University of Pennsylvania


2007-2009 Scholars

  • Evan Fieldston, MD (Pediatrics) obtained his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where he was in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy & International Affairs and focused on health policy and economics. He attended the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School, where he obtained his MD and MBA in 2003. Evan was a resident in pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and served as chief resident there. He is currently an attending physician in the Division of General Pediatrics at CHOP. He has been active in policy and advocacy work related to children for many years, with efforts at the local, regional, and national levels. His current research considers behavioral economics, particularly in regard to incentives directed to parents for their adherence to home management guidelines in childhood asthma, as well as operations research, evidence-based management, and process improvement work related to hospital patient flow.
  • Robert Karch, MD (Pediatrics) is originally from Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Biology from the University of Delaware and his Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree from the Columbia University School of Public Health. He received his medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2000. He completed his Pediatric internship and residency training at the Miami Children’s Hospital, where he also served as Chief Pediatric Resident. Dr. Karch practiced General Pediatrics for two years in rural Northern Arizona as a National Health Service Corp (NHSC) scholar. The NHSC is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with a mission to eliminate physician shortage areas by placing primary care providers in medically-underserved communities within the United States and its territories. Dr. Karch practiced at the Canyonlands Community Health Care center, which is a community health center based in Page, Arizona. Canyonlands has four additional satellite clinics, providing basic health care services to rural populations in Northern Arizona, including the Navajo Nation. Dr. Karch headed the Steering Committee to Fluoridate the Page, Arizona Community Water Supply. Dr. Karch’s interest in Clinical Nutrition and the medical morbidities associated with childhood obesity grew from his clinical interactions with pediatric patients and their families in Arizona. After completing his NHSC service in 2006, Dr. Karch began his Pediatric Clinical Nutrition fellowship at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Karch hopes to concentrate his efforts within the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program in pediatric weight management and nutrition policy. He will participate in the 2007 Dannon Nutrition Leadership Institute. In the past, he has participated in the Health Research Training Program of the New York City Department of Health and has served as an assistant to the Administrator in the Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He was the class commencement speaker at the Columbia University School of Public Health. Dr. Karch has a strong interest in International Health and has participated in medical missions to both Ecuador and El Salvador. Dr. Karch is a board-certified Pediatrician with the American Board of Pediatrics and is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). He has served on the AAP Committee on Native American Child Health. He is a member of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), and is also the physician-at-large for the greater Philadelphia chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (P.A.S.P.E.N.). Dr. Karch enjoys long-distance running and recently completed the Nevada Full Iron-Distance Triathlon. He expects to compete in several upcoming events as well.
  • Sean Lucan, MD (Family Medicine) completed an MD/MPH dual-degree program at Yale University before entering his Family Medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Sean became a Pisacano Scholar in 2003, and received the AAFP/BMS Award for Excellence in 2006 -- both prestigious national honors recognizing leaders in Family Medicine. Although he has published papers on smoking cessation, he is more broadly interested in lifestyle behaviors and how they contribute to chronic diseases. Sean is currently looking at how individual- and environmental-level variables influence food choice, and the enablers and barriers to healthy eating in urban, low-income, African Americans. A second research interest is how Family Medicine engages with the NIH to meet national research objectives in a translational era.
  • Raina Merchant, MD (Emergency Medicine) received her MD from the University of Chicago and completed her residency at the University of Chicago. Her research is focused on preventing potentially avoidable deaths from cardiac arrest. Using geographic information software, she would like to identify communities at risk for cardiac arrest and determine unique strategies for improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and automated external defibrillator AED availability. In the in-patient setting, she is interested in using large administrative data sets to identify disparities in post-resuscitation care.
  • Matthew O’Brien, MD (Internal Medicine) is a general internist who completed medical school at Brown University in 2004 and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. During medical school, Dr. O’Brien was student director of a free clinic that served recent Dominican immigrants in Providence, RI. He also spent a year during medical school working in Chile and Guatemala providing public health education in rural villages. During residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. O’Brien and his faculty mentor started a clinic (named Puentes de Salud) that provides primary care services to a rapidly growing Latino immigrant community in Philadelphia. Dr. O’Brien is currently the Director of Community Research at Puentes de Salud and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include alternative models of care delivery to redress disparities in access and outcomes among Latino immigrants. Dr. O’Brien is currently the PI on a study using community health workers to improve Pap smear screening and promote early detection of cervical cancer.
  • Joanne Wood, MD (Pediatrics)received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She spent a year as Chief Resident and is currently completing a one year fellowship in Child Abuse and Neglect at CHOP. During medical school and residency she completed and published a research study comparing the presentation of young children with inflicted and accidental abdominal trauma. Dr. Wood’s research is currently focused on the evaluation of physical injuries in victims of child abuse.
  • Pierre Lawrence Yong, MD (Internal Medicine) is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research focuses on improving quality of care. In the past, Pierre has put his public health background to work by designing curricula for patient and provider audiences and providing targeted training on the changes and transition to Medicare Part D. He has also worked at the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control's Education and Training Unit at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. His projects there included designing public education materials regarding identifying and controlling TB in the community, as well as conducting practitioner trainings throughout the city. More recently, he worked with a group of Clinical Scholars and community leaders in West and Southwest Philadelphia to assess and propose methods of addressing the individual and community level stress resulting from gun violence. Pierre is also currently working the Community Grantmaking Committee of the Bread and Roses Community Fund, which is dedicated to funding projects supporting social change.


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