2013-2014 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows
- Amir Afkhami, MD, PhD
- Karen Armitage
- Nadine Braunstein, PhD, RD
- Wendi Gosliner, DrPH, RD
- Shannon Hader, MD, MPH
- Ronald Kline, MD
- Maria-Rosa Watson, DDS, MS, DrPH
Amir Afkhami, MD, PhD Amir A. Afkhami is an assistant professor with joint appointments in psychiatry and global health at The George Washington University School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Health Services. He is also a lecturer at the Naval Post Graduate School’s Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace Program and the Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA). Afkhami is also a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. His work focuses on the intersection of diplomacy and international development particularly on the role of psychiatric education and the mental health consequences of conflict.
Afkhami planned and led the implementation of the State Department funded Iraq Mental Health Initiative to rebuild Iraq’s mental health delivery capabilities. He also authored a psychosocial treatment manual as part of USAID’s Afghanistan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP-II).
Afkhami received his MD from The George Washington University, his PhD from Yale University, his MA in the history of medicine and science from Yale, along with two other Yale master’s degrees in history and philosophy. He holds an interdisciplinary Echols Scholar BA with concentrations in biochemistry and history from the University of Virginia. Following his internship in internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, Afkhami went on to perform his residency in psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Department of Psychiatry.Assignment:
Senator Deborah Stabenow (D-MI)
Karen Armitage Karen Armitage is a pediatrician and public health physician. As an associate clinical professor at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, she directs “Vision 2020,” a statewide health improvement initiative. Armitage is founding and co-attending physician for a required rotation engaging family medicine residents in the state legislative process and training residents in essential public health roles. She developed and leads an interprofessional seminar to introduce senior medical and pharmacy students to basic law for health professionals, and teaches public health and health policy to medical students.
Previously, Armitage was chief medical officer for the New Mexico Department of Health. Earlier, as a regional health officer, she managed outbreaks and emerging infections, and provided community health planning, assessment, and direct clinical services. Following 9/11, she was trained at the U.S. Department of Defense in risk communication and message mapping, and then trained health department staff and community partners statewide.
Armitage is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the legislative subcommittee of the New Mexico Pediatric Society. She is a Rotary Club Paul Harris fellow and was a National Public Health Leadership Institute Scholar from 2004 to 2005.
Armitage graduated with honors with a BA in biology and then earned an MD from the University of California, San Diego. She completed a pediatric residency and a postdoctoral fellowship in child health promotion at the University of New Mexico.
Nadine Braunstein, PhD, RD Nadine Braunstein is a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator. She is an assistant professor and the Allied Health Program director at Towson University (Maryland). She serves on the Ethics Committee at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems and the Baltimore City Food Policy Advisory Council.
In collaboration with Towson University and a food-desert, low-income community in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, Braunstein worked with the residents to establish an urban garden/farm to increase healthy food access. This work led to a U.S. Department of Agriculture People’s Garden Grant awarded in 2011.
Braunstein has received awards including an American Association of University Women Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, the E. Niege Todhunter Award from the American Dietetic Association Foundation, the Distinguished Massachusetts Dietitian of the Year Award, the Jong Post-Professional Award in Community Dental Public Health from the Oral Health Section of the American Public Health Association, and the Maryland-DC Campus Compact Civic Engagement Award. At Towson University, she was selected for both the President’s Leadership Institute and for the Towson Academy of Scholars.
Braunstein received her PhD in Medical Nutrition Sciences from Boston University School of Medicine, her MS from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, and her BS from Drexel University in Philadelphia.Assignment:
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Wendi Gosliner, DrPH, RD Wendi Gosliner is a researcher and director of policy at the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating program, policy, and community-based interventions designed to expand children’s opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. Her work includes interventions in schools, childcare environments, and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Gosliner has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in community nutrition and nutrition policy in the School of Public Health and the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. She also served as a local elected official in her community, where she helped lead land use planning efforts and build the community’s first park. Prior to her work at UC Berkeley, she served as the health and nutrition services manager for the Berkeley Head Start Program and was a consultant with the Alameda County Children and Families Commission. She provided health and nutrition education services in the Peace Corps in Yemen.
Gosliner received a DrPH and an MPH in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in nutritional sciences from Cornell University. She is a registered dietitian.Assignment:
Office of the Democratic Leader Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Shannon Hader, MD, MPH Shannon Hader is vice president and director of the Center for Health Systems and Solutions at Futures Group. She is responsible for a global portfolio of projects across 20 countries, contributing to the design and implementation of programs to improve the health and well-being of underserved populations. She recently served on the Board of Trustees of the not-for-profit Hospital Corporation (United Medical Center), the District of Columbia’s publicly-owned safety-net hospital.
Prior to coming to Futures Group, Hader served as the director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration (HAHSTA) of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Hader worked with community stakeholders to produce usable data, increase and normalize HIV testing, reduce HIV mortality, improve linkages to and retention in care, form partnerships with academia and foundations, expand youth-oriented services, and institute hepatitis and harm-reduction activities.
Before joining local government, Hader was a Commander in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, assigned to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her assignments included: senior scientific advisor to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); director of CDC-Zimbabwe; medical epidemiologist; and epidemic intelligence service officer.
Hader earned her MD and MPH from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and her BS in biological sciences from Stanford University. She completed a combined medicine/pediatrics residency at Duke University, and an infectious diseases fellowship at Emory University. She has served as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Emory University, and was a Katherine Houghton Hepburn Fellow at Bryn Mawr College. She has worked clinically caring for children and adults in the United States and abroad in Brazil, China, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe.Assignment:
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA)
Ronald Kline, MD Ronald Kline most recently served as the medical director of the Pediatric Division of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, the largest multispecialty oncology group in Nevada. He also worked as a clinical associate professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Kline is a board-certified pediatric hematologist-oncologist with additional training in pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Kline has held leadership positions in local and statewide organizations, primarily focusing on health policy and children’s issues. He is past president of the Clark County Medical Society and the Nevada State Medical Association, a former alternate delegate to the American Medical Association House of Delegates, a past gubernatorial appointee to the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board of directors, and a former member of the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners. He is the founding chair of the Children’s Medical Advocacy Coalition and the president elect of the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition. In addition to his medical and health policy pursuits, Kline has a strong interest in history and international relations, having served as an officer of the World Affairs Council of Las Vegas from 2008-2013.
Kline has broad experience directing clinical programs in multiple states and in university, hospital-based, and private practice settings. He is the author of 19 scientific publications, and is the editor of a textbook on pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Kline received his MD and BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and did his pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. He completed a biotechnology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute and a clinical fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology and transplantation at the University of California, San Francisco.Assignment:
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Maria-Rosa Watson, DDS, MS, DrPH Maria-Rosa Watson is research director at the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County (Maryland), Inc. (PCC).
Watson has served on the faculty of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Maryland Dental School, and at Baylor College of Dentistry. Her research focuses on community-based participatory research, the community safety net, health literacy, prevention of early childhood caries, emergency department diversion program to connect patients into primary care, and dental public health. She has served as reviewer of peer-reviewed journals, and has collaborated in national workshops and in leadership committees for national organizations.
Watson received her DDS and BS from the Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru, and a DrPH from the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She also holds both an MS in pediatric dentistry and an MPH from the University of Michigan. She received postgraduate residency training in dental public health with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She is a Board Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health.Assignment:
Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV (D-WV)