2013-2014 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows


 Karen Armitage, MD

Karen Armitage, MD

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.



 Lemuel Dent, MD, FACS

Lemuel Dent, MD, FACS

Lemuel Dent is chief of surgery at Nashville General Hospital and associate professor and chair of surgery at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee. He is also chair of the Nashville General Hospital Cancer Committee and serves as cancer committee liaison to the American College of Surgeons. Dent is board certified in general surgery, with additional certification in surgical critical care. Prior to joining Meharry, Dent served as director of trauma and surgical critical care for the Morehouse School of Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta. Dent began his career as a staff surgeon for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and as a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve Medical Corps. Dent is a diplomat of the American College of Surgeons and has served as an associate examiner for the American Board of Surgery.

Dent served as president of the Morehouse School of Medicine National Alumni Association from 2002 to 2004 and was awarded the title of Alumnus of the Year in 2008. He has received several teaching awards, including the 2011 Kaiser Permanente Clinical Teacher of the Year. He was awarded memberships in the Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine in 2011 and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in 2012.

Dent received a BS in chemistry and an MS in pharmacy from the University of Georgia. After receiving his MD from the Morehouse School of Medicine, Dent completed a general surgery residency at Harlem Hospital, New York, and a fellowship in surgical critical care at Mayo Clinic. Dent also earned an MS in clinical research at Emory University and a Master’s in management of health care from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. Dent is an associate fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College. His research interests include multiple antibiotic-resistant, gram-negative infection and oxygen transport in critical illness.



 Marian Grant, DNP, MSN

Marian Grant, DNP, MSN

Marian Grant is a nurse practitioner (NP) dually certified in acute care and palliative care/hospice. She is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, where she teaches courses on communication, acute care, evidence-based practice, and end-of-life care. She is also a nurse practitioner on the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Palliative Care Service.

Grant is on the boards of the national Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and the Maryland Nurse Practitioner Association. She is a fellow of palliative care nursing and a co-chair of the Professional Engagement Workgroup for the national Coalition to Transform Advanced Care. She is on the national and international faculties for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) and the lead educational consultant on a National Cancer Institute-funded grant to develop an ELNEC curriculum to incorporate palliative oncology content into Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.

Grant received her DNP from the University of Maryland, and her BSN and MSN from the Johns Hopkins University. She has worked as a nurse at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, helped start the palliative care program at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and worked as an NP at the Gilchrist Hospice In-Patient Unit in Towson, Maryland. She is a co-author of The Hospice and Palliative Care Approach to Serious Illness, has done research as an online palliative care NP on the Johns Hopkins Pancreatic Cancer website, and blogs monthly for the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Grant received a BS in mass communication from Miami University and worked in marketing for the Procter & Gamble Company for 20 years.



 Kimberlyn Leary, PhD, MPA

Kimberlyn Leary, PhD, MPA

Kimberlyn Leary is an associate professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School and chief psychologist at the Cambridge Health Alliance. She is also a faculty affiliate at the program on negotiation at Harvard Law School and an adjunct lecturer at New York University.

Leary began her career as a clinical practitioner focused on improving access to diverse communities. Her early work on “negotiated transactions” in psychotherapy expanded to broader research on negotiation and conflict management. Leary’s global work on conflict negotiations includes studying “critical moments” in mediations to end armed conflict in Southeast Asia and researching social enterprise ventures in the Middle East. She teaches courses on leadership and conflict transformation to undergraduates at Harvard College, on advanced negotiation and mediation to senior executives at Harvard Law School, and on physician–community engagement and the doctor-patient relationship at Harvard Medical School.

In her work as chief psychologist at the Cambridge Health Alliance, Leary directs the division of psychology and its training programs to deliver culturally sensitive care supporting the hospital’s primary care centers, specialty mental health, and acute emergency services. This work includes facilitating partnerships with community agencies, law enforcement, and school systems and assisting with the health system’s transformation to becoming an accountable care organization.

Leary received her BA from Amherst College, her MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She received additional postgraduate training as a psychoanalyst. For the past four years, she was the scientific program chair of the American Psychoanalytic Association.



 Colleen Leners, DNP, APRN

Colleen Leners, DNP, APRN

Colleen Leners most recently served as the traumatic brain injury (TBI) program manager for Naval Medical Center San Diego. She also worked as a clinical faculty member at the University of San Diego nurse practitioner program. Leners is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with a post-Master’s certificate specializing in emergency medicine.

Prior to becoming the TBI program manager, she was the principal nurse practitioner for the Wounded, Ill, and Injured Primary Care Clinic for the Comprehensive Combat & Complex Casualty Care (C5) Department, providing holistic care to service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining the C5 program, Leners served as a major in the U.S. Army. She deployed to Iraq as the officer in charge of the Outpatient Services Forward Operating Base. As the only female provider, she volunteered to leave the forward operating base to train Iraqi Army members and care for civilians. She was awarded the Bronze Star for her work with all echelons of the Combat Support Hospital.

Leners has held leadership positions in local and state nursing organizations primarily focusing on military and veterans’ health care issues and underserved populations of the community. She is past president of Sigma Theta Tau, Zeta Mu (2010-2014) and the Emergency Nurses Association of Nevada. She is active on the Health Policy and Practice Committee for the California Association of Nurse Practitioners. She was recently elected to the National Nominations Committee for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She has received numerous military and civilian awards, including Emergency Nurse of the Year (Nevada) and recognition as Health Care Champion in 2008 by the San Diego Business Journal.

Leners received her DNP from Case Western Reserve University, where she was honored with the Dean’s Legacy Award. She earned her MSN in the family nurse practitioner program from University of San Diego and BSN from California State University, Dominguez Hills.



 Karen Matthews, MD, MPH, MBA

Karen Matthews, MD, MPH, MBA

Karen Matthews is an assistant professor of radiology at the Uniformed Services University, Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She is a staff radiologist at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and a commander in the U.S. Navy.

Matthews also works at the Defense Health Agency (DHA) as the branch chief of Health Information Exchange (HIE). In this position, she oversees the development and implementation of a sustainable HIE business plan for the Military Health System (MHS). She has worked with the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (PDASD), Health Affairs on the Health Benefits Working Group in support of the Presidential Commission for Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization. Additionally, she assisted and traveled with the PDASD and the DHA Director, coordinating meetings and site visits in support of the reorganization of the MHS to include the stand-up of the DHA and the implementation of the Enhanced Multi-Service Markets.

Matthews has received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal while on active duty.

She earned her MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University and her MD from Loma Linda University. She completed her internship at Maine Medical Center, her preventive medicine residency at Johns Hopkins University, and her radiology residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. She also completed an MRI fellowship with Dr. Stephen Pomeranz at Proscan Imaging in Cincinnati, Ohio.



 Anh Nguyen, MD, MBA

Anh Nguyen, MD, MBA

Anh Nguyen is an anesthesiologist at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. His work involves ongoing clinical trials and the early-stage design and development of medical devices.

Previously, Nguyen was a medical officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a subject matter expert in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health Office of Device Evaluation, specializing in the premarket medical device arena. His work focused on scientific due diligence with various medical device premarket applications, the structuring and evaluation of clinical trials, and the development of FDA Guidance. He served on the FDA Entrepreneur-in-Residence Strategy Team, and was a principal investigator for the FDA Critical Path Initiative, researching next generation medical technologies. Additionally, Nguyen worked as a medical officer in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, performing coverage analyses of both healthcare products and services.

Prior to his career in public service, Nguyen was the director of pediatric anesthesiology at a tertiary care medical center within Adventist Health Systems Midwest, and a cofounder of a mobile health software technology company in Chicago.

Nguyen received a joint BS/MD degree from the New Jersey Medical School, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He completed both his residency in anesthesiology and a fellowship in cardiovascular anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.