Alumni News, Fall 2016

Elizabeth Kinnard

Sc.M. Behavioral & Social Sciences ’15

Elizabeth Kinnard is entering her second year as Program Associate for the Substance Use Disorders team at Community Catalyst, a health policy nonprofit organization in Boston, MA. She conducts research and produces resources on programs that divert people with behavioral health needs away from arrest/incarceration and instead toward health and social services. Elizabeth’s work has been accepted for presentation at conferences focusing on addiction health services and harm reduction programs and policies. Elizabeth is planning to apply for PhD programs in Epidemiology next year.

Madeline Benz

Sc.M. Behavioral & Social Sciences ’15

In the Fall of 2016, Madeline began the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is working with Dr. Kathleen Palm Reed, who currently conducts research examining the role of emotion regulation in psychopathology and substance use disorders. Her research in Dr. Reed’s lab involves exploration of the overlap between substance use disorders and co-occurring psychopathology. Specifically, she is interested in the role of stigma in the initiation and maintenance of mental health care for this population, as well as the other barriers surrounding treatment engagement.

Ali Zaman

MPH ’15

Ali currently works as a product marketing manager at Syapse. Synapse is a precision medicine IT company, offering a software platform that enables health systems to implement and scale a precision oncology program. Precision oncology refers to cancer care that is targeted to the patient’s unique form of cancer based on their clinical and genomic data. Customers include large non-profit health systems such as Stanford Healthcare, Intermountain, Providence, and more. Ali manages product marketing efforts, including product positioning, collateral, healthcare strategy, and sales enablement efforts. Before Syapse, he led marketing and business development at HERO, where they launched a consumer-first medication management device and mobile app.

Jiachen Zhou


After living in the US (mainly RI and MD) for almost a decade, Jiachen moved back to Shanghai in 2015 and started a new job as investment manager at a venture capital fund that invests globally in healthcare startups. He was accompanied by his cat “Speedy” who is a native of Providence and was adopted from the animal shelter, as a gift for himself after he passed the doctoral comprehensive exams in summer 2011.

Patrick Koo

Sc.M. Clinical & Translational Research

Patrick Koo (MD, Ross University School of Medicine; ScM in Clinical and Translational Research, Brown University) joined Erlanger Health System, a teaching hospital affiliated with University of Tennessee College of Medicine, in Chattanooga, TN as an academic pulmonologist and medical intensivist. He is the Director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory and coordinator of resident education in the medical intensive care unit. He is also involved with constructing and teaching new point-of-care ultrasound and simulation curricula to the medical students and residents. In regards to research, he continues to work with his mentor, Charles B. Eaton, MD, MS, on epidemiological research related to obstructive sleep apnea, COPD, and cardiovascular disease in African Americans (Jackson Heart Study) and postmenopausal women (Women’s Health Initiative). He is also collaborating with F. Dennis McCool, MD, Annie Gjelsvik, PhD, and Chanelle Howe, PhD at the Alpert Medical School and Brown University School of Public Health on these projects.

Christian Heiss

MPH ’13

After 5 years at the Center for Health Care Strategies, Chris moved to the Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office as Health Policy Director, working to embed NFP’s nurse home visiting model within the health care system by securing funding and referrals from Medicaid, managed care organizations, health centers, and other health care agencies. Many of the nurses who work in his organization have public health degrees!

Lina DeMontigny

MPH ’05

Lina lives in Morristown, NJ where she is a veterinarian at Merck Animal Health and works as a Clinical Research Manager in Research and Development. Her specialty is the ectoparasites of cattle and helping to decrease the effect of vector-borne disease through ectoparasite control. Before joining Merck four years ago, Lina was adjunct professor at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Population Health. She was a Clinical Project Manager, Infectious Diseases and Specialty Care at Pfizer for 5 years before going on to Merck.