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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 joined the department in June of 2019. She previously served as faculty at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1992-2019, where she provided primary care in a community health center, precepted medical students and residents, and regularly served as inpatient attending. In 1996 she joined the Division of Research. In 2000 she completed a two-year Master’s Program in Clinical Research Methods and was chosen for the highly selective Robert Wood Johnson General Physicians’ Faculty Scholar Award. She was founding director of the New York City Research Improvement Networking Group (NYC RING), an urban Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN). NYC RING focuses on coordinating and facilitating a wide range of practice-based research and quality improvement with the goal of informing and improving practice for the urban underserved. She has been an investigator or principal investigator for studies addressing such topics as novel approaches to address obesity in primary care, Hepatitis C screening and treatment, non-pharmacologic approaches for chronic pain, improving access and quality of services for adolescents in primary care, and improving outcomes of chronic disease care. Dr. McKee has particular expertise in health services research, including mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, and stakeholder-engaged research methods. Her interests include: practice-based quality improvement and research; improving quality of primary care, especially for underserved populations; integrative medicine; and mentorship.

Robin Clark, PhD, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, is a core faculty member in the Clinical and Population Health Research doctoral training program. Robin specializes in the economic evaluation of health care interventions and policies and has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed articles in that area, primarily related to mental health and substance abuse. His work has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and by health and human services agencies in all of the New England states. Robin’s current work focuses on efforts to manage costs and improve the quality and effectiveness of care for individuals with chronic illness, with a particular focus on primary care for Medicaid beneficiaries and other underserved populations. His recent publications include analyses of how state laws impact evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction, criminal justice involvement by Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorders, and care management for high cost Medicaid “super utilizers”.

Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, is the Associate Director of Research for the department. In addition to completing her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, she also completed a three-year Clinical Research Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research and Faculty Development at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gardner was awarded an NIH K award focusing on Integrative Medicine, technology, and health disparities. Her research concentration is patient-oriented research regarding chronic pain and evidence-based integrative medicine access in low income patients. Current research is focused on the adaptive role of an Integrative Medicine Group Visit (IMGV) combining mindfulness-based stress reduction and a medical group visit to support health behavior change and reducing pain and stress. With PCORI funding, she is also the PI on a RCT of IMGV compared to a primary care visit for participants with chronic pain. Dr. Gardner is leading the implementation of this medical group visit model nationally and provides training on medical group visits around the United States. She has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers on chronic pain, technology, dietary supplements, pregnancy, preconception care, stress, and integrative medicine in underserved patients.

Judy Savageau, MPH, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with over 25 years of experience in a variety of investigations of community-based, public health issues. She divides her time between the Department and the medical school’s Public and Private Health Solutions within Commonwealth Medicine (conducting applied health policy research). Her particular interests include maternal and child heath as well as the identification of factors related to the utilization of health care and compliance with preventive health measures. The relationship between these outcomes and the development of programs to improve the quality of medical care are a focus for her research endeavors – especially as they relate to medical education and faculty development efforts. In addition to her research activities, she spends considerable time teaching at the medical school in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Scientific Writing, Preventive Medicine/Public Health, facilitating journal clubs, conducting methods-based research workshops, and as the Director of the Senior Scholars Program for 4th year medical students.

Lucy Candib, MD, Professor Emerita of Family Medicine and Community Health, graduated from the first class of the Worcester Family Practice Residency in 1976 and has been a faculty member practicing, teaching, and conducting research at the Family Health Center of Worcester for over 40 years. Within the context of long-term doctor-patient relationships, she put feminist principles to work in a multicultural setting and also focused attention on the concerns of women trainees and practitioners, and lectured widely on the topics of sexual abuse and violence against women. In 2001, she was the first department faculty member to adopt group visit methodology for working with people with diabetes, conducting diabetes group visits in English and Spanish until retiring from clinical care in June, 2016. For many years Dr. Candib offered pro bono medical evaluations for people seeking asylum in the US, and continues to offer and teach this skill to trainees and physicians who recognize this humanitarian need. She is an active member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, serves as STFM’s representative to the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) and is on the steering committee of the WONCA Working Party on Women and Family Medicine.

Suzanne Cashman, ScD, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and Director of Community Health, is trained as a health services researcher and evaluator. Her evaluation research experience has included assessing the WKKellogg Foundation supported community-oriented primary care national urban demonstration project, as well as a state-supported initiative to develop and evaluate interprofessional health care delivery teams in community health centers. Overall, Dr. Cashman’s work has focused on developing and monitoring implementation initiatives that use a community-engaged approach and that strive to use principles of community-based participatory research. She has provided evaluation assistance to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported Center for Excellence in Eliminating Disparities initiative and a Health Resources and Services Administration funded oral health case manager project. Currently, Dr. Cashman serves as evaluator for the Massachusetts statewide Area Health Education Center Network. A common thread in Dr. Cashman’s evaluation research work is her commitment to ensuring that programs aimed at providing health care services to low-income and vulnerable populations reach their goals.

Warren J. Ferguson, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Community Health in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, is a career community health center physician with an academic career centered on achieving health equity for vulnerable populations. Nearly 20 years ago, he took on the challenge to assist UMass Medical School to develop a comprehensive medical care program for detainees in the state’s prisons. Dr. Ferguson has sought to engage academic medicine in the field of criminal justice health recognizing that correctional health care requires unique competencies and overcame the significant obstacles involved in getting trainees access to prisons to develop clinical experiences for medical students and residents. As the founder of the Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health, Dr. Ferguson leads two projects in implementation science in four states to adopt evidence-based health practices in state prisons with both NIH and AHRQ funding. Additionally, he has studied interventions to improve chronic illness outcomes of populations which historically experience health inequities with interventions by community health workers to facilitate healthy behavior changes in communities funded by the National Institute of Minority and Health Disparities and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Jack Gettens, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health is a Research Scientist at the Center for Health Policy and Research. He conducts research on the employment and healthcare of persons with disabilities in addition to research on public health topics. He has expertise in both quasi-experimental and qualitative research methods. Dr. Gettens’ recent work includes a study examining the geographic variation in Social Security disability program participation across the United States and a mixed-method study of the employment-related health insurance needs of working-age persons with disabilities. Dr. Gettens’ public health research focuses on smoking behavior, quit attempts, and the use of tobacco cessation treatments among Massachusetts Medicaid members.

Heather-Lyn Haley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, is the project manager for community health initiatives within the department. Her professional and scholarly interests include population and community health, the use of medical-legal partnerships to address social determinants of health, and teaching about racism, power, and privilege in clinical and medical education settings. She has recently completed research conducted in partnership with Community Legal Aid of Central MA and the Central West Justice Center, using community-based participatory research methods and mixed methods to better understand the legal needs of refugees. Additionally, Dr. Haley was principal investigator on a grant from the March of Dimes working with the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative to develop deeper relationships for working together with local Latina populations to reduce infant mortality. She is currently conducting research with department colleagues exploring patient racism as a barrier to care.

Lee Hargraves, 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 using survey methods to assess health care quality from patients’ perspectives. Dr Hargraves’ research has contributed to national efforts to document racial and ethnic disparities in health care. His current interests focus on eliminating disparities in health care to improve health care quality. 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. In 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 with 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 Quantitative Health Sciences, is the Chief Health Policy Strategist for Commonwealth Medicine. 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, 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).

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 Medical School and Harvard's School of Medicine and 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 five-year HRSA Cooperative Agreement which includes work on developing an assessment tool for evaluating the oral health curricula of health schools and residencies. 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 at the Meyers Primary Care Institute. 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.

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