CHeRP Faculty/Staff

CHeRP includes general pediatricians, pediatric specialists, epidemiologists, social scientists and research/administrative staff.

Faculty

Associate Faculty

Staff

Mikaela Batista, MA | Project Coordinator | Email

Mikaela provides administrative support for the Division of Child Health Research and Policy and for Dr. Davene Wright. Her responsibilities include overseeing the pre-award grant submission process for her faculty members and designing materials for research dissemination for CHeRP, the PROMoTeR Center, and the Institute. Ms. Batista graduated from Stony Brook University and received her MA in Art History in 2016 and completed her graduate certificate program in Visual and Digital Health Communication from Boston University in 2020.


Elena Faugno, LCSW, MPH | Research Associate | Email

With over a decade of experience, Elena is the Qualitative Methods lead for the division and specializes in amplifying the voice of the person behind the data point. Previously, Elena has practiced as a clinical social worker in both a hospital and school setting.  As a methodological researcher, Elena is passionate about tackling issues of health disparities across the life course and thinking about ways to create communities of opportunity for children and families.  Elena received her BS in Interdisciplinary Health Services and Bioethics from Saint Joseph’s University in 2008 and her MSW/MPH from Boston University in 2016/2018.


Alexandra Geanacopoulous, MD | Research Fellow | Email

Ally is a research fellow in the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship and a clinical fellow in pediatric emergency medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her research focuses on improving diagnostic quality for children presenting to the emergency department with acute illnesses, with a particular emphasis on respiratory illness. Her research spans the domains of prediction medicine, clinical decision support, and administrative database research to improve outcomes and reduce inequities in the diagnostic process. Ally received her MD from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, completed her pediatrics residency at the Boston Combined Residency Program, and is currently a student in the MPH Clinical Effectiveness program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Karen Gilbert, PhD | Research Analyst | Email

Karen works on research projects with Dr. Mei-Sing Ong focused on examining disparities in the diagnostic process, health outcomes, and treatment for under-recognized chronic diseases. She performs statistical analysis of clinical datasets and makes substantial contributions to manuscript preparation. She completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Rochester. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, Karen has a passion for understanding and mitigating health inequities in underserved populations.


Amy Han, MPH | Project Manager | Email

Prior to joining Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Amy worked in clinical trial conduct and management with experience at the site level at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well as in project management at Baim Institute for Clinical Research. She received her BS in Premedical Health Studies at MCPHS University and her MPH at Boston University School of Public Health. She is also enrolled in a certificate program in Medical Writing and Editing with anticipated completion in 2024.


Marcus Henry, MPH | Research Assistant | Email

Marcus supports Drs. Davene Wright and Hadley Stevens Smith, working on OrCHID and PreEMPT projects. He received his BS in Biochemistry from Saint Xavier University and his MPH from Brown University. While completing his MPH, Marcus worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health participating in a variety of systematic reviews and researched the implications of noise pollution in Boston on residents with anxiety. His research interests include psychiatric, chronic disease, and infectious disease epidemiology.


Madison Hickingbotham, MS | Senior Research Assistant | Email

Madison assists Kurt Christensen and Hadley Stevens Smith with genomics implementation and outcomes projects, including BabySeq and PreEMPT. Madison received her BS in Public Health Sciences with a focus area in the Social Dynamics of Health from UMass Amherst in 2020, and received her MS in Health and Wellness Management from Merrimack College in 2021. While completing her MS, Madison worked as a research fellow on health behavior and health outcome disparities in children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Her research interests include social and behavioral epidemiology and epigenetics.


Ellen Kim DeLuca, PhD, MPH | Research Fellow | Email

Ellen is a Harvard-wide Pediatrics Health Services Research Fellow whose research focuses on developing and applying mathematical modeling and decision-making methods to evaluate child health policies and interventions. Current research topics include valuing health-related quality of life in children and modeling the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genomics as applied to newborn screening and newborn genomic sequencing programs. Ellen received her PhD in Health Services Organization and Policy from the University of Michigan and her MPH from Columbia University.


Jessica LeBlanc, MA | Program Manager | Email

Jessica currently provides project management support for the Interim Division Director, Dr. Davene Wright, and also serves as the Program Manager and Administrative lead of CHeRP. Since joining CHeRP in March 2020, Jessica’s work has involved managing HPHCI’s involvement in vaccine safety monitoring for the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink, randomized control trials of financial incentive strategies targeting adolescents with type 1 diabetes, and projects evaluating the integration of genomic testing into primary care settings. Before joining CHeRP, Jessica served as the Operations Manager for Project Viva, a longitudinal study of mothers and children, also within the Department of Population Medicine. Jessica also worked previously as an Assistant Study Director at the Center for Survey Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston, developing questionnaires and survey protocols and coordinating mixed-mode research projects. Jessica earned a BA in Sociology and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire in 2011, and a MA in Applied Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2015. Her academic background and interests have focused on the intersection of public health, social science, and quantitative research methodology. In her current role, Jessica really enjoys the day-to-day administrative work that makes research successful. 


Caitlyn Limanto, BS| Programmer | Email

Caitlyn Limanto joined CHeRP as a programmer working with Kurt Christensen and Hadley Stevens Smith. She will be working on the PreEMPT model, which investigates the effectiveness of newborn genetic screening for rare childhood diseases. Prior to joining the Institute, Caitlyn received her BS in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University and has experience working in the Computational Biology field. Caitlyn is excited about the intersection of technology and healthcare to improve public health.


Alicia Lourekas, MPH | Project Manager | Email

Alicia provides project support for CheRP’s research portfolio. Prior to joining HPHCI, Alicia worked in clinical trial management at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and in grants management at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She received an MPH from Emory University with a focus on behavioral sciences and health education. While in graduate school, she had the opportunity to work on epidemiology and health communication projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also holds a BS in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Taylor Montgomery, MPH | Research Assistant | Email

Taylor received her BA in Kinesiology Sports Medicine and Philosophy from Rice University in 2022 and received her MPH in Health Services Organization from the University of Texas in 2023. While completing her MPH, Taylor worked as a graduate research intern on the ethical and policy implications of pediatric deep brain stimulation (pDBS) for children with psychiatric disorders. Her research interests include pediatric bioethics and public health ethics and policy. She will be working with Hadley Stevens-Smith on an NIH diversity supplement focused on the ELSI of pediatric genomic sequencing.


Daniel Shapiro, MD| Research Fellow | Email

Dan is a research fellow in the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program. He is also a clinical fellow in pediatric emergency medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. Prior to joining CHERP, Dan completed medical school at the University of California, San Francisco and residency in pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital. His research focuses on a variety of topics related to low-value care for acute illnesses in children.


Sarah Stein, PhD | Research Programmer | Email

Sarah maintains the code base for the PreEMPT model, which investigates the effectiveness of newborn genetic screening for rare childhood diseases. Sarah received her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA in Economics from Brown University. Prior to joining the Department of Population Medicine, Sarah worked as a Data Scientist investigating diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring and promotions.


Ryan Walsh, BS | Project Coordinator | Email

Ryan provides administrative support/pre-award coordination for faculty members Kurt Christensen, PhD; Hadley Stevens Smith, PhD, MPSA; and Mei-Sing Ong, PhD. Ryan graduated from the University of New Hampshire and received his Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management and Policy: Public Health with a minor in Sociology. Prior to joining the Department of Population Medicine Ryan worked as the Program Coordinator for the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.


Skye Yoden, MBA | Research Fellow | Email

Skye Yoden joined CHeRP as a summer research fellow working with Davene Wright. She is a second-year doctoral student in the Decision Sciences track of the Harvard Health Policy PhD Program. Skye came to Harvard from Seattle and worked in the global health sector for over a decade. Most recently, Skye served as Director of Strategy for PATH’s Programs and Innovations Division. She was also the Executive Director for the Digital Square initiative at PATH, which focused on scaling high-value digital interventions in systems where they could help increase health equity.