2006-2008 Cohort - Multidisciplinary Track



D. Phuong (Phoenix) Do
Dr. D.Phuong (Phoenix) Do is Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Policy and Management at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health and a Health Disparities Scholar with the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD). Prior to accepting this appointment, Dr. Do was a Kellogg Health Disparities Scholar in the Multidisciplinary Track at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Do received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and her M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from The RAND Graduate School. She was the recipient of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Pre-doctoral National Research Service Award, which partially funded her dissertation work, in addition to funding from a Project Export pilot award from UCLA. Her work focuses specifically on socio-economic and race/ethnic disparities in health outcomes, explicitly addressing the role of neighborhood context in generating racial health disparities. She is particularly interested in causal modeling and using a multi-level, life-course approach to help account for the persistent black/white health gap. Using panel data, her previous studies have employed statistical modeling strategies, including fixed-effects and propensity score adjustment, to critically examine the causal link between neighborhood poverty and health. Dr. Do was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Michigan. More Information



Gina Evans, Ph.D.
Dr. Gina L. Evans is an Assistant Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center. She holds a Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Dr. Evans overall research and career goal is to: (1) investigate social determinants that contribute to poor health, (2) design applicable health promotion and self-management interventions and (3) improve minority participation in clinical trials and generate research findings that can assist individuals, and researchers and policy developers in building healthier communities for minority groups. During her time as a Kellogg Health Scholar, she completed a pilot intervention study that examined the feasibility and effects of providing self-management to stroke patients in acute care. She is currently funded through NIDDK to examine the "Effects of Social Determinants of Health on Self-Care Activities among Ethnic minorities with Type II Diabetes". These experiences have led to publications in peer reviewed journals such as Nutrition Education and Behavior, Neurorehabilitation and Training and Education in Professional Psychology as well as manuscripts that are in press and under review. She has also disseminated her research findings through presentations at national conferences. Through her work with the Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials (EDICT) initiative she developed educational workshops that encourage researchers in community and academic settings to adopt culturally appropriate policy recommendations in their clinical trial research. Dr. Evans continues to strive to complete quality research projects that provide a lasting effect on individuals, communities and the global society. Dr. Evans was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. More Information



Chandra Ford, Ph.D.
Dr. Chandra Ford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. Ford earned her doctorate from the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Public Health. Prior to joining UCLA, she completed postdoctoral fellowships in Social Medicine (University of North Carolina) and Epidemiology (Columbia University). Ford's expertise is in social determinants of health inequities among racial and ethnic minorities and among sexual minorities. Her work involves: 1) multilevel conceptualization and measurement of inequities (e.g., racism); 2) use of Critical Race Theory; and; 3) attention to the conventions for producing knowledge about marginalized populations. Ford's research has been published in leading public health journals. Most of this work examines relations between racism-related factors (e.g., perceived everyday racism, residential segregation) and HIV testing or care-seeking among US blacks. Current projects extend this work by examining medical distrust, medical racism and HIV conspiracy beliefs relative to HIV preventive behaviors across diverse racial/ethnic minority populations. Additionally, Ford is involved with a community led assessment of the domestic violence prevention services needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations in Los Angeles. Ford has received several competitive awards and grants. She was a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Kellogg Health Scholar (Columbia University) from 2006-2008 and a North Carolina Impact Award Recipient in 2005. Recent awards include 2009-2010 junior investigator awards from the UCLA AIDS Institute and the UCLA Research Centers for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elders (RCMAR/CHIME). Dr. Ford was a Kellogg Health Scholar at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health. More Information



Angelica P. Herrera, MPH, DrPH
Dr. Angelica P. Herrera joined the Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in August 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr Herrera's long-term research agenda is to introduce innovative integrated geriatric care models of family-centered chronic disease management for older Latinos in community health centers. Her published work includes analyses of the psychosociol, economic, and cultural forces (from familism to Medi-Cal coverage) that predict long-term care use by Mexican-American family caregivers, and the relationship between religious and spiritual coping and caregivers' depression and physical health. Her current projects includes the design of a community-based caregiver support program for family caregivers of older, dependent Latinos with type 2 diabetes with the principle aim of improving patients' glycemic control by first focusing on their caregivers' self-efficacy, well-being, and use of home and community based services. She recently completed a qualitative analyses on leisure activities (e.g. music, dancing, volunteer work, socializing, gardening) in older Mexican immigrants, as well as their association with emotional health according to culturally defined domains of successful aging. A related cross-sectional study explores various leisure activities' relationship to depression and cognition in a cohort of postmenopausal Hispanic and White women from the Women's Health Initiative. Dr. Herrera earned a Doctorate of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) in Health Education and Health Administration from Loma Linda University, a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and an M.P.H. in Epidemiology from the University at Albany, New York. Dr. Herrera was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. More Information



Shedra Amy Snipes, Ph.D.
Dr. Shedra Amy Snipes received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Bio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Washington, and her B.S. in Anthropology and Human Biology from Emory University. She is a 2006-2008 alumni of the W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars, Program at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Currently, Dr. Snipes is a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Education and Career Development Program Fellow at the University of Texas School of Public Health within the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research. As a bio-cultural anthropologist, Dr. Snipes' research explores intersections between biology, culture, folk beliefs, and health disparities research. Using a blend of ethnography and community-based risk assessment, Snipes has amassed data showing that Mexican immigrant farmworkers (her primary research population) receivee little in the way of culturally-tailored pesticide education, including basic knowledge about what constituted exposure. Dr. Snipes' research has also successfully tested the feasibility of collecting longitudinal bio-specimens among migrating groups of Mexican farmworkers. Her most recent study, entitled "The Migrant Farmworker Experience: An 'Ethno-Occupational' Health Assessment" followed a community of migrant farmworkers as they travel from the Texas-Mexico border to find work. This research provides new, highly useful data on cultural notions associated with pesticide exposure, occupational illness, injury, and healthcare access among migrant farmworkers. Insight gained from her investigations will be used to inform reduction of occupational hazards among farmworkers through distribution of new, unexplored information specific to the migrant farmworker experience as well as the development of culturally-relevant community interventions. Dr. Snipes was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. More Information



Mindi Spencer, Ph.D.
Dr. Mindi Spencer received her Ph.D. in Life-Span Developmental Psychology from West Virginia University in 2006, with Graduate Certificates in Gerontology and Women's Studies. Her research focuses on how cultural and psychosocial factors influence quality of life in older adulthood. She has been involved in collaborative, published research on disability and health care access among American Indian elders, health-related quality of life in Appalachia, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and rural aging. Her early exposure to the health issues faced by diverse populations laid the foundation for a career in health disparities research. As a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, she focused her work in two main areas. The first was delineating the experience of American Indian and African American caregivers using a sociocultural stress and coping framework. For the second, she examined racial variations in physical functioning using the longitudinal Health ABC Study. Findings from this research were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2008) and the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences (2009). Her ultimate goal is to ensure that her research has relevance to long-term care policy and late-life disability prevention. Dr. Spencer is a Fellow of the APA Minority Aging Network In Psychology, a Grantmakers in Aging Fellow, an AARP Scholar, and an NIH Health Disparities Scholar. She continues her work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina, with a joint appointment in the Institute for Southern Studies. Dr. Spencer was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. More Information


Kalahn Taylor-Clark, Ph.D.
Dr. Kalahn Taylor-Clark leads the Racial and Ethnic Healthcare Equity Initiative in the RWJF funded High Value Health Care Project within the Engelberg Center of Healthcare Reform at the Brookings Institution. This Initiative seeks to inform regional, state, and national practices for collecting and reporting race/ethnicity data and measuring health care equity. Prior to joining Brookings, she was a W.K. Kellogg Health Scholar at Harvard University, where her areas of research included public health communication in politically and socially marginalized populations and minority voting on healthcare issues. In 2005-2007, Dr. Taylor-Clark was a lecturer at Tufts University, where she taught "Women and Health" and "The Politics of Health Disparities." Before teaching at Tufts, Dr. Taylor-Clark held a position as a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health's Project on Biological Security and the Public, where she focused on risk communication in communities of color during public health emergencies. Selected first-authored publications include, "News of Disparity: Content Analysis of News Coverage of African American Healthcare Inequalities in the USA, 1994-2004" (2007), "Communication Inequalities on Cancer and the Environment: Implications for Communicating Environmental Risk in Low-SEP Populations" (2007), "Confidence in Crisis: Understanding Trust in Government and Public Attitudes toward Mandatory State Health Powers" (2005), and "African Americans' Views on Health Policy: Implications for the 2004 Elections," published in Health Affairs in 2003. She completed a PhD in Health Policy and Political Analysis from Harvard University, and an MPH and BA (in International Relations and French) from Tufts University. Dr. Clark was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health. More Information



Angela D. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Dr. Angela Thrasher received her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, where she also received her MPH, and received her BS in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the College of William & Mary. She is a Research Specialist with the Center on Aging in Diverse Communities in the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine. Her research interests include African American health and healthcare disparities, measurement issues in health disparities research, racism and health, and racial/ethnic disparities in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Thrasher began a new line of research during her Kellogg fellowship to examine the lifecourse effects of racism on the health of older African Americans and whether there are differences by birth cohort in responses to measures of racial discrimination. She has conducted research on the contribution of discriminatory healthcare experiences and healthcare provider distrust to racial/ethnic disparities in HIV medication adherence, the effect of counseling quality on HIV medication adherence, and factors associated with influenza immunization by older African American adults. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was the director of HIV/AIDS and health at Mosaica (a multicultural nonprofit consulting firm), data analyst with the HIV/AIDS technical assistance program at Jackson State University, intern with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and volunteer with the AmeriCorps*VISTA national service program. She was at the University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley site. Dr. Thrasher was a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley. More Information



Anita M. Wells, Ph.D.
Anita M. Wells, PhD is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Morgan State University where she also serves as Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Psychometrics. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed her clinical internship at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Hines VA Hospital. Prior to joining the Psychology faculty, Dr. Wells was a 2006-2008 Kellogg Health Scholar in Multidisciplinary Disparities at the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan. Dr. Wells' areas of research include health disparities, health promotion, and mental health. Her work is geared toward effectively promoting enduring positive health practices (i.e. healthy diet, exercise, and participation in health screenings) in minority populations, improving public understanding of and support for preventive mental health initiatives, and influencing change in health policy. She has conducted community based research with African American populations for 12 years. During her Kellogg postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Wells worked with researchers at Johns Hopkins on a study of breast health behaviors and age at first mammogram among African American women in the greater Baltimore area. Dr. Wells' current research includes a pilot study examining how Black women under the age of 40 make health decisions regarding cancer screening. Her other primary line of research focuses on the impact of trauma and violence on mental health and well-being with an emphasis on U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their family members. Dr. Wells was a Kellogg Health Scholar at Morgan State University. More Information