Advisory Committee

Amy Addams

Amy Addams

Ms. Addams is a Diversity, Inclusion, and Identity Expert, Change Management Professional, Researcher, and Author. She has robust experience in both higher education and in the not-for-profit space. Her work focuses on creating and sustaining equitable and inclusive systems, cultures, policies, and processes in the fields of medical education and community health. At the AAMC, this focus spans the medical education continuum from pre-med preparation and admissions through the transition to residency. For the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HPRC), she engaged Boston-area middle schools and community members to make lasting changes in nutrition and physical activity.Her credits as an Author include, the Roadmap to Diversity: Integrating Holistic Review Practices into Medical School Admission Processes. Co-author of Best Practices for Conducting Residency Program Interviews and Holistic Review in Medical School Admissions and Selection: A Strategic, Mission-Driven Response to Shifting Societal Needs. Developmental editor for Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities and Roadmap to Excellence: Key Concepts for Evaluating the Impact of Medical School Holistic Admissions. Developmental editor, key contributor, and facilitator of the Holistic Review in Admissions and Selection workshops.

Neera R. Jain, MS, CRC

Neera Jain

Neera is a researcher, rehabilitation counselor, and passionate advocate for disability inclusion in health science education. She is a board member for the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education and a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work. Weaving together perspectives of students with disabilities and school officials, her dissertation focuses on how four U.S. medical schools enact disability inclusion.

Neera co-edited and co-authored The Guide to Assisting Students with Disabilities: Equal Access in Health Science and Professional Education (Springer Publishing, 2016) and co-authored the research report Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities (AAMC, 2018). Formerly, she led disability services for health science students at Columbia University and the University of California, San Francisco. In New Zealand, Neera managed a free legal service run by and for disabled people, Auckland Disability Law.

Tal Jarus, PhD

Tal Jarus

Tal Jarus is a Professor at the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy department at the University of British Columbia. She is an occupational therapy in her background and has a doctoral degree in occupational therapy from New York University (1988). She received few distinguished awards, the most recent is the 2018 Canadian Occupational Therapy Association Fellow, recognizing and honouring outstanding contributions and service made by an occupational therapist over an extended period of time.

Her research stem from the disability studies, focusing on investigating barriers to full participation of diverse groups of people with disability. Her primary areas of research is diversifying the health and human service professions, and the transition into and out of university for students with disabilities, in particular looking at the facilitators and barriers for the participation of students and clinicians in the health and human service professions. Tal use innovative technics in her research, including art, such as photovoice or Research-Based Theatre.

Joseph Kim, MD, MPH, MBA

Joe Kim

Joseph Kim is the founder of the Society of Healthcare Professionals with Disabilities, a social enterprise that was developed to provide free resources and support for its members. The mission of the Society is to foster an online supportive community and to freely provide disability-related resources and tools that are relevant for healthcare professionals, students, family members, and friends.Dr. Kim also has experience working in continuing education, quality improvement, digital health, and health services research. Dr. Kim holds a BS in engineering from MIT, an MD from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, an MPH from UMass Amherst School of Public Health, and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University.

Ionna Maraki, MSc

Ioanna Maraki

Ioanna works in the Education Policy team at the General Medical Council, the doctors’ professional regulator in the UK. She is the GMC policy lead on health and disability in medicine, and worked on the development of their guidance on this area, Welcomed and valued. Ioanna also hosted the GMC’s Able medics podcast, which narrates the experiences of doctors with disabilities practising in the UK. Her other policy areas are doctors’ wellbeing and student professionalism. Prior to joining the GMC, Ioanna worked in healthcare research and consulting for six years. She holds a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her MSc dissertation focused on international policies for supporting medical students and doctors with disabilities.

Monika Mitra, PhD, MA, MS

Monika Mitra

Dr. Monika Mitra research focuses on the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities and their families. She co-leads the Community Living Policy Center which is aimed at improving policies and practices that advance community living outcomes for people with disabilities and the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities which is focused on addressing knowledge gaps regarding the needs of parents with diverse disabilities and their families. Prior to joining Brandeis, Dr. Mitra was Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received her PhD and MA from Boston University, and her MS from Calcutta University, Kolkata, India.

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, established in 2007, was created by the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation to ensure that people with disabilities, particularly autism, are fully integrated in society. Through research, teaching, policy development, education, and public engagement, the Lurie Institute provides a comprehensive approach to addressing disability issues across the lifespan. Faculty at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy teach and mentor undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows. Current research projects cover a wide variety of topics, including community integration, health, family caregiving, poverty, civic engagement, and social inequality. The Lurie Institute combines empirical research and lived experience to help shape policies and outcomes that promote the wellbeing and integration of people with disabilities.

Previously, the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability Policy and Director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy was Susan Parish, PhD. Her research examines the health and financial well-being of children and adults with disabilities, as well as their caregiving families. She is particularly interested in the impact of health and poverty policies on people with disabilities and their caregiving families.

Christopher Moreland, MD, MPH

Christopher Moreland

In addition to clinical service to patients, Christopher Moreland serves the internal medicine residency program as associate program director, having overseen curriculum evaluation and residents' scholarly activity. As a clinician educator, he has developed a teaching elective and a longitudinal clinician educator track for residents, and has mentored people across the education spectrum, from college students to junior faculty. That passion for medical education has been reflected by institutional and national teaching and mentorship awards. His interests in communication and healthcare diversity have led to national research, education, and publications on health disparities affecting the deaf and limited English proficient populations, accommodations for deaf healthcare students and physicians, medical schools’ technical standards, and the education of interpreters as medical specialists. He currently serves as President for the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses (AMPHL), and has served other national healthcare organizations, including the Society for General Internal Medicine, the American Association of Medical Colleges, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Dinesh Palipana, MD

Dinesh Palipana

Dinesh was the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland, and the second person to graduate medical school with quadriplegia in Australia. 

Dinesh earned a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), prior to completing his Doctor of Medicine (MD) at the Griffith University. He has completed an Advanced Clerkship in Radiology at the Harvard University. Halfway through medical school, he was involved in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury.

As a result of his injury and experiences, Dinesh has been an advocate for inclusivity in medicine and the workplace generally. He is a founding member of Doctors with Disabilities Australia.

Dinesh is currently a resident medical officer at the Gold Coast University Hospital. He is a lecturer at the Griffith University and adjunct research fellow at the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland. He has research interests in spinal cord injury, particularly with novel rehabilitation techniques.

Dinesh is the Gold Coast University Hospital’s representative in the Australian Medical Association Queensland’s Council of Doctors in Training. He is a member of the scientific advisory committee of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, disability advisory council at Griffith University, and the Ambassador Council at the Hopkins Centre. He is an associate member of the Australian College of Legal Medicine. 

Dinesh was the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2018. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Jan Serrantino-Cox, Ed.D.

Jan Serrantino-Cox

Jan is the President of the Coalition on Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education and co-author of two chapters in The Guide to Assisting Students with Disabilities: Equal Access in Health Science and Professional Education (Springer Publishing).

She has worked in the field of disability services since 1989 as a K-12 teacher and administrator, university faculty member, and student advocacy consultant. She serves on as President of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education. Jan recently retired from her role as Director of the Disability Services Center at the University of California, Irvine. She worked directly with students with disabilities in the Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Medicine. 

Jan has over 30 years of experience and presents regularly at professional conferences on best practices when serving Health Science students in Higher Education.

Duncan Shrewsbury, PhD, MSc

Duncan Shrewsbury

Duncan is a family physician (general practitioner) in England, and is the faculty lead for clinical practice at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, where he is a senior lecturer. His academic work is focused on medical education, with a background in research around learning difficulties, disabilities and illness in healthcare professionals. His PhD in medical education explored dyslexia in doctors in training (residents). In his clinical role, he is the medical director for the primary care service, and has a particular interest in mental health, trans* healthcare.

Stephan Smith

Stephan Smith

Since 2002, Stephan Smith has been the executive director of the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD, www.ahead.org).  In his position with AHEAD Stephan directs the overall operations, public engagement, member services, funding, and external relations of the organization that currently serves over 3,700 institutional and individual members in 17 countries.  AHEAD has 40 US State and multi-state affiliate organizations.  From 2010 - 2014, Stephan was the executive officer of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS, www.disstudies.org); the largest academic society in the world dedicated to the advancement of disability studies as an academic discipline with over 400 members in 13 countries.

Recognizing that collaboration and contribution are keys to advancement for any good cause, Stephan invests heavily in serving on numerous boards of directors, advisory and executive committees, and steering councils for national and international organizations and programs that work to eliminate barriers to equity for disabled people in education and society.  In 2010 Stephan was appointed as a commissioner for the US Department of Education to address barriers related to accessibility of instructional materials in postsecondary education. Other specific ‘hot topic’ areas of his involvement currently include:  postsecondary opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities; increasingly effective transition practices from secondary to postsecondary education and employment; and advancing postsecondary educations’ corporate understanding of disability and social responsibility.

Bonnielin Swenor, PhD, MPH

Bonnielin Swenor, PhD, MPH

Bonnielin Swenor, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as a Core Faculty Member at the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health (COAH). She received an MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty at JHU in 2014, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Translational Gerontology Branch of the National Institute on Aging.

Dr. Swenor’s research encompasses three areas of focus: (1) Examining the interrelationship between vision loss and aging. This includes determining how visual impairment and eye disease affect physical, cognitive, psychological and social functioning, as well as health outcomes, such as mortality, comorbidity, and frailty. The overarching goal of this work is to develop interventions that will help older adults with visual impairments age well.

(2) Improving healthcare access for older adults with visual impairments. This work ranges from developing interventions aimed at increasing the utilization of low vision rehabilitation services to developing strategies to improve healthcare interactions for those with vision impairments. (3) Enhancing the representation of persons with disabilities in science and medicine, with a focus on determining strategies to enhance inclusion, recruitment and representation of persons with disabilities in faculty-level positions.

Dr. Swenor is currently the Principal Investigator on grants from the NIA, CDC, and Research to Prevent Blindness. She has served as a consultant to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vision Health Initiative, and is currently the Vice Chair of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Faculty Senate.