Join Us button Facebook button

CHEIR Investigators

Jeroan J Allison, MD, MS
CHEIR Principal Investigator
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Dr. Allison is Professor and Vice Chair of the newly established Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he also serves as Associate Vice Provost for Health Disparities Research. Dr. Allison's research focuses on quality measurement, implementation science, and statistical methodology, with an emphasis on eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in medical care and health outcomes. Dr. Allison has a ten-year history of sustained funding from several extra-mural sources, including the NIH, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Along with Dr. Catarina Kiefe, Dr. Allison is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Medical Care, sponsored by American Public Health Association. Dr. Allison has more than 120 peer-reviewed publications in print or press. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and received a Masters' degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Milagros Rosal, Ph.D.
CHEIR Co-Principal Investigator
Professor Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Dr. Rosal is a clinical research psychologist and Professor in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, and a faculty member in the Ph.D. Program in Clinical and Population Health Research, UMMS. She is co-PI of the NIMHD-funded Center for Health Equity Intervention Research (CHEIR), and Associate Director of the CDC-funded Worcester County Prevention Research Center (PRC). The primary goals of Dr. Rosal's research are to improve scientific knowledge of root causes of health disparities and to develop effective interventions to eliminate them. Dr. Rosal is experienced in randomized clinical trials, observational studies, qualitative methods and community-based participatory research. Her content expertise is in the areas of prevention and management of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease; gestational weight gain and post-partum weight loss; patient adherence to cancer screening recommendations; and influence of psychosocial factors on health behavior change. Dr. Rosal is particularly interested in cultural responsive and literacy sensitive interventions tailored to Latino and African American/Black groups. In reaching these groups, she has collaborated with multiple community organizations including community health centers, senior centers, the YMCA and the Women, Infant and Children's program (WIC) among others. Consistent with her research interests, Dr. Rosal's teaching and service activities focus on facilitating the professional development of students and faculty from underrepresented groups as well as students and faculty interested in health disparities research. Dr. Rosal is a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and an active member of the American Heart Association Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism (NPAM) and Epidemiology and Prevention (EPI) Council.


Suzanne B Cashman, ScD
Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Director of Community Health in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Suzanne B Cashman, ScD, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and Director of Community Health in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, is trained as a health services researcher and evaluator. Dr. Cashman has spent the thirty-five years of her professional career teaching graduate public and community health courses and developing curriculum for medical and public health students and residents, conducting community-based evaluation research, and developing partnerships aimed at helping communities improve their health status. With secondary appointments in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences and in the Graduate School of Nursing, Dr. Cashman is also faculty for the University's Preventive Medicine Residency. When Dr. Cashman joined the UMMS faculty in 1999, she co-led a state supported initiative to develop and evaluate interprofessional health care delivery teams in community health centers. Recently, she has been applying knowledge gained from her years of experience functioning as a bridge between the community and the academy to the development and evaluation of community-responsive health improvement initiatives. A common thread running through these initiatives is developing and using partnership principles as the basis for carrying out a community-based participatory research approach to research.

Phillip Granberry, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy
UMASS Boston
Phillip Granberry is a social demographer who specializes in unauthorized migration to the United States. He teaches Introduction to Microeconomics and Macroeconomics; Economics of the Metropolitan Area; The Political Economy of International Migration; and Labor Market Economics. His research addresses the demographic trends of Latinos in New England and the formation and use of social capital among migrant populations in the Untied States. His forthcoming article in International Migration examines the utility of social capital as a mechanism for increasing the wages of Mexican migrants. His current research continues to focus on the formation of social capital among Brazilian and Dominican migrants in the metropolitan Boston area, as well as the tax compliance of migrants in the United States. In addition to teaching in the Economics Department, he is a research associate for the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy.

J. Lee Hargraves, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow, Center for Survey Research, Boston
Research Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
UMASS Boston and UMASS Medical School
Lee Hargraves is a nationally-recognized leader on the development and use of 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. He is currently focusing on the treatment of disparities in health care as an opportunity for improving health care quality. Dr. Hargraves served for five years as Senior Health Researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a Senior Survey Scientist at the Picker Institute in Boston.

Laura L. Hayman, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA
Professor, Department of Nursing Associate Dean for Research and Associate Vice Provost for Research
UMASS Boston
Dr. Hayman's program of research and scholarship focuses on primary prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children, adolescents and families. Her research, in collaboration with colleagues from several disciplines, has included clinical, school, and population-based studies of bio-behavioral risk factors for CVD. Dr. Hayman's recent work combines both individual/clinical and community-based approaches to identifying children at risk for obesity and cardio-metabolic conditions and theory-based interventions designed to increase physical activity and promote healthy lifestyle behaviors. Dr. Hayman has served on numerous national and international interdisciplinary advisory and expert panels relevant to primary prevention of obesity and CVD in childhood and adolescence. She has also served in leadership roles in the American Heart Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. Hayman's passion for promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors in children and youth and overcoming the obesity crisis has prompted interdisciplinary collaborative research and community outreach projects focused primarily on the minority and underserved population in the Dorchester area and Boston Public Schools.

Stephenie C Lemon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Dr. Lemon is an epidemiologist whose program of research focuses on public health approaches to understanding and reducing the obesity epidemic. Current funders of her work include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. Previous funders include the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and the American Cancer Institute. Dr. Lemon is the Director of the Worcester County Prevention Research Center, which establishes local capacity to conduct community engaged research addressing obesity and associated chronic conditions. She is also co-Director of Community Engagement for the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Lemon is an active member of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Coalition Advisory Committee and its Survivorship Working Group and the Common Pathways Coalition. She is a core faculty member in the Ph.D. Program in Clinical and Population Health Research. Dr. Lemon serves as first year student advisor, director the Student Research Seminar and director of the Proposal Development Seminar in this program.

Sharina D. Person, Ph.D
Associate Professor, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Sharina Person, PhD. is an Associate Professor of Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). She is also currently a senior faculty member in the Quantitative Methods Core which provides consultative services to UMMS investigators in the areas of study design, sample size, power calculations, statistical analysis plans, statistical programming, data entry and management, and project coordination. Prior to joining the faculty of UMMS she was Associate Professor of Medicine, Biostatistics, and Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for twelve years. Dr. Person has extensive experience and expertise in coordinating center operations and methods as well as in quality assurance, study design and methodology and the application of various statistical modeling techniques particularly in large-scale collaborative research studies. Her current research interests include statistical methodologies to understand the underlying mechanisms of health disparities.

Deborah L. Plummer, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion

Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Quantitative Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Deborah is a nationally recognized psychologist and diversity solutions thought leader. She serves as Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Quantitative Health Sciences and the Graduate School of Nursing. As UMMS's Chief Human Resource Officer, she is responsible for establishing the vision, providing leadership, strategic direction, and execution of the people strategy. As UMMS's Chief Diversity Officer, Deborah shapes and leads the Medical School's embrace of diversity as fundamental to institutional excellence. As consultant and founder of D.L. Plummer & Associates, a firm specializing in diversity management and organizational development, Deborah consulted for over seventy international and national corporations including Fortune 500 companies, community mental health agencies, public and private school systems, and faith-based institutions. She has held past roles as a hospital system chief diversity officer, university psychology professor, founding director of a graduate degree program in diversity management, and a staff psychologist.

As a licensed psychologist, she maintained a private practice for twenty years treating individuals, couples and families while serving a term, by appointment of the Governor, on the State of Ohio Board of Psychology.
Deborah is the editor of the Handbook of Diversity Management (University Press of America) and author of Racing Across the Lines: Changing Race Relations through Friendships (Pilgrim Press) which received the Mayflower Award for best publication in the category of Church and Society. In addition, she has authored several book chapters and published numerous journal articles to the professional community on racial identity development and managing diverse work environments. She is the lead author in the design and development of the Diversity Engagement Survey (DES), a tool for measuring diversity in academic medicine. In her leisure time, Deborah is an avid blogger and contributing writer for the Huffington Post, an American news website, content aggregator and blog.

Barry G Saver MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester

Dr. Saver joined the department after serving 15 years as faculty at the University of Washington. After college, he carried out enzyme kinetics experiments for 3 years before abandoning research to go to medical school and become a family doctor. After residency, he worked in community settings for 3 years in the Bay Area. Frustration with difficulty obtaining services for his indigent patients led him to get an MPH in Seattle and, eventually, he ended up back in research along with practicing in public sector settings and teaching.

Dr. Saver has a wide range of research interests, including traditional health services research on issues of access, cost, and quality for disadvantaged populations, and cost-effective interventions for improving care for common conditions encountered in primary care. He has conducted research in a variety of areas including access to care and health insurance, racial and ethnic disparities in health care, effects of financial incentives on health care costs, quality, and utilization, use of preventive services, tobacco cessation, childhood asthma, and prescription drug benefits, costs, and utilization. Currently, he is particularly interested in developing and testing interventions that empower patients to take a more active role in managing their health conditions.

María Idalí Torres, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Director, Gaston Institute for UMASS Boston
Dr. María Idalí Torres is an Associate Professor of Public Health. She is an applied anthropologist with a specialty in community health education, community participatory action research and qualitative methodologies. Her education includes a BA in Health Education from the University of Puerto Rico, a MS in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. She joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts in 1992, with 17 years of experience in planning, implementing and evaluating health programs in schools and community settings. Her most recent research is focused on sexual health promotion work and has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her scholarship promotes community capacity, combines trans-disciplinary orientations and uses participatory research methodologies and partnerships with community residents and organizations. Professor Torres has served as consultant on health projects involving women and children at the local, state and national and is an active member of the Society for Applied Anthropology and the American Public Health Association.
Research interests include sexual health education, cultural explanatory models of health, participatory health education and intervention research in Puerto Rican communities, community organizing and health development, and Latina women's health.

Carole Upshur, EdD
Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Carole Upshur, EdD, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, joined the department in 2001 with over 30 years of experience as an evaluation and policy researcher in the areas of education, mental health, disability, and health care. Her most recent work has examined health care quality and access issues in minority Medicaid consumers in Massachusetts. She is currently PI of a study of patient and provider views about the treatment of chronic pain funded by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and Co-PI for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Depression in Primary Care Project. She has extensive teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate level and has mentored over two dozen health services research dissertations.
Copyright © 2011 - 2023 The UMass Center for Health Equity Intervention Research (CHEIR). All rights reserved.