Alumni Impact Award

This competitive award recognizes one exceptional master’s or doctoral alumnus or alumna making a significant impact on their community and/or in their field.

Established in 2021, The Brown University School of Public Health Alumni Impact Award is presented annually to one exceptional master’s or doctoral alumnus or alumnae who is making a significant impact on their community and/or in their field. It honors those who have exemplified dedication to the field of public health, and made outstanding contributions on a local, national, and/or global scale.

2024: Chima Ndumele MPH, Ph.D. ’13

Associate professor of health policy at the Yale School of Public Health

For his work redefining health care policy and delivery for America’s low-income populations, Chima Ndumele MPH, Ph.D.’13, associate professor of health policy at the Yale School of Public Health, is the recipient of the Brown University School of Public Health’s 2024 Alumni Impact Award. A distinguished alumnus of Brown’s doctoral program in health services research, Ndumele’s insights into health insurance and health care systems have positioned him as a leading figure in the field, influencing state and federal policy and working to streamline the administration of safety-net programs.

Ndumele’s research focuses on the organization and delivery of services under Medicaid, health insurer for over 90 million Americans, and the extended social safety net. Amid concerns that the federal expansion of Medicaid would increase demand for services without a parallel increase in the number of physicians, Ndumele was the first researcher to calculate that expansion was unlikely to compromise access or reroute care to emergency rooms.

His contributions include groundbreaking studies examining “ghost providers” in Medicaid networks (which claim to take Medicaid coverage but deliver little to no care to recipients); the relationship between social services availability and utilization and health outcomes; and inefficiencies and persistent disparities within the U.S. health care system. Recognized as an Emerging Scholar by the National Academies of Medicine in 2023, he has been cited over 2500 times in peer-reviewed literature.

Currently, Ndumele is leading a multi-state initiative aimed at designing a smarter, more integrated safety-net for low-income households, while also embedding a data science team from Yale within the Connecticut Department of Social Services to cultivate evidence-based policy improvements. 

2023: Jeffrey Peipert ’82, Ph.D.’07

Clarence E. Ehrlich Professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Indiana University School of Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, Clarence E. Ehrlich Professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Indiana University School of Medicine was selected for the 2023 Alumni Impact Award in honor of his exceptional work advancing reproductive health care. Dr. Peipert’s extensive research, including his work as a principal investigator on the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, has helped to promote innovative approaches to contraception and to reducing unintended pregnancies, infant and maternal mortality rates, and sexually transmitted diseases.  

Dr. Peipert’s contributions to women's health have been published in over 270 peer-reviewed publications. In addition to serving on the United States Preventive Services Task Force and the CDC's Expert Panel on the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Dr. Peipert has mentored and advised future leaders in women's health, including Dr. Lori Boardman and Dr. Maureen Phipps, prominent figures in the field. Dr. Peipert's dedication and leadership have revolutionized reproductive health, making a significant impact on the lives of women globally.

2022: Laura Keohane Ph.D. ’16

Assistant professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Laura Keohane, assistant professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is recognized for “her stunning trajectory and increasing impact in research and policy related to aging.”

In just six years since earning her Ph.D. in health services research at Brown, Keohane has had extraordinary impact as a health policy researcher focused on vulnerable older adults, particularly those dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Applying rigorous and creative methods to critical research questions related to care and outcomes, she has established herself as a leader in the field with 30 peer-reviewed publications in leading health policy and medical journals. This important work has informed reports issued by the Office of Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee, and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

Professor Keohane is “an obvious rising star in the growing field of health services research in aging,” say her nominators. Her commitment to the frail and poor population of older persons in America testifies to her strong sense of purpose. A passionate advocate for older and disabled adults, she is among the nation’s most creative and impactful early career aging/health services researchers.

The 2022 SPH Alumni Impact Award is yet further testament to Professor Keohane’s growing national reputation and the impact her work is having at the state and national level to improve the lives of older, vulnerable adults.

2021: Nicole Alexander-Scott M.D., MPH ’11

Former director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, assistant professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, assistant professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown, garnered the esteemed 2021 Alumni Impact Award in acknowledgment of her exceptional contributions as a distinguished physician and expert in infectious diseases who guided Rhode Island through the COVID-19 pandemic. Holding certifications in pediatrics, internal medicine, pediatric infectious diseases, and adult infectious diseases, Alexander-Scott rose to prominence within Rhode Island, serving as a pivotal figure in the state's healthcare landscape. Most notably, she assumed the role of director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) in April 2015, a position she held until January 2022. During her tenure, she led the state's response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously spearheading a comprehensive endeavor aimed at eradicating health disparities across Rhode Island.
Her academic journey includes a B.Sc. in human development and family studies from Cornell University in 1997, followed by an M.D. from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in 2001. She completed her residency at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York. Subsequently, she embarked on an infectious disease fellowship at Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, following her move to Rhode Island in 2005. In 2011, she received her Master of Public Health from the Brown University School of Public Health. 
Throughout her career, Alexander-Scott has exhibited unwavering dedication to upholding the highest standards of care for all residents of Rhode Island. In her own words, "When you breathe clean air, when you walk through safe environments, when you drink clean water, when you eat food from restaurants that we work with and regulate — that’s all a demonstration of public health and what we can do together." Her overarching vision seeks to ensure equitable access to exceptional healthcare services from the State of Rhode Island, transcending barriers of income, race, gender, sexual orientation, and zip code.