Class Notes: Spring 2016

The latest news & updates from School of Public Health alumni

Sarah Davey

MPH ’15

Sarah Davey is working as a project associate for a nonprofit organization called Management Sciences for Health (MSH), in Medford, MA. MSH is one of the primary recipients of USAID funding for global health and health systems strengthening, as well as projects with UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, Save the Children, and other private donors. The MSH mission is: “Saving lives and improving the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health.” Currently, Davey is working on USAID’s Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) project in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Afghanistan; human resources for health projects in Angola and Ethiopia; maternal, newborn, and child health nutritional health finance project in Afghanistan, and a community health worker project in Malawi.

Brian Young

MPH ’11

Brian Young is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. He studies the legal, economic, and public policy issues affecting the structure of health systems and the delivery of health services. Working under Timothy Hoff, the Patrick and Helen Walsh Professor of Management, Healthcare Systems, and Health Policy and Visiting Associate Fellow at Oxford University, he is currently examining how “safety net” hospitals have adapted to the changing  reimbursement landscape, with  respect to their institutional structure, operational activity, and the special role of internal organizational dynamics.

John Patena

MPH ’14

John Patena is currently the coordinator of tobacco control and lung health with the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago. He does community- based work around the topics of tobacco control, asthma, and COPD. In tobacco control, Patena implements smoking cessation clinics, assists multi-unit housing properties to go smoke free, educates youth to prevent tobacco use initiation, and writes grants for the Illinois Tobacco Quitline. In lung health, he conducts home assessments to help reduce environmental asthma triggers for children, coordinates programs to teach kids about asthma, and assists in fundraising events for asthma, COPD, and lung cancer.

Nathaniel Lepp

MPH ’09

After completing his MPH at Brown, Nathaniel Lepp earned his MD at New York Medical College, where he was awarded the James Matthew Hagadus Good Physician Award. He was the commencement speaker at Carnegie Hall. Following medical school Lepp began a 3-year residency in the Department of Family Medicine at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, CA. It is a full-spectrum training program where he will learn to care for patients of all ages in the clinic, on inpatient units, in labor and delivery, and in the emergency room. Lepp’s hospital is a county, safety-net hospital that serves a population of mostly Latino agricultural workers. Lepp lives with his wife in Monterey, California and doesn’t miss the snow one bit. In this photo Nathaniel is training on sonogram equipment.

Beth Sundstrom

MPH ’07

SundstromBeth Sundstrom (Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; MPH, Brown University), and husband Bryan Joffe, MPA’06, welcomed twins Miles Delphine Louise and Dempsey Eleanor Freya, in October. Sundstrom is an assistant professor of communication and public health at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where she is a member of the graduate faculty and the Co-Director of the Women’s Health Research Team. She also holds an adjunct assistant professor appointment at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Her research interests include health communication, social marketing, and women’s health. Dr. Sundstrom’s research has been published in Contraception, the Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, the Journal of Social Marketing, and Social Marketing Quarterly, among others. Sundstrom’s first book, Reproductive Justice and Women’s Voices: Health Communication Across the Lifespan (Lexington Books) was released in October. It offers an in-depth analysis of women’s reproductive health, including contraceptive use dynamics, pregnan-cy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Dr. Sundstrom conducts praxis-oriented research that bridges the gap between theory and practice, informing the development of community-based public health interventions and communication campaigns. She recently led the development and implementation of “It’s My Time: A theory-based communication campaign for Cervical Cancer-Free South Carolina”, which was awarded the multi-media category overall winner in the 24th Annual PHEHP Public Health Materials Contest by the American Public Health Association (APHA).

Anish Dube

MPH ’09

Anish Dube is currently working as a child and adolescent psychiatrist for a County of Santa Barbara, CA commu-nity mental health center. Following his MPH at Brown, Dube went on to complete his residency training in general psychiatry at the University of Connecticut in ’12, followed by a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Brown in ’14, and then a forensic psychiatry fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in ’15. He remains interested in structural violence and its mental health impact on the subaltern and is active within his professional organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

Wen-Chih Wu (Hank)

MPH ’10

Wen-Chih Wu is currently the Chief  of Cardiology at the Providence VA Medical Center and is a funded investigator by the VA Health Services Research Merit Review program. He is also an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Brown University.

Caitlin K. Barthelmes

MPH ’09

Caitlin K. Barthelmes is the Director  of the new Student Wellness Center at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.  She is putting the research experience she gained through the Brown MPH program into action by implementing evidence- based programs to prevent and reduce high-risk behaviors and to promote healthy lifestyles and culture change. The department takes a holistic approach to wellness and works to apply best practices from the field of public health to cultivate an environ-ment that supports the wellbeing of students. Barthelmes is also part of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and offers trainings in motivational interviewing, a skill  set she gained through her Brown MPH assistantship.

Ali Zaman

MPH ’15

Ali Zaman is a growth marketing associate at HERO Health, a health technology startup based in NYC. HERO is building a smart appliance that manages medications and vitamins which will launch early

Sarah Hart Shuford

MPH ’15

In May 2015, Sarah Hart Shuford began working for the Rhode Island Department of Heath as a public health epidemiologist in the Center for Acute Infectious Disease Epidemiology. Shuford’s responsibilities include surveillance of acute infectious diseases, case management, data collection, management, and analysis, assisting with the control of disease outbreaks, and more. The education, opportunities, and mentorship she received at Brown prepared her very well for this role. It’s been a pleasure to serve the communities of Rhode Island following her graduation from the MPH program.

Paige Walstrom

MPH ’11

Paige Walstrom attended Brown’s  public health program from 2009-2011 as a Global Health Scholar and currently lives in Dangriga, Belize, working as the health advisor for  HIV/AIDS intervention programs for an NGO called Productive Organization for Women in Action (POWA). Dangriga is a seaside town on the  Caribbean with a large Garifuna population, part of the West African diaspora in the Caribbean and Central America. Dangriga has the second highest HIV prevalence rate in Belize, a country with the highest prevalence rate in Central America. The main focus of the work Walstrom does with POWA is directed toward women and adolescent girls infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, many of whom are victims of various forms of gender-based violence, including sexual violence and child abuse—some of the main drivers of the HIV epidemic in Belize. Walstrom supports people living  with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their families, through psychosocial support as well as support for medication adherence and understanding of health and wellness. She often supports new HIV clients when starting medication regarding side effects, enhancing their skills and knowledge of nutrition, lifestyle, and the effects of drugs and alcohol on medication. Additionally, she trains POWA staff to empower vulnerable populations to seek services and reduce risky behavior. In order to create sustainability, there’s a large  focus on building the capacity of POWA’s own local staff and volunteers in psychosocial counseling, grant writing, support group implementation and facilitation, and classroom education facilitation.

Walstrom loves the community, the food, the music and dancing. She feels lucky to be in Dangriga and to be of service to this tiny part of the human race. She even tolerates the sweat and the mosquitoes . . .

Danya Qato

Health Services Research Ph.D. ’14

Danya Qato is currently a Fulbright Scholar based at Birzeit University in Palestine. Her work focuses on improving and developing pharmaceutical policies and drug safety systems in the Middle East and North Africa.

Olga Elizarova

MPH ’15

Olga_ElizarovaWhen Olga Elizarova was still in the MPH program she interned with a human-centered design company in Boston working on various projects including healthcare. Her summer internship there was amazing and unforgettable. Every project was an opportunity to learn something new, to apply the knowledge that she obtained at Brown, and through her medical education in Russia. The breadth and scope were impressive. Elizarova’s first project was redesigning the user experience for a company doing online mental health treatment. Other projects included developing a health risk assessment in a “buzz-feed-like” style. Her internship continued through her 2nd year of school and later transitioned into full-time employment as a behavior change analyst. Her department is responsible for the research and “diagnosis” of clients’ problems.

Elizarova enjoys solving problems and using the tools that Brown’s MPH program provided. There is not a single day where she doesn’t thank one of her professors for giving her the knowledge that she applies every day; whether it is of the US health care system or the theories of behavioral and social science.

The best part of her job is her teammates. They are the most “fun, cool, clever and inspiring people” that she knows! They all come from different backgrounds, but share passion for work, empathy for the people whose problems they are solving, and a sense of responsibility for the solutions they create. She is endlessly grateful to Brown for the opportunities and knowledge that she gained, and that led her to where she is now.