Meet Our Scholars

First Year Clinical Scholars - 2015-2017

Claire Ankuda, MD

Claire K. Ankuda, MD, MPH
University of Michigan

Claire Ankuda, MD, MPH is a family physician from Springfield, Vermont.  She studied health policy and Chinese as an undergraduate and then got her MD from the University of Vermont.  Midway through medical school she went to the Harvard School of Public Health for an MPH in Quantitative Methods.  Her Masters’ research was in pre-operative surgical decision making and advance care planning.  She then stayed in Boston to do research in surrogate communication around infections in nursing home patients with advanced dementia.  Claire then went to Seattle for family medicine residency at the University of Washington, in the urban underserved clinical track at Harborview Medical Center.  There she did research on attachment and family member involvement in ICU decision making.   She also served as a visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center in Washington, DC studying regional variation in primary care involvement at the end of life.

Career interest: She plans a primarily research career along with ongoing clinical work focused on home and community-based palliative care.

Research interest: She plans to continue to do research work to improve care at the end of life, focusing on regional variation in our health care system and how this influences disparities in care.  She is especially interested in the role of primary care in improving the quality of end of life care.

Back to top

 

Martina Caldwell, M.D.

Martina T. Caldwell, M.D (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Dr. Martina T. Caldwell graduated summa cum laude from Emory University with a degree in Women’s Studies after completing her thesis work on women-centered development in South Africa. She went on to obtain her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine, where she served in several leadership and volunteer roles that addressed the needs of vulnerable populations. At the end of medical school, Dr. Caldwell travelled to Mbarara, Uganda for medical work where she helped conduct a community needs assessment and learned the value to long-acting reversible contraceptives in reducing infant and maternal morbidity and mortality. She then completed an Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Michigan / St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in 2014, during which she created a specialized educational track to gain exposure to health services research and published and presented her work on sexually transmitted infection history among adolescents presenting to the Emergency Department. This past year, Dr. Caldwell returned to her hometown of Detroit, Michigan to work at Henry Ford Hospital, where she serves on an interdisciplinary violence prevention task force and is also working on a community-health worker facilitated group prenatal care project.

Career Interests: Dr. Caldwell is interested in community-based participatory research, eliminating health inequities, mentoring underrepresented minorities and women in medicine, women-centered health, culturally-sensitive medical education and practices, community health interventions, interdisciplinary research and partnerships and generally improving the health of underserved communities.

Back to top

 

Nicole Gergen, M.D.

Nicole Gergen, MD
University of Michigan

Dr. Nicole Gergen completed her residency in Internal Medicine / Pediatrics at Brown University.  Dr. Gergen obtained her undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College.  She received her MD from the University of Minnesota with induction into AOA and the Gold Humanism Honor Society.  During medical school, she was on the administrative board for the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic where she managed staff and provided for underserved patients in Minneapolis' most impoverished neighborhood.  In residency, she served as a volunteer at the Rhode Island Free Clinic for uninsured patients.  Dr. Gergen's interest in Primary Care practice redesign lead her to her involvement with Rhode Island's pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) initiative. She also worked on a study comparing PCMH readiness between residency continuity clinics in the Rhode Island. 

Career Interests: Dr. Gergen is interested in optimizing the Patient-Centered Medical Home model for underserved patient populations. Her interests include analyzing use of pediatric and adult quality measures, IT infrastructure, practice-level data collection methods, and reimbursement models.  She is especially passionate about implementing policies that support the prevention of unintended pregnancies and provide support for medical homes that align clinic resources with social services, schools, child care providers, and employers for young at-risk mothers and families when unintended pregnancies do occur.  

Research Interests:  As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Gergen will investigate the infrastructure, funding, processes, and outcomes of Patient-Centered Medical Homes serving the Medicaid patient population. She hopes to explore ways to optimize the PCMH model for this patient population, and direct polices to make it easier for these clinics to achieve high-value aspects of Patient-Centered Medical Home care. 

Back to top

 

Dina Hafez, M.D.

Dina Hafez Griauzde, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Dina Hafez Griauzde, MD is an internist and pediatrician who grew up in Hollis, New Hampshire.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies from The College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), and her MD from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine (Maywood, IL).  She completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan.  During that time, she implemented the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) within her resident continuity clinic and worked with key stakeholders, including the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, University of Michigan Adult Diabetes Education, primary care leadership, and local insurers, to develop a plan to sustainably deliver the NDPP throughout UM primary care clinics. 

Career Interests: She anticipates a career as a clinician-researcher within an academic medical center.  She is hopes to improve primary care through emphasis on patient empowerment and disease prevention.
 
Research Interests:  She is interested in understanding both the provider and patient factors that influence diagnosis and treatment of prediabetes.  Additionally, she is interested in the implementation and evaluation of novel interventions focused on primary obesity prevention in infancy and early childhood. 

Back to top

 

Nia Heard-Garris, M.D.

Nia Heard-Garris, M.D
University of Michigan

Dr. Nia Heard-Garris completed pediatrics residency at Children’s National Health System as a part of the primary care track. Dr. Heard-Garris obtained her B.S. in Biology from Spelman College and her MD from Howard University College of Medicine.  During residency, she conducted research on mild traumatic Brain injury. However, she has always had a strong interest in health disparities. She participated in George Washington University’s Resident Fellow Health Policy course that helped her to realize health policy was the way in which she wanted to bridge the gap in healthcare disparities. In medical school, she was heavily involved in a newly student-founded free clinic that providing medical care to underserved populations to help improve access to care within that community. Dr. Heard-Garris was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and wanted to become a pediatrician to improve the health of the future generations of leaders by not only caring for them, but by also improving healthcare inequalities. Dr. Heard-Garris is a wife and proud mother of a very active toddler.

Career Interests: Dr. Heard-Garris has a strong interest in health care policy and implementation. Specifically focused on meeting the needs of adolescent and underserved populations through legislation and funding. Dr. Heard-Garris plans on pursuing a career that combines patient care with involvement in health policy

Research Interests:
 As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Heard-Garris would like to work on health services research that can better inform policy decisions related to immigrant, minority, and adolescent populations with projects focused on addressing social determinants of health and diversity around healthcare workforce.

.Back to top

 

Andrew Ibrahim, M.D.

 

Andrew M. Ibrahim MD (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Dr. Andrew Ibrahim is currently House Staff in the Department of Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University with an additional year of coursework at The Bartlett School of Architecture in London, UK.  He then completed his medical degree also at Case Western Reserve University where he graduated with Honors with Distinction in Research. During that time he took on additional policy and research training as a Crile Fellow at Princeton University and as a Doris Duke Fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital where he evaluated strategies to improve patient safety and care for the elderly. Shortly after the Affordable Care Act was passed he spent time at the Institute of Medicine on their Board for Healthcare Services working on Essential Health Benefits.

Career Interests:  He plans to leverage his training in surgery, health services research, and public policy to improve healthcare delivery working across academic, public and private sectors.

Research Interests:  Novel payment strategies and incentives, statewide quality collaboratives, surgical coaching interventions, evidence-based design, public planning

Back to top

 

Tyler Winkelman, M.D.

Tyler Winkelman, MD (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Dr. Tyler Winkelman completed his Internal Medicine & Pediatrics residency at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Winkelman obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and his MD from the University of Minnesota.  During medical school and residency, he led and conducted state and national surveys evaluating medical students’ knowledge and attitudes of the Affordable Care Act and other health policy issues.  His first study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, highlighted knowledge gaps in health policy among medical students in Minnesota.  Because of these findings, Dr. Winkelman collaborated with faculty from the Medical School and School of Public Health to develop and implement a mandatory health policy course for first year medical students, becoming the first Director of Health Policy within the medical school’s Essentials of Clinical Medicine course. In 2015, he was awarded the AAP Section on Medical Students, Residents and Fellowship Trainee (SOMSRFT) District VI Leadership and Teaching Award for this curriculum development. 

Career Interests: Dr. Winkelman is interested in social policy and social determinants of health (particularly education, employment, and housing), state and national health care access policy, and undergraduate and graduate medical education related to policy and systems education. 

Research Interests:  As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Winkelman plans to study natural experiments to quantify the effect of both social investment and health insurance expansion on health outcomes.  He also hopes to continue to develop policy curricula for medical schools and investigate how these curricular changes affect medical students’ and residents’ attitudes and decision-making.

Back to top

 

Second Year Clinical Scholars - 2014-2016

Elena Byhoff, M.D.

Elena Byhoff, MD (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Elena Byhoff, MD is a general internist originally from Brooklyn, NY. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Economics and Policy. After several jobs in New York City with a policy focus, Dr. Byhoff completed a post-baccalaureate premedical program at Bryn Mawr College. She went on to receive her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Primary Care Track. 

Career Interests: Dr. Byhoff would like her career to focus on health policy implementation and improvement in primary care delivery. She also plans to continue with her primary care clinical practice. 

Research Interests: She is interested in end-of-life care and shared medical decision-making, with a particular focus on patients and patient surrogates with low health literacy and numeracy.

Back to top

Alicia Cohen, M.D.

Alicia Cohen, MD
University of Michigan

Alicia Cohen, MD received her Bachelors in English, History, and Women’s and Gender studies from Williams College, and her MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  During her time at Mount Sinai, Dr. Cohen spent two years with the Department of Health Policy researching disparities in care for women with breast cancer. She was also awarded a year-long social justice fellowship working with Palestinian and Israeli survivors of rape and domestic violence.  Dr. Cohen received her Family Medicine training at the UCSF Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program.  Following residency, she completed a two-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Department of Family Medicine.
  
 Career interests: Dr. Cohen plans to pursue a career as a clinician-researcher at an academic medical center, with a family medicine practice based in an underserved setting.  She is also actively engaged in promoting health equity through public policy.
 
Research interests: Dr. Cohen is interested in understanding the intersections of food insecurity, nutrition, and diet-related disease within the broader context of social determinants of health.  She is committed to developing and evaluating innovative approaches to improving food access, with a particular focus on community-engaged research. 

 

Back to top

John Harris, M.D.

John Harris, M.D.
University of Michigan

John Harris, MD  is an obstetrician and gynecologist who grew up near Asheville, North Carolina.  He received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Williams College where he also participated in the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University.  After doing a year of community work with people with dementia and physical  disabilities in an adult day care setting, he earned his M.D from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He then completed an obstetrics and gynecologyresidency at the University of Kentucky.

Career Interests: He plans to improve the lives of people with obesity by making obesity stigma a widely-recognized issue among health care patients and providers and working to define and to reduce obesity discrimination in health care.

Research interests: He focuses on defining variations in health care access, utilization and quality between patients with obesity and those without obesity. He is interested in describing the presence and possible effects of obesity stigma in providers of cancer care.

 

Back to top

Kristin Kan, M.D.

Kristin Kan, M.D.
University of Michigan

Kristin Kan M.D., M.P.H. is a general pediatrician who grew up in Arlington, Texas. She earned her bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Baylor University and then her medical degree and a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in health systems and policy at Johns Hopkins.  She completed her pediatric residency at Seattle Children's/University of Washington on the Community Pediatrics and Advocacy Pathway.  During that time, she focused on community-based work around obesity prevention and drowning prevention and evaluated perceptions of child health in a rural, migrant farm worker's community.  She is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, has worked at the Child Care Bureau (now Office of Child Care) at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and served as a resident representative to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Career interests:  She plans to integrate her role as a physician with her interest in public service and hopes to influence health policies and programs while continuing to care for patients in a pediatric primary care setting. 

Research interests: Dr. Kan is interested in the impact of state and federal health systems and policies on children, particularly those who are poor, from immigrant families and living in traditionally underserved areas.

Back to top

 

Pooja Lagisetty, M.D.

Pooja Aggarwal Lagisetty, M.D.
University of Michigan


Pooja Aggarwal Lagisetty, MD is a general internist/ primary care physician who pursued an undergraduate degree in Studio Art at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her medical degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  During medical school she worked as a Special Assistant to the Baltimore City Health Commissioner and helped develop and implement Baltimarket, a virtual supermarket which used local grocers and libraries to deliver groceries to food deserts in Baltimore City.  She subsequently completed her residency training in Internal Medicine and Primary Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital.   

Career Interest: She plans on pursuing a career which combines a clinical career of being a primary care physician at a community health center with her research interests in urban design, social determinants, and health policy.
   
Research Interest: As a RWJ Clinical Scholar, her research has focused on culturally tailored behavioral interventions, health disparities, and neighborhood determinants of chronic diseases.

Back to top

Chithra Perumalaswami, M.D.

Chithra Perumalswami, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Chithra Perumalswami, MD is a general internist and palliative care specialist who grew up in Detroit, Michigan.  She earned degrees in English language and literature and Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors.  She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan, where she subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Perumalswami went on to become an assistant professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as an internal medicine teaching attending and hospitalist.  During this time she was selected for the Palliative Care and Education Program at Harvard University.  She completed her training in hospice and palliative medicine at Northwestern University, where she served in the section of palliative medicine for three years.   She was a dedicated physician champion and mentor for quality improvement projects both locally and statewide for a variety of hospitals in Illinois.  Her work with readmissions prevention and transitions of care initiatives was sponsored jointly by the Society of Hospital Medicine, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Illinois Hospital Association.

In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Perumalswami excelled at medical education, as demonstrated by numerous teaching awards in the training of medical students, residents, and fellows across multiple disciplines.   She served on the steering committee of the Northwestern University School of Medicine Women’s Faculty Organization and served as a representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Women in Medicine and Science.

Career Interests: She anticipates a career in academic medicine and public health/ health policy. 

Research Interests: her current research interest focuses on the epidemiology of aging and the use of palliative care interventions for both oncologic and non-oncologic diseases in the elderly with the ultimate goal of creating a better evidence base to inform healthcare policy and more effective, innovative, high quality palliative care interventions nationally. 

Back to top

Michael Seyffert, M.D. (VA Scholar)

Michael Seyffert, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Michael Seyffert,  M.D., is a board certified neurologist, sleep medicine physician who recently completed his psychiatry training at the University of Michigan. He attended college at the Virginia Military Institute where he majored in modern languages and psychology. He is a military veteran and former airborne infantry officer who continues his military service as a flight surgeon in the Michigan Air National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He has served overseas in several military and humanitarian medical missions.

Career InterestDr. Seyffert is interested in improving the lives of US Veterans with PTSD and related neuropsychiatric disorders to include pain and substance use disorders. He is focused on improving access to key primary care and multi-specialty behavioral interventions to include telepsychiatry and computerized based cognitive behavioral therapies for insomnia.

Research Interest: His current primary research interest in understanding and treating insomnia as a core symptom in PTSD and associated neurpsychiatric disorders to include substance use disorders and chronic pain.