Current AHEAD Scholars

Program: UW Health Disparities Research Scholars

Health Disparities Research Scholars
Pictured: Dr. Allen, Dr. Evans, Dr. Greene, Dr. Hendrick, and Dr. Zhang
Not Pictured: Dr. Shrider

Chenoa Allen, PhD
Dr. Chenoa Allen received her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2016. She also has an MS in health and medical sciences from the University of California, Berkeley – University of California, San Francisco, Joint Medical Program. Allen’s research focuses on how structural forces, including state and local immigration-related policies, affect health and health care access for children in immigrant families. As an HDRS postdoctoral fellow, Allen plans to shift her focus to policies that expand rights for immigrants. In particular, she plans to examine whether extending public insurance coverage to pregnant undocumented immigrants improves their birth outcomes. Allen also studies methodological and measurement issues related to health disparities research; over the long term, she is working toward obtaining better data on under-studied immigrant and refugee groups.

Linnea Evans, MPH, PhD
Dr. Evans received her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in August 2017. Dr. Evan’s research focuses on how health inequities develop during the transition from adolescence to adulthood, particularly at the intersection of race and gender. Her dissertation, “Racialized realignment of time: How time-use may be shaped by early life disadvantage, predict stress, and contribute to racial disparities in early onset hypertension” examined these issues from a U.S. population-level perspective, as well as qualitatively in the contextual space of Detroit, Michigan. She employs theoretical perspectives from social demography, psychology, and anthropology, along with her training in biology and public health to provide a nuanced understanding of how everyday differences in the structured lived experiences of youth and young adults may provide clues about how best to address health disparities. As a HDRS postdoctoral fellow, she aims to extend her work with Black adolescents in a longitudinal nature, investigating changes in expectations and obligations, time-use, and management of stressors as one nears the end of the high school years and transitions to the next progression.

Madelyne Greene, PhD
Dr. Greene received her PhD in Nursing Science in 2017 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Dr. Greene’s research interests include disparities in sexual and reproductive health outcomes, specifically those experienced by sexual and gender minorities, and her dissertation work focused on the relationship between pregnancy and cervical cancer screening among sexual minority women. Her dissertation “Obstetric History and Sexual Health Screening Among Sexual Minority Women” was funded in part by the HANN Innovation Fellowship. Dr. Greene is interested in the larger problem of disparities in access to high quality, inclusive health care for sexual and gender minority groups. She is particularly interested in developing and testing strategies to improve the effectiveness of health care for sexual minority women and enhance their health care experiences. Her research is grounded in sociocultural theories that explain health outcomes in structural and sociopolitical contexts. Building on epidemiological frameworks to address disparities, she will employ these theories to investigate the role of health systems and health care encounters in driving prevention and health maintenance in sexual and gender minority populations.

C. Emily Hendrick, MPH, PhD
Dr. Hendrick received her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin in August 2017. She holds an MPH from the division of Maternal and Child Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and has over a decade of experience planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programming in the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Broadly, her research interests include understanding and reducing maternal, child, and adolescent health (MCAH) disparities by investigating the determinants of women’s health behaviors and health across the reproductive years. Within this, she focuses on 1) the developmental period of adolescence as a time of vulnerability and opportunity in shaping women’s health behaviors and health across the life course, 2) the intergenerational transmission of health and well-being from mothers to children, and 3) the intersection of education and health. As a HDRS postdoctoral fellow, she aims to enhance her skills in mixed-methods research methodology and to work collaboratively with researchers and stakeholders who translate the information gained through population health research into MCAH public health programming and policy interventions.

Sherry Zhang, PhD
Sherry Zhang received her PhD in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University in August 2018. She works in the areas of family demography, race and ethnicity, the transition to adulthood, health, and inequality. Her doctoral dissertation, (Parent-Child Relationships and Demographic Outcomes across the Life Course) and previous research examines how family relationships, experiences of inequality, and experiences with school shape children’s relationship and fertility outcomes in the transition to adulthood. As an HDRS postdoctoral fellow, she will examine how parent-child relationships shape health outcomes in the transition to adulthood, and variation by race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.


Program: UW Family Medicine Primary Care Research Fellows

DFMCH AHEAD scholars
Pictured: Dr. Duffy, Dr. Flowers Benton and Dr. Goldstein

Sean Duffy, MD
Dr. Duffy comes to Family Medicine with a longstanding commitment to underserved medicine and global health. As an undergraduate, he shadowed doctors and medical students as part of an internship program in Puebla, Mexico, and he traveled to Guatemala to volunteer with Common Hope, a non-profit organization that partners with impoverished families to ensure that children receive the services and support necessary to succeed in school. Then, as a medical student, Sean made three more trips to Guatemala, including a year-long leave of absence to work with Common Hope as a medical volunteer. When not traveling the globe, Sean is equally passionate about underserved medicine here at home. As an undergraduate he was co-president of the Community Alliance Serving Hispanics, and he organized a spring break trip to the Arizona border to work with migrants crossing the Arizona dessert. As a medical student, Sean was an active volunteer for the student-run MEDiC clinics, which provide free healthcare to underserved populations in Madison, and he was co-coordinator for the Global Health Interest Group.

Susan Flowers Benton, PhD
Dr. Flowers Benton earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Louisiana State University and her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Southern University in Baton Rouge before completing her PhD in Rehabilitation Counselor Education at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Her research interests focus on the management and control of cardiometabolic risk factors, health self‐management, and health promotion as a route to reducing health disparities in aging and memory disorders for African Americans. Dr. Flowers Benton is in her first year with the Primary Care Research Fellowship.

Ellen Goldstein, PhD
Dr. Goldstein completed a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute before earning her PhD in Nursing Science and Healthcare Leadership from the University of California at Davis. She is currently in her second year with the Primary Care Research Fellowship. Dr. Goldstein’s research is focused on integrating trauma-informed care into primary care. Specifically, her research interests are to 1) evaluate curriculum for developing trauma-related clinical competence in nursing and medical students; and 2) test trauma-informed behavioral interventions that enhance clinical practice, reduce utilization and costs, and improve patient health outcomes in primary care.



Program: Centennial Scholars at UW-SMPH

Centennial Scholars July 2018
Pictured from top: Dr. Barroilhet, Dr. Famakin, Dr. Felton, Dr. Siraj, Dr. Valdivia, and Dr. Zapata

Lisa Barroilhet, MD
Dr. Barroilhet is the Dolores A. Buchler, MD, Faculty Fellow in Gynecologic Oncology and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Barroilhet joined the UW Carbone Cancer Center in 2012, her interests include minimally invasive surgery, healthy lifestyle modification and survivorship. Her primary research interest is drug development. She is the leader of the Disease Oriented Work Group for Gynecologic Malignancies, which reviews and prioritizes clinical research activity, and provides ongoing planning for new investigator-initiated studies.

Bolanle Famakin, MD
Dr. Famakin is an Assistant Professor of Neurology in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Her research interests include understanding the molecular basis of the role of inflammatory cues in repair and recovery after stroke with the goal of developing novel pharmacotherapies to lessen the burden of stroke and its associated disabilities.

Elizabeth Felton, MD, PhD
Dr. Felton is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. She is board-certified in neurology and specializes in epilepsy. Her clinical interests include dietary therapies for adults with epilepsy, special issues affecting women with epilepsy (epilepsy during pregnancy and catamenial epilepsy), and surgical evaluation for the treatment of epilepsy.

Dawd Siraj, MD
Dr. Dawd Siraj is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Siraj joined UW Health in 2016 and is currently the director of the Travel Medicine Clinic. A native of Ethiopia, he has extensive experience and training in tropical diseases. He has interest in international travel, global health and medical care in resource limited countries. He regularly travels to Ethiopia with medical students and residents.

Héctor H. Valdivia, MD, PhD
Dr. Valdivia is a Professor of Internal Medicine in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center. Dr. Valdivia’s research interests are centered in the field of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology and Pharmacology. The long-term goal of his laboratory is to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control the heart beat in normal and pathological settings.

Jasmine Y. Zapata, MD, MPH
Dr. Zapata is faculty in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.  Her focus is on ways to get outside the clinic walls to impact health outcomes for children and families on a community based level. Her research and community work focuses on racial disparities in infant mortality, upstream determinants of health, youth resilience, public health approaches to violence prevention, and innovative methods of community engagement and health promotion.