Ensuring Access and Equity in Health Care

Access to health care, particularly among those in underserved communities, is a key focus of UMB’s experts. Our research, treatments, and expertise focus on a wide range of areas including elder care, health equity, drug policy, behavioral health, and pediatrics.

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Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, CGP, FASCP

Geriatrics

Since joining the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Brandt has expanded available geriatric training opportunities, including the geriatrics/palliative care pathway, ASHP-accredited geriatrics residency, and two-year post-PharmD fellowship. She was named the 2019 recipient of the American Geriatrics Society’s (AGS) Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award for her leadership in geriatrics education. She has worked on interdisciplinary teams across numerous practice settings and leads initiatives to integrate sustainable pharmacist-directed services to help older adults with multiple co-morbidities at the MedStar Center for Successful Aging. Dr. Brandt is active in promoting optimal care for older adults through her educational, clinical, and health care policy work. She co-led an initiative that led to the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, Baltimore County being the first universities in Maryland to receive Age-Friendly University distinction. She has directed projects focused on Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management programs, high risk medications, and medication stewardship. She is an author of the 2012, 2015, and 2018-2019 the AGS Beer’s Criteria and past president and board chair of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. She co-chaired a task force convened by the Lamy Center with assistance from the US Deprescribing Research Network to develop an Implementation Guide for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wendy Camelo Castillo, MD, MSc, PhD

Health disparities

Pharmacoepidemiology

Comparative effectiveness and patient centered outcomes research

Dr. Camelo Castillo is an assistant professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research, where she has been a faculty member since 2017. Dr. Camelo Castillo trained as a physician at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where she also obtained an MSc degree in physiology. Her PhD training in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focused on pharmacoepidemiology, after which she joined the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the School of Pharmacy as a postdoctoral fellow in patient centered outcomes and comparative effectiveness research. Her research integrates methods in pharmacoepidemiology and patient preferences to develop evidence for populations in whom best practices of care are limited, such as women, youth, and minority communities. Her goal is to inform and improve clinical and policy decision making by providing evidence of benefits or harm of interventions used in real world settings in these populations. She brings an innovative approach into this work by integrating the patient perspective into pharmacoepidemiology and health services research. Her research agenda focuses on improving methods to assess effectiveness of treatments in the context of multimorbidity, and development and implementation of patient-centered methods to address health disparities in minority communities.

Neijma Celestine-Donner

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

As the School of Social Work’s first assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Neijma Celestine-Donnor will help lead the school's diversity and anti-oppression efforts and guide the achievement of a new standard for inclusive excellence. As a member of the dean’s executive leadership team, Celestine-Donnor has a strategic position responsible for promoting and enabling an inclusive environment for faculty, students, and staff while championing organizational change. Grounded in pursuing social justice for minority populations and supporting equity in higher education, Celestine-Donnor is an experienced leader focused on providing strategic oversight for protocols, services, and policies related to campus climate. She uses her clinical and conflict resolution skills to provide individual and systemic trauma-informed outreach, advocacy, and support for all. Her extensive experience developing, facilitating, and assessing professional development workshops, training, and programming designed to enhance the intercultural competency of students, faculty, and staff will be a tremendous benefit to the school. Celestine-Donnor comes to the school from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she served as director of campus climate support and engagement in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion. She is a 2009 graduate of the School of Social Work’s MSW program and previously served as a clinical training instructor and adjunct faculty member at the school. In addition, Celestine-Donnor is studying for a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore.

Heather Congdon, PharmD, BCPS, CDE

Interprofessional education

Ambulatory Care

Dr. Congdon received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a pharmacy practice residency with emphasis in community care from the University of Maryland. Her teaching focuses on interprofessional education, diabetes, and the abilities lab series. She has a clinical practice at Mercy Health Clinic, providing care for underserved, uninsured patients on multiple medications and with various chronic conditions. Dr. Congdon’s research interests relate to her practice at Mercy Health Clinic. She has evaluated the impact of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) on clinical outcomes, such as hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Furthermore, her team has demonstrated the importance of interprofessional, coordinated care on clinical outcomes for patients with poorly controlled diabetes.

Catherine Cooke, PharmD, BCPS, PAHM

Outpatient medication management of chronic diseases

Geriatrics

Health technology

Dr. Cooke is a board-certified pharmacist with experience in the clinical, business, and research arenas of different health care settings. She has provided direct patient care in ambulatory care environments for patients with chronic medically managed diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and other prevalent conditions found in primary care populations. She has also provided medication therapy management, completing comprehensive medication reviews (CMR) for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. In addition to direct patient care, she has published research on primary non-adherence and continues to study ways to improve patient-centered outcomes. Her work with the School’s Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging focuses on the quality of medication-related care for older adults. In collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we were able to refine the Standardized Format (i.e., summary document that a patient receives after a CMR), and evaluate it in real-world settings after it was mandated for use in January 2013. Additional quality initiatives at the Lamy Center include the integration of medication-related information within healthcare practices through the use of health information technology standards and systems and assisting with the development and implementation of metrics to improve medication-use for older adults.

Vineet Dhar, BDS, MDS, PhD

Pediatric Dentistry

Early childhood caries, nutrition

Equity in access to dentistry for children

Dr. Dhar is a board-certified pediatric dentist who serves on the councils on Scientific Affairs and Post-Doctoral Education at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the Council of Scientific Affairs of the American Dental Association (ADA). He also serves on the ADA guideline panels on restorative care and caries prevention and has served on the pit and fissure sealants panel. He is on the AAPD guideline panel on vital pulp therapies in primary and immature permanent teeth and behavior guidance and has served on the AAPD panel to produce clinical practice guidelines on non-vital pulp and vital pulp therapies in primary teeth. He received the 2018 ADA Evidence Based Dentistry Mid-Career Faculty Award and the 2017 AAPD Jerome B. Miller/Crest-Oral-B/For The Kids Award. He also co-authored manuscripts that received the AAPD Paul Taylor Award in 2016, 2017, and 2020. Dr. Dhar has been involved in multiple research projects and has directed thesis work for master's degree candidates as an advisor or co-advisor.

Kelly Doran, PhD, RN, FAAN

Health Disparities

Worksite Wellness

Cardiovascular Health

Dr. Doran runs the health suite at the UMB Community Engagement Center (CEC), which has been serving West Baltimore residents for five years. Dr. Doran and other School of Nursing faculty serve as clinical instructors and preceptors to graduate and undergraduate nursing students who are joined by medical, social work, and pharmacy students in the CEC’s health suite. Students gain community-based experience and opportunities to interact with neighbors outside the hospital. Dr. Doran’s expertise is in interprofessional education and nurse-run clinics to improve social determinants of health and health outcomes with underserved populations. Her research focuses on worksite wellness programs with health care workers, health promotion interventions to improve cardiovascular health, and interventions to improve health outcomes with populations experiencing health disparities.

Peter Doshi, PhD

Credible evidence synthesis

Drug safety and regulation

Evidence based medicine

Peter Doshi, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and senior editor at The BMJ. His research focuses on the drug approval process, how the risks and benefits of medical products are communicated, and improving the credibility and accuracy of evidence synthesis and biomedical publications. Dr. Doshi campaigns for greater transparency of clinical trial data and has received wide recognition for his work. In 2013, the New York Times reported on his work to increase public access to clinical study reports. The same year he was also chosen for The Wired “Smart List.” In 2015, he received a New Investigator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Dr. Doshi has presented on the topic of clinical trial data sharing to the Institute of Medicine in 2013 and 2014, and served on advisory panels to the European Medicines Agency regarding its policy on proactive publication of clinical trial data. Much of Dr. Doshi’s research has examined the science and politics of influenza policy. His most cited publication is a Cochrane systematic review of neuraminidase inhibitors for influenza. This review—the first Cochrane review to be based exclusively on clinical study reports and other regulatory documents—challenged previous understandings of the drugs’ effectiveness, raised new questions about their safety, and led to governmental inquiries in the United Kingdom. It is cited as a milestone in the James Lind Library, which chronicles the evolution of fair tests and research synthesis. Dr. Doshi leads the RIAT Support Center. The Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) initiative enables researchers everywhere to address two long-standing problems in the biomedical literature: non-publication and misreporting of trials. The RIAT Support Center aims to accelerate the correction of the scientific record of clinical trials by making publications more accurate and more complete, addressing these problems of publication bias and reporting bias. Dr. Doshi earned an AB in anthropology from Brown University, an AM in East Asian Studies from Harvard University and PhD in history, anthropology, and science, technology and society from MIT. During his PhD, he was an intern at the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, a research student at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, and studied as visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law. Dr. Doshi completed a fellowship in comparative effectiveness research at Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

Susan dosReis, BSPharm, PhD

Pediatric Mental Health

Pharmacoepidemiology

Dr. dosReis is professor and co-vice chair for research in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She received a bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island School of Pharmacy and a doctorate in pharmacoepidemiology from the University of Maryland Graduate School. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in child mental health services from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was previously on faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. dosReis works closely with the state Mental Hygiene Administration on policies and programs that impact child mental health services. She is a core faculty of the Maryland Child Mental Health Advisory group within the Center for Child Mental Health Innovations at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In this role, she advises the state on child psychopharmacologic treatment of youth in the public mental health system with a specific focus on psychotropic medication use among youth in the child welfare system. Through several federally-funded research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. dosReis has developed a profile of research on psychotropic medication use among children and adolescents, examining disparities in psychotropic use by age, race, and foster care involvement, characterizing psychotropic treatment by combined use with psychotherapy for ADHD, and use of multiple psychotropic medications, and assessing longitudinal patterns in antipsychotic treatment for adults with schizophrenia. She developed two surveys - the ASK-ME survey, which assesses parental perceptions of stimulant treatment for their child’s ADHD, and a survey to assess pediatricians’ identification and screening of autism spectrum disorders in young children. Using qualitative research methods, she has investigated parental perspectives of their child’s ADHD and developed a conceptual model of how parents approach mental health care for their children.

Megan Ehret, PharmD, MS, BCPP

Psychiatric Psychopharmacology, Neurology, Substance Abuse

Neurology

Substance Abuse

Dr. Ehret completed her BS and PharmD degrees at the University of Toledo. She then completed an ASHP-accredited residency in psychiatric pharmacotherapy at the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center, after which she completed a Psychopharmacology and Pharmacogenomics Fellowship at Nova Southeastern University. After training, she received her initial faculty appointment at the University of Connecticut and gained tenure there. While at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Ehret served as vice-chair of the Institutional Review Board, Director of Practices for the Center for Correctional Health Networks, and a faculty member for Project ECHO: Buprenorphine. Additionally, Dr. Ehret received her Masters in Clinical and Translational Research from the University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Ehret is a board certified psychiatric pharmacist. She most recently practiced at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital as its behavioral health clinical pharmacy specialist. She has experience in treating the spectrum of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Additionally, she is a past president of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) and a senior editor on the Psychiatric Pharmacotherapy Review Course. Her research interests are precision medicine, including utilization of guideline based treatment and pharmacogenomics, utilization of long-acting injectables, psychotropic medication adherence, and the role of the psychiatric pharmacist on the treatment team

Elizabeth Galik, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP

Care of Dementia Patients

Dr. Galik is a nurse practitioner who specializes in improving care practices for older adults with dementia and their caregivers. Her externally funded research tests the impact of non-pharmacological interventions designed to optimize function and physical activity, improve mood, and manage behavioral symptoms among longterm care residents living with dementia. She also has expertise in the recruitment, retention, and measurement of cognitively impaired research participants, particularly involving the measurement of physical activity, using actigraphy. She has served as an expert advisor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s national initiative to improve behavioral health and minimize the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications among nursing home residents and hospitalized older adults with dementia.

Joga Gobburu, PhD

Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Research

Pediatrics

Pharmacometrics

Dr. Gobburu is a world-renowned scientific leader in the area of quantitative disease models and their applications to decisions. He is best known for transforming the field of pharmacometrics into a decision-supporting science. His experience as a senior biomedical research scientist and director of pharmacometrics at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives him unique insight into the technical, regulatory, and decision-making aspects in all phases of drug development. He obtained his BPharm and MSc in chemistry from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from North Dakota State University, and his MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gobburu’s research interests include pediatrics, clinical pharmacology and translational research, comparative effectiveness, and pharmacometrics.

Charles C. Hong, MD, PhD

Cardiovascular Genetics

Inherited Heart Diseases

Stem Cells

Charles (Chaz) Hong is a physician-scientist whose research, which functions at the intersection of developmental biology, chemical biology, stem cell biology, and cardiovascular medicine, has led to new biological insights and therapeutic opportunities. Dr. Hong’s work includes innovative chemical genetic studies in zebrafish as well as the use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) to better understand human heart diseases at the cellular level. His scientific contributions include the first small molecule inhibitor of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, which has led directly to a clinical stage therapeutic program for devastating human diseases. Additionally, his small molecules are key components of the “Dual Chemical SMAD Inhibition,” the most widely used strategy to generate neurons and neural organoids from human stem cells. Moreover, his chemical genetic studies elucidated the roles of mitogen-activated kinase in artery-vein specification during development. Finally, he has made important contributions toward the utilization of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) as an in vitro model for the study of human cardiomyocyte physiology. Dr. Hong edited one of the first books focused on the role of chemical biology in stem cell and regenerative medicine, and a book covering the latest methods and protocols in chemical biology. He serves on editorial boards of number of scientific journals and is inaugural Chief Editor of Frontiers in Drug Discovery overseeing Hematologic and Cardiovascular domains. His ongoing basic investigations include the elucidation of the novel role of centrosome proteins in cardiac structure and function, and therapeutic targeting of a novel pro-oncogenic pathway activated downstream of the Warburg Effect. His clinical expertise is in cardiovascular genetics. Finally, Dr. Hong is a key member of the West Baltimore RICH (Reducing Isolation and Inequities in Cardiovascular Health) Collaborative, an interdisciplinary team of community leaders, churches, local charities, 2 local hospitals, the University of Maryland, and federally qualified health centers to develop sustainable strategies to overcome health disparities in West Baltimore.

Lauren Hynicka, PharmD, BCPS

Internal Medicine

Hepatology

Dr. Hynicka received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. She went on to complete both a PGY-1 general practice and PGY-2 internal medicine residency at the Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia Health System. She served as a clinical pharmacy specialist on a general internal medicine team at the University of Maryland Medical Center for six years before transitioning into her current role, where she manages treatment of HCV infected patients enrolled in Maryland Medicaid. Her teaching, research, and patient care activities focus on the care of patients with chronic liver diseases including chronic HCV infection. Recent areas of research include streamlining the prior authorization process for HCV medications at a large academic health system and evaluating HCV treatment interruptions. Dr. Hynicka has a variety of research interests including transitions of care, infectious diseases, viral hepatitis C, chronic liver disease, provision of care to underserved patients, and global health.

Raya E. Kherbek , MD, MPH, FGSA

Geriatrics

Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Internal Medicine

I am a board-certified internist, fellowship trained Geriatrician, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician with 20 years of experience in quality improvement development and implementation in older adults with serious and advanced multiple chronic illness. I am currently head of the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at UMSOM. I joined the Washington DC VA Department of Geriatrics and Extended Care in 1999 as a Medical Director of Long-Term Care and immediately became active in developing several patient centered programs and leading several large multidisciplinary teams. In 2011, I was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff at the DC VAMC, while maintaining a joint appointment as an Associate Professor of Medicine and Health Care Services with George Washington University School of Medicine. During my tenure at the VA, I have been awarded several VA-funded grants, addressing health care education, telemedicine, chronic disease in special populations, and Narrative Medicine. My involvement in every project is hands-on and pragmatic, where I become involved in project details from preparation to execution and analysis. These research endeavors and my experiences in chronic care have produced extensive publications examining the role of comorbidities in vulnerable populations, cardiovascular health in older adults and medical education.

Wendy G. Lane, MD, MPH

Child Maltreatment

Maternal and Child Health

Preventive Medicine

Wendy Lane, MD, MPH is a clinician and researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is board certified in General Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics, and Preventive Medicine. A Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and the Department of Pediatrics, she serves as Medical Director for the Center for Hope/Baltimore Child Abuse Center (CFH/BCAC) and the Howard County Child Advocacy Center. She is a member of the Child Protection Team at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where she served as Chair from 2004-2011. In 2020, Dr. Lane became Director of the Maryland CHAMP (Child Abuse Medical Professionals) Program, which provides training and peer review to health care professionals throughout Maryland. She and her colleagues have been working to identify and train doctors and nurses to serve all Maryland counties, and to increase their participation in peer review. Since 2008, Dr. Lane has served as Chair of the Child Maltreatment and Foster Care Committee for the Maryland Chapter of the AAP (MDAAP). She collaborated with MDAAP on a national AAP grant to address health care services for children in foster care. Dr. Lane has continued this work as a member and now Chair of Maryland’s State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (SCCAN), one of the three citizen panels mandated by CAPTA. Advocacy by SCCAN helped pass Maryland legislation to create a Medical Director for Child Welfare and to require an electronic health passport for children in foster care. In addition, SCCAN worked with legislators to pass two bills to reduce the likelihood of sexual abuse and misconduct in schools. In addition to her child maltreatment work, Dr. Lane also serves as Director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program and the Principal Investigator for B’more for Healthy Babies Upton/Druid Heights (BHB-U/DH), a community-based and community-engaged intervention to improve birth outcomes. Since its inception 11 years ago, this predominantly low-income, Black community has seen a 75% decrease in infant mortality rates.

Flavius Lilly, PhD, MA

Gerontology

In the Graduate School, Dr. Lilly leads professional master’s degree development and online learning as well as strategic initiatives in entrepreneurial education. Dr. Lilly also is responsible for providing executive leadership to a broad range of student affairs services. Before coming to UMB, he worked in the health care industry for more than a decade in senior leadership roles with a focus on community health improvement, quality care, and organizational development. His primary research interests are in the realm of health care improvement for individuals with severe mental illnesses and innovation to support aging communities.

Raymond Love, PharmD, BCCP, FAShP

Mental health

Dr. Love was the 2015-16 president of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP), chair of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Expert Panel on Drug Allergy and Intolerance, and is a member of the USP Expert Committee for Health Care Quality Standards. He oversees pharmacy services for the Maryland Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration, directs the state’s Clozapine Authorization and Monitoring Program, and is the principal investigator for the Peer Review Program for Mental Health Drugs for the Maryland Medicaid Pharmacy Program. He serves as co-principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded R01 grant titled “Biomarker and Safety Study of Clozapine in Benign Ethnic Neutropenia.” Dr. Love has an extensive research and service record in psychiatric pharmacotherapy with numerous publications and presentations. As principal or co-principal investigator, he is the recipient of over $80 million in grants and contracts. His past professional service includes chair of the Mental Health Workgroup for the Pharmacy Quality Alliance; membership on the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties, Specialty Council on Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice; commissioner of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy; member of the Depression/Behavioral Health Technical Advisory Panel, National Quality Forum; and chair of the Ethics Special Interest Group, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Dr. Love is a board-certified psychiatric pharmacist, fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice. He is a recipient of the W. Arthur Purdum Award, the highest recognition of the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacists; the Elan Award for Innovative Pharmacy Practice; the Alma Troccoli Award for Excellence in Advocating for the Mental Health Needs of Young Children and Families; and CPNP’s Judith Saklad Award.

Richard J. Manski, DDS, MBA, PhD

Socioeconomical inequities in health care

Dental Public Health - Medicare, elderly

Dr. Manski manages and provides oversight for a team of faculty, staff, educators, and researchers at the School of Dentistry. His disciplines of interest and areas of responsibility include public health, research methods, statistics, education, practice management, the school’s externship program, and the Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (NMD). Dr. Manski also manages a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary team of researchers that studies the effects of dental utilization patterns associated with changes in dental coverage and changes in retirement status among older Americans. As executive director of NMD, Dr. Manski is responsible for all operations of the museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate organization that has one of the most comprehensive dental collections in the world; is the national collection for the social, cultural, economic, scientific, and technological history of dentistry; and represents the origins and development of dentistry in the United States and beyond. The museum received congressional designation as the official U.S. museum of the dental profession in 2003. Dr. Manski also serves as a senior scholar for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the Department of Health and Human Services. As a senior scholar, he provides advice to AHRQ staff on the editing and imputation of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data related to use, source, expenditures, and health insurance benefits for oral health care. He also provides technical assistance and advice to the oral health community on issues related to dental policy, expenditures, dental benefit, and dental utilization data.

Diane Martin, PhD, MA

Gerontology

Quality-of-later-life

Dr. Martin has been committed throughout her career to developing high-quality, impactful, and engaging academic and non-academic activities designed to increase the knowledge and skill sets of professionals and paraprofessionals employed in the senior service and care industry. As an applied gerontologist, her research has centered on quality-of-later-life initiatives, including person-centered care and aging in place. Dr. Martin is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. She earned her doctorate in psychology with a concentration in aging from Northcentral University, her master’s degree in experimental psychology from Towson University, and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Valli Meeks , DDS, MS, RDH

Oral health - HIV AIDS

Community engagement - oral health or education

UMB’s 2018 Public Servant of the Year, Dr. Meeks is director of the School of Dentistry’s PLUS Clinic, which focuses on treating people who are living with HIV disease and in need of oral health services. Halfway around the world, Dr. Meeks supports a second vulnerable population by collaborating in an effort that formed the first school of dentistry in Rwanda. She also has taught at, helped form the curriculum, and assisted an orphanage in becoming a dental education outreach center. Additionally, Dr. Meeks works with students in Baltimore to donate dental equipment that she delivers to Rwanda. The project involves teaming with two Rwanda nonprofits, the Urukundo Learning Center (ULC) and the Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP). ULC began as an orphanage for children displaced by the genocide of 1994 and now serves as a primary and secondary school for children in the area. RVCP is an organization run by the students at the University of Rwanda College of Medicine and Health Sciences that works to advance the health of Rwandans living in rural areas.

Jill Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, FNAP

Pediatrics

Dr. Jill A. Morgan is professor and chair of the Department of Practice, Sciences and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.  She practices at the Interprofessional Pediatric GI Clinic at the University of Maryland Midtown in Baltimore.  She received her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed pharmacy practice and pediatric pharmacy specialty residencies at the University of Maryland Medical Center. For a number of years, Dr. Morgan has been teaching pediatric and neonatal pharmacotherapy to nursing and pharmacy students as well as medical residents. Dr. Morgan served as director for the PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy Residency program for several years. She is also board certified in pharmacotherapy and pediatric pharmacy. In, 2017, Dr. Morgan became a fellow of the National Academies of Practice (NAP). Dr. Morgan has been involved with several professional organizations. She served as chair of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Administrative Services Section and the Student Services Special Interest Group, as president of the Maryland Society of Health System Pharmacists (MSHP), as chair of the Research Committee for the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA), and chair of the NAP's Pharmacy Academy. Dr. Morgan serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. She is the co-advisor for the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Pediatric Pharmacy Association.  Dr. Morgan received the AACP Administrative Services Section Award for Sustained Contribution to Administrative Practice in Pharmacy Education, the Excellence in Innovation Award and the Mentor of the Year Award from the Maryland Pharmacists Association, the Purdum Award from MSHP, and the University of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Mentoring. In 2021, Dr. Morgan received the State of Maryland Governor’s Citation for her teamwork in the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Community Mass Vaccination Site. Her research interests include asthma, constipation, care of pediatric patients in community pharmacy, taste and flavoring of liquid medications for children, nutrition, immunizations, pediatric dermatology, transitions of care for pediatric patients, and interprofessional education.

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD

Pharmacoeconomics

Comparative Effectiveness Research

Health Disparities

Dr. Mullins’ research and teaching focus on community-engaged, patient-centered comparative effectiveness research to advance health equity. He has received funding as principal investigator from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Food and Drug Administration (through its CERSI initiative), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), various pharmaceutical manufacturers, patient advocacy organizations, and the insurance industry. In addition to his faculty appointment, Dr. Mullins is executive director of The PATIENTS Program at the School of Pharmacy and director of the Community & Collaboration Core for the UMB Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, as well as editor-in-chief for the journal Value in Health.

Jason Noel, PharmD, BCPP

Mental Health

Dr. Jason Noel received his Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees at Rutgers University College of Pharmacy. He completed a residency in Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Noel’s clinical practice focus is in mental health and intellectual/developmental disabilities. He teaches therapeutics of psychiatric and neurologic disorders in UMB’s PharmD and Nursing graduate programs as well as to audiences of training and practicing clinicians, including pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and social workers. He is a Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist and serves as the administrator for the School’s ACPE-Accredited Continuing Education Program. Dr. Noel’s area of scholarly focus is in the integrated psychopharmacologic and behavioral treatment in people with co-occurring intellectual disability and behavioral/psychiatric concerns.

Ebere Onukwugha, MS, PhD

Pharmacoeconomics

Health Care Resource Utilization

Health Disparities

Dr. Onukwugha is a professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and executive director of the School's Pharmaceutical Research Computing center. She received a Bachelor of Science in economics and French from the University at Albany, State University of New York, a Master of Science in agricultural and applied economics, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in economics (concentration: econometrics) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Dr. Onukwugha completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Onukwugha’s research interests are in pharmacoeconomic analysis, health disparities, and medical decision-making by individuals and institutions. She examines the costs and health outcomes associated with health-related decisions as well as the institutional and environmental context framing individuals’ health-related decisions. The health-related decisions of interest include the decision to receive guideline-recommended treatment, self-care following a hospital discharge, and health care resource utilization in the oncology and cardiovascular disease settings. Her research on cost-effectiveness and regression modeling has received Contributed Research Awards at international conferences sponsored by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. Dr. Onukwugha’s research has been published in journals such as Cancer, Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations, Journal of General Internal Medicine, JCO: Clinical Cancer Informatics, PharmacoEconomics, Journal of Geriatric Oncology, Value in Health, Ethnicity & Disease, Medical Care, Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, Journal of Oncology Practice, and Medical Decision Making. She is an editorial board member for PharmacoEconomics and an associate editor for Ethnicity & Disease.

Kristine Parbuoni, PharmD, BCPPS

Pediatrics

Dr. Parbuoni obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2005. She then completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency and PGY-2 Pediatric Residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Following residency training, Dr. Parbuoni obtained a position as the clinical pharmacy specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, where she later also took on administrative roles. Dr. Parbuoni then moved to California and joined the faculty at Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. Dr. Parbuoni was also the Residency Program Director of the PGY2 Pediatric Residency Program at Loma Linda University. She was excited to return to her alma mater in 2018. Dr. Parbuoni is a Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist. She has a clinical practice site at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital. She is also the Residency Program Director of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy PGY2 Pediatric Residency. Dr. Parbuoni has been actively involved in professional organizations throughout her career. She served as president of the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacy from 2012 to 2013, and is currently on its Board of Directors. She was a delegate for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), on ASHP’s Council on Education and Workforce Development, and the SCSS’s Preceptor Development SAG and Pediatrics SAG. Dr. Parbuoni served as chair of the Research Committee of the Pediatric Pharmacy Association from 2019 to 2020. Since becoming faculty, she has been a member of the American Academy of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), has served as a delegate to its House of Delegates, and is chair-elect of the AACP Pediatric Special Interest Group. Dr. Parbuoni’s research interests include clinical outcomes in pediatrics (infectious diseases, critical care), pediatric pharmacokinetics, educational methods and outcomes in simulation, and post-graduate training.

Eleanor Perfetto, PhD, MS

Comparative Effectiveness Research

Health Care Quality Performance Measurement

Patient-focused Drug Development and Reimbursement

Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Perfetto was with Pfizer for more than seven years, most recently as senior director of federal government relations. A pharmacist and health services researcher, she holds BS and MS degrees in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, concentrating in health policy and epidemiology. Currently, she serves as a Pharmacy Quality Alliance and Health Industry Forum board member. In recent years, she has served on boards and committees for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Quality Forum, and the Center for Medical Technology Policy, among others. Early in her career, Dr. Perfetto served in the U.S. Public Health Service, initially as an Indian Health Service pharmacist and later as senior pharmacoepidemiologist, Agency for Health Care Policy & Research (now AHRQ). Dr. Perfetto is an advocate for patients with head trauma-related dementias, receiving wide recognition for her advocacy efforts. She is president of the Board of Directors for the Sports Legacy Institute. Dr. Perfetto’s research interests include comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research, patient-focused drug development, quality performance measurement, and measurement of patient-reported outcomes, especially as part of clinical development plans.

Kathleen Pincus, PharmD, BCPS

Family Medicine

Transitions of Care

Kathleen Pincus, PharmD, BCPS, is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and an associate professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She is the Residency Program Director for the PGY2 Ambulatory Care Residency Program. An alumna of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (’09), Dr. Pincus completed her Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center and her Pharmacotherapy Specialty Residency at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Pincus is an ambulatory care specialist at the University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine practice and a clinical pharmacy consultant with the Governor’s Wellmobile Program. Dr. Pincus’ research interests include transitions of care, integrating clinical pharmacy services in primary care practices, patient motivators for medication adherence and chronic disease state management, including asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hepatitis C.

James E. Polli, PhD

Regulatory Affairs

Bioequivalence of brand and generic drugs

Dr. Polli’s research focus is oral drug absorption. His two main research interests are 1) maximizing oral bioavailability through formulation and chemical approaches and 2) developing public quality standards for oral dosage forms. He has served as advisor to 24 Ph.D. graduates. He is co-Director of the University of Maryland Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (M-CERSI) and the Center for Research on Complex Generics (CRCG), each an FDA-funded collaborative agreement with the Agency. He is Director of the online MS in Regulatory Science program. He is a fellow of the American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and served as an editor of its flagship journal Pharmaceutical Research for 12 years. He was the recipient of the 2022 AAPS Global Leadership Award and 2021 TOPRA Education Award.

Danya Qato, PhD, PharmD, MPH

High Risk Medications in Vulnerable Populations

Health Disparities

Pharmacovigilance

Dr. Danya M. Qato is a practicing pharmacist, epidemiologist, and health services researcher. She holds a PhD in health and pharmaceutical services research from the Brown University School of Public Health, a PharmD from the University of Illinois, and a MPH with a concentration in international health and humanitarian studies from Harvard University. In 2020, she was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. At Brown, Dr. Qato was funded as an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and National Institutes of Health doctoral and postdoctoral research fellow in comparative effectiveness research. Dr. Qato’s substantive areas of research pertain to improving regulatory and policy tools to reduce use of high risk medications in vulnerable populations, substance use and women’s health, risk management and post-marketing surveillance, drug pricing and access to essential medicines, environmental and global health systems development, pharmacovigilance, and global health equity. She was previously a Schweitzer Fellow, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow (for support of her MPH at Harvard), and a U.S. research fellow of the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences funded by the Swedish International Development Agency. In the 2015-2016 academic year, Dr. Qato was based at the Institute for Community and Public Health at Birzeit University in Palestine, where she was a Fulbright Scholar and served as an expert consultant to the World Health Organization. In addition to her role as an associate professor at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Qato holds a secondary appointment in the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, is a faculty affiliate at the University of Maryland Institute for Global Health, and a faculty member of the joint UMB/UMBC PhD Program in Gerontology. She is former chair of the Drug Policy and Pharmaceutical Services Committee of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association and is a member of the Public Health subcommittee of the Maryland State Taskforce on Reconciliation and Equity.

Sandra Quesada, MD, MS

academic medicine, hematology, , crohn's, colitis

gastroenterology

diversity, inclusion

Sandra M. Quezada, M.D., M.S. is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She also serves as the Associate Dean for Admissions, and Associate Dean for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. She is Course Director for the Medical Spanish course elective, Co-Chair of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Equity Project, Chair of the Intersociety Group on Diversity in Gastroenterology, and DEI Section Editor for the Gastroenterology journal. She is passionate about equity in academic medicine, and gastroenterology specifically, and has worked locally, regionally, and nationally to amplify physician workforce diversity, and to impact the climate in which future and current physicians train and practice. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a Fellow of the Pass and Susel Academy of Educational Excellence, and inaugural recipient of the Dean’s Alumni Award for Diversity and Inclusion. She is past Chair of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Diversity Committee, co-Chair of the AGA Equity Project, and a member of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation National Scientific Advisory Committee Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. Her health equity work includes establishing the "Eliminate Race in GFR Calculation" taskforce at the SOM that helped catapult the transition to stop using race-based GFR calculation at University of Maryland system hospitals, and she is the 2022 recipient of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Healio Disruptive Innovator Health Equity Award.

Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP

Gerontology/Aging

Functional Status

An internationally recognized expert in gerontology, Dr. Resnick focuses on developing innovative interventions to motivate older adults to engage in healthy behaviors, particularly with regard to function and physical activity as well as other behaviors such as adhering to recommended immunizations and to managing pain and other symptoms commonly noted in aging, and to implement these in real-world settings. These interventions are designed to optimize recovery, health, function, and physical activity regardless of age or underlying co-morbidities. Examples include helping individuals recover from orthopedic events or, for individuals with and without dementia, to optimize their participation in personal care activities and ambulation and engage in physical activity.

Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD

Dentistry

Dental Education

Dental Health Equity

A distinguished academic dentist, Dr. Reynolds has been a professor at the School of Dentistry (SOD) since 2009 and served for one year as interim dean before being named dean in 2014 after a national search. He has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles with more than 11,000 citations and serves on the editorial boards of journals including Biomaterials, Clinical Advances in Periodontics, the International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, and the Journal of Periodontal Research. Dr. Reynolds is a diplomate and past director and co-chair of the American Board of Periodontology. He has served on the board of organizations such as the American Academy of Periodontology and LifeNet Health. He is past president of the National Dental Honor Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon, Supreme Chapter, and a fellow of the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, and Pierre Fauchard Academy. Dr. Reynolds has participated in more than 40 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections, serving as a regular member of the Skeletal Biology Development and Disease Study Section from 2006 to 2010. He was a consultant to the Commission on Dental Accreditation and Naval Postgraduate School and served two four-year terms as a voting member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Medical Devices Advisory Committee, Dental Products Panel, including as chair during the second term. He began his NIH funding in 1992, when he earned a competitive five-year NIH Individual Dentist Scientist Award to support his residency and PhD studies. His research focuses on bone and periodontal regeneration. In 2004 and 2016, Dr. Reynolds received the American Academy of Periodontology R. Earl Robinson Periodontal Regeneration Award. Most recently, he serves as co-chair of the Task Force on Oral Health in Maryland. In 1999, Dr. Reynolds earned his PhD in oral and experimental pathology from the University of Maryland Graduate School. In 1995, he earned a certificate in periodontics from SOD, where he had earned his DDS in 1986. Dr. Reynolds also earned a master’s degree in community-clinical psychology in 1982 and a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1978, both from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, FAPhA

Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes

Cultural Competency

In addition to serving as the Felix Gyi Endowed Memorial Professor in Pharmapreneurship and associate dean for clinical services and practice transformation at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner is the director of the Maryland P3 Program — a patient-centered comprehensive medication therapy and chronic disease management program provided by pharmacists throughout the Mid-Atlantic region — and executive director of the School’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions (CIPS). She engages in legislative advocacy and state and national leadership to expand the role of pharmacists in chronic disease management. She is an innovator who has implemented many new health care delivery models particularly in community pharmacies and received many grants and contracts to develop innovative programs. She is a member of the Maryland Health Care Reform Council Health Care Delivery Reform Subcommittee, subcommittee of the Maryland Patient-Centered Medical Home pilot, a past-president of the Maryland Pharmacists Association (MPhA), past board member and president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation, and member of the Pan-American Commission for Pharmaceutical Education. She has provided presentations and authored/co-authored many publications. She has received numerous awards including: the APhA Pinnacle Award and its Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award; the Distinguished Achievement in Pharmacotherapeutic Practice Award; the LKS/Merck Vanguard Leadership Award; the MPhA Bowl of Hygeia Award; the APhA Merit Award; MPhA's Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award; Baltimore’s Magazine Best of Baltimore Pharmacist of the Year, and the APPM Merit Award. Her research interests include chronic disease management; clinical outcomes in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; medication therapy management and practice-based research; vulnerable populations; collaborative practice; cultural competence

Leah Sera, PharmD, MA, BCPS

Palliative Care

Medical Cannabis

Dr. Sera received her PharmD from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2010. She completed a pharmacy practice residency at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and a specialty residency in pain management and palliative care at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. She earned a master’s in instructional systems development at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2017. Dr. Sera's clinical specialties are pain management and palliative care. Dr. Sera is co-director for the nation’s first MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST) program at the School of Pharmacy. She teaches in several courses in the MCST program, including an introduction to medical cannabis history, culture, and policy; a course introducing students to patient care and the clinical uses of medical cannabis; she also mentors students in their capstone projects. In the Doctor of Pharmacy program, Dr. Sera teaches a variety of topics in required and elective courses. Additionally, she holds an associate faculty position at the University of Maryland Graduate School. Dr. Sera maintains an active clinical practice in the Transitional Care Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, Md. Dr. Sera has been invited to speak on pain management, palliative medicine, and cannabis therapeutics topics at professional pharmacy conferences and at medical centers such as the National Institutes of Health. She received a Leader in Healthcare Award in the category of medical cannabis from the Baltimore Business Journal in 2020.

Fadia Shaya, PhD, MPH

Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology

Health Disparities and Social Determents of Health

Health Policy and Regulatory Science

Dr. Shaya directs the Informatics Core in the UMB Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and is executive director of the School of Pharmacy's Behavioral Health Research and Resource Team (BHRT). She serves on the Faculty Advisory Council of the Maryland Higher Education Commission and on the Board of AcademyHealth, and is the regional director of the Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association. She is a member of HIMSS, AMIA, AcademyHealth, AACP, APHA, ISPE and ISPOR. Dr. Shaya’s work focuses on building strategic partnerships, taking into account the social determinants of health, to optimize the effectiveness and reduce the risk of prescription drugs and medical devices. Her implementation/dissemination research is based in human data science and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning methods. With multidisciplinary collaborations, she develops and applies new methods in pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, public health, and clinical informatics to inform practice and policy.

Julia Slejko, PhD

Medication Adherence and Decision-analytic Modeling

Cost effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Research

Dr. Slejko’s research is focused on innovative approaches for decision-analytic modeling for economic and health outcomes assessments. She has applied these methods to modeling medication adherence and translating pharmacometric findings to cost-effectiveness analyses. She holds a BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her PhD training at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy Center for Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research was focused on pharmacoeconomics. Her postdoctoral training was completed at the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program in the University of Washington School of Pharmacy. Prior to her PhD training, she had a seven-year career in drug discovery at Array BioPharma. Dr. Slejko is very active in the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and maintains close connections with industry and academic partners. Her research focuses on assessing economic and comparative value of medications and health care. Current efforts include informing decision-analytic models with real-world evidence on effectiveness, in particular patients’ adherence to medications as a determinant of value, how adherence affects economic evaluations and how predicting and improving adherence may increase value. As co-director of the School of Pharmacy's Patient-Driven Values in Healthcare Evaluation (PAVE) Center, she leads research on incorporating patient-driven value elements into cost-effectiveness analyses and other components of value assessments.

Ester Villalonga Olives, PhD, MsC

Patient Reported Outcomes

Social Epidemiology

Health Inequities

Dr. Villalonga-Olives is a social epidemiologist who holds a PhD in biomedicine with specialties in epidemiology and public health. She completed her BsC in sociology and MsC in sociology and health at the University of Barcelona, including a long international stay at the Università degli Study di Trieste in Italy. She received her PhD with International Doctor Distinction from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and completed stays at the London School of Economics in the UK and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. During her PhD studies, she received an award from the Spanish Society of Epidemiology to study at the European Epidemiology Program in Florence, Italy, and performed on-site public health interventions serving non-governmental organizations in India and Cuba. Dr. Villalonga-Olives has served as a teaching and research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has been a guest lecturer at the Yale School of Public Health and the University of Tarapacá, Chile. She has been a research scientist in the Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology at the University Medical Center of the Georg-August-University of Goettingen in Germany. She is the past president of the European Young Epidemiologists group (2010-2014) and has been an elected member of the International Epidemiology Association board for 10 years. She is a member of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center and of the international expert group on operationalizing social capital interventions in forced displacement situations lead by the United Nations. She is a recipient of a GLOBALtimore teaching fellowship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore Center for Global Engagement and is a National Institutes of Health EIAP Scholar. Dr. Villalonga-Olives’ research interests are the social determinants of health, with an emphasis on social capital, health inequalities, and the design of health interventions. She has a background in psychometrics and has worked with patient reported outcomes, especially health-related quality of life, and has developed a patient reported outcome to assess bridging social capital. Her work is also centered on the investigation of the relationship between social capital and health outcomes with a focus on underserved and vulnerable populations such as immigrants and children. She is currently adapting cancer knowledge and health literacy instruments for Hispanics living in the US. The techniques that she has used include mixed methods, structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, and Rasch analysis. Several articles published by Dr. Villalonga-Olives have received awards at international conferences. She has also served as a member of scientific and organizing committees at several international events. She currently serves as an academic guest editor for the Scientific Journal Plos One and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Linda Wastila, BSPharm, MSPH, PhD

Health Services Research in Mental Health

Substance Use Disorders in Geriatrics

Dr. Linda Wastila is professor and Parke-Davis Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research and director of research for the Peter Lamy Center for Drug Therapy and Aging. For more than two decades, she has conducted research focusing on prescription drug policy, quality, and outcomes. She received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also completed a Master of Science in Public Health. In 1993, she received her doctorate in health policy from Brandeis University, where she served as a Pew Health Policy Fellow. From 1994–2001, she served as senior scientist at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy and was a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. With a focus on older adults and other vulnerable populations, Dr. Wastila examines issues such as: prescription drug use, abuse, and diversion; intended and unintended policy impacts on prescription drug utilization and outcomes; psychopharmacological medication use, quality, and outcomes in community- and residential-residing older adults; innovative methods addressing multi-morbidity and poly-pharmacy; mental health disorders and impact on medication use, adherence, and outcomes; and medication quality and falls prevention. Dr. Wastila’s current research portfolio includes papers on psychopharmacological treatment and quality of treatment in long-term care beneficiaries, substance use disorders epidemiology, and co-morbidity of psychiatric and physical health conditions. She has received grants and contracts from the National Institute of Aging, National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Agency for Health Research and Quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Research Retirement Foundation, the Maryland Department of Health, and other sources.

Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP

Geriatrics

Nephrology

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Chanel Whittaker received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Rutgers University. She completed a managed care pharmacy practice residency with Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic States and a primary care specialty residency at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, focused on chronic disease state management. Dr. Whittaker is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and certified geriatric pharmacist. She is residency program director for the PGY2 – Geriatrics Residency Program. Her practice and teaching specialties include geriatric pharmacotherapy and chronic kidney disease. She has practiced in a number of ambulatory and community settings providing services to older adults in the Baltimore area. Her current practice sites include the Geriatric Education and Medication Management Clinic and the ambulatory nephrology clinic at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Whittaker’s research interests include health literacy, health communication, interprofessional education, and improving medication related outcomes in diverse older adults. She completed an interprofessional faculty development program in ethnogeriatrics with the Stanford Geriatric Education Center to develop educational programs to equip health care professionals to address the health care needs of culturally diverse older adults. She is currently conducting research in the community to evaluate knowledge of medication safety and poison prevention in culturally diverse older adults with low health literacy. In 2022, she was named the School of Pharmacy's inaugural assistant dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). In this role, Dr. Whittaker oversees the development and implementation of the School's EDI strategic plan and initiatives.

Zafar Zafari, MSc, PhD

Mathematical/statistical Simulation Modeling

Cost-effectiveness Analyses

Health Policy

Dr. Zafari is a quantitative outcomes researcher with interests in a wide range of applied and theoretical topics in health economics, outcomes research, and health policy, including developing advanced cohort/micro simulation models for cost-effectiveness or comparative effectiveness of health policies or technologies, Bayesian methods of synthesizing and reconciling evidence, statistical methods of longitudinal analyses, prospective, or retrospective studies including multi-level (hierarchical) modeling, age-period-cohort analysis, non- or semi-parametric modeling to address burning epidemiological and health policy questions. From 2016 to 2018, IDr. Zafari was a postdoctoral research scientist in the Department of Heath Policy and Management at Columbia University. During this time, besides working on a on a variety of projects on cost-effectiveness of social and preventive policies in the US public health system and especially New York City, one main pillar of Dr. Zafari's research activities was to quantify and understand the trends of despair over time and their impact on survival inequalities in the US. From 2012 to 2016, Dr. Zafari was a PhD student at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, where he obtained his PhD in health economics/outcomes research. During his PhD, Dr. Zafari worked as a mathematical modeler and data scientist affiliated with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation (2014-2016) and as a health economist/epidemiologist for the Center of Collaborations for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Vancouver, Canada (2012-2014). He received a MSc in mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 2012 and a BSc in electrical engineering from Tehran Polytechnic University in 2010.