Community Health Researchers – Kansas City

Learn more about our Community Health Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).

Teachers: Connect with the team for curriculum support

Students: Seek help from health professionals on research projects

Community: Understand how their research impacts the community.

If you would like to connect with one of our Community Health Researchers, please contact us at info@tscoreks.org.

T-SCORE Researchers

KUMC – Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health

Ed Ellerbeck

Ed Ellerbeck

Chair, Preventive Medicine & Public Health

Profile

Dr. Ellerbeck’s research focuses on improving primary care delivery and delivery of preventive services with a particular focus on tobacco control, cancer screening, diabetes management, and cardiovascular health. Hi teaching addresses the intersection of public health and clinical practice.

Research Topics: Redesign of clinical practice to improve delivery of preventive health services and management of chronic illness.

Megha Ramaswamy

Megha Ramaswamy

Associate Professor

Profile

Dr. Ramaswamy’s research has focused on how the intersection of urban living, race, class, and gender structure health and social risk for women and men involved in the criminal justice system. Current research addresses the social context for sexual and reproductive health risk among women leaving jail. Additionally, she teachers in the Master of Public Health program, taking an integrative and experiential approach. Her courses seek to round the students in sociological theory that helps explain social determinants of health, such as theory on intersectionality, inequality, and resistance.

Kimber Richter

Kimber Richter

Director of UKanQuit

Profile

Kim Richter, PhD, MPH, focuses her research on identifying the best ways to link tobacco users with treatment. She currently conducts treatment, research, and training in hospital settings, drug treatment facilities, and primary care. Dr. Richter’s teaching interests include grantwriting skills, quality improvement, and evidence based medicine.

Research Topics: Hospital based tobacco treatment; Tobacco treatment for people in drug treatment.

Won Choi

Won Choi

Professor

Profile

Won Choi, PhD, MPH, is the Executive Director of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  His teaching interests include epidemiology, tobacco control and public health, survey research, and behavioral clinical trial research. Dr. Choi’s research aims to reduce health disparities related to tobacco control. This research focuses on smoking cessation and prevention among underserved populations. Examples of this research include the following grants:

R01 CA141618: Culturally tailored Smoking Cessation for American Indians
R01 CA174481: Web-based Smoking Cessation Program for Tribal College Students

Romina Barral

Romina Barral

Doctor of Adolescent Medicine and Pediatrics

Profile

Dr. Barral is a practicing Pediatrician at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. Dr. Barral is currently funded by CMH to lead a mixed methods project “Developing a Strategy to Reduce Unplanned Pregnancy Disparities in Latino Youth” conducted in the rural areas of southwest Kansas. Her research focuses on the reproductive health in the adolescent population, including the uptake of HPV immunization in Kansas and the use of contraception among Latino teens. She is completing a Master of Science in Clinical Research at KUMC. She is fluent in Spanish and English.

Paula Cupertino

Paula Cupertino

Director of Juntos

KUMC Profile   Juntos Profile

Dr. Cupertino’s goal has been to initiate a new line of health disparities research in the Latino community in Kansas tied to binational initiatives in Mexico and Brazil. As a social behavioral scientist, my tobacco control research has focused on smoking cessation and access to cessation treatments among underserved and understudied populations with a primary focus on Latinos. She also has experience in the development and implementation of research projects incorporating cultural factors and principles of community-based participatory research.

KUMC – Family Medicine Research

K. Allen Greiner

K. Allen Greiner

Professor, Vice Chair of Research

Profile

K. Allen Greiner, MD, MPH, directs the Department of Family Medicine’s Research Division and teaches in the M.P.H and M.S. in Clinical Research Programs in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. He has also directed the community engagement program (the Community Partnership for Health) for the past seven years in Frontiers, the KUMC Clinical Translational Science Award Program. Through this program he leads efforts to expand community-based research and to assure a strong infrastructure and community input into KUMC’s bioscience activities. Dr. Greiner is well versed in community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods and has worked to merge health services and access to care enhancements into his various research programs. He has received federal and foundation grant support to study health information technology, health disparities, chronic disease management, health literacy, and patient health risk behavior in rural and underserved community settings. Dr. Greiner’s future plans include policy work and pursuit of funding for multilevel research in cancer control and prevention, health behaviors, and the social determinants of health for underserved populations.

Crystal Lumpkins

Crystal Lumpkins

Assistant Professor

Profile

Crystal Y. Lumpkins, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. Dr. Lumpkins has advised several undergraduate students and has also dedicated her time to mentoring minority students from multiple disciplines including sociology, psychology and journalism. Currently, Dr. Lumpkins’s research focuses on cancer communication, specifically breast and colorectal cancer risk and prevention communication targeted to minority and underserved populations. She also studies the impact of religion and spirituality on health behavior outcome by evaluating the efficacy of faith-based health promotion. Dr. Lumpkins addresses health disparities by using community based participatory research approaches to engage Kansas and Missouri communities in the research process.

Research Topics: Public Health Communication; Faith Based Research; Community Based Participatory Research

Jana Zaudke

Jana Zaudke

Physcian, Assistant Professor

Profile

Jana Zaudke MD, MA is a family physician and medical educator at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Currently, she sees patients with interprofessional teams of students at the point of care in the Interprofessional Teaching Clinic. Her aim is to expose School of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Health Professions students to collaboration before graduation. In addition to her work in the outpatient context, she has also been actively involved in supporting interprofessional activities in the hospital as the Medical Director of the Family Medicine Inpatient Service. Family Medicine residents and physicians now ‘huddle’ daily with Case Management, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy and Law to discuss patient care and discharge planning. She intends to continue to develop innovative IPE-related activities in the outpatient and inpatient settings, all the while developing a workforce well-equipped to change healthcare delivery.

Joseph LeMaster

Joseph LeMaster

Physician, Associate Professor

Profile

Dr. LeMaster, MD, MPH, is a practicing family physician in the Department of Family Medicine, and is one of two primary faculty advisors to the Jaydoc Free Clinic, a medical student run clinic for the uninsured in Kansas City. Dr. LeMaster’s research focuses on epidemiology, refugee health and minority populations.

Mark Meyer

Mark Meyer

Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Professor

Profile

Dr. Meyer has been recognized for his teaching, service, mentoring and leadership. In 2009, Dr. Meyer received the Rainbow Award, an honor that students bestow on a faculty member and mentor who they feel best exemplifies excellence in medicine. Dr. Meyer’s service activities include serving as a volunteer physician at JayDoc Clinic and as a member of a number of board of directors, all of which are service related.

KUMC – Other Departments

Heather Gibbs

Heather Gibbs

Registered Dietitian, Assistant Professor

Profile

Gibbs’ research interest focuses upon nutrition education, with particular interest in nutrition literacy, or the capacity with which individuals can use nutrition information to make healthy dietary choices. Visit the Nutrition Education and Literacy Laboratory for more information on her current research endeavors.

Susan Carlson

Susan Carlson

AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition

Profile

Dietetics and Nutrition
Her major research interest was on the effects of fatty acids that compose a large percent of brain membranes and found in human milk but not in vegetable oils typically used in the production of U.S. infant formulas.

Jerrihlyn McGee

Jerrihlyn McGee

Program Director, Leadership Program; Clinical Assistant Professor

Profile

Dr. McGee, DNP, RN been a KU School of Nursing faculty since 2011. Her research interests include leadership, healthy work environment, diversity and inclusion, health equity, educational equity, cultural proficiency and professional development.

Doug Wright

Doug Wright

Director of Graduate Studies, Professor, K-INBRE

Profile

Research in his laboratory is focused on the biology of sensory neuron development and recovery from disease. Sensory neurons are powerfully regulated during development by endogenous neurotrophic factors. However, these neurotrophic factors may also have great potential to regulate neurons in adulthood and thus serve as potential therapeutic agents. The long-term objective is to characterize the cellular and molecular actions of neurotrophins on sensory neurons in order to understand how neurotrophins may improve sensory impairments. The research involves two different populations of neurons: large myelinated proprioceptive neurons and small unmyelinated nociceptive neurons.

John Stanford

John Stanford

Associate Professor, K-INBRE

Profile

His research is focused on diseases and conditions that affect motor function, such as Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), neonatal jaundice, and aging. His approach is best described as a systems neuroscience approach using operant behavioral methods in rodent models. He also has a longstanding interest in determining mechanisms that underlie, and potential treatments to ameliorate, age-related orolingual motor deficits. Recent efforts in my lab have focused on the effects of isometric strength training on disease progression in the SOD1-G93A rat model of ALS. He has also become involved in new research into determining the short- and long-term neurological effects of hyperbilirubinemia in rodent models of neonatal jaundice. Finally, he remain interested in the effects of a high fat diet on neural function in order to understand the co-morbidity between obesity and neurodegenerative diseases.

Vickie Collie-Akers

Vickie Collie-Akers

Associate Director of Health Promotion Research

Profile

Dr. Collie-Akers is the principal investigator on the CDC-funded REACH project supporting policy, systems, and environmental changes in Kansas City, Kansas, through the Latino Health for All Coalition. In addition, she has been a lead researcher for community measurement in the National Healthy Communities Study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute since 2010. Dr. Collie-Akers played a lead role in the community measurement team of the long-term study that explored the association between community programs and policies and prevalence of childhood obesity in 130 communities. In addition, she directs several evaluation projects that support partners such as CityMatCH, who are working to promote health and health equity through their community and public health initiatives.

Ellen Averett

Ellen Averett

MHSA Program Director, Associate Professor

Profile

Dr. Averett’s consulting and research interests include health communications, public health education and disease prevention, health-related behavior change, health system ethics, the impact of hospital ethics committees, training long-term care workers in communication and leadership skills, quality improvement methods in health care organizations and public health systems, and evaluation and survey research.

Eric Vidoni

Eric Vidoni

Physical Therapist, Research Assistant Professor

Profile

Eric’s research focus is using brain imaging and other techniques to quantify change in brain health and ability to be independent as we age or develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Eric’s interest in movement and how we interact with our environment began with his undergraduate coursework, culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2001. After a year of working as a research coordinator studying visual attention at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois, he resumed his formal education at KUMC in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. There, Eric entered a joint PT/Ph.D. program to receive both clinical and research training in physical rehabilitation with a particular emphasis on brain function.

Louann Rinner

Louann Rinner

Occupational Therapist, Training Coordinator, LEND

Profile

Rinner directs the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) interdisciplinary training program, provides supervision for occupational therapy student training at the CCHD and contributes to pediatric and family services including clinical transdisciplinary evaluations and consultations. Rinner also provides technical assistance to Kansas early intervention network teams and teaches graduate students as a clinical instructor in the Occupational Therapy Education Department.

Funding Support

This project was supported by the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) under Award Number R25OD020214.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

For more information, go to the SEPA T-SCORE Project Page