Nicholas Berlin is a research fellow at the University of Michigan Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy and the National Clinician Scholars Program. He is also an integrated resident in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Michigan. He is originally from Boulder, Colorado and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame. He went on to complete an MPH in biostatistics and epidemiology at Yale University and medical school at the University of Colorado. He is currently working towards a Master’s in Health and Healthcare Research through the National Clinician Scholars Program and the Rackham Graduate School.
His research focuses on improving value in surgical care through identification and de-implementation of low-value surgical procedures, assessment of alternative payment models, and promotion of shared decision-making in surgical care.
Grace Chao, MD
Health Services Research Fellow
Dr. Chao is a Veterans Affairs Research Fellow in Ann Arbor through the National Clinician Scholars Program and a General Surgery resident at Yale. She is originally from Queens, NY where she initially became interested in health disparities and structural violence. She studied at Harvard Medical School and wrote her thesis on the importance of disaggregation of Asian American Pacific Islander data. Prior to medical school, she has worked at The White House on the President's Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As an undergraduate, she completed an ethnography of African Americans in St. Louis examining issues of distrust of healthcare which won the distinction as one of the top three undergraduate theses. Dr. Chao studied Anthropology through the Medicine and Society Program at Washington University in St. Louis where she was also a University Scholar in Medicine and an inaugural Civic Scholar of The Gephardt Institute for Public Service.
Career Interests: Dr. Chao is pursuing a career in academic surgery and is passionate about addressing issues of racial and socioeconomic status disparities, especially in obesity care. She believes that research is a powerful tool in advocating for patients and communities.
Research Interests: Her areas of interest are in: 1) identifying barriers to healthcare access for vulnerable populations 2) designing evidence-based policies and interventions to combat health inequity 3) improvement of data collection systems in race and social determinants of health. Dr. Chao employs both qualitative and quantitative methods in her research.
Adrian Diaz, MD
Health Services Research Fellow
Dr. Diaz is a Veterans Affairs Research Fellow in Ann Arbor through the National Clinician Scholars Program and a General Surgery resident at Ohio State University. He is originally from Miami, FL where he initially became interested in the intersection neighborhood characteristics and health. He completed medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University and throughout this time worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) advising on research and public policy related to electronic cigarettes. Throughout this time, he went on to also compete a master’s in public health with a focus health policy and management. As part of his MPH, he worked in Cuba with their National Institute of Oncology helping improve the delivery of cancer screening services throughout the country.
Dr. Diaz’s is pursuing a career in academic surgery as a surgical oncologist. His research focuses on the intersection of health, delivery systems, geography, and policy to optimize access, quality, and value for patients.
Angela Thelen, MD
Health Services Research Fellow
Angela Thelen is a first-year research fellow at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and her medical degree at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She is currently a general surgery resident at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Her academic interests revolve around surgical education and improving surgical quality and patient outcomes through education. She is primarily working with the Center for Surgical Training and Research. She is also pursuing a Master’s in Health Professions Education during her time as a research fellow.
Craig Brown, MD
Craig Brown is a research fellow at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy within the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Iowa State University, his medical degree from the University of Chicago, as well as a Master’s of Science degree in Health and Healthcare Research at the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School.
Dr. Brown is interested in understanding and optimizing the delivery of healthcare to complex surgical patients and specifically in evaluating the effects of and optimal application of quality metrics and incentives to surgical care.
Gloria Kim, MD
Alisha Lussiez, MD
Adam Markovitz, PhD
Health Services Research Fellow
Adam Markovitz is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy and an MD/PhD fellow in health policy economics at the University of Michigan. He is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and completed his undergraduate degree at Yale College. Long-term, Dr. Markovitz seeks to decrease health care spending and improve population health by identifying new models of paying for health care. His research focuses on the effects of value-based payment reforms and has been published in The BMJ, Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Health Affairs. His PhD dissertation evaluated changes in spending, risk selection, and the response of frontline clinicians in Medicare accountable care organizations. His dissertation was funded by an AHRQ R36 Individual Dissertation Award and was awarded the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Irving Louis Horowitz Award for Overall Most Outstanding Project of the Year.
Brooke Bredbeck, MD
Valeria Valbuena, MD
Valeria is a General Surgery resident at the University of Michigan. Originally from Colombia, she completed her undergraduate education starting in her local community college, the State College of Florida. She obtained a B.A in Biochemistry from the New College of Florida and her medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was an active member and leader of the Latino Medical Student Association. Valeria's research interests include workforce diversity with a focus on medicine and surgery, healthcare disparities, community-based intervention to increase access to safe surgery, and organ donation and transplantation in minority populations. She was selected as part of the 2020-2022 cohort of the National Clinician Scholars Program where she will be completing her Academic Development Time while pursuing a Master's Degree in Health & Healthcare Research. Valeria is the program lead for the LEAGUES Fellowship, a pipeline program designed for medical students interested in the intersection of racial and gender equity and surgery.
Alex Highet, BA
Alexandra is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School. She is applying to residency for General Surgery this fall, following completion of a NIH-funded Masters of Science in Clinical Research dual degree and coursework at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Alex is originally from Wellington, New Zealand. She completed her undergraduate degree at Williams College, studying Art History and French, and served as a Fulbright Fellow in Turkey prior to beginning medical school.
Alex has collaborated on a range of health services and education projects at CHOP and is particularly excited by multi-level mentorship models, shared decision-making in surgical contexts, and enhancing surgery as a pivot point to advance population and behavioral health.
Ryan Eton, MD
Jacqueline Byrd, MD
Kathryn Taylor, MD
Dr. Taylor is a research fellow with the National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of Michigan and a General Surgery resident at Stanford. She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and completed her undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University where she became interested in global health, leading her to work with Helping Babies Breathe in rural Honduras after graduating. She then studied at Harvard Medical School, during which she spent time in Rwanda working on implementation science at a cancer center, surgery education projects, and the National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anesthesia Plan with the Rwandan Ministry of Health. She is currently working towards a Masters in Health and Healthcare Research through the National Clinician Scholars Program and the Rackham Graduate School.
Her research focuses on improving access to quality surgical care for all through examining surgical infrastructure, finance, delivery, and workforce. She is ultimately interested in applying principles of Health Services Research and policy evaluation in low- and middle-income countries and capacity building through mentorship.
Maia Anderson, MD
Maia Anderson is a General Surgery resident at the University of Michigan and research fellow at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard College and her medical degree at University of Michigan Medical School. Maia’s research interests include preoperative optimization and surgical decision making in older, frail, and other vulnerable patient populations. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Health and Health Care Research during her time as a research fellow.
Michelle Chen, MD
Pooja Neiman, MD
Dr. Neiman is a National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) and Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy (CHOP) Research Fellow at the University of Michigan, as well as a General Surgery Resident at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She completed her medical education at UCLA School of Medicine and received her Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. While in college, Pooja launched a non-profit called Mobilizing Health, an organization that connected physicians and community leaders to medical advice via text messages to more than 5,000 patients in rural India. After running Mobilizing Health full-time for two years and overseeing its transition to UNICEF, she focused her energy on issues related to access to health care domestically.
Her research interests include evaluating the health and financial impact of insurance expansion policies on patients, health systems, and government. As an aspiring trauma surgeon, she has a particular focus on the trauma patient population and the system within which they are treated.
Nishant Ganesh Kumar, MD
Nishant Ganesh Kumar is a first-year research fellow at the University of Michigan Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy. He spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Dubai, before completing his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He then graduated with his medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine before pursuing his training in plastic surgery through the integrated residency program at the University of Michigan.
His research interests are broad and include studying patient-reported and clinical outcomes, survey-based research, medical education, and biomedical device development and design. Currently, Nishant is working on prospectively evaluating outcomes of a novel surgical technique to mitigate postamputation pain. In addition, through a collaboration with the School of Engineering and Coulter Program, he is working on a medical device to aid in wound debridement and irrigation. Nishant is also actively engaged in improving medical student and resident education and wellbeing. Overall, his goal is to form multidisciplinary collaborations to solve challenging medical problems and identify areas of improvement in surgical education and training.
Ryan Howard, MD
Health Services Research Fellow
Ryan Howard is a first-year research fellow at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Michigan, where he is currently a general surgery resident. His academic interests include improving surgical quality and outcomes, studying patient-reported outcomes, and using regional partnerships to improve care delivery. He has worked extensively in the area of postoperative opioid prescribing, where he helped implement policies that have dramatically curbed unsafe prescribing across Michigan. He wonders about other ways surgical care could be used to make a population healthier. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Health and Health Care Research during his time as a research fellow.
Michaela Bamdad, MD
Sam Rivard, MD
Lia Delaney, BS
Lia is a medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School, applying to General Surgery residency in 2021. She is currently completing a NIH-funded Masters of Science in Clinical Research dual degree at the University of Michigan. Lia completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and went on to work with an environmental epidemiology research group prior to starting medical school.
Lia’s academic interests center on improving surgical quality, specifically reducing variation in perioperative care, and utilizing surgical encounters as an opportunity to improve overall patient health. These interests have led Lia to collaborate on a range of health services projects at CHOP, including work around postoperative opioid prescribing and patient risk factor optimization prior to surgery. In 2020, Lia was the recipient of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) Medical Student Grant, in support of her pilot work collaborating on the statewide implementation and evaluation of a synoptic operative note for hernia repairs in Michigan.