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Research Faculty

Numerous faculty within the department have a primary interest in research blended with their clinical and teaching responsibilities.

Diane McKee, MD, MS, Professor and Chair of Family Medicine and Community Health. 

Suzanne Mitchell, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, is the Director of Research for the department. 

Judy Savageau, MPH, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Philip Day, PhD, Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Education.

Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health

Heather-Lyn Haley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, is the program director for community health initiatives within the department and leads the interprofessional Population and Community Health Clerkship for students in our T.H. Chan School of Medicine and Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing. She has a long history of developing deep relationships within local communities to reduce the negative impacts of the social determinants of health. She serves as a member of the Community Engagement and Anti-Racism subcommittees of the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester, the Anti-stigma subcommittee of the Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force, the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative Steering Committee, the Eternal Om Committee to Improve Oversight of Home Birth Midwives, the Health Equity Partnership of North Central MA, and the Worcester Trauma, Resiliency & Racial Equity Training Institute Community of Practice. She directs the consultation service of the cross-campus DRIVE Initiative (Diversity, Representation and Inclusion for Value in Education) and supports the UMass Chan Collaboratory database in partnership with the Office for Community and Government Relations. Her past research includes the use of community-based participatory research methods with the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project to develop shared understanding of the nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits and norms held by refugees resettling in Worcester from Burma, and then further work in partnership with Community Legal Aid of Central MA and the Central West Justice Center to better document the legal needs of local refugees as understood by workers in refugee-serving agencies. Dr. Haley connects learners with external partners to identify and answer the questions that will improve our institutional responses to community-identified needs.

Lee Hargraves, PhD, PhD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, focuses his research on using patient and consumer assessments of health care to improve quality of medical care. He has extensive experience developing and evaluating survey questions, specifically to create patient experience surveys to assess health care quality. Dr Hargraves’ research has contributed to national efforts to document racial and ethnic disparities in health care. His current interests focus on eliminating disparities and promoting equity in health care. With colleagues in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Dr. Hargraves has developed and tested curricula to teach community health workers to support patients living with chronic conditions. Collaborating with the UMass Center for Health Equity Intervention Research, he was co-principal investigator on a study funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to train and deploy community health workers to use motivational interviewing to support patients with hypertension in their efforts to control blood pressure. Dr. Hargraves is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Center for Survey Research at UMass Boston, where he works as a survey scientist on the Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Provider & Systems (CAHPS) project. 

Jay Himmelstein, MD, MPH, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, is the Chief Health Policy Strategist for ForHealth Consulting. His professional career in research, policy development, and service is dedicated to improving health care and health outcomes for those served by the public sector with a special emphasis on people with disabilities, leading him to be a nationally recognized physician, educator, and researcher. His most recent work has focused on an independent evaluation of the Massachusetts Medicaid Waiver with emphasis on delivery system improvements and addressing the social determinants of health.

Roger Luckmann, MD, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine and Community Health, is a primary care internist with advanced training and experience in health services research and in medical informatics. He has been involved in research on promoting cancer screening for more than 20 years. With support from NIH, CDC, and the Komen Foundation, he and his colleagues have focused on the development and evaluation of innovative, computer-assisted telephone counseling programs for promoting breast and colon cancer screening and for supporting informed decision-making on prostate cancer screening. Dr. Luckmann also has an active interest in chronic pain management in primary care and has developed a handheld electronic pain diary that he proposes to evaluate in future research efforts. Supported by a contract from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute he recently collaborated with professional mediators in convening multistakeholder panels that developed clinical practice guidelines on prostate and lung cancer screening for Massachusetts. He continues to collaborate with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Cancer Prevention and Control Network on supporting evidence-based lung and prostate cancer screening throughout the state.

Daniel Mullin, PsyD, MPH is Director of the Center for Integrated Primary Care and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He has conducted research focused on training healthcare providers in Motivational Interviewing. His work has also focused on the integration of primary care and behavioral health services, including the development of the Practice Integration Profile, a measure of the integration of behavioral health and primary care services. Dr. Mullin is a co-investigator on a large pragmatic trial funded by the Patient Centered Research Outcomes Institute entitled Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care for Comorbid Behavioral and Medical Problems (IBH-PC).

Ekaterina (Kate) Pivovarova, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, is a licensed clinical psychologist. Since 2015, Dr. Pivovarova has been on faculty at UMass Chan Medical School. Her primary research interest is improving access to addictions and mental health treatment for individuals with legal involvement. She has received the UMass Center for Clinical and Translation Science Mentored Career Award (KL2) to examine the impact of quality of life and psychosocial variables on treatment retention for individuals with substance use disorders in drug courts. In 2020, she was awarded the NIDA K23 Career Mentoring Award to pilot an implementation strategy to improve collaborations and communication between drug courts and community-based medications for opioid use disorder treatment providers. Dr. Pivovarova serves as the co-Investigator of the NIDA HEAL Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Initiative Network study examining the implementation of medications for opioid use disorder in jails across Massachusetts. Dr. Pivovarova’s other research interests include empirical investigations of bioethics and psychological assessment. Dr. Pivovarova serves as a co-leader of the UMass Chan K Award Writing Group, is a board member of the Academic Consortium for Criminal Justice Health, and is on the steering committee for the UMass Chan Psychology Group. Dr. Pivovarova is passionate about improving access to services for vulnerable and traditionally disadvantaged communities and educating students, academics, clinicians, and legal professionals about addiction and behavioral health needs and gold standard treatments.

Hugh Silk MD, MPH, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, focuses his research on oral health, specifically medical-dental integration in practice and health education. He is a co-founder of the Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health (CIPCOH), a collaborative partnership between the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Dr Silk’s research has contributed to chronicling and improving oral health education in primary care across the various disciplines including family medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, midwifery, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and more. With colleagues in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and CIPCOH, he currently is an investigator on a Carequest-funded project entitled 100 Million Mouths Campaign to train and evaluate 50 state oral health education champions. He is the past recipient of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry's Public Service Award.

Sonal Singh MD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health also has a joint appointment in the Department of Medicine, Division of Health Systems Science. He conducts clinical research with a focus on drug safety, evidence synthesis and shared decision making. Dr. Singh has taught at Wake Forest University and Johns Hopkins University and served as a consultant to the World Bank, the World Health Organization International Agency for Research Cancer, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, pharmaceutical sponsors, and research firms. His work has been featured in Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, British Medical Journal, and the Lancet in addition to media outlets such as the NYTIMES, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Dr. Singh is also a practicing general internist. With his colleagues in the Division of Health Systems Science, Dr Singh is collaborating on a large health plan based pragmatic trial of mailed educational intervention to promote deprescribing of potentially inappropriate medications among older adults with dementia. He is also co-investigator on a community-based clinical trial to promote vaccine COVID-19 uptake. He recently led a multisponsor academic industry research contract supported by the FDA, Reagan Udall Foundation for the FDA to develop novel tools to evaluate algorithm validation studies for regulatory surveillance. Further testing and validation of the tool is planned over the next academic year.