CHeRP Faculty/Staff

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


Associate Faculty


Mikaela Batista, MA – Senior Administrative/Project Specialist

Mikaela Batista is a Senior Administrative/Project Specialist in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She provides administrative support for Professors Alison Galbraith, Davene Wright, Katherine Yih, Joanne Sordillo, and Pamela McMahon. Her other responsibilities include designing materials for research dissemination within CHeRP and PROMoTeR. 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.

(617) 867-4580

Elena Faugno, MSW, MPH – Research Associate 

Elena Faugno, MSW, MPH is a Research Associate in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. She is currently working on conducting and analyzing qualitative interviews for the Understanding Preferences for Insurance Coverage (U-PIC) study, which aims to better understand the experiences people have when choosing and using their health insurance. Previously, Elena has practiced as a clinical social worker and has been a part of multiple research teams both at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Boston Medical Center. She 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 and her MSW/MPH from Boston University. 

(617) 867-4582

Karen Gilbert, PhD

Karen Gilbert joined CHeRP as a Research Analyst. She will be working with Mei-Sing Ong on projects aimed to address disparities in child health outcomes. Karen completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Rochester and completed her BS in Psychology at Colorado State University. With an interdisciplinary background, Karen’s research interests converge at the intersection of health, social disparities, and psychology with a particular focus on understanding and mitigating health inequities in underserved populations.

Amy Han, MPH – Project Manager

Amy Han is a Project Manager for the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics (CHeRP). Prior to joining Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, she worked in clinical trial conduct and management with experience on the site level at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well as in project management at an academic research organization, 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.

(617) 867-4581

Marcus Henry, MPH – Research Assistant

Marcus completed his MPH at Brown University with a concentration in Epidemiology, where he conducted research on the implications of noise pollution in Boston using electroencephalogram (EEG) on residents with anxiety. While in graduate school, he was a Research Assistant at the Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health working on multiple systematic reviews for a variety of projects.

Madison Hickingbotham, MS – Senior Research Assistant

Madison Hickingbotham is a Research Assistant at CHeRP. She primarily assists Dr. Kurt Christensen with the Sanford and PreEMPT projects. 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 of 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

Ellen Kim DeLuca is a 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 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 – Senior Project Manager

Jessica LeBlanc is a Senior Project Manager for the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics (CHeRP). She provides project management support for Drs. Davene Wright, Kurt Christensen, and Katherine Yih. Before joining CHeRP in Spring 2020, 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. She 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 interests focus on the intersection of public health and quantitative research methodology.

(617) 867-4865

Alicia Lourekas, MPH - Project Manager

Alicia Lourekas is a Project Manager for the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics (CHeRP). She 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

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.

Georgia Okolita, BN – Administrative/Project Specialist

Georgia joined both CoRAL and CHeRP in November 2021 as an Administrative/Project Specialist. She provides administrative support for both Brittany Charlton and Ann Wu. Georgia graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, Georgia worked at the Neurosciences Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital as a Practice Assistant. She then went on to join the Department of Genetics and Population Sciences at Dana Farber Cancer Institute where she worked as a Genetic Testing Coordinator for the last three years.

Daniel Shapiro, MD – Research Fellow

Dan is a research fellow in in the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics (CHeRP) as part of 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.

(617) 355-6624

Natalie Smith, PhD - Research Fellow

Natalie is a postdoctoral research fellow working with Davene Wright in the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics (CHeRP). Natalie’s main research interest is to promote the implementation of evidence-informed policies to prevent cancer and chronic disease. To that end, she pursues research geared towards (1) using decision support methods, mainly simulation modeling, to assess the comparative health and economic effects of public health policies, and (2) improving how researchers disseminate findings from simulation modeling studies to policymakers. She earned her PhD in Health Policy and Management and her MS in Biostatistics from UNC Chapel Hill.

Sarah Stein, PhD – Research Programmer

Sarah Stein is a Research Programmer in both the CHeRP and HPI divisions. Sarah holds a PhD in Organization Behavior from Stanford and is skilled in C++, R, Python natural language processing, data manipulation and visualization. Sarah splits her time working on decision modeling projects of newborn genomic screening (PreEMPT) with Dr. Ann Wu and of breast cancer projects with Dr. Natasha Stout.

(617) 867- 4525

Kirsten Voorhies, ScM – Senior Biostatistician

Kirsten Voorhies, ScM is a Senior Biostatistician in CHeRP. Kirsten received her BS in Psychology and Mathematics with an emphasis in Statistics from Arizona State University. She recently graduated from Brown University with her ScM in Biostatistics. Her previous research experience includes data analysis for health services research. She will be working with Sharon Lutz on methods development and evaluation projects in statistical genetics and genomics.

(617) 867-4403

Ryan Walsh – Senior Administrative/Project Specialist

Ryan Walsh is an Administrative/Project Specialist in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. Ryan provides administrative support for faculty members Kurt Christensen, Hadley Stevens Smith, and Mei-Sing Ong. 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.

(617) 867-4848

Monica Hsiung Wojcik, MD – Research Fellow

Dr. Wojcik is a neonatologist and clinical geneticist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School whose research focuses on the application of genomic medicine in the perinatal setting, particularly related to genetic diagnosis in the neonatal intensive care unit - where she practices clinically - and related to understanding genetic causes of infant mortality via genomic autopsy. ​

(617) 355-5355