Meet Our Team | Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Meet Our Team

Research and Administrative Expertise

Unique services from a multifaceted team

CHPR's staff offers faculty a wide range of knowledge and experience in various research methods, policy analyses and research administration, including grant development and financial management. Faculty with diverse research needs utilize in-house support from our experienced researchers with expertise in public health, sociology, psychology, statistics, biostatistics, economics, communications and other fields.

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CHPR project managers manage a variety of projects, including multi-site, randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and qualitative investigations, that involve complex data analyses. Project managers work with researchers at UC Davis and other institutions to optimize project resources, supervise research staff, develop study recruitment and enrollment protocols, manage IRB submissions and modifications, and prepare research manuscripts and reports.

CHPR’s health policy analysts conduct systematic and rapid evidence reviews. These analysts also staff the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP) projects, providing rapid (within 60 days) medical effectiveness and public health impact analyses of proposed health insurance legislation for the California State Legislature. Health policy staff members also give annual guest lectures on health policy topics to first- and second-year medical students and for the MIND Institute, and also train UC colleagues in conducting systematic reviews.

Research assistants support PI and project team members with developing surveys; conducting online, in-person and telephone surveys; entering and analyzing data; conducting secondary research and drafting reports or manuscripts. Other areas of experience among our staff include: 

  • training and managing simulated patients
  • recruiting and enrolling diverse patient populations
  • engaging research subjects in a variety of interventions

Led by CHPR researcher Daniel Tancredi, CHPR statisticians and data analysts assist researchers in developing effective study designs and analytic plans for clinical research studies including cluster-randomized trials, longitudinal studies, and surveys that use complex, probability sampling techniques. They conduct complex analyses of large datasets including national, state, and insurance datasets. They have experience with a wide variety of biostatistical, psychometric, and econometric applications, including instrument development and validation and the specification and interpretation of regression models for multilevel, time-series, and panel data.

CHPR’s prevention and community-based researchers advance health and well-being at both the individual and population levels by conducting applied research in prevention and population health. Many of these staff are based in the Prevention Policy & Practice Group (3PG), one of the programs within CHPR, but are also represented by other faculty affiliates and personnel. Such researchers focus on improving social determinants including: healthy eating, active living, stress management, and tobacco cessation in a whole health context.

CHPR’s qualitative research team members, trained and led by Melissa Gosdin, Ph.D., work with principal investigators within the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and on the main UC Davis campus, investigating a wide variety of topics. Specific studies focusing on doctor/patient interactions, opioid tapering, barriers and facilitators to improving healthcare delivery, social isolation and its relationship to chronic pain, life context in primary care, sexual assault and HIV prevention, smoking cessation, collaborative depression care, and impacts of COVID-19 on frontline physicians are examples of current and recent research conducted by our qualitative team.

CHPR has staff expertise in ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS coding and has provided support for the AHRQ Quality Indicators conversion project and for development/implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) morbidity surveillance measures for ICD-10-CM/PCS. Staff have also reviewed indicator specifications to support proposed ICD-10 maps as participants on expert panels.

CHPR administrative staff assist faculty researchers with a variety of research-related tasks, including:

  • identifying appropriately skilled, available CHPR staff for research projects
  • maintaining compliance for grant and human subject reviews
  • managing project budgets
  • identifying funding opportunities
  • assisting with grant development

UC Davis students also work on CHPR research projects. Our undergraduate student research assistant program provides inspiration for students to enter careers in healthcare and health services research.

Our team
  • Desiree Backman, Dr.P.H., M.S., R.D.

    Chief
    Prevention Policy & Practice Group 

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  • Bethney Bonilla, M.A.

    Clinical Research Analyst

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  • Tasleem Chechi, M.P.H.

    Project Policy Analyst
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  • Camille Cipri, B.S.

    Clinical Research Analyst

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  • Bill Daehler, M.A.

    Digital Communications Specialist

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  • Crystie Dao, M.S.

    Communications Specialist
    Prevention Policy & Practice Group 

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  • Xinran Dhaliwal, M.P.H.

    Quality Improvement Specialist
    Prevention Policy & Practice Group 

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  • Shao-You Fang, Ph.D., M.S.

    Data Systems Analyst

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  • Margaret Fix, M.P.H.

    Clinical Research Analyst

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  • Julia Fleuret, M.P.H.

    Clinical Epidemiologist
    Prevention Policy & Practice Group 

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  • Melissa Gosdin, Ph.D.

    Qualitative Research Analyst (Supervisor)

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  • Shannon Haggitt, B.A., M.S.W.

    Plan and Partner Manager
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  • Rebecca Hsieh, B.S.

    Communication and Education Coordinator
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  • Julia Huerta, B.S.N., R.N., M.P.H.

    Clinical Research Analyst

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  • John Kennedy, C.D.I.P., C.C.S.

    ICD Clinical Coding Expert

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  • Neal Kohatsu, M.D., M.P.H., FACM

    Chief Health Strategist
    Prevention Policy & Practice Group

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  • Beatrice Le, B.S.

    Research Administrator

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  • Carrie Lewis, M.P.H.

    Principal Statistician

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  • Sabrina Loureiro, B.S.

    Project Policy Analyst

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  • Belinda Martineau, Ph.D.

    Writer/Editor

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  • Camlyn McCracken, B.S.

    Community Liaison
    Prevention Policy & Practice Group 

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  • Marykate Miller, B.S., M.S.

    Health Policy Analyst

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  • Katrine Padilla, M.P.P.

    Project Policy Analyst

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  • Dominique Ritley, M.P.H.

    Senior Health Policy Researcher (Supervisor) 

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  • Moreen Sharma, B.S.

    Project Policy Analyst
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  • Irina Tokareva, R.N., B.S.N., M.A.S., CPHQ

    Quality Measurement Clinician Researcher

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  • Kirstin Truitt, B.S.

    Administrative Officer II

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  • Cindy Valencia, M.P.H., Ph.D.

    Operations Director
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  • Michael Webster, B.S.

    Chief Administrative Officer

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  • Gary Weinberg

    Survey Researcher

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  • Meghan Weyrich, M.P.H.

    Health Policy Analyst (Supervisor)

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  • Liane Winter, B.S.

    Quality Improvement Specialist
    Prevention Policy & Practice Group 

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  • Guibo Xing, Ph.D.

    Principal Statistician

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  • Yi Zhang, Ph.D., M.S.

    Postdoctoral Scholar

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