Learn more about the members and staff of Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. Choose from the following:
Tara Adams Ragone, Assistant Professor, Seton Hall Law School
Tara Adams Ragone is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy at Seton Hall University School of Law, where her research and writing currently focus on implementation of health care reform and integration of behavioral and physical health care. Professor Ragone developed and teaches a health law skills course, is the Faculty Supervisor of the Health Law Semester in Washington, D.C. Program, and advises students competing in national health law competitions. Prior to Seton Hall Law, Professor Ragone served as a Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. She received her B.A. in Government and Philosophy, summa cum laude, from the College of William and Mary, and her law degree, magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law. Professor Ragone served as a law clerk to the Honorable Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the Honorable Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Derek DeLia, Associate Professor, Edward J. Bloustein School
Derek DeLia, PhD is an Associate Professor at the Bloustein School. He is a Health Economist with research interests in healthcare payment and delivery reform; Medicaid policy; the economics of hospitals and health centers; emergency medical care; healthcare access among the poor, uninsured, and minorities; social determinants of health; childhood obesity and the built environment; health insurance coverage; performance measurement in Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s); healthcare markets; and market factors that affect access to limb salvage procedures for patients with severe chronic wounds. Dr. DeLia’s research is published in peer-reviewed journals such as Health Affairs, Health Services Research, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and Medical Care.
Dr. DeLia has been awarded more than $5.3 million in federal, state, & private research funding as Principal Investigator (PI) and has made substantial contributions to raising more than $18.8 million as a contributing co-Investigator. He has presented research and provided policy analysis for the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and the NJ Dept of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS). He also served on the NJ Healthcare Access Study Commission and a Subcommittee of the Governor’s Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources. He has served on scientific review committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In 2009, Dr. DeLia led the organization of a national research conference on the integration of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with broader health services research and health policy. In 2007, he served on a project for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (the Nation’s Report Card) to create standardized tests for high school economics. He has provided expert commentary on healthcare issues for NJN Public Television, National Public Radio, and several other media outlets including NJ101.5 and the Newark Star Ledger.
Previously, Dr. DeLia held research positions at the MedStar Health Research Institute, Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, and the United Hospital Fund of New York. He also taught Health Economics, Econometrics, and Statistics for the Rutgers Economics Department, Columbia University, New York University, and the City University of New York.
Michael K. Gusmano, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Health at Lehigh University
Michael K. Gusmano is a Professor of Health Policy and Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Health at Lehigh University. He is also a research scholar at the Hastings Center and a visiting fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York. Professor Gusmano investigates health care equity in the U.S. and other countries. His research and publications have focused on health policy, aging, and comparative welfare state analysis. He is the codirector of the World Cities Project, the first effort to compare the performance of health, social, and long-term care systems in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, the four largest cities among the wealthy nations of the world. He has authored five books and more than 100 scholarly articles.
Shawna Hudson, Professor & Research Division Chief, Department of Family Medicine & Community Health, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Dr. Shawna Hudson is Professor and Research Division Chief in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She has a secondary faculty appointment in the Rutgers School of Public Health in the Department of Health Education and Behavioral Science. She is a full research member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program where she previously served as the Director of Community Research and Acting Director of Community Outreach. She is the co-chair for the Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences emerging signature program in Community Health and Health Systems. Dr. Hudson is a medical sociologist and specializes in primary care research. She is internationally known for her research that examines long-term follow-up care for cancer survivors and their transitions from specialist to primary care. Her research uses qualitative and quantitative research approaches to explore the intersections of community health, primary care, and specialty care. It is chronic disease-focused with an emphasis on vulnerable populations, particularly underserved groups, including cancer survivors and racial/ethnic minorities in health care settings. Her research aims to increase the capacity of patients, community stakeholders, and health care organizations to understand and use evidence-based guidelines for chronic disease prevention and control. Dr. Hudson has participated as both principle investigator and co-investigator on numerous studies funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is Associate Editor for the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. She is an appointed a member of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and a standing member of the NIH Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health Study Section. Her research has been published in a number of journals, including Annals of Family Medicine, Medical Care, Lancet Oncology and the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.
John V. Jacobi, Dorothea Dix Professor of Health Law & Policy, Seton Hall Law School
John Jacobi is the Dorothea Dix Professor of Health Law and Policy at Seton Hall Law School. He teaches, researches, publishes, and works in the areas of health care access, finance and delivery reform, as well as disability rights and mental health discrimination. He is the Faculty Director of the Seton Hall Law School Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy. He serves as Board Chair of the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition, a community-provider collaborative dedicated to integrating care for Medicaid recipients in Newark, New Jersey, and as Board Chair of the North Jersey Community Research Initiative, an HIV service and research organization. He participates in legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of low and moderate income residents. He has served as Principal Investigator for research projects in health reform, health access, and behavioral health areas. He has served as Senior Associate Counsel to the Governor of New Jersey, as Assistant to the Commissioner of the New Jersey Public Advocate, and as Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the State University College of New York at Buffalo (Mathematics and Philosophy) and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.
Michael Knox, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Dr. Knox directed The Boggs Center’s financial and administrative operations. He also served as research coordinator, chaired the Center’s evaluation team, and conducted health service research with a focus on developmental disabilities. A licensed social worker, he served as a field instructor for master’s of social work (MSW) interns in nonprofit and public management from Rutgers University. Dr. Knox earned his doctorate in social work from Rutgers University. He also holds a master’s degree in government administration from the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and an MSW in social policy analysis and planning from Rutgers University. Prior to joining The Boggs Center, Dr. Knox served in a variety of policy and planning positions at the NJ Department of Human Services and its Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Ashley Koning, Assistant Research Professor & Director, Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling
Ashley Koning is the Director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP), the oldest statewide university-based survey research center in the country. She runs and is the face of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, oversees all client projects, and manages a staff of undergraduate and graduate students to assist with day-to-day polling operations and studies. She has been a part of ECPIP for almost a decade and has spearheaded a large number of innovations within the Center during this time, including the Center’s internship program and omnibus survey. Koning received her Ph.D. degree in political science from Rutgers, with concentrations in American politics, women and politics, and methodology. Her research interests are in American public opinion and mass behavior with a focus on framing, as well as gender and race. Additionally, she is an instructor for the political science department at Rutgers. Koning has co-authored several book chapters and papers on public opinion and was awarded the 2015 John Tarnai Memorial Scholarship by the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO). She has been the recipient of the 2012 American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Student Travel Award, the first ever AAPOR Student Poster Award (2015), and the 2016 AAPOR Burns “Bud” Roper Fellow Award. Koning serves on the council of the Pennsylvania/New Jersey chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, as well as on committees for AAPOR and AASRO at the national level.
Alan C. Monheit, Professor of Health Economics, Rutgers School of Public Health
Alan C. Monheit (Ph.D., City University of New York) is Professor of Health Economics in the School of Public Health at Rutgers University. Professor Monheit is also a research professor at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and its Center for State Health Policy. He has held research positions in the Health Policy Institute and School of Medicine at Boston University, and was the director of the Division of Social and Economic Research in the Center for Cost and Financing Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). His research interests include the relationship between employment and health insurance coverage, family health care responses to economic shocks, health reform and the regulation of health insurance markets, children's access to health care, and the relationship between socioeconomic status and health. His published work has appeared in a number of professional journals including Inquiry, Health Affairs, Health Economics, the Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Public Economics, the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Medical Care, Health Services Research, and Medical Care Research and Review. While at AHRQ, Professor Monheit served as a member of President Clinton's Health Reform Task Force, received the Administrator's Award for Health Services Research, and was appointed to the Department of Health and Human Services Senior Biomedical Research Service. Professor Monheit has served as editor of Inquiry: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing and is a member of its editorial board, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He is a co-editor of, State Insurance Market Reform: Toward Inclusive and Sustainable Health Insurance Markets, and an editor and contributor to the volume, Informing American Health Care Policy: The Dynamics of Medical Expenditure and Insurance Surveys, 1977-1996. Professor Monheit also received the New Jersey Health Foundation’s Excellence in Research Award for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Dawne M. Mouzon, Associate Professor, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences
Dawne M. Mouzon (Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2010) is an Associate Professor of Sociology and engages in research that seeks to identify and explain risk and protective factors for the physical and mental health of populations of African descent. Specifically, she investigates the interplay between social relationships, psychosocial stressors, resilience, and health across the life course among Black Americans. Her early work focused on testing presumed protective factors to explain “the Black-White mental health paradox”, or the unexpected finding that Black Americans generally exhibit better mental health outcomes than Whites despite their lower socioeconomic standing and greater exposure to discrimination. She since built upon this work by investigating how these risk and protective factors, along with status characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, and nativity status, shape mental health risk among African American and Afro-Caribbean populations in the United States. Her current research program focuses on identifying adaptive coping resources and strategies African Americans use in the face of chronic stress and racial discrimination, with a focus on gender differences in these processes. Another arm of her research investigates the “marriage squeeze” among Black Americans, including preference for (and barriers to) marriage, romantic relationships, and opportunities for parenthood.
Felix Muchomba, Assistant Professor, Rutgers School of Social Work
Felix Muchomba is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Social Work. Dr. Muchomba’s research examines how policies and institutions influence the well-being of girls and women. His current approach is to study how 1) macro-level changes, including social and economic development and 2) gender discrimination within families, impact the health and well-being of girls and women. Under this research agenda, Dr. Muchomba has examined sexual and reproductive health and other issues that are pertinent to low-income families, with a focus on Eastern Africa, South Asia, and immigrants in the U.S. He is currently studying policy levers that may reduce disparities in maternal health.
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Professor, Arizona State University
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati is a professor of nutrition at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion (SNHP) at Arizona State University, where she teaches graduate-level courses focused on survey research and obesity prevention. As a public health nutrition expert, Ohri-Vachaspati mentors students interested in exploring public health approaches for improving healthy food access, eating behaviors, and health outcomes. At SNHP, she created a new multidisciplinary master’s degree in obesity prevention and management and led an online course on health and wellness that attracted over 16,000 students from 185 countries. Ohri-Vachaspati’s research examines the impact of policy and environmental change approaches on food access and physical activity opportunities in low-income, minority communities. For the past 10 years, her work has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among others. Currently, she is a dual Principal Investigator on an NIH/RWJF-funded 5-year longitudinal study in 4 low-income, high-minority cites in New Jersey. This study is tracking a cohort of more than 1,000 children over time to examine if changes in their environment result in changes in weight status and associated behaviors. In addition, Ohri-Vachaspati’s work examines policies and programs in schools and community settings. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing community-based nutrition interventions. Ohri-Vachaspati has served on the editorial boards for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition. She is also a registered dietitian and received her Ph.D. and master’s degrees from Tufts University School of Nutrition in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. She completed her undergraduate education at University of Delhi, India.
Emmy Tiderington, Assistant Professor, Rutgers School of Social Work
Emmy Tiderington is a licensed social worker with extensive direct practice experience in housing and case management services for individuals with serious mental illness. She is an Assistant Professor in the Rutgers School of Social Work whose research focuses on the implementation and effectiveness of supportive housing and other forms of homeless services as a means to end homelessness and improve outcomes for service recipients. Specifically, she has examined the individual, organizational, and macro-systemic barriers to “street-level” policy implementation of person-centered care, harm reduction, and the management of risk and recovery in supportive housing. In previous studies, she has explored the mechanisms and processes by which formerly homeless adults achieve recovery from substance abuse and serious mental illness. Currently, she is conducting a three-year study of the implementation and outcomes of the New York City Moving On Initiative. Findings from this study will be used to develop best practices for “Moving On”, a model that utilizes rental subsidies and transitional supports to assist individuals and families with the move from supportive housing to mainstream housing independent of wrap-around support services. She is the recipient of the Robert Moore Award for Excellence in Scholarship from New York University, a New Investigator Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation of the Year Honorable Mention from the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Jennifer Tsui, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Jennifer Tsui, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine.
Her research focuses on disparities in cancer care delivery and cancer outcomes, particularly among racial/ethnic minority and low-income populations. She currently leads a five-year study funded by the American Cancer Society to investigate health care organizational and delivery factors that impact care transitions among breast and colorectal cancer patients with Medicaid coverage. Her other areas of research focus on HPV vaccination and barriers to uptake in low-income minority communities as well as disparities in cancer screening in racial/ethnic minority populations at the local, state, and national levels. Tsui's work utilizes cancer registry information, population-based surveys, geographic/spatial data, and administrative health care data to understand multilevel influences on patterns of care and care quality for cancer patients. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Columbia University NCI-funded T32/R25 Cancer Training Program (2014), a Ph.D. in Health Policy & Management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (2012), and an M.P.H. in Epidemiology from Columbia University (2005).
Sharifa Z. Williams, Assistant Professor, Edward J. Bloustein School
Sharifa Z. Williams, MS, DrPH, is an Assistant Professor at the Bloustein School. She is actively involved in research focused on the application of biostatistical methods to identifying and quantifying health disparities that arise from exposure to discrimination and socioeconomic disadvantage. This includes examining longitudinal trends in psychosocial exposures across the life course and how they interact with structural adversity to impact mental health and well-being in adulthood and midlife. Another valued part of Dr. Williams’ scholarly work involves contributing to and advancing research and public health practice as a methodologic collaborator. In this role, she consults on the design and analytic plans for papers and projects, as well as contributes to statistical plans and research approaches for grant applications. Dr. Williams received her Doctor of Public Health in Biostatistics from Columbia University. She also holds a Master of Public Health in Health Policy & Management and a Master of Science in Biostatistics (Theory and Methods) from Columbia University.