The Community Guide Staff
On This Page
Community Guide staff provide scientific, technical, and administrative support to the Task Force. They are based at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and include epidemiologists, behavioral and social scientists, systematic review methodologists, statisticians, economists, clinicians, communication specialists, health educators, and policy experts. Community Guide staff members:
- Coordinate systematic review teams
- Assure that each review is scientifically conducted according to approved methods
- Write and publish review findings
- Disseminate and participate in the translation of review findings to intended users including public health practitioners, policymakers, and researchers
- Create and maintain partnerships with representatives of intended user audiences
- Develop and refine systematic review methods
- Provide consultation and training about systematic reviews and developing evidence-based recommendations
CDC Community Guide Staff Members
- Shawna L. Mercer, MSc, PhD Branch Chief and Director
- Maryan D. Reynolds, BA Deputy Branch Chief
- Randy W. Elder, PhD, MEd Scientific Director of Systematic Reviews
- Katherine (Kathi) M. Wilson, PhD, MPH, CHES Health Educator
- Andrea Baeder, MPH Public Health Analyst
- Starr Banks, MPH Associate Service Fellow
- Sara R. Bedrosian, BA, BFA Health Communications Specialist
- LCDR Allyson Brown, MPH Public Health Service Officer
- Sajal K. Chattopadhyay, PhD Economist
- Onnalee Gomez, MS Technology Information Specialist
- Robert A. Hahn, PhD, MPH Coordinating Scientist
- David P. Hopkins, MD, MPH Coordinating Scientist and Chief Medical Officer
- Verughese Jacob, PhD, MPH Senior Service Fellow
- Jennifer Murphy Morgan, MSPH Associate Service Fellow
- Qaiser Mukhtar, MSc, PhD Coordinating Scientist
- Adesola Pitan, MBChB, MPH Associate Service Fellow
- Paramjit Sandhu, MD, MPH Associate Service Fellow
- Anil Thota, MBBS, MPH Senior Service Fellow
- Sushama Dhakal Acharya, PhD, MS Research Fellow
- Sierra Baker, BA Research Fellow
- Cristian Dumitru, MPH Research Fellow
- Ramona Finnie, DrPH, MPH, CHES Research Fellow
- John A. Knopf, MPH Research Fellow
- Jerrel McBride, MPH, CHES Research Fellow
- Stephane Zephir McKissick, MPH, CHES Research Fellow
- Gibril Njie, MPH Research Fellow
- Mona Patel, MPH Research Fellow
- Yinan Peng, PhD, MPH Research Fellow
- Krista Proia, MPH Research Fellow
- Shuli Qu, MPH Research Fellow
- Veda Rammohan-Tilak, MPH Research Fellow
- Jeffrey A .Reynolds, MPH Research Fellow
- Cherie Rooks-Peck, PhD, RD, LD Research Fellow
- Sharmily Roy, MPH, CHES Research Fellow
- Kristin A. Tansil, MSW Research Fellow
- Rebecca Williamson, MPH Research Fellow
Shawna L. Mercer, MSc, PhD
Shawna L. Mercer is director of the Guide to Community Preventive Services. She previously served as senior advisor and health scientist on the Science Vision and Alliances Team in CDC's Office of the Chief Science Officer where she led a number of initiatives aimed at bridging gaps between research, practice and policy and developed CDC-wide mechanisms and information systems to ensure CDC's compliance with Office of Management and Budget requirements for scientific information. Dr. Mercer earlier served as a senior scientist and deputy director of the Office of Science and Extramural Research in CDC's Public Health Practice Program Office where she co-developed and oversaw a $12M extramural grant funding program for community-based participatory prevention research and led a research and evaluation program aimed at strengthening the rigor of participatory research and assessing its value and benefits for bridging research and practice. Dr. Mercer also served as an associate service fellow on the Global Team in the Office on Smoking and Health, where she explored the benefits of participatory research approaches for helping states to implement best practices for tobacco control following the Master Settlement Agreement.
Before joining CDC, Dr. Mercer worked at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and at the University of Toronto as an investigator and research associate on numerous cancer screening research grants and projects. She also worked as the first evaluation coordinator for the province-wide Ontario Breast Screening Program.
Dr. Mercer has a master's degree in health behavior from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and a doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of Toronto. She has a growing number of publications, serves as an editor for the American Journal of Health Promotion, and is a reviewer for a large number of journals.
Maryan D. Reynolds, BA
Maryan D. Reynolds has been developing and implementing effective public health programs in states and localities, and at CDC for 20 years. Currently she is serving as the deputy branch chief within the Community Guide. Ms. Reynolds began her public health career in Chicago, Houston and then Fulton County health departments as a Public Health Advisor. Ms. Reynolds came to CDC in 1998 as deputy chief of the State Branch with the Epidemiology Program Office. There, she conducted short- and long-range planning; coordinated program operations; and collaborated with state, local, and tribal partners to build the public health system's epidemiologic capacity. From 2004 through 2009 Ms. Reynolds focused her program planning on CDC's efforts to build and strengthen the public health workforce, where she coordinated and assisted with the Office of Workforce and Career Development's stand up and transformation; strategic planning; and coordination of workforce-development materials requested by Congress, HHS, CDC's partners, and the media. Ms. Reynolds received her degree from The Ohio State University, with a dual focus on international relations, national security policy, and Russian.
Randy W. Elder, PhD, MEd
Randy W. Elder joined the Guide to Community Preventive Services as scientific director for systematic reviews in April of 2005. He oversees the development of Community Guide methods and ensures the methodological rigor of the systematic reviews. He earned a master's degree in education with a focus on applied measurement and evaluation from the University of Alberta and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Emory University. Dr. Elder joined CDC's Injury Center in 1999 to conduct research in the areas of alcohol-impaired driving and alcohol epidemiology. During his tenure there, he conducted several Community Guide reviews on the effectiveness of community-based interventions to prevent alcohol-impaired driving. In recognition of the contribution of these reviews to traffic safety, his team received several awards, including MADD's Ralph W. Hingson Research to Practice Award and the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service.
Katherine (Kathi) M. Wilson, PhD, MPH, CHES
Katherine M. Wilson leads the Dissemination and Implementation Team of the Guide to Preventive Services Community Guide Branch where she will oversee the growth of methods, tools and training for providing states and territories with technical assistance in accessing and applying recommendations found in the Community Guide. She has been a project officer since coming to CDC in 1990, first with the Planned Approach to Community Health (PATCH) Program, then as a project officer to three Alaskan tribes and the state health department for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. She has been the project officer for various cooperative agreements including the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN), which designs and delivers trainings for state, local, tribal, and territorial constituents and CDC project officers on using evidence to improve practice. She has developed and conducted training on using evidence for local and state groups domestically and internationally. Dr. Wilson earned her doctorate in communication from the University of Georgia and her master's degree in public health with an emphasis on community health education from Indiana University.
Andrea Baeder, MPH
Andrea Baeder is serving as the policy lead for the Guide to Community Preventive Services and is on detail from the Office of the Associate Director for Program (OADPG). In OADPG, she served as an account manager working with CDC programs on activities related to performance measurement and Quarterly Program Reviews. Ms. Baeder joined CDC in 2007 as a public health prevention service (PHPS) fellow. As a PHPS fellow, she completed six-month rotations in the Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch and the Financial Management Office and a two-year field assignment at the Minnesota Department of Health where she split her time between the Asthma Program and the Environmental Public Health Tracking and Biomonitoring Program. Ms. Baeder received her bachelor of science in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her master in public health from Emory University.
Starr Banks, MPH
Starr Banks is an associate service fellow on the dissemination team with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Currently, she is working to help develop, implement and evaluate the Community Guide's dissemination strategy. Before joining the Community Guide, Ms. Banks worked at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs as a research assistant. Passionate about international health issues, she also worked in Kampala, Uganda as an intern at Young, Empowered and Healthy (Y.E.A.H.), a national health communications initiative aimed at reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence among youth. Ms. Banks received her bachelor's degree in anthropology from Georgia State University and recently graduated from the UCLA School of Public Health, with a master of public health degree in community health sciences, specializing in population and reproductive health. Her public health interests include implementation science, health communications, reproductive health, youth empowerment, refugee health, health inequities related to poverty, as well as, issues related to nutrition, physical activity, and obesity.
Sara R. Bedrosian, BA, BFA
Sara Reynolds Bedrosian is a health communications specialist at CDC's Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office, where she primarily supports the Guide to Community Preventive Services Dissemination and Implementation Team. Prior to this position, Ms. Bedrosian worked with the Office of Public Health Genomics as a health communications specialist, where she was the managing editor for the Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) book 2nd edition published by Oxford University Press in 2010, and created and facilitated the CDC University Public Health Genomics Seminar Series from 2007 to 2010. She is a member of the CDC Health Literacy Council, and of the Advisory Council for CDC University's School of Public Health Science, Research, and Medicine. Ms. Bedrosian holds a bachelor of arts degree in comparative religion, East Asian specialty, from Wellesley College and a bachelor of fine arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design. Ms. Bedrosian is a certified Information Mapping® specialist in User Documentation.
LCDR Allyson Brown, MPH
LCDR Brown began her public health career at the Miami-Dade Department of Heath providing health education. In August of 2001, LCDR Brown started her career at CDC in the Hospital Infections Program as an ATPM fellow. In September of 2002, LCDR Brown joined the Division of Strategic National Stockpile as a program services consultant. In that position, LCDR Brown had the opportunity to work with twenty-one different states to improve the ability to receive pharmaceuticals and equipment in times of national crisis. During LCDR Brown's tenure with the DSNS she was deployed to Mississippi and Texas during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As a result of her efforts during the hurricanes she earned the PHS Outstanding Unit Citation and PHS Commendation Medal. LCDR Brown attended Florida A&M University, where she obtained her bachelor of science in biology, and Florida International University, where she earned a master of public health.
Sajal K. Chattopadhyay, PhD
Sajal K. Chattopadhyay is the principal economic advisor for the Guide to Community Preventive Services. He directs the Community Guide's economic reviews. He previously served as a senior economist at the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and as the chief of the Prevention Effectiveness Branch in the Epidemiology Program Office at CDC. Before joining CDC, he was a member of the economics faculty at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Chattopadhyay is a founding member of the International Health Economics Association. He coordinated the collaborative work between CDC and the Institute of Medicine on re-estimating health benefits of federal regulations with different health-related quality-of-life measures and, more recently, served as an economic advisor for the Purchaser's Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. Dr. Chattopadhyay received his doctorate in economics with a specialization in health economics from the University of Connecticut in 1991.
Onnalee Gomez, MS
Onnalee Gomez performs literature searches in various bibliographic databases in support of systematic reviews of the literature for the Community Guide. Ms. Gomez works in the CDC Public Health Library & Information Center and has been with the CDC since 1988. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She received her master's degree from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science and worked in public libraries in Florida and at the Georgia Institute of Technology library before coming to the CDC. In addition to library work, Ms. Gomez has worked on the search algorithm for the Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) published literature database at the CDC's National Office of Public Health Genomics and at the CDC's Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office developing vocabulary for decision support systems.
Robert A. Hahn, PhD, MPH
Robert A. Hahn has served as an epidemiologist at the CDC since 1986 and is a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service. He received his doctorate in anthropology at Harvard University (1976) and his master of public health in epidemiology from the University of Washington (1986). He has published studies on a variety of topics, including chronic diseases, syphilis, AIDS, obstetrics and internal medicine, perinatal ethics, racial and ethnic classification in public health, poverty and death, blindness and breast cancer, and the nocebo phenomenon. He is the author of Sickness and Healing: An Anthropological Perspective (Yale, 1995) and editor of Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society (Oxford, 2009). In 1998-1999, he worked as a Capitol Hill fellow in the House of Representatives Committee on Veterans' Affairs and in the office of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. He is currently coordinating scientist of systematic reviews interventions to promote health equity.
David P. Hopkins MD, MPH
David Hopkins joined the Guide to Community Preventive services in July of 1997. He now serves as medical officer while continuing to coordinate and conduct systematic reviews on a wide variety of topics for the Community Guide. Dr. Hopkins graduated from the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine in 1989, completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in 1992, became board certified in Internal Medicine in 1992, and obtained a master of public health from the University of California at Berkeley in May of 1993. After two years practicing clinical medicine in California, Dr. Hopkins joined CDC as an EIS officer in July 1995 and spent two years assigned to the New York State Tuberculosis Control Bureau in Albany, New York.
Verughese Jacob, PhD, MPH
Verughese Jacob is a senior service fellow on the economics team at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Prior to this fellowship, Dr. Jacob consulted as an economist on a health disparity project with the CDC and the feasibility of a national twin registry with the NIEHS. Dr. Jacob holds a doctorate in economics from Southern Illinois University, and a master of public health from Emory University.
Jennifer Murphy Morgan, MSPH
Jennifer Morgan is an associate service fellow with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Currently Ms. Morgan is working with the vaccine-preventable disease and tobacco review teams. Prior to rejoining the Community Guide, she worked as a research analyst for the Health Services Research and Evaluation Branch (HSREB) in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. In HSREB, she provided analytical support and technical assistance for the research and evaluation activities of the Economics and Adult Vaccination teams. In 2008, Ms. Morgan joined the Community Guide as an ORISE fellow. During her time with the Community Guide, she worked with the Vaccine-Preventable Disease team where they updated the set of existing reviews for vaccine interventions. She also worked with the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention to update the review on sobriety checkpoints to reduce alcohol-related fatal and nonfatal injuries. Prior to her fellowship with the Community Guide, she interned with the Physical Fitness Program, Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program and the Division of Minority Health and Disparity Elimination at the Tennessee Department of Health. Before obtaining her master's degree, she worked as a research assistant with the Georgia Institute for the Prevention of Human Disease and Accidents. In this position, Ms. Morgan evaluated the role of lifestyle behaviors upon the development of insulin resistance, Type II diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk among prepubertal youth. Ms. Morgan received her bachelor's degree in biology from South Carolina State University and her master of science in public health from Meharry Medical College.
Qaiser Mukhtar, MSc, PhD
Qaiser Mukhtar has joined EAPO as a coordinating scientist in the Community Guide Branch. Dr. Mukhtar earned her PhD from University of South Carolina in infectious disease epidemiology and MSc in parasitology from University of Karachi. She began her CDC career in 1999 with the Division of Diabetes Translation as the lead for evaluating Diabetes National Objectives and later served as the applied research and evaluation team lead. In 2009, Dr. Mukhtar joined the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention as the applied research and translation team lead. Prior to joining CDC, Dr. Mukhtar worked with states, tribes, and communities in Arizona and New Mexico conducting HIV/AIDS surveillance, substance use epidemiology, maternal and child health studies, hantavirus surveillance, diabetes primary prevention research, diabetes surveillance and program evaluation. Her international experience includes work with two NGOs conducting program evaluation, outreach, and training community health workers.
Adesola Pitan, MBChB, MPH
Adesola Pitan is an associate service fellow at the Guide to Community Preventive Services evaluating the effectiveness of intervention strategies to increase tobacco use cessation. He's also updating the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints intervention to reduce alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. Dr. Pitan joined the Community Guide in 2009 as an ORISE research fellow and helped to update the reviews on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce vaccine preventable diseases. A physician trained in Nigeria, and a member of the hospital technical team, Dr. Pitan completed several FHI/USAID-organized trainings about the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS. He also holds a master of public health in health policy and management from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. While at Emory, Dr. Pitan worked as a research assistant with the Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium and on a federally-funded Emory University HOPE VI/AHA study on how environmental and social changes affect behavioral and sexual health of relocating residents.
Parmajit Sandhu, MD, MPH
Paramjit Sandhu is an ORISE research fellow with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Currently, she is working on projects evaluating the effectiveness of alcohol and cancer interventions. Dr. Sandhu has a degree in medicine (MBBS) from India and master of public health from Emory University. She joined the CDC at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in 2008 as ORISE fellow. She conducted population based study on pregnancy and smoking, also, participated in ongoing stillbirth projects. She also worked on a short assignment as a research associate with the Routine Immunization Team, CDC, where she participated in a literature review on unvaccinated children in developing countries. In India, Dr. Sandhu worked as medical officer, in charge of the Primary Healthcare Center at the Department of Health and Family Welfare, where along with providing clinical care to the patients, she was responsible for the implementation of various national health programs for the population under jurisdiction.
Anil Thota, MBBS, MPH
Anil Thota is a senior service fellow at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Currently he is working with a team of experts prioritizing and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions aiming to reduce morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Prior to this, he worked with a coordinating scientist to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of collaborative care to improve delivery of depression care. Dr. Thota has a degree in medicine (MBBS) from Manipal University in India and a master of public health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to the Community Guide, Dr. Thota was a consultant at the World Bank in Washington, DC. In this position, he worked on a review evaluating the effectiveness of health service delivery strategies in low-income settings and also participated in a World Bank systematic review looking at community empowerment strategies in low-income countries.
Consultants and Contractors
Deborah R. Bauer, MPH, RN, CHES
Deborah R. Bauer (Carter Consulting) is one of the partnership and dissemination coordinators for the Guide to Community Preventive Services, a role that focuses on optimizing relationships with Liaisons to the Community Preventive Services Task Force and other Community Guide stakeholders and dissemination of Task Force recommendations. Just prior to joining the Community Guide, Ms. Bauer served as coordinator of the CDC Healthier Worksite Initiative. In addition to employee health promotion, Ms. Bauer's public health interests include cancer prevention and control, having served as statewide professional education consultant for the Georgia Department of Human Resources Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.
Lindsay Borg, BS
Lindsay Borg (Unisys Federal Systems) provides project and financial management support to the Community Guide Branch by collecting, analyzing, and reporting the Community Guide systematic review status. In addition, Ms. Borg manages the Project Management Database Tool. As a consultant with Unisys Corporation, she has been providing consulting services to CDC since January 2011. Her previous project included work for CDC's Mid-Tier Data Center within ITSO as a finance and business operations analyst. Prior to her work at the CDC's MTDC, Ms. Borg also worked within EAPO, serving within the Division of Library Sciences and Services (DLSS), as a member of their Fiscal Operations Team where she provided business analyst support. Ms. Borg has a bachelor of science degree in business management with a concentration in finance and marketing from Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Krista Hopkins Cole, MPH
Krista Hopkins Cole (McKing Consulting) is one of the partnership and dissemination coordinators for the Guide to Community Preventive Services. In this role, she works closely with her co-coordinator to optimize relationships with Liaisons to the Community Preventive Services Task Force and disseminate Task Force recommendations. Before joining the Community Guide, Ms. Cole served as a health communication specialist for CDC's Injury Center where she led communication activities for the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention and worked to promote the application of behavioral sciences to injury prevention. She also has experience leading health communication activities for state and county agencies as well as nonprofit organizations. Ms. Cole has a master of public health in health behavior, health education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Kate W. Harris, BA
Kate W. Harris (McKing Consulting) is a professional editor who has specialized in public health and medical editing for the past 20 years. She has been senior publications manager at the Guide to Community Preventive Services since 2010. Ms. Harris previously worked in the same capacity at the Community Guide from 2000-2007, and was part of the team that developed the 2005 book, The Guide to Community Preventive Services. What Works to Promote Health? She was also instrumental in working with Community Guide scientists and the Task Force to develop segments of the terminology used in Community Guide reviews and Task Force recommendations.
Lori Kose, MBA
Lori Kose (Unisys Corporation) serves as the project manager for several program and financial management engagements within the Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office (EAPO). She has supported EAPO since its inception by providing portfolio and program management services, including managing document libraries and coordinating cross-center workgroups. Ms. Kose also provides project management support to the Community Guide by managing resources, participating in key client meetings, reviewing and approving deliverables, and conducting periodic checkpoints with Community Guide leadership. She works with the Community Guide Technical Monitor to come to agreement on the approach, direction, and plan for all project activities. She has over 16 years experience and extensive knowledge of resource management, financial management/analysis and reporting, system implementation, training program development, and developing and implementing process improvement initiatives, including nearly five years supporting CDC's Offices and National Centers. Ms. Kose holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Georgia with concentrations in finance and international business.
Sushama Dhakal Acharya, PhD, MS
Sushama Dhkal Acharya is an ORISE research fellow on the tobacco team with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Prior to joining the Community Guide Branch, Dr. Acharya worked in the Malaria Branch, DPDM, CGH, CDC where she contributed on the systematic review of strategies to improve health care provider practices and related outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. She received her PhD in epidemiology from University of Pittsburgh. During her doctoral work, she also served as a graduate student researcher and delivered cognitive-behavioral intervention in a weight loss research study. Her dissertation work focused on examining the relationships between weight loss, diet and adiponenction among overweight/obese adults. Dr. Acharya received her MS degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Hawaii and also holds a bachelor of science in nutrition from the University of Wollongong, Australia. Dr. Acharya's primary research interests include chronic diseases, obesity, nutrition and global health.
Sierra Baker, BA
Sierra Baker is an ORISE fellow who joined the Guide to Community Preventive Services in 2009 to work with the dissemination & implementation team. She holds a bachelor's degree in liberal studies with a minor in psychology from Beacon College, where she was an active participant in the Gamma Beta Phi honors and community service society. During college Ms. Baker was also active in the Tri Mu sorority, and supported student organizations, that advocated acceptance of diversity and human rights. Ms. Baker's public health interests include prevention of disease through vaccination, mental health, prevention and treatment of cancer, reducing the incidence of STIs, physical fitness, nutrition, adolescent health, and social environment health. Ms. Baker is a volunteer member of the Clayton County Chapter of Arc, an organization that advocates for and supports individuals with developmental disabilities.
Cristian Dumitru, MPH
Cristian Dumitru is an ORISE research fellow at the Guide to Community Preventive Services and is currently working with the tobacco team on a review of smoke-free policies. He received his master of public health in epidemiology from the University of Georgia in 2011. During his studies, he served as a summer intern at the Community Guide and worked on a review of mental health benefits legislation. Mr. Dumitru's primary research interests include infectious diseases, health policy, and global health.
Ramona Finnie, DrPH, MPH, CHES
Ramona Finnie is an ORISE research fellow currently working with the mental health benefits legislation review team at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. She received her master of public health from Emory University and doctor of public health (DrPH) with a concentration in global health from the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston. Prior to joining the Community Guide, Dr. Finnie was a visiting faculty member at Arizona State University, Department of African and African-American Studies. Other research experience includes dissertation research on assessing factors related to delayed care-seeking and diagnosis for tuberculosis (TB) and non-adherence to TB treatment in Limpopo Province South Africa, and work at the Behavioral Research Center within the American Cancer Society as a research analyst for Special Populations Research [now Underserved Populations Research]. Dr. Finnie's research interests include global health disparities, health communications, and the development and evaluation of community-based interventions.
John A. Knopf, MPH
John A. Knopf is an ORISE research fellow at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. He is working on the mental health benefits legislation review as well as the health equity out-of-school time review. Mr. Knopf obtained his bachelor of science in biology and psychology at the University of Georgia, and received his master's of public health at the University of Georgia. During his time at the University of Georgia, John received a certificate in global leadership and also traveled to Belize for medical service learning. His interests include clinical medicine, social epidemiology, health policy, and chronic disease management.
Jerrel McBride, MPH, CHES
Jerrel McBride is an ORISE research fellow on the dissemination & implementation team with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Her primary work will be developing and implementing the Project Management Database Tool for tracking Community Guide's dissemination activities, as well as, increasing the awareness, usage and third party dissemination of the Community Guide. Ms. McBride received her bachelor's degree from Bethune-Cookman University and has a master of public health degree with a certificate in mental health from Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health. While completing her master's, she obtained her health education specialist certification. While at Emory, she held several research assistant positions: The HOPE VI Project with the Emory School of Medicine and Public Health, Winship Cancer Institute, and The F.I.G.H.T. Against MeTs Study at Morehouse School of Medicine. Additionally, she served as a Substance Abuse Prevention Fellowship Program graduate student intern with SAMHSA. Prior to coming to the Community Guide, she worked for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, doing outreach and health education workshops at various community and health events throughout Georgia.
Stephane Zephir McKissick, MPH, CHES
Stephane Zephir McKissick is an ORISE research fellow on the dissemination and implementation team with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Ms. McKissick's specific tasks will include supporting the development of the Community Guide project management database tool as related to dissemination activities and helping to refine the Community Guide Web site through rewriting and restructuring existing sections, as well as, developing new content and web-based tools. Prior to joining the Community Guide, she served as a teacher for Atlanta Public School's Adult Education Program. Her primary research interests include health education and promotion, environmental health, community-based participatory research, health disparities and inequities, and health literacy. She is especially interested in the development of plain language materials. Ms. McKissick is passionate about public health and empowering communities to collaborate and partner more effectively with scientists and public health professionals, resulting in programs and materials that are more credible, acceptable, effective, accessible, and useful. Ms. McKissick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in human services at Kennesaw State University and recently earned a master's degree in public health from Morehouse School of Medicine, Master of Public Health Program, with a concentration in health education/health promotion.
Gibril Njie, MPH
Gibril Njie is an ORISE research fellow working on the cardiovascular disease team at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Currently, he is working on a systematic review evaluating the effectiveness of reducing out-of-pocket cost for patients at risk for CVD. Prior to joining The Community Guide, Mr. Njie worked as a research fellow at the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP). While at the DHDSP, Mr. Njie worked as a partner on Community Guide's first CVD review team, which conducted a review on the effectiveness of team-based care in improving high blood pressure. Mr. Njie holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Kennesaw State University, and master's degree in public health from The University of Georgia with a concentration in health policy and management. Mr. Njie research interests include health inequities and disparities, malaria, global health policy, and evidence-based preventive medicine.
Mona Patel, MPH
Mona Patel is an ORISE research fellow on the economics team at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Ms. Patel received her undergraduate degree in economics from Mercer University, and has a master of public health from Emory University with a focus on health policy. Before joining the Community Guide, Ms. Patel worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where she was involved with surveillance projects to monitor health plan performance and ensure compliance with CMS guidelines. She also joined the Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions as a research assistant, worked with the CARE Food Resource Coordination Team, and interned for a summer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Rural Economic Growth Team in Rwanda.
Yinan Peng, PhD, MPH
Yinan Peng is an ORISE research fellow at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Under the guidance of a coordinating scientist, she and her teammates are working on two separate projects: 1) the effectiveness of tobacco control interventions, and 2) the effectiveness of school dismissal in reducing transmission of pandemic influenza in schools and communities. Prior to joining the Community Guide, Dr. Peng served two years with the US Peace Corps in Kenya and Botswana. In both countries, but especially in Botswana, Dr. Peng worked on HIV/AIDS related issues, and assisted in planning, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating HIV/AIDS activities. She completed her service in May 2009, and received her master of public health degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in August 2009. Dr. Peng also holds a doctoral degree in molecular and cellular pharmacology from Stony Brook University, and a bachelor of science from Binghamton University.
Krista Proia, MPH
Krista Proia is an ORISE research fellow on the cardiovascular disease (CVD) team with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Prior to her fellowship, Ms. Proia worked as an epidemiology assistant and summer ORISE fellow at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities collaborating with the fetal alcohol syndrome surveillance (FAS) team which currently funds three states for multiple-source case ascertainment surveillance of FAS. Ms. Proia holds a bachelor's degree in health science from the University of Florida, and recently received her master of public health degree from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health with a concentration in behavioral sciences and health education. Ms. Proia's research interests include preventive medicine, translating evidence-based research into practice, and maternal and child health.
Shuli Qu, MPH
Shuli Qu is an ORISE research fellow who joined the Guide to Community Preventive Services in 2011 to work with the mental health review team. Currently, she is working with a coordinating scientist on a systematic review on mental health parity legislation. Ms. Qu holds a bachelor's degree in pharmacology science from Fudan University in China, and recently received her master of public health degree from University of Michigan School of Public Health with a concentration in health behavior and education. Ms. Qu's research interests include mental health, health communication, evaluative research on health behavior change interventions, disease prevention and management.
Veda Rammohan-Tilak, MPH
Veda Rammohan-Tilak is an ORISE research fellow on the health equity team at the Guide to Community Preventive Services evaluating the effectiveness of educational interventions on health outcomes. Along with Dr. Robert Hahn, Ms. Rammohan-Tilak has completed a systematic review on the effectiveness of dram shop and alcohol overservice regulations on alcohol-related harms. Prior to this fellowship, Ms. Rammohan-Tilak assisted with the analysis and production of the National Healthcare Quality Disparities Report and the development of an MDR/XDR tuberculosis registry at the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, Surveillance Branch. She has also worked with the Office of Health Disparities on a systematic review of the methodologies implemented in measuring HIV/AIDS health disparities, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a federal intern. Ms. Rammohan-Tilak holds a bachelor of science in community health education from the University of Florida and a master of public health in behavioral science from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.
Jeffrey A.Reynolds, MPH
Jeffrey A. Reynolds is an intern at the Guide to CommunityPreventive Services. His current focus is assisting on the mental health parity legislation review. Mr. Reynolds obtained his bachelor of science in cellular biology and microbiology at the University of Georgia in 2008, and is currently a candidate for a master of public health with a concentration in epidemiology at the University of Georgia. His interests include clinical epidemiology, neuroepidemiology, and disease prevention and management.
Cherie Rooks-Peck, PhD, RD, LD
Cherie Rooks-Peck is an ORISE research fellow at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Currently, she is contributing to the systematic review of the effectiveness of tobacco control interventions. Prior to joining the Community Guide, Dr. Rooks-Peck completed a bachelor of science in psychology from Georgia State University, and a master of science in foods and nutrition from the University of Georgia (UGA). She then went on to receive her doctorate in Kinesiology at UGA where she studied the benefits of exercise on improving cardiovascular health and stress reactivity in female smokers. Most recently, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology at Emory University. During this time at Emory, she examined the mechanisms that explain the association between modifiable (i.e., smoking and physical activity) or psychosocial risk factors (i.e., early childhood stress) and cardiovascular disease. Her research interests include physical activity, cardiovascular disease, tobacco cessation, and nutrition.
Sharmily Roy, MPH, CHES
Sharmily Roy is an ORISE research fellow on the dissemination & implementation team with the Guide to Community Preventive Services. She is assisting in developing a surveillance tool that monitors use of the Community Guide and conducting other evaluation activities related to dissemination of knowledge and implementation support. Most recently, she worked as a health communications fellow at the Office of the Associate Director for Communications at CDC. She has also worked at CARE, USA, supporting polio prevention and elimination in Angola, Ethiopia, and India. Ms. Roy worked with Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY), an obesity policy research initiative at Georgia State University. In 2005, as a program coordinator for an International Labour Organization (ILO) project to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, Ms. Roy implemented a community-based pilot program through the YMCA of Trinidad and Tobago, components of which are still active today. Ms. Roy holds a master's degree in public health with a concentration in health promotion from Georgia State University, and a bachelor's degree in international relations from Agnes Scott College.
Kristin A. Tansil, MSW
Kristin A. Tansil is an ORISE research fellow on health communication and alcohol review teams at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. She recently completed a communication manuscript that received a "strong recommendation" by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, which evaluated the effectiveness of health communication campaigns that include mass media, and health-related product distribution; as well as concurrently working on another review assessing the effectiveness of alcohol electronic screening and brief interventions. Prior to this fellowship, Ms. Tansil worked in the psychology department at the University of Michigan as a research assistant. In this position, she assisted the principal investigator in exploring racial identity, perceptions of stereotypes, and the achievement gap for African American and Latino children and families. Ms. Tansil has also interned at the Corner Health Center (Ypsilanti, MI) and Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan where she organized and facilitated sexual health programs aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV and other STDs. Ms. Tansil holds a master of social work, with a concentration in management of human services, and a bachelor of arts in psychology, both from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Rebecca Williamson, MPH
Rebecca Williamson is an ORISE research fellow on the economics team at the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Ms. Williamson received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a minor in economics from the University of Virginia, and has a master of public health from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University with a concentration in epidemiology. Prior to joining the Community Guide, she conducted research on the association of high serum folate, low serum vitamin B12 and cognitive impairment. She also worked as a research associate II at the United BioSource Corporation conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses and developing cost-effectiveness models. Her research interests include vaccine coverage, spatial epidemiology, prevention of birth defects, and translating evidence-based research into practice.