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Office of Health Equity

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OHE Leadership

Ernest Moy, MD, MPH
 
Ernest Moy, MD
Executive Director
Email: Ernest.Moy@va.gov

Ernest Moy, MD, MPH, is the Executive Director of the Office of Health Equity of the VHA. This office supports and coordinates efforts to understand and reduce disparities in health and health care affecting veterans.

Prior to joining VHA, he was a Medical Officer in the Office of Analysis and Epidemiology at the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At CDC, he studied rural health disparities, analyzed linked hospital-vital statistics data to identify care patterns that placed patients at high risk for opioid poisoning death, and developed new data visualizations and partnerships for disseminating health statistics.

Prior to CDC, he was Director of the Division in the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that designed and produced the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, submitted annually to Congress, and related web tools. He has also worked as a Director of Research and Assistant Vice President at the Association of American Medical Colleges, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Emergency Care Physician at the Baltimore VAMC.

Ernest is a graduate of Harvard College, New York University School of Medicine, and Columbia University School of Public Health. Following internal medicine residency, he was a general internal medicine fellow at Columbia University and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Care Finance fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Ernest’s research interests include disparities in access and quality of care, particularly the application of electronic health records, machine learning, and systems science modeling to improve health care. He was selected to serve as the first Academy Health Innovator-in-Residence.



 Kenneth Jones, PhD

Kenneth T. Jones, PhD
Supervisory Program Analyst, Data Analysis Lead
Email: Kenneth.Jones8@va.gov 

Kenneth T. Jones has served as a Program Analyst with OHE since 2012. In this position, he advises on quantitative data and other measures to better understand and address health equity issues for vulnerable Veterans. He has served as the progam lead on field-based health equity quality improvement projects and as co-investigator on a research protocol to examine health and healthcare disparities among transgender Veterans.

Prior to his current role, Kenneth served as a public health analyst and behavioral scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he created the country’s first effective community-level behavioral intervention for young black men who have sex with men at risk for HIV. He has also served as the Director of Research for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. Kenneth received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work and is a recent graduate of the inaugural class of the Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity Fellowship Program based at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Health Workforce Institute) in Washington, DC. He also recently completed training in Health Care Executive Leadership from the Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives sponsored by the Uniform Services University of the Health Services (Bethesda, Maryland).

 

Shannon M. Jordan, MPH
Program Analyst, Engagement Lead
Email: Shannon.Jordan2@va.gov

Shannon M. Jordan is a Program Analyst where she utilizes data analysis, evaluation and program management to support the advancement of health and health care equity for Veterans impacted by disparities. Shannon previously worked with the VA Office of Research and Development where she served as the Program Manager for the Scientific Merit Review Board and coordinated the Data and Safety Monitoring Board review process for Health Services Research and Development.

Prior to joining the Department of Veterans Affairs, Shannon worked for over 15 years as a Chemical Information Specialist for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM) Environmental Health and Toxicology Program where she developed and maintained biomedical information databases and specialized in designing and providing training and outreach programs and services for researchers, healthcare providers, and special populations to eliminate health disparities. She is the recipient of a 2014 White House GreenGov Presidential Award for her work on the NIH Substances of Concern Reduction Initiative. Shannon received her bachelor of science in chemistry and Master of Public Health degrees from Howard University.

 

DrJustinList

Justin List, MD, MAR, MSc, FACP
Director, Health Care Outcomes
Email: Justin.List@va.gov


Prior to joining VHA, he was Assistant Vice President in the Office of Ambulatory Care and Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals (NYC's municipal healthcare system), Chief Quality Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals/gotham Health, one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers, and a practicing primay care internist with a focus on care for gender diverse emerging adults. Among his many roles at NYC Health + Hospitals, he was part of the founding steering committee for its system Equity & Access Council and gained experience leading intergovernmental agency initiatives. Prior to NYC Health + Hospitals, he was director of Clinical & Scientific Affairs in the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, overseeing the Cancer Prevention & Control Program, Public Health Detailing program, clincal tobacco control, while also providing scientific writing and review on division chronic disease research, communications, and programming.

Justin is a graduate of Augustana College (IL), Yale Divinity School, and Loyola University Chicago - Stritch School of Medicine. During medical school, he was an NIH/Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar in Kampala, Uganda and researched TB and HIV case finding. Following internal medicine residency in the Yale Internal Medicine-Primary Care Program, he was a VA-funded fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Justin is interested in operationalizing tools and programs based on data arising from the nexus of health equtiy, population health, and quality improvement to advance health justice. His research and clinical interests include chronic disease prevention and management, cancer disparities, mentorship/capacity-building, bioethics, and leadership.

 Lauren Korshak, MS, RCEP

Lauren Korshak, DHealth(c), MS, RCEP
Health System Specialist, Translation Lead
Email: Lauren.Korshak@va.gov

Lauren Korshak is a Health System Specialist with OHE where she leads translation efforts. Prior to joining OHE, Lauren worked within VHA to develop and expand VA’s strategic partnerships with nongovernmental organizations that included Amazon, YMCA, United States Tennis Association, (USTA), and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100 Million Healthier Lives Initiative, as well as with community Choice providers to ensure that Veterans were connected to treatment in their communities as well as within their VA Medical Centers. 

Lauren practiced as a physiologist at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center, where she oversaw the exercise and stress management components of the Lifestyle Intervention for Veterans (LIVe) Program at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center, a holistic program aimed at providing intensive diabetes management through lifestyle interventions as an adjunct to traditional medication therapy, and was engaged in epidemiology, systems redesign, and clinical research.

Lauren holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, where she is a member of the teaching faculty. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Bath in England and explores and has published on the relationships between chronic disease, exercise capacity and mortality.  Lauren has been interviewed by television news and radio channels about the importance of engaging in healthy behaviors.

 

 Kelly Nestman

Kelly Nestman, M.A.
Health System Specialist, Logistics and Dissemination Lead
Email: Kelly.Nestman@va.gov 

Kelly Nestman (She/They) is a Health System Specialist with OHE where she leads logistics and dissemination efforts. Prior to joining OHE, Kelly worked at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) as a project manager for the Primary Care Equity Dashboard and other health equity-related research projects.

Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies from the Chatham College for Women, where she also sits on the Alumni Association Board. She completed her master’s degree in Psychology from Chatham University in 2020, where her focus was integrating psychology best practices into contraceptive counseling. She also led a qualitative research team to examine feelings of diversity and inclusion among students and faculty to inform intuitional diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Kelly serves as a founding board member of the Queer Family Planning Project, and has worked with several other Pittsburgh community organizations, including the National Council of Jewish Women and Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Salk Fellowship.

Taylor Hooker

Taylor Hooker, M.S., CTRS, NBC-HWC
Health System Specialist
Email: Taylor.Hooker@va.gov

Taylor Hooker is a Health System Specialist with OHE where she leads logistics and dissemination efforts. Prior to joining OHE, Taylor worked within VHA to providing direct care as a Recreation Therapist at the St. Cloud and Washington, DC VA Medical Centers where she oversaw care for Veterans with chronic substance use disorders. She was responsible for the development of several patient care programs that have been replicated at VAMCs across the country. She serves as a subject matter expert on equine assisted services (EAS) and is helping to support the advancement of EAS in VHA.

Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University’s College of Human Movement Sciences, where she is a member of the teaching faculty, in addition to lecturing for several universities in health and human services. She completed her master’s degree and is currently a doctoral student at Clemson University where she is exploring the motivations and impacts of EAS on Veterans’ mental health.  Taylor’s research interests revolve around nonpharmacological approach to Veterans’ health, with special emphasis on leisure, lifestyle, and wellness-based interventions.

Shane Lamba, MPH
Health System Specialist
Email: Shane.Lamba@va.gov

Shane Lamba (he/him) is a Health System Specialist with OHE where he works on data, research, and evaluation projects centered on principles of health equity for Veterans. Prior to joining OHE, he was a Health Science Specialist at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System’s Spinal Cord Injuries/Disorders Center, conducting qualitative research understanding the barriers to care and psychosocial health outcomes for LGBTQ+ Veterans with SCI. Before his qualitative work, at the SCI/D Center he was involved with a VA Cooperative Studies Program, multi-site exoskeleton-assisted walking device clinical trial. While working as a Health Science Specialist, Shane was a Health Equity Fellow with OHE, developing his interest in LGBTQ+ Veteran health, food insecurity, nutrition policy, and obesity.  Much of his experience is rooted in qualitative methods and clinical research, he hopes to utilize those skills when thinking about health equity and what that means for health education interventions.

He also serves as a Co-Investigator for Stanford University’s The Population Research in Identities and Disparities for Equality (PRIDE) Study, where he is studying access to care, physical functioning, and psychosocial health outcomes for LGBTQ+ people with disabilities.

Shane holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology & Physiology from the University of British Columbia. And recently, he completed his Master of Public Health with a focus in Health Education & Promotion from the University of New England, and has been inducted as a member of the Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society Gamma Chi Chapter for his academic excellence and public health service. Shane’s interests include LGBTQ+ health outcomes, understanding how institutional/systemic factors impact Veteran health, as well as program development to promote equity.

Sarah Leder

Sarah Leder, MSW
Health System Specialist
Email: Sarah.Leder@va.gov

Sarah began her federal service as a Presidential Management Fellow. She worked with the Office of Community Care (OCC), now the Office of Integrated Veteran Care (IVC), as a Management Analyst. During her time with IVC, she worked with senior leadership to continue to build VA’s Community Care Network under the MISSION Act and to respond to Veterans’ and their families’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, she represented IVC on calls with other VA Program Offices and collaborated with subject matter experts to draft responses on behalf of IVC. Sarah also completed a detail with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice where she worked to draft COVID-19 guidance for designated state agencies.

Prior to joining the VHA, Sarah earned her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Social Policy and Evaluation from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Additionally, Sarah has experience as a case worker in a Michigan public defender’s office along with qualitative and quantitative research experience.

 

OHE Health Equity Fellows and Scholars 

VHA Health Equity Roundtable Fellows

Roundtable Fellows serve on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity to advance health equity and eliminate health disparities.


Dr. Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins 

Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, PhD

Email: Kevin.Jenkins2@va.gov

Dr. Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins is a fellow within the Veteran’s Health Administration’s Office of Health Equity. In this role, he serves as the liaison to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable.  Dr. Jenkins also serves as a Vice-Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Fellow within The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a lecturer in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences within the School of Nursing. Jenkins serves as the director of the Interpreting Attitudes toward Minorities in Medicine (I AM) Research Group.  AcademyHealth along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation appointed Dr. Jenkins to the Paradigm Project learning community which focuses on design-thinking principles and approaches, to devise and test innovative approaches to revolutionize the health services research. 

In 2017, National Quality Forum named him a 40 Under 40 Leader in Health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care, awarded Dr. Jenkins the highly-competitive New Connections award for early career scholars. After obtaining his bachelor’s from North Carolina Central University and master’s degrees from Florida A&M University focused on medical and legal history, Dr. Jenkins earned a Ph.D. in Sociology and Criminology & Law from the University of Florida.

This two-time national journalism award winner examines the influence of race, racism, and psychosocial stress within medicine. Dr. Jenkins leads research studies that examine how racism makes people who are living with chronic kidney disease sicker. As an author, Jenkins is currently working on the book, Hue Process: The Quantitative Measurement of Racism in Medicine and serves as co-editor of the forthcoming book Contemporary African America (New York University Press).

Dr. Michelle Wong


Michelle S. Wong, PhD

Email: Michelle.Wong6@va.gov 

Michelle S. Wong is a Health Science Specialist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System’s Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP). Her research interests are in health equity and social determinants of health, including how healthcare systems can address social determinants as a means to improve health equity. She has been involved in Office of Health Equity – QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative (PEI) to examine and address racial/ethnic disparities in the VA healthcare system. Her most recent work with the PEI includes several first-authored publications that examined racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 testing, infection, and mortality, as well as an exploration of social determinants that may explain these disparities. Her prior research has examined the relationship between social determinants—including neighborhoods, family, and housing policies—and racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in obesity-related outcomes and behaviors.

She has previously worked at the Brookings Institution and as a management consultant at IMS Health (now IQVIA). She received her PhD in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health from the Department of Health Policy and Management and a BS from Yale University in Molecular Biochemistry & Biophysics.

 

VHA/AcademyHealth Health Equity Scholar


Sarah Gordon, PhD


Sarah H. Gordon, PhD 

Sarah Gordon is an assistant professor in the department of Health Law, Policy, and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. She is also an Investigator at  the Department of Veterans Affairs Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center (PEPReC) in Boston, MA. She received her doctorate in Health Services Research from the Brown University School of Public Health and her Master of Science in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Gordon's research evaluates the effect of healthcare policies on health equity, with a particular focus on health insurance and access to care among low-income populations. Dr. Gordon is a VHA/AcademyHealth Health Equity Scholar and the past recipient of the AcademyHealth Alice S. Hersh Scholarship and a Dissertation Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Title: The Association between the Veterans’ Health Administration Choice Program and Access to Care among Medicaid Enrollees

Summary: As the VHA/AcademyHealth Health Equity Scholar, Dr. Gordon is examining the effects of Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA) Community Care Program on access to primary care and behavioral health services among other insured populations, particularly in regions of the country with limited provider supply. This project will assess whether this the relationship between Community Care utilization rates and access to care differs by (1) type of insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, Marketplace, private insurance, military, other), (2) whether states adopted Medicaid expansion, (3) geographic variation in rurality and (4) geographic variation in provider supply. Study findings will have important policy implications for assessing the impact of the VHA Community Care Program on equitable access to care across the health care delivery system.

 

 

Health Equity Fellows

Madison Coffey

Madison Coffey, MPP(c)
Email:Madison.Coffey@va.gov

Madison Coffey is Master of Public Policy candidate at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government (class of 2023). As a VHA Office of Health Equity fellow, she is collaborating with an interdisciplinary group from George Mason University on projects related to food security and Veterans experiencing homelessness. She concurrently works in support of the VHA Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning, helping to build the organizational infrastructure to enable innovation at scale. Madison received her Bachelor of Science degrees from George Mason University in Public Administration as well as Information Systems and Operations Management.

 

Amber Allen, MPP(c), Health Equity Fellow


Amber Allen, MPP
Email: Amber.Allen1@va.gov

Amber Allen completed her Bachelor’s in Psychology in the Spring of 2019 and her Master of Public Policy in the Spring of 2020. While completing her Masters, she primarily concentrated on social and health policy, with some coursework in education and environmental policy. Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are particularly interesting to her. From the Fall of 2019 to the Spring of 2020, Amber completed an evaluative capstone project for her Master’s with the Office of Health Equity to learn about their products and operations, determine what was working, and provide recommendations. In her time with the Office of Health Equity, she also assisted with the novel podcast development.

Codie Kesler Codie Kesler, MPH(c)
Email: Codie.Kesler@va.gov

Codie Kesler is a Master’s of Public Health candidate at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, Class of 2020. Prior to joining OHE, she served as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman from 2008 till 2015 before obtaining her Bachelor’s of Science from George Mason University. Her interests include women’s health, health education, community health, and global health.

 Jasen Lau Jasen Lau, JD
Email: Jasen.Lau@va.gov

Jasen Lau received his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2016. He is currently pursuing his Master's in Public Health in order to combine his two passions of law and healthcare to serve the public and return to Veterans what they gave to ensure our freedoms.
 Erica Morris Erica Morris, MPH
Email: Erica.Morris@va.gov

Erica Morris is a 2020 MPH graduate at the Milken School of Public Health at George Washington University (GWU), where she speicalized in Epidemiology.  She is a dependent of a military Veteran and, in addition to her fellowship with OHE, is also working at GWU's Military and Veteran Services Office.  Prior to coming to Washington, DC to begin her graduate studies, she spent time volunterring at the Orlando VA Hospital in Lake Nona. 

 

Meagan Walters, MPP(c), Health Equity Fellow


Meagan Walters, MPP
Email: Meagan.Walters@va.gov

Meagan Walters is a Master of Public Policy graduate at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.  Her work with OHE focuses on how social determinants of health contribute to health disparities in the Veteran population.  She also studies interventions to improve limited health literacy among Veterans.  Prior to joining OHE, Meagan interned at the VA Boston Healthcare System. In Boston, she assisted program analysts in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the VA Whole Health Program. She also conducted and presented data analyses for the Veteran Experience team.




Health Equity Virtual Fellows

Jaime Boris

Jaime Boris, MHA(c)

Jaime Boris is a Master’s in Health Administration candidate at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (Class of 2022). She has an interest in health equity and innovation, and is passionate about improving the patient experience with technology. Before coming to OHE, she graduated with a B.S. in Nutritional Science from Cornell University and an MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology from George Washington University. She worked at StartUp Health, a leading incubator and was previously an Exercise Physiology Intern at the DC VA Medical Center. At the OHE, she is working on several projects regarding food insecurity and obesity.




Julia McGirr Julia McGirr, MS, MPH(c)

Julia McGirr is a Master’s in Public Health candidate at George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health (class of 2021). She has an interest in health equity and global health, and is passionate about ensuring all people have access to proper standards of care and biomedical innovations. Before coming to OHE, she studied biomedicine with a B.S. in Biology from Brown University and a M.S. in Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Copenhagen. She also worked at the Buck Institute on a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company to develop a novel therapeutic. At the OHE, she is working on dissemination products regarding health inequities among LGBTQ+ Veterans.

Lynell Smith Lynell Smith, MSW(c), MPH(c)

Lynell Smith is a 2023 Master's in Social Work and Master's in Public Health dual degree candidate at Howard University. Before joining the Office of Health Equity (OHE), he previously interned at HOPE Cooperative where he was a case manager who assisted clients who were experiencing mental illness and chronic homelessness. As a graduate student fellow at OHE, he has collaborated with VA researchers to identify and disseminate information on health disparities that influence Veteran access to health care.



Elisabeth Warne, Health Equity Virtual Fellow


Elisabeth Warne, BA(c)

Elisabeth Warne is receiving a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Biology and Society, from Cornell University and is interested in pursuing a career in public health. She is currently interning with the Wagner Indian Health Services through the Virtual Student Federal Service program. Summer of 2019, she interned with Lane County Public Health Department in Oregon in the Maternal and Child Health department. Elisabeth is also working to understand the impact of state policies during COVID-19 and is contributing to a COVID-19 Tableau data visualization https://public.tableau.com/profile/vha.office.of.health.equity#!/vizhome/covidState6/Story1).



Fellows Emeritus


Lei-Nikki Bowser


Lei-Nikki Bowser, MHA

Presidential Management Fellow

Lei-Nikki is a Presidential Management Fellow and works at the Office of Health Equity on communication and stakeholder collaboration efforts.  She has 10+ years of experience working with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Upon arriving to OHE, Nikki works as a Government Technical Representative (GTR) for various program offices across HUD.  In her GTR role, she manages millions of federal dollars through cooperative agreements and oversees numerous technical assistance and capacity building projects that are intended to improve overall performance of HUD grantees. 

In 2018, Nikki received her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Maryland University College and is excited to work closely with the OHE team to identify and address health equity issues. Her expressed areas of interest include access to care, mental health and affordable housing.


Meredith Henne


Meredity Henne, MPH
Fellow, 2019


Meredith Henne received her MPH from the Milken School of Public Health at George Washington University, with a specialization in Community Oriented Primary Care. Prior to joining OHE, she interned at the American Correctional Association in Alexandria, VA. During that time, she assisted in the development and implementation of their Correctional Health Trainings and Certifications for correctional officers and healthcare professionals. She also served as a project assistant to develop and update surveys studying correctional Hepatitis C and Opioid Use Disorder that were distributed to several correctional systems throughout the country.

Jessly Joy MPH(c), Health Equity Fellow


Jessly Joy MPH(c)
Fellow, 2019 

Jessly Joy is a Masters of Public Health candidate at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, Class of 2020, following the Epidemiology and Biostatistics track. While an OHE fellow, she concurrently works in the Division of Analysis and Epidemiology at CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, where she supports several national public health initiatives, including Healthy People 2020 and the annual report Health, United States. Her research interests include mental health, women’s health, and health disparities.