Meet the Team

Kohei_Akiba_BW_Text_2.jpg Eda Akpek BW Text Lola Al uqdah BW Text.jpg Hiba Ansar BW Text Madison_Beehler_BW_Text.jpg brook-burkley-FINAL.png
Esther_Choi_FINAL.png Marcos_Cotto_BW_Text.jpg karen-dugosh-FINAL.png RE-site-staff-photos-kelly-label.png Madeline Garber BW Text Gabriella_Grimaldi_BW_Text.jpg
RE-site-staff-gabrielle-label.png KatharineHwlabel_2.jpg Adina Hill BW Text rachel-hough-FINAL.png andrew_jones_b-w_withbanner_final.jpg Sukanya Kansara BW Text
Nina Kegelman BW Text v2 RE-site-staff-photos-jenkeith-label.png markise-king-FINAL.png Jaime_Kishpaugh_BW.jpg RE-site-staff-gary-label.png RE-site-staff-archana-label.png
amirah lewis BW Text.png Catherine_Lewis_BW_Text.jpg meghan-love-FINAL.png Sophie Mitchell BW 2 Text wandia-mureithi-FINAL.png Nana_Nimako_FINAL.png
Roo_Parkhe_BW_Text.jpg Sneha_Patel_BW_Text.jpg justin-powell-FINAL.png RE-site-staff-photos-megan-label.png alia-salam-FINAL.png Kristiane Simmons BW Text.jpg
laura-sosinsky-FINAL.png sarah-string-FINAL.png RE-site-staff-photos-kellyt-label.png Janine_Tobia_BW_Text.jpg anna-todaro-FINAL.png Richard Trinh BW Text
pragya-verma-FINAL.png Breyonnah_Wade_BW_Text.jpg Caroline_West_BW_Text.jpg Devin Berry Williams BW Text2 Margot Wisel BW Text.jpg  

 

 

Kohei Akiba BW

Kohei Akiba is a Research Coordinator working on tobacco cessation and vaccine confidence projects. He received a B.A. in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Delaware, where he also minored in Africana Studies. Before joining PHMC, Kohei worked on various environmental policy analysis projects at the Institute for Public Administration. When he's not at work, Kohei helps teach the drumline at Unionville High School. He enjoys watching basketball, playing video games, and petting cats.

Back to top

 

Eda Akpek BW

Eda Akpek is a Project Manager leading studies related to community health and eliminating health disparities. In her role, Eda values implementing evidence-based techniques and collaborating with community partners to successfully execute large-scale public health initiatives. Before joining PHMC, Eda co-authored several clinical care publications incorporating qualitative methodologies as a Research Coordinator at the Mixed Methods Research Lab at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Eda received her MPH at the University of Pennsylvania and her BA at Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, Eda plays for Philadelphia Rugby Football Club on their USA Rugby Women's Division I team. When she's not at the office or on the pitch, Eda enjoys catching up on the latest Netflix series, caring for plants, and spending time with friends.

Back to top

 

Lola Al uqdah BW

Lola Al-uqdah is the Director of Community Research Engagement working on incorporating equity into R&E Group's policies and procedures as well as R&E Group's research and evaluation practices. Lola earned a PhD in Health Policy from the University of the Sciences and a MS in Educational Psychology from Temple. Prior to joining R&E Group, she worked at the Philadelphia Department of Health and The Philadelphia VA where the focus of her research was on improving the health of poor and minority communities by reducing disparities and identifying evidenced-based solutions. Lola currently mentors youth in her community. She loves to make tea, cook, dance, travel and spend time with family and friends.

Back to top

  

Hiba Ansar BW

Hiba Ansar is a Project Manager working on a variety of research projects, including the PADOH statewide tobacco control project and those related to connecting survivors of human trafficking to community resources. With a background in medical anthropology, Hiba is primarily trained in qualitative research methods and analysis. Before coming to PHMC, Hiba worked for several organizations across the city of Philadelphia, conducting on-the-ground trauma-informed reproductive justice work. She has also organized pop-up health clinics in the city. She received her MA from The Ohio State University and her BA from Temple University. Her Master’s research critically assessed global maternal health interventions in parts of South Asia. Outside from work, you can find her playing her guitar, singing songs, and sipping on tea!

Back to top

 

Madison Beehler BW

Madison Beehler is a Senior Project Manager working on a variety of projects including statewide tobacco control, behavioral health, and food access initiatives. Madison earned her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health and her BS in Environmental Science from Dickinson College. Prior to joining the R&E Group at PHMC, she worked for six years on food access and youth empowerment initiatives in Boston, MA. Outside of work, Madison can be found running on the beautiful trails near her hometown in southern Chester County, sewing her own clothes, and hanging out with her family.

Back to top

     

 brook burkley BW

Brook Burkley is a Senior Project Director responsible for leading projects related to medication assisted treatment in drug courts and other substance use evaluations. Before joining PHMC, she worked as a Program Coordinator for the Treatment Research Institute, where she worked on substance use research projects and evaluations. Brook received her B.A. in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma and her M.S.W from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. When she isn't at work, Brook is busy cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners and hanging with her cats.

Back to top

     

 Esther Choi

Esther Choi is a Project Manager involved in substance use projects. Before joining PHMC, she worked on an evaluation of medication assisted treatment in drug courts at the Treatment Research Institute. Esther received her B.A. in psychology and law and society, with minors in politics and philosophy, from Oberlin College. She spends much of her free time being ordered around by her demanding avian baby.

Back to top

  

Marcos Cotto BW

Marcos Cotto is the Operations Manager for REG. Marcos serves as a department leader ensuring and improving REG's operational performance and efficiency. He is also responsible for developing, overseeing and implementing operational strategies to support processes ranging from contract execution to staff engagement. Marcos Earned his MPH from Drexel University and his BS in Early Childhood Education from Eastern University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, exploring Puerto Rico, and watching the E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!

Back to top

 

 karen dugosh BW

Karen Dugosh is is the Director of Research in the Research & Evaluation Group. She oversees a portfolio of research trials and systematic evaluations of interventions for people who have substance use disorders. Much of her current work involves clinical trials related to the treatment of opioid use disorder and quasi-experimental studies examining effects of medical marijuana on biopsychosocial outcomes within different patient populations. Karen received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Gettysburg College and graduate degrees in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington. Outside of PHMC, Karen enjoys traveling with her family, cooking, reading, and hiking.

Back to top

  

Kelly Feighan directs the Division of Teaching and Learning, a unit within the R&E Group that evolved out of Research for Better Schools and specializes in producing independent, actionable research related to schools and lifelong education. She is a sociologist with expertise in educational evaluation design and implementation, grant writing, and data analysis. Kelly’s advanced degrees in sociology include a PhD in from Temple University and an MA from the University of Maryland at College Park. Over the past two decades, she has conducted more than 100 educational evaluations as well as qualitative and ethnographic research, randomized controlled trials, and analyses of large-scale Census data. Kelly is active in several professional associations; she served on the board of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society for several years and volunteers for organizations in her community that support older adults. Sadly, her SG guitar collects dust more than she'd care to admit.

Back to top

 

Madeline Garber BW

Madeline Garber is an Interviewer working on projects related to substance use treatment centers for women and children as well as evaluations related to promary and behavioral healthcare. Maddy earned a BA in Public Health from Muhlenberg College. In her free time, she enjoys running/working out, cooking, and spending time with her two cats and dog.

Back to top

 

Gabriella Grimaldi BW

Gabriella Grimaldi is a Senior Project Manager engaged in projects relating to tobacco prevention and cessation, sexual health, and technology in public health. She received her MPH from Drexel University and a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Neuroscience from Temple University. Some of her areas of interest in research include environmental health, human behavior, and infectious disease. In her free time, Gabriella enjoys trail running, discovering new music, and reading memoirs.

Back to top

 

Gabrielle Grode is an Evaluation Specialist, responsible for leading projects related to perinatal health and nutrition. Gabrielle enjoys the process of helping clients discover their own driving research questions and the search for novel ways to visualize data. Prior to joining PHMC, Gabrielle worked at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, studying nutrition and physical activity at child care centers. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University and an M.P.H. from Temple University, with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of New Haven. Gabrielle is a fan of the home design website Houzz and eagerly anticipates reading the Modern Love column in the New York Times each week.

Back to top

   

Kate Hemady (née Bamberger) is a Research Scientist and Director of the Division on Family Strengthening and Child Wellbeing. Kate is interested in achieving public health impact by embedding programs in families’ lives through integration into familiar service delivery venues and through real time intervention with mHealth (mobile health). She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University and was a NIH-funded pre-doctoral fellow at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. Kate is a painter and new mom learning to love city living but still pining for a vegetable garden.

Back to top

 

Adina Hill BW

Adina Hill is a Research Assistant on several projects about STIs, community health workers, and community partnerships to address health disparities. Adina received a BA from New York University in Trauma Informed Health Policy Design. In the past, she participated in research on period poverty among refugees, developmental social psychology, and spatiotemporal analysis. On the weekends, you can find Adina painting, drawing, and making music!

Back to top

 

 rachel hough BW

Rachel Hough is a Research Coordinator engaged in projects related to substance use disorders, mental healthcare, and nutrition. Before joining PHMC, she received her MSc in Human Geography from the University of Amsterdam and her BA in Sociology and Spanish from Temple University. Her professional interests include geography, nutrition, and migrant populations. Outside the office, Rachel enjoys biking around the city, trying out new recipes, and moderating her local Buy Nothing group.

Back to top

 

andrew jones BW resized

Andrew Jones is a Project Manager leading evaluations related to lung health across several states, vaccine confidence nationwide, and cultural competence among behavioral healthcare providers throughout New Jersey. Until recently, he primarily worked on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, the most comprehensive health survey in the region and the largest sample from a concentrated local population in the country. He earned his Master's Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Villanova University, and a B.A. in American Studies and History from the University of Richmond. He enjoys collecting and talking about watches, playing bass, and rooting for his hometown Houston Astros.

Back to top

 

Sukanya Kansara BW

Sukanya Kansara is a Research Assistant working on a variety of projects relating to smoking cessation, and asthma. She earned both her B.S. in Health Science and MPH from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York and was especially interested in environmental justice health issues. Outside of work, Sukanya enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, walking and reading.

Back to top

 

Nina Kegelman BW

Nina Kegelman is a Bilingual (English-Spanish) Research Assistant working on projects regarding early education workforce retention and mental healthcare accessibility initiatives. She earned her BA in Spanish and Moral Psychology from Franklin & Marshall College. Before joining PHMC, she was an English teaching assistant in Madrid, Spain and a post-bac research assistant at Franklin & Marshall's Developing Moral Values Lab. In her free time, Nina likes to practice her foreign language skills, listen to podcasts, and explore cool spots around town.

Back to top

 

 Jennifer Keith

Jennifer Keith is the Managing Director of the Research & Evaluation Group, working on development, implementation, and coordination of evaluation activities across a variety of programs. Jen enjoys working with R&E Group’s diverse set of partners to collect and use data with a focus on maximizing impact and value. Prior to joining PHMC, Jen was a Peace Corps volunteer in central Asia. She earned a B.A. in Sociology at the College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State) and an M.P.H. from the University of Michigan. Jen loves to travel and laugh with her kids.

Back to top

 

 markise king BW

Markise King is an Interviewer for Brothers Speak, a research study that engages young black men in a theater-based teen pregnancy prevention program. Markise is a student at Community College of Philadelphia pursing a degree in elementary education. Before joining PHMC, he worked as the Special Education Liaison at a Philadelphia high school. Outside of PHMC, Markise loves to travel, spend time with family, work out, play cards and eat.

Back to top

 

 jaime metzger BW 

Jaime Kishpaugh (née Metzger) is a Project Manager applying mixed methods to evaluate interventions and partnerships that seek to improve people’s social determinants of health. They anticipate graduating in 2024 with their Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a Fellow in the Addiction & Overdose focus area. R&E projects that Jaime co-leads include a randomized controlled trial of an innovative family-level substance use intervention and a statewide LGBTQ+ health needs assessment conducted every two years. For fun, Jaime loves to play games with friends, bake, and explore new & familiar places alike.

Back to top

 

Gary Klein is a Senior Data Analyst, engaged in projects involving specialized programming to clean, merge, aggregate, and analyze data. Gary analyzes population-level census and vital data and sampled health survey data, incorporating a variety of statistical techniques. Prior to joining PHMC, Gary taught statistics and sociology classes at various universities across the Philadelphia area. Gary has earned many degrees in Sociology, including a B.A. from Gettysburg College, an M.A. from Temple University, and a Ph.D. from Temple University, conducting research in South Africa. In his spare time, Gary enjoys running, a hobby he took up at age 40.

Back to top

    

Archana Bodas LaPollo is the Director of Evaluation, responsible for providing strategic leadership related to R&E Group’s evaluation practices. In addition, Archana oversees projects specifically related to HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health, substance use and recovery, and adolescent health. Archana earned a B.A. in French and Political Science from Rutgers University, Rutgers College and an M.P.H. from Boston University School of Public Health. She is also currently pursuing a doctorate in public health at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. When she’s not working, Archana loves spending time with her husband and two children, and dog, Pineapple.

Back to top

  

 amirah lewis BW

Amirah Lewis is a Research Coordinator primarily working on a teen sexual health study. Amirah graduated from University of Hartford with a BA in International Studies with a concentration in Cultural Globalization. Prior to working at PHMC, she interned at a nonprofit that specialized in youth serving systems that prepared young people for future employment. Outside of PHMC, Amirah enjoys learning about wellness and self-care.

Back to top

 

Catherine Lewis BW

Catherine Lewis is a Research Assistant working on projects related to substance use and recovery and HIV screening policies. Prior to joining R&E Group, she received her B.A in Health Policy & Law from the University of Pennsylvania, where her studies focused on the intersection of criminal justice and public health. Outside of work, Catherine enjoys reading, hiking, and rock climbing.

Back to top

 

 meghan love BW

Meghan Love is the Product Director for the Treatment Research Solutions team and is responsible for providing day to day oversight for the development and delivery of new products and services. This includes overseeing the distribution and support of software for treatment programs and problem-solving courts, and developing and implementing training programs. Prior to PHMC, Meghan led the successful development and implementation of products, solutions dissemination, and licensing initiative for 9 years at the Treatment Research Institute. Over the past 27 years, she has managed a variety of research projects in the field of substance use and mental health, including managing the Drug Evaluation Network System (DENS) project between 1998 and 2004. Meghan graduated with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. Besides cheering on the Nittany Lions, she spends her free time on the sidelines watching her sons play soccer, walking her rescue dog Sugar, or in a yoga studio.

Back to top

  

Sophie Mitchell BW

Sophie Mitchell is a Research Coordinator focused on opioid use disorder and harm reduction research. They received a BA in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College where they worked at the Quantitative Center teaching computer science. Before joining the R&E Group at PHMC, Sophie worked as a literacy teacher and as an early childhood educator. In their free time, Sophie enjoys caring for their bonsai, trying new varietals of coffee, and tackling the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Back to top

 

 wandia mureithi BW

Wandia Mureithi is a Project Manager working on projects related to diabetes, early childhood education, youth opioid abuse prevention, and anti-human trafficking programs. She received a B.A. in Health and Societies from the University of Pennsylvania worked as a research assistant at the Penn Center for AIDS Research before joining the R&E Group. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, finding reasons to be outside and watching reruns of her favorite 90’s sitcoms.

Back to top

 

  nana no banner

Nana Nimako is a Research Coordinator evaluating projects related to sexual health and substance abuse recovery. She is interested in women’s reproductive health, health inequity, as well as program design and evaluation. Nana attended Washington University in St. Louis where she received a B.A. in Anthropology: Global Health and Environment. Outside of work, Nana enjoys writing, baking, and shopping unnecessarily.

Back to top

 

Roo Parkhe BW

Roo Parkhe is a Research Coordinator working on projects regarding LGBTQ+ health surveillance, tobacco cessation program evaluation, and diabetes prevention programming. Roo received their Sociology B.A. and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies minor from Temple University. In their free time, Roo enjoys playing pool, (over)analyzing movies, and discovering new cafes around Philly.

Back to top

 

Sneha Patel BW

Sneha Patel is a Research Assistant working on a variety of projects regarding nutrition and sexual health. Sneha earned her BA in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining R&E Group, Sneha was a Community Assistant at Bloomsburg University. Outside of work, Sneha enjoys reading, going on walks, watching movies, and learning about East Asian history!

Back to top

    

 justin powell BW

Justin Powell is an Interviewer on projects related to sexual health education and substance use. Previous to joining R&E Group, Justin worked at PHMC for both The Bridge & The Care Clinic, where his focuses were juvenile substance use treatment and Hepatitis C outreach. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in English & Film Studies. An avid film fan, when not at the movies, Justin likes to spend time traveling, reading, and seeking new experiences.

Back to top

  

 

Megan Richardson is a Senior Project Director with expertise in STEM education, early childhood and K-16 interventions, teacher and principal preparation, teacher induction support, professional development studies, and higher education policy. She completed her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and her MA in Sociology & Education at Columbia University. As a member of R&E Group's Division of Education (formerly Research for Better Schools), Megan designs complex quasi-experimental and randomized controlled trial evaluations for clients across the educational spectrum. She participates in “green school” initiatives aimed at building healthier and more environmentally conscious school communities and works with state departments of education to obtain hard-to-track longitudinal information about novice teachers. Megan is an avid amateur genealogist and a ninth generation Philadelphian.

Back to top

 

 alia salam BW 

Alia Salam is a Research Coordinator engaged in projects related to cancer screening and perceptions, opioid use disorder, and tobacco-related disparities. She earned her M.P.H. from Thomas Jefferson University and her bachelor’s degree from Temple University, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology. Prior to joining the R&E Group, Alia lived near the Syrian-Lebanese border to manage a psycho-social support project serving Syrians affected by war. On the weekends, Alia loves to shop for the trendiest clothes and home-decor items with her mom and watching psychological thrillers with her husband.

Back to top

   

Kristiane Simmons BW Edited

Kristiane Simmons is a Site Interviewer on a study comparing ways to increase access to COVID tests in disadvantaged areas in Philadelphia. She obtained a B.A. in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Economy and National Governance from Chestnut Hill College. After graduating, she gained an interest in Public Health through her service in AmeriCorps for the NNCC COVID Response Corps. You can find Kristiane listening to music, going out with local friends to new restaurants, and catching up with foreign friends through social media.

Back to top

 

 laura sosinsky BW

Laura Sosinsky is a Research Scientist conducting evaluations of programs for children and families with a focus on interventions designed to build the capacities of teachers and parents to promote healthy early development and school readiness. Trained as a developmental psychologist, Laura has expertise in infant and child development, early care and education (ECE) quality improvement and professional development, as well as state, federal, and local ECE policy. Laura received her B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Yale University. Outside of PHMC, Laura enjoys classic movies, good music, traveling to new places, and spending time with her family.

 Back to top

 

 sarah string BW

Sarah String is a Project Manager involved with projects related to STEM education, community public health needs assessments, and healthcare coordination for chronic disease management. Sarah earned her M.P.H. from Arcadia University and a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Houghton College. Her research interests include healthcare coordination, patient centered decision making, workforce development, and issues related to human ecology. She enjoys being outdoors, traveling with her husband, and volunteering with international health development organizations.

Back to top

  

Kelly Thompson is a Policy Analyst, responsible for managing legal research projects and policy initiatives. She helps to provide a legal perspective on multidisciplinary teams developing public health law projects, which span topics from health and social equity concerns of vulnerable populations to emergency preparedness. Her favorite focus areas are intersections of criminal justice issues with public health outcomes. After graduating with a dual B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the University of Delaware, Kelly moved to Philadelphia to earn her J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. Away from the office, Kelly enjoys being active outdoors, eating sweets, binging podcasts, and meeting dogs while walking her dog.

Back to top

 

Janine Tobia BW

Janine Tobia is a Project Manager working on projects related to tobacco, vaccine acceptance, and asthma. She earned her MPH from Thomas Jefferson University and a B.S. in Microbiology from Rutgers University. Before joining the R&E group, she worked as a technician at a pharmacy location specializing in HIV management medication. An ideal evening for Janine includes sipping a cup of tea, playing with her cat, and watching a historical documentary with comically inaccurate reenactments.

Back to top

 

 anna todaro BW

Anna Todaro is a Senior Project Manager, responsible for leading projects related to tobacco prevention and control, nutrition, and addiction. She enjoys evaluation design, mixed methods research, and data visualization. Prior to her role at PHMC, Anna was a research analyst with The Health Determinants & Disparities Practice, developing programming in culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare services for the Office of Minority Health. She also spent time in Latin America and Africa through her roles with the Rutgers Global Health Institute and the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. A Fulbright scholar, Anna earned her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Scranton, and her M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Besides research and evaluation, Anna loves photography, discovering new music, and exploring Montco trails with her husband.

Back to top

 

Richard Trinh BW

Richard Trinh is a Research Assistant working on evaluating the Cedar Campus Project, Healthy Hearts and Minds, and other projects as well. Richard earned his MPH from George Washington University and his BS in Microbiology from University of the Sciences. Before his time in R&E Group, he did research in social sciences and interned for Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). In his downtime, Richard likes jogging, playing video games, and making art.

Back to top

 

  pragya verma BW

Pragya Verma is a Senior Project Director working on multiple evaluation projects related to lung health as well as opioid use disorder. Prior to joining PHMC, Pragya worked as a data analyst and project manager supporting behavioral health and child welfare programs at a direct service organization in Philadelphia. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from The College of New Jersey. Outside of work Pragya enjoys crafting & woodworking, photography and traveling.

Back to top

 

Breyonnah Wade BW

Breyonnah Wade is a Research Assistant working on projects involving statewide tobacco initiatives, maternal health, and diabetes prevention. Breyonnah earned her AB in Psychology from Princeton University. Outside of work, she enjoys reading and cooking.

Back to top

 

Caroline West BW

Caroline West is a Senior Project Manager working on a number of projects related to mental health, COVID testing, and substance abuse treatment research. Caroline earned her Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and her AB in Economics and History from Bryn Mawr College. She has worked in R&E group for over fifteen years. Prior to joining PHMC she managed health services research projects related to reproductive health in overseas clinical settings as part of Family Health International (now FHI 360).

Back to top

 

Devin Berry Williams BW

Devin Berry Williams is an Administrative Assistant working with the admin/operations team to assist R&E Group staff with any administrative needs they may have. Devin is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology at Post University. Prior to joining R&E Group, she taught competitive and recreational gymnastics to children at Kehler's Gymnastics Center. Outside of work, Devin enjoys staying active in the gym, roller skating, and doing fun activities with her children.

Back to top

 

Margot Wisel BW

Bio pending. Back to top