Workshop Speaker Biosketches
Marin P. Allen, Ph.D., is deputy associate director for communications and director of the Public Information Office in the Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). OCPL is responsible for all phases of internal and external communication, including press relations, public information, outreach about NIH programs and responses to public inquiries, the NIH website, the NIH radio service including the podcast news services, and public liaison activities. Dr. Allen has been involved in transagency efforts in health literacy, cultural competency, and health communication. She is the NIH representative to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) working group on Health Literacy, and the Health Communications and Health Literacy working groups for Healthy People 2010. Additionally, she serves on the NIH Nanotechnology Task Force Executive Committee and chairs the working group on Communication, Public Trust, and Public Engagement. She recently presented on health literacy at the NIH Health Disparities Summit titled “What Does the Government Want?”
Prior to 2004, Dr. Allen was the communication director and public liaison officer for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). She led the NIDCD communications program since its inception. Before joining NIH, she directed public relations for Gallaudet University and was also a tenured full professor and chair of the Department of Television, Film, and Photography in the School of Communication at Gallaudet University. Before going to Gallaudet,
Dr. Allen was a media specialist with the White House Conference on Aging. Prior to that, she was a faculty member in communications at the University of Maryland, College Park, for nearly a decade. Dr. Allen received two Emmy awards for programs she produced that aired for 5 years on the Discovery Channel and PBS.
Cindy Brach, M.P.P., is a senior health policy researcher at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). She conducts and oversees research on health literacy, cultural and linguistic competence, system design innovations, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Ms. Brach spearheads AHRQ’s health literacy activities, coordinating the Agency’s work in developing measures and improving the evidence base. She has served on the National Cultural Competence Conference Advisory Group since 2001. Her recent publications include Integrating Literacy, Culture, and Language to Improve Quality of Health Care for Diverse Populations and Integrating Health Literacy into Patient Safety Partnerships.
Before coming to AHRQ, Ms. Brach was the associate director for research and analysis at the Mental Health Policy Resource Center, where she directed mental health and health policy research projects with an emphasis on managed care. Her earlier health and human services experience includes serving as a welfare reform consultant and provider of technical assistance, a state-level administrator, and a municipal policy analyst. Ms. Brach received her master of public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a Ph.D. candidate.
Lisa D. Chew, M.D., M.P.H., is medical director of the Adult Medicine Clinic at Harborview Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Chew’s primary interest is in issues of health literacy, particularly in the development of a brief screening measure for limited health literacy. As medical director, her administrative interests lie in quality improvement in the areas of access, chronic disease management, and patient safety. She is also leading efforts to develop a quality improvement curriculum for the University of Washington Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Chew received her M.D. at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed a residency at the University of Washington, where she also earned her M.P.H. and certificate in medical management.
Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., was appointed director of AHRQ in February 2003. Prior to her appointment, she had served as AHRQ’s acting director since March 2002 and previously was director of the Agency’s Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Dr. Clancy’s major research inter-
ests include various dimensions of health care quality, including women’s health, primary care, access to care services, and the impact of financial incentives on physicians’ decisions.
Dr. Clancy, who is a general internist and health services researcher, is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Following clinical training in internal medicine, she was a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She was also an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond before joining AHRQ in 1990.
Dr. Clancy holds an academic appointment at George Washington University School of Medicine as clinical associate professor in the Department of Medicine and serves as senior associate editor of Health Services Research. She has served on multiple editorial boards and has current positions with the Annals of Family Medicine, American Journal of Medical Quality, and Medical Care Research and Review. Dr. Clancy has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and has edited or contributed to seven books. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and was elected a master of the American College of Physicians in 2004.
Carolyn Cocotas, R.T., M.P.A., is senior vice president of Quality and Corporate Compliance at F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System, one of the largest voluntary, not-for-profit health, education, and human services organizations in the country. Previously, she was director of Community Health Innovation at Affinity Health Plan, where she directed innovation work in care delivery to the Medicaid population. Ms. Cocotas’s career spans over three decades, during which she has held progressively responsible positions in the health care industry, including at HHS, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. House of Representatives, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Community Health Plan of the Rockies, Performance Measurement Coordinating Council, and Kaiser Permanente. Ms. Cocotas has a master’s degree in public and health administration from the University of New Mexico.
John P. DuMoulin, M.S., is vice president of government relations, product development, and education at URAC, a managed health care accreditation agency located in Washington, DC. In this position, he leads health policy federal and state affairs strategy and is also responsible for all URAC product development and educational programming for managed care and health management programs.
Mr. DuMoulin served for more than 10 years as lead regulatory and managed care/private-sector lobbyist and policy director for the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine.
He led the Departments of Regulatory and Insurer Affairs and the Physicians’ Practice Management Education Center. Additionally, he served as the lead congressional and regulatory lobbyist and policy director for all health information technology and reimbursement issues. Prior to working for not-for-profit organizations, Mr. DuMoulin was a provider relations and network management professional for Prudential HealthCare in the greater Washington, DC, region.
Julie Gazmararian, Ph.D., M.P.H., is associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Her primary research interests include issues in underserved populations, particularly related to reproductive health and health literacy. She has served as an editor of the American Medical Association (AMA) book on health literacy and has contributed to the IOM report on health literacy and is currently leading a multidisciplinary health literacy workgroup at Emory University.
Dr. Gazmararian has an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and an M.P.H. (health education) from the University of South Carolina. After receiving her master’s degree, she worked at the American Public Health Association in Washington, DC, as scientific programs coordinator, where she was involved in a broad range of public health issues. She then received her doctorate in epidemiology at the University of Michigan and entered the Epidemic Intelligence Service program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While at the CDC, she worked in the Division of Reproductive Health and was involved in a variety of projects examining the occurrence of physical violence during pregnancy, race differences in cause-specific fetal mortality, the measurement of socioeconomic status among reproductive-age women, and the occurrence of epiglottitis among presumptive Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In addition to her work in this country, Dr. Gazmararian has an interest in international health and has worked in Jamaica, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Armenia.
Elizabeth Hahn, M.A., is a medical sociologist whose research primarily involves patient-reported outcomes in chronic illnesses, with a focus on underserved populations and health disparities. She developed a bilingual, multimedia Talking Touchscreen (la Pantalla Parlanchina) that allows patients with varying literacy levels and computer skills to self-administer questionnaires and to access patient education information. It has also been adapted for self-administration of a health literacy measure. She is associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University, director of the Outcomes Measurement and Survey Core for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern Uni-
versity, and director of biostatistics at the Center on Outcomes, Research, and Education at NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Amresh Hanchate, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor in the Health Care Research Unit of General Internal Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. His research has spanned the fields of health economics and health services research, with specific interest in the relationship between health disparities and health quality. His recent research covers measurement of health literacy, racial and ethnic disparities in insurance access and demand for inpatient care, and risk adjustment for inpatient mortality using clinical data. Dr. Hanchate has considerable experience in the use of large administrative and survey data. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, specializing in the application of econometric and statistical techniques for analyzing individual decision-making models.
George Isham, M.D., M.S., is medical director and chief health officer for HealthPartners. He is responsible for quality and utilization management, chairs the Benefits Committee, and leads Partners for Better Health, a program and strategy for improving member health. Before his current position, Dr. Isham was medical director of MedCenters Health Plan in Minneapolis. In the late 1980s, he was executive director of University Health Care, an organization affiliated with the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Dr. Isham received his master of science degree in preventive medicine/administrative medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his doctor of medicine from the University of Illinois. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. His experience as a primary care physician includes 8 years at the Freeport Clinic in Freeport, IL, and 3 years as clinical assistant professor in medicine at the University of Wisconsin.
HealthPartners is a consumer-governed Minnesota health plan that formed through the 1992 affiliation of Group Health, Inc., and MedCenters Health Plan. HealthPartners is a large managed health care organization in Minnesota, representing nearly 800,000 members. Group Health, founded in 1957, is a network of staff medical and dental centers located throughout the Twin Cities. MedCenters, founded in 1972, is a network of contracted physicians serving members through affiliated medical and dental centers.
Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H., is senior natural scientist and Paul O’Neil Alcoa Professor of Policy Analysis at The RAND Corporation. She is also
associate director for public health at the RAND Center for Domestic and International Health Security. Prior to joining RAND in early 2002, she had a long affiliation with the University of Minnesota, where she was professor of medicine and public health and, most recently, medical adviser to the commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health. From 1998 to 2001, she took a leave of absence to serve as principal deputy assistant secretary of health in HHS. Dr. Lurie has a long history in the health services research field, primarily in the areas of access to and quality of care for disadvantaged populations, managed care, mental health, prevention, and health disparities.
Dr. Lurie’s recent publications include Variation in Racial and Ethnic Differences in Consumer Assessments of Health Care, The Public Health Infrastructure: Reinvest or Redesign?, Does Medicare Managed Care Provide Equal Treatment for Mental Illness Across Races?, and Measuring Disparities in Access to Care, which was prepared for the IOM. Dr. Lurie completed undergraduate studies and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her residency and M.S.P.H. at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation clinical scholar.
Kathleen Mazor, Ed.D., is a psychometrician and researcher with a strong interest in health literacy. A primary focus of her work has been to investigate the patient’s perspective on both spoken and print health messages. She has led and collaborated on numerous studies investigating the impact of alternative strategies for communicating health-related information to patients and the public. She is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a senior research associate at the Meyers Primary Care Institute. Dr. Mazor received her doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Lauren McCormack, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., has 17 years of professional experience in health communication and health services research. She joined RTI International in 1997 as a senior research associate and has directed RTI’s Health Communication Program since its inception in 2002.
Dr. McCormack is responsible for overseeing the program’s portfolio of public health communication and social marketing research projects. Her research focuses on promoting informed health decision making and understanding the effects of health communications on individual knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors. Her expertise spans the health communication process from initial exploratory research and audience identification to comprehensive evaluation of communication interventions. Dr. McCormack has designed evidence-based messages and materials, quantitatively analyzed small- and large-scale survey datasets, and
employed a variety of qualitative research techniques as part of numerous multiyear health promotion projects for various federal clients, including AHRQ, CDC, National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Currently, Dr. McCormack leads an NIH R01 to develop and test a skills-based measure of health literacy and an AHRQ DEcIDE Center study to facilitate the measurement of patient-centered communication based on an NCI monograph. Dr. McCormack has presented her findings at national conferences and in peer-reviewed professional journals, including Health Services Research, Medical Care, Health Affairs, Health Care Financing Review, and the Journal of Health Communication.
Ruth Parker, M.D., is professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. Her primary research interests are in medical education and health services of underserved populations. Dr. Parker has focused extensively on the health care issues of underserved populations, particularly health literacy. As principal investigator in the Robert Wood Johnson Literacy in Health Study, she developed a measurement tool to quantify patients’ ability to read and understand health information. The tool is used in a number of surveys and studies to understand the relationship between poor health literacy and health outcomes.
Dr. Parker is widely published in health literacy and coedited the complete bibliography of medicine on health literacy for the National Library of Medicine. She is chair of the AMA Foundation steering committee for the National Health Literacy Program and former chair of the AMA expert panel for the Council of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Parker received her medical degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D., works in the areas of health literacy; science, health, and environmental communication; and social marketing. He is currently an assistant professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Human Ecology and the Extension Department of Family and Community Health Sciences. Dr. Pleasant has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and has a decade of experience at daily newspapers in the United States. He received graduate degrees from Cornell University and Brown University.
Sandra Smith, M.P.H., is principal investigator and health education specialist at the University of Washington Center for Health Education and Research, Seattle, and clinical instructor in the Health Services Department of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is a graduate fellow of the Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. Ms. Smith is author of the Beginnings Pregnancy Guide (1989-
2008) and Beginnings Parents Guide (1999-2007) for low-skills readers, and their Spanish editions. She is coauthor of the Beginnings Life Skills Development Curriculum and training for home visitors (2004-2008), which aims to promote health literacy and reflective functioning in disadvantaged parents and school readiness in their children during the prenatal to preschool period. Currently, she is investigating home visitation as a channel to promote health literacy; developing a method of measuring the function in functional health literacy; and writing a dissertation on health literacy concepts, measurement, and intervention. She earned an M.P.H. at the University of Washington and a Ph.D. (cand.) in social policy and leadership at the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati.
Beverly Weidmer Ocampo, M.A., is a survey director at The RAND Corporation. She has more than 20 years of experience in both quantitative and qualitative survey research methodology and has directed data collection for large multisite studies at RAND. Ms. Weidmer Ocampo is experienced in all aspects of survey design and management and in qualitative research methods, including focus groups and in-depth interviews, and in methods for assessing the validity of survey instruments, including cognitive interviews and usability testing. She has special expertise in translation, in the design of culturally appropriate survey instruments, and in testing instruments and diagnostic tools for cultural competence.
Ms. Weidmer Ocampo has been a member of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) grantee team since 1995 and has participated in developing and testing various CAHPS surveys and supplemental items. She leads the CAHPS Cultural Comparability team and was the RAND lead in the development and testing of the CAHPS Clinician and Group Survey Health Literacy Item Set. She is currently leading the development of a Health Literacy Item Set for the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers Systems and Hospital Survey (H-CAHPS). She has managed the translation into Spanish of many of the CAHPS instruments developed to date and the translation of the H-CAHPS Survey into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian. She has also participated in the cognitive testing in Spanish of various CAHPS instruments and reporting tools.
Barry D. Weiss, M.D., is a tenured professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and an affiliate professor of public health in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He has been involved in the fields of health literacy and patient-physician communication for much of his professional career. His writings on these topics have been
published in New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and a variety of other medical journals and books.
Dr. Weiss wrote the AMA’s Health Literacy Manual for Physicians and a chapter for the AMA’s health literacy textbook. He has served on health literacy advisory committees for the American College of Physicians, the AMA Foundation, NCI, The Joint Commission, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and other organizations. Dr. Weiss was a consultant to the IOM Committee on Health Literacy and wrote a portion of the IOM’s health literacy report. He is also the developer of the Newest Vital Sign health literacy screening instrument.
Dr. Weiss is the editor of Family Medicine, the national journal of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, and he is also editor of FP Essentials, one of the AAFP’s largest continuing medical education programs. He is series editor of McGraw-Hill’s 20 Common Problems textbook series, which includes his texts on 20 Common Problems in Primary Care and 20 Common Surgical Problems and Procedures in Primary Care. Dr. Weiss is board certified in family medicine and holds a certificate of added qualification in geriatric medicine.
Amy Wilson-Stronks, M.P.P., is project director of the Division of Standards and Survey Methods at The Joint Commission and the principal investigator for the study Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation. She is the coauthor of Hospitals, Language, and Culture: A Snapshot of the Nation Report of Findings, published in March 2007, and One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Diverse Populations, published in April 2008.
Ms. Wilson-Stronks is a member of several national advisory panels, including the Advisory Committee for the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, Institute for Diversity’s Diversity Leadership Benchmark Study Expert Panel, Hastings Center’s Professional Chaplaincy and Quality Improvement Working Group, Association of Professional Chaplains Quality Commission, Advisory Committee for the National Conference Series on Quality Care for Culturally Diverse Patients, and Hablamos Juntos Translation Quality Assessment Advisory Group. Ms. Wilson-Stronks earned her M.P.P. in health policy and a graduate certificate in health administration and policy from the University of Chicago and is a certified professional in health care quality.