Mary Byrnes, PhD
I am a qualitative sociologist at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy (CHOP). I earned my Ph.D. in sociology as a National Institute of Aging/NIH predoctoral fellow at the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University and my masters in urban planning (MUP). My early work examines home and community as social determinants of health using visual ethnographic research methods in an older adult population. Because I approach qualitative methods as an art form I also understand how research questions might be answered utilizing appropriate and creative methodologies often blending techniques and methods. Since arriving at CHOP in 2017, I have a growing interest in improving patient care through improving surgical outcomes, particularly as they relate to sociocultural aspects of surgery.
Shelytia Cocroft, PhD
I am an applied medical sociologist and mixed-methodologist. I received my PhD from Wayne State University’s Department of Sociology and was also awarded postdoctoral fellowships at The Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University, and the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Harvard Medical School. I joined the Qualitative Core at CHOP in 2020 and am dedicated to engaging in systematic scientific inquiry for positive social change. My areas of interest include the science of equity and inclusion; recruitmentology; and intersectionality as a conceptual framework and methodology. My research portfolio includes NIH/NIA funded projects – one examining the role of institution-based infrastructures in increasing the representation of historically disenfranchised groups into clinical research; and the other examining the impact of socioeconomic status on knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with cognitive health maintenance among older African American women. I have also conducted research exploring the characteristics associated with willingness to participate in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarker research among diverse populations and the effectiveness of local AD prevention registries in increasing diversity in AD clinical trials; and contributed to a clinical trial designed to investigate the impact of disclosing amyloid brain imaging results to cognitively healthy individuals at risk of AD based on their family history. I utilize the sociological perspective coupled with qualitative research designs (interviews, focus groups, observation, case studies) to translate and apply new knowledge, raise public consciousness, and tell the stories that are not being told.
Jacquelyn Miller, MA
I am a qualitative research analyst at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy (CHOP). I have a BS in Environmental Policy (University of Michigan, School for Environment and Sustainability) and a MA in Sociology, specializing in environmental justice, feminist sociology, and science and technology studies (Michigan State University). My master's research addressed political agroecology on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, applying qualitative and participatory methodologies. In addition, I have clinical pastoral training in interfaith hospital chaplaincy.
Within health services, I have collaborated in research on medical ethics, opioid prescribing, family member distress, physician-scientist caregiver burdens, patient and provider decision-making, and deimplementation. My content area interests include clinical ethics, environmental justice, cultural studies of science and technology (STS), anti-racism scholarship, penal abolition, and transformative justice. My perspective is informed by practical experience as a community and labor organizer. I am interested in applying creative, rigorous, and flexible approaches to qualitative research in health services, for example, interpretive description, focused ethnography, rapid turn-around, case studies, and document analysis.
Ann Vitous, MA, MPH, CPH
I am an anthropologist at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy (CHOP) and Michigan Bariatric Surgical Collaborative (MBSC). I earned my MA in Applied Biocultural Medical Anthropology and MPH in Global Health Practice at the University of South Florida. My early work was strongly influenced by participatory approaches (PAR) and was split between examining the environmental impacts of tourism development in coastal communities and evaluating the impacts of food insecurity and healthcare decision making on the food insecure population in Tampa Bay, FL. Since arriving at CHOP in 2017, I have applied my background in ethnographic methods to topics focused on improving access to care and exploring the role of the surgeon in how clinical decisions are made. In addition to the work at Michigan Medicine, I also apply my skills in a leadership position with a coalition committed to advocating for immigrants’ rights in Washtenaw County.
Sara Jafri, BS
I am a qualitative research assistant at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy (CHOP). I recently graduated from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, where I double majored in Neuroscience and Spanish to earn my Bachelor of Science degree. I aspire to be a physician in the future and hope to positively impact the lives of patients and their families. I am passionate about improving patient care and outcomes, specifically through patient education and involvement.
Since joining this collaborative group, I have been able to further my interests and explore factors impacting patient care from both the patient and the provider perspectives. I am currently involved in several works, including ones addressing standardization of practice patterns, continuous professional development, patient-provider communication, and provider decision-making processes. In this position, I have developed and enhanced my qualitative research skills and knowledge in areas including study design, data collection, data analysis, and presentation of findings.