Learn more about the members and staff of Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. Choose from the following:
Manisha Agrawal, Senior Research Analyst
Manisha Agrawal (M.P.H., Rutgers School of Public Health) is a Senior Research Analyst at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, where she provides research and project management support for several ongoing projects. She is currently involved in the Integrated Population Health Data (iPHD) Project, CDC Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) initiative, Assessment of the Hudson County Opioid Crisis Response Strategy, and the New Jersey Department of Health’s Faith in Prevention Initiative. Previously, Agrawal has contributed to the evaluation of numerous community based interventions, including the Opioid Data Driven Prevention Initiative from the NJ DOH. Her research interests include chronic disease management, maternal and infant health, and substance use disorders. Prior to joining the Center, she provided research support for Business Case for Transforming Care at the Bedside project and also worked as a clinical research associate for the UMDNJ Heart Failure Program. She received a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree from India and an M.P.H. in Health Systems and Policy from the Rutgers School of Public Health.
Jolene Chou, Senior Research Analyst
Jolene Chou (M.P.H., UMDNJ School of Public Health) is a Senior Research Analyst at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. Her responsibilities range from data analysis to synthesis of findings, and she supports a variety of research efforts. Among the projects she currently supports are a scan of New Jersey's emergency-licensed health care workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic, a series of surveys exploring the impact of the pandemic on New Jersey families, and health care access issues among people experiencing homelessness. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Chou was a Senior Research Associate at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York City, where she provided technical assistance to program and clinical staff on designing evaluation projects and analyzing data and also participated in community-based research projects in collaboration with academic researchers. She received her M.P.H. with a concentration in Epidemiology from the UMDNJ School of Public Health (now a school of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) and a B.S. in Environmental Chemistry from Rutgers.
Jennifer Farnham, Senior Research Analyst
Jennifer Farnham (M.S., University of Wisconsin) is a Senior Research Analyst at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, where she utilizes a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to address health policy questions. Currently, she is designing and analyzing surveys of New Jersey families in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and contributing to several projects investigating outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries. Her past work has involved assisting government and nonprofit sponsors with strategic planning and program evaluation to address population health, including healthcare workforce policies, care for chronic conditions, community-based long-term services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities, and community needs assessment. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Farnham worked in several organizations focused on housing and economic development, taught undergraduate sociology courses, and supported research projects on a number of topics, including lawyers’ collaborations with social workers, health care providers and community advocates to improve services provided to low and moderate income people, as well as a study documenting the economic strategies of households in nonmetropolitan areas.
Oliver Lontok, Senior Research Manager
Oliver Lontok (M.D., M.P.H.) is a Senior Research Manager at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. His current focus is on providing oversight and management of many critical research infrastructure activities, including IRB submissions, conflicts of interest, and compliance and grant/contract reporting. Oliver also provides research support for the Center's portfolios which focus on access and coverage and health systems performance improvement. Prior to joining the Center, he worked with the Cancer Institute of NJ and the Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine studying the role of alternative medicines in treating cancer patients. Additionally, Oliver was a National Research Service Award Fellow in the Department of Family Medicine Research Division at the UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where, among other responsibilities, he worked with provider groups participating in the SCOPE project studying colorectal cancer screening rates in New Jersey. In December 2012, Oliver was elected to the Executive Board of the New Jersey Public Health Association. He is a graduate of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine and the UMDNJ School of Public Health (now a school of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey).
Joshua Lue, Data Analyst
Joshua Lue (M.P.H., Rutgers School of Public Health) is a Data Analyst at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. Josh’s work focuses on the implementation of the Integrated Population Health Data (iPHD) project as well as projects that involve analysis of NJ Medicaid claims and encounter data. Prior to joining the Center in 2023, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry and provided scientific data reporting for early phase drug development, and in the media industry where he coordinated data analysis and insights for various business strategies and decisions. Josh’s research interests include data and policies that can lead to better health outcomes and quality of life for people with disabilities. He has a B.S. in Biology from Boston College and an M.P.H. in Health Systems and Policy from Rutgers School of Public Health.
Yiming Ma, Research Analyst
Yiming Ma, M.S. serves as a part-time analyst supporting the ScreenNJ program. Since joining the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research part time in 2021, Yiming has provided analytical support to the PINE Study and NJHealth Study using statistical modeling, machine learning, and geospatial analyses. Yiming is proficient in Python, R, SAS, and ArcGIS and is now working as a full-time data programming analyst at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Originally from Beijing, China, Yiming holds a M.S. degree in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania with a Certificate in Data Analytics.
Mojdeh Nasiri, Research Analyst
Mojdeh Nasiri (M.D., Ph.D., Epidemiology, Michigan State University) is a Research Analyst at the Center for State Health Policy where she provides data management and statistical analysis for numerous projects. Her current focus is a quantitative analysis of NJ’s Medicaid claims data evaluating the health system performance improvements in NJ’s Medicaid program through the Medicaid Comprehensive Waiver Demonstration. She is also working on a project evaluating the role of homelessness and supportive housing in healthcare disparities among adults in Medicaid. Additionally, Nasiri has been conducting analyses for the Screen NJ project to understand disparities in access and utilization of cancer screening among Medicaid enrollees. Her research interest is risk stratification and predictive modeling for health outcomes through the application of various statistical methods. Prior to joining the Center, she worked for Michigan State University as a research analyst in the Michigan Stroke Transition Trial (MISTT) and for Columbia University as a research analyst in various projects conducted by the Center for Advanced Cardiac Care, Ventricular Assistive Devices and Heart Transplant. Her prior experience involves prediction models, management of missing data, microbiome profile and biomarkers in LVAD patients, and risk stratification models in older populations.
John S. Palatucci, Medicaid Scholar
John Palatucci (PhD, Rutgers University) is a health services and policy researcher at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. He recently completed his doctoral studies in Health Systems and Policy at the Rutgers School of Public Health. In his research, he applies econometric techniques to the study of behavioral health and disability policy. He has taught courses in health policy, outcomes research, and health economics. At Rutgers University, he has completed both the New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NJLEND) fellowship and the Eagleton Graduate Fellowship Program in Politics and Government. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from American University and a Master of Public Administration in Healthcare Administration from the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration. Dr. Palatucci is committed to partnering with patients, advocates, providers, researchers, and governmental leaders in efforts to enhance population health and mitigate disparities.
Mandi Spishak-Thomas, Medicaid Research Scholar
Mandi Spishak-Thomas (PhD, Columbia University) is a Medicaid research scholar at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. She received her PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work where her dissertation research investigated the impacts of Medicaid estate recovery on intergenerational transfers of wealth among low-income older adults. Mandi's work understands health policies as wealth policies, investigating how Medicaid impacts intergenerational transfers of wealth, financial burden, and wealth accumulation among low-income individuals and families, especially birthing people and older adults. Her work has been presented in various disciplinary spaces, including health policy (AcademyHealth), social work (SSWR), and public policy (APPAM) and published in Contraception and Gerontology and Geriatrics Education. Prior to pursuing a PhD, she worked as a licensed clinical social worker at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Alzheimer's Association in San Francisco, California and received a master's degree in social work from Columbia University.
Jonathan Whitmore, Data Analyst
Jonathan Whitmore (B.A., New York University) is a Data Analyst at the Center for State Health Policy, where he is deployed to work within the Medicaid Office of Business Intelligence at the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS). His current focus is on the analysis of New Jersey Medicaid-related claims data and the development and implementation of tools to better enable claims-related decision making.