Personnel


Program Leadership

David Grande, MD, MPA

David Grande, MD, MPA
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Director of Policy, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
 dgrande@wharton.upenn.edu

Dr. Grande is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He received his MD at the Ohio State University and trained in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Grande’s work seeks to understand the role of medical professionalism in advancing societal public health goals. He also studies health care for vulnerable populations with an emphasis on identifying and overcoming barriers.


Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP

Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
 raina.merchant@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Dr. Merchant is a tenured Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, and Division of Health Policy.  She is the Penn Medicine Associate Vice President/Digital Health. She is a Co-Director of the National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of the Penn Center for Digital Health. Her research is at the intersection of digital media and health. She has specifically conducted projects evaluating health behaviors and communication using digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, Reddit, and Google.  One of her projects involves “banking language” through the development of a unique longitudinal database of social media data merged with health record data. Much of her work also bridges new technologies in the fields of cardiovascular health, mental health, cancer care, disaster medicine, public health, and resuscitation science. Dr. Merchant has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2011 and her work has been published in journals such as NEJM, JAMA, Circulation, and Health Affairs.   She is a member of the editorial board of JAMA. She is an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow and was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 10 young investigators likely to have a significant impact on the future of health and healthcare in the US. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Julie Sochalski, PhD, FAAN, RN

Dr. Julie Sochalski, PhD, FAAN, RN
Associate Professor of Nursing
 julieas@nursing.upenn.edu

Julie Sochalski, PhD, FAAN, RN is Co-Director of the NCSP at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sochalski is recognized as a national and international expert in health policy and the health care workforce. Her 3-year tenure at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010-2013) as Director of the Division of Nursing and Principal Advisor for Health Workforce Policy at the Health Resources and Services Administration involved directing interagency initiatives that promoted research and program innovations to build a right-sized, well-skilled, and effectively-deployed health care workforce. Prior to her recent federal position, Dr. Sochalski directed a series of national and international studies funded by NIH and other private and government foundations elucidating critical workforce factors influencing the quality of patient care and patient outcomes and innovative practice models that should be pursued to promote quality of care and population health. Her study featured in Health Affairs evaluated the outcomes of disease management interventions for heart failure patients by pooling data from 12 clinical trials conducted in four countries and explored payment policy options for the Medicare program to reimburse for these services. Her work has included examining the impact of innovative models of nursing care and nursing staffing on quality outcomes, and has demonstrated the cost-effective impact of nursing for diverse patient populations including high-risk high-cost chronically ill and terminally ill patients. In addition, she has investigated domestic and international trends in the health care workforce, workforce shortages, and migratory patterns of health workers and has collaborated internationally to develop policy recommendations for building an appropriately prepared and effectively deployed international health care workforce.



Associate Directors

Dr. David Asch, MD, MBA

Dr. David Asch, MD, MBA
Professor of Medicine; Executive Director, Center for Health Care Innovation
 asch@wharton.upenn.edu

David Asch is Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. He is the John Morgan Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Asch teaches health policy at the Wharton School and he practices internal medicine at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he created and from 2001 to 2012 directed the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion—the Department of Veterans Affairs’ national center to support vulnerable populations and reduce racial disparities. He created and from 2001 to 2014 directed the RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1993-1996 and from 2013-2017 he was a Director of the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  From 1998 to 2012 he was Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

Dr. Asch received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, his MD from Weill‐Cornell Medical College, and his MBA in Health Care Management and Decision Sciences from the Wharton School. He was a resident in Internal Medicine and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine.


Dr. Alison Buttenheim, PhD

Dr. Alison Buttenheim, PhD
Patricia Bleznak Silverstein Endowed Term Chair in Global Womens Health, Associate Professor of Nursing
 abutt@nursing.upenn.edu

Alison M. Buttenheim wants to understand how people make decisions about their health and focuses her research on the use of behavioral economics to increase the uptake of evidence-based care. Her work ranges from how households in Peru decide whether to apply insecticide to eliminate a disease-carrying insect vector to why parents in the United States request exemptions from child immunization laws.


Dr. Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH

Dr. Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Program VA Liason, Philadelphia VA Medical Center
 mschap@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH is a native of Montreal, Canada. Dr. Schapira grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is a graduate of Oberlin College. She attended the University of Michigan School of Medicine and Public Health where she obtained an MD and MPH in Health Planning and Administration. Following completion of an Internal Medicine Residency and General Internal Medicine Fellowship, she became a faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she established a research career in the area of risk communication and medical decision making. In 2011, Dr. Schapira joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in the Division of General Medicine and the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) at the Philadelphia VA. Dr. Schapira conducts research in the area of risk communication and medical decision making. She has developed and evaluated risk communication tools and decision-aids for use in a variety of clinical decisions including prostate cancer screening and treatment, postmenopausal hormone therapy, breast cancer screening, and prevention and treatment of osteoporotic fractures. Her current work involves the development of a measure of a new health numeracy using item response theory (IRT) scaling methods. Dr. Schapira is pursuing additional studies related to risk communication and medical decision making in the context of chronic disease management and cancer prevention, screening, and treatment decisions. Dr. Schapira is a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and is the President of the Society for Medical Decision Making (2010-2011).


Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani, MD, PhD

Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
 atheenv@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Atheendar Venkataramani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and a staff physician at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Venkataramani is a health economist who studies the life-course origins of health and socioeconomic inequality. His current research focuses on elucidating the effects of early life interventions on adult health and well-being; understanding the relationship between economic opportunities and health behaviors and outcomes; and examining the spillover health impacts of social policies. This work spans both domestic and international settings. Dr. Venkataramani completed his MD at Washington University, his PhD in Health Policy (Economics) and Yale University, and his BS in Biology and Economics at Duke University. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine - Global Primary Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital.


Dr. Joanne Wood, MD, MSHP

Dr. Joanne Wood, MD, MSHP
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine
 woodjo@email.chop.edu

Joanne N. Wood is a faculty member at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and an attending physician in the Division of General Pediatrics. She is also the Director of Research of Safe Place: Center for Child Protection and Health at CHOP, and since 2011, has served as the Associate Director of Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship at Safe Place. Since her medical training at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Wood has committed to improving the quality of care for children, especially abused and neglected children. Her current research focuses on improving occult injury screening practices for children suspected of being victims of physical abuse, along with understanding the use and utility of such practices in the evaluation of abusive injuries. Dr. Wood’s research in the field of child maltreatment extends beyond hospital-based care to the child welfare and behavioral health systems.She is involved in projects focused on implementing and evaluating behavioral health interventions for children involved in the child welfare system. Dr. Wood attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she earned her MD in 2002. She was an intern and resident in pediatrics at CHOP, where she subsequently served as chief resident. In 2006, she participated in the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship at CHOP. From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Wood was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Master in Health Policy Research (MSHP).



Program Staff

Kathlyn York, MSW

Kathlyn York, MSW
Graduate Group Coordinator
 Kathlyn.York@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-573-2740

Kathlyn (Kat) York, MSW,  is the Graduate Group Coordinator for the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) and the Masters of Science in Health Policy Research (MSHP) program. Before joining the MSHP team, she worked as Program Counselor at the Upward Bound Program at University of Pennsylvania and as a project associate for Next Stop: Democracy!. Kat holds a bachelor's degrees in History and  Studio Art from Grinnell College, and an M.S.W. from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice. 


Stacey Riley

Stacey Riley
Administrative Assistant
 stacey.riley@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-573-2703

Stacey Riley is the Administrative Assistant for the Masters of Science in Health Policy Research (MSHP) program, the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety (CHIPS) and the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP).  Before joining the NCSP team, Stacey worked as an Administrative Assistant and Affiliation Contracts Coordinator for the Jefferson College of Nursing at Thomas Jefferson University.


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