmacist and HIV & AIDS resource person. Some of his past research experiences include an HIV AIDS treatment adherence study, and also a pharmaco-kinetics clinical trial of Nevirapine XR formulation in pediatrics for FDA registration for Boerhinger Ingielham International. His interests include health policy research & analysis, therapeutics, and treatment outcomes research.

H. Awo Osei-Anto

H. Awo Osei-Anto's current research interests include promoting patient centeredness in cancer care; specifically, researching patient-centered care for patients with limited English proficiency and foreign-born patients. She received an MPP with a focus on health policy and a certificate in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago and a BA in economics, international studies and French from Illinois Wesleyan University. She is also interested in global applications of best practices for health care financing, patient safety and care delivery. Current work also includes a study analyzing the types of information minority elderly and their families seek in choosing nursing homes with the goal of stratifying national nursing home measures by race.
Frannie Shechter Raede, PhD candidate studying health policy

Frannie Shechter Raede

Frannie Shechter Raede is a PhD candidate studying health policy. She received an MPH in Emergency and Disaster Management from Tel Aviv University, and a BS in Policy Analysis and Management with distinction from Cornell University. Her research interests include exploration of critical assumptions in health policy design and implementation. Frannie's dissertation explores the role of care transitions and accountable care organizations in the total knee replacement episode of care for Medicare patients. Past work has included studying ED utilization among Mississippi Medicaid beneficiaries, analyzing utilization of direct-acting anti-viral drugs for treatment of Hepatitis C, and understanding care for individuals with traumatic brain injury in Massachusetts.
Naeem Saleem, MD

Naeem Saleem

Naeem Saleem is a PhD student studying global health policy. He is working on Maternal and Child Health in developing countries.  He specializes in Pulmonary Medicine and Public Health and has earned MPH and MSc from Aga Khan University.  He has an extensive experience of working with Public organizations, UN system, World Bank and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  He has presented widely around the world at International Conferences and has published in peer reviewed journals as well. Heller School is an exciting place for him which has opened a new window in his life.
PhD student Drew Zachary

Drew Zachary

Drew Zachary, MPP, is studying health disparities in the U.S. and policies related to behavioral and environmental health and well-being. She received an MPP from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Political Science from George Washington University. Her research interests include nutrition and diet-related illness, community health resources, and federal policy design. Recent research focuses on low-income households’ food purchasing decisions and policies to create a healthy food environment. Her work has been published in Qualitative Health Research, and presented at the Tufts Symposium on the Food Environment and the Society for Applied Anthropology conference. She is a Health Policy concentrator.
Xiaofei Zhou, PhD candidate studying health policy

Xiaofei Zhou

Xiaofei Zhou is a PhD candidate studying health policy. She received her MA in economics from Boston University and B.S. in economics from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China. Her research interests include geographic variation in health care utilization and the impact of the changes in market structure on healthcare utilization and cost. Her dissertation explores the causes and the consequences of the urban and rural difference in healthcare utilization among the elderly with diabetes. Her current work also includes an analysis of how the health electronic record affects the health quality and cost in Louisiana, and a project on how the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) affect the quality and cost in post-acute care.