Janice Pringle, PhD
Jan Pringle, PhD, is the founder and director of PERU, as well as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Dr. Pringle is an epidemiologist by training, with extensive experience in health services research. She has conducted numerous health services research studies and program evaluation efforts involving, but not limited to: screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), innovative addiction treatment, intervention and prevention models, medication adherence, enhancement interventions, and patient access to care. Dr. Pringle developed a framework for assessing organizational health and guiding systems transformation, which has been used within the Veterans Health Administration, primary care practices, and integrated care practices, as well as other healthcare sites and entities. In addition, she is the co-chair of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ Clinical Standards Committee. She has also developed healthcare research and briefs that have been used to inform policy development, at both the state and federal level. Throughout her career, Dr. Pringle has secured over $130 million in grants from a variety of sources.
Meghana Aruru, PhD
Meghana Aruru, PhD is the Associate Director for PERU. She earned her doctorate in Health Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009, Masters in Business Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago in 2003 and her Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Mumbai in India. Dr. Aruru has worked for health systems in three countries – the United States, India and Haiti – and is highly versed in research and service delivery with rigorous methodological processes. She has worked as a faculty member at two schools of pharmacy, Midwestern University and Roosevelt University, and led Roosevelt’s accreditation for the School of Pharmacy. Dr. Aruru served as a U.S.FDA consultant for the Risk Communications Advisory Committee. In her new role, Dr. Aruru aims to apply principles of effective risk communication and policy innovation to innovative care practice models to improve healthcare services and delivery.
Lynn Mirigian, PhD
Project Director, Pennsylvania Opioid Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center
Lynn Mirigian, PhD, is the project director for the Pennsylvania Opioid Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center (TAC) at PERU. She manages a dedicated team to support counties across the Commonwealth as they mobilize to fight the increasing issue of drug overdose deaths. Dr. Mirigian is experienced in teaching technical information to non-experts, policy development, strategic planning, implementation, and communications. She earned her doctoral degree at the National Institutes of Health through a partnership with the University of Texas Medical Branch, where she researched biochemistry and cell biology. Previously, Dr. Mirigian worked as a science policy manager in Washington, DC, where she conducted science policy research, marketing and administration of a peer-reviewed journal, and scientific task force management.
Alexandra Nowalk, MPH, CPH, CHES
SBIRT Program Director
Alexandra Nowalk, MPH, CPH, CHES, is the SBIRT Program Director for PERU. Her background includes mental health research and work in the nonprofit sector to address health disparities in minority populations. She earned her master’s degree in public health with a certificate in global health from the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in behavioral and community health sciences. Ms. Nowalk holds dual bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and global studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also board-certified in public health and a certified health education specialist.
Project Coordinator, MyVA Access Wave III Evaluation
Jaime Fawcett is a project coordinator for the MyVA Access Wave III Evaluation. In this role, Ms. Fawcett leads program implementation, organizational health technical assistance, and qualitative evaluation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in professional writing with an additional degree in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon University, where she researched scientific writing communications and pedagogy. She uses her expertise in scientific writing and communications to contribute to grant writing, report and manuscript generation, and presentation development.
Megan Neuf, MSW, MPH
Project Coordinator, Pennsylvania Opioid Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center
Megan Neuf, MSW, MPH, is the Project Coordinator for the TAC. Ms. Neuf earned joint master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 with specialties in community health and community organizing with an emphasis on public policy. Megan’s background includes work in grantmaking foundations, issue-based advocacy organizations, and municipal government.
Abigail Talbert, MPH, CPH
Project Coordinator, Pennsylvania SBIRT
Abigail Talbert, CPH, is a Project Coordinator for Pennsylvania SBIRT, where she conducts data collection and evaluation. Ms. Talbert has prior professional experience in public health law analysis and local health department administration. She earned her bachelor’s degree in immunology and infectious disease from The Pennsylvania State University with minors in biology and global health. Ms. Talbert is board-certified in public health and is a Spring 2017 Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in behavioral and community health.
Project Coordinator, Rural Access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Pennsylvania
Jack Warwick, MPH, is the Project Coordinator for Project RAMP or Rural Access to MAT in Pennsylvania. Mr. Warwick earned his master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in behavioral and community health sciences. He earned his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Indiana University-Bloomington. His background includes work in molecular and cellular research at the Hillman Cancer Center of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and neurological research at Indiana University-Bloomington.
Martha Landolina, MEd
Martha Landolina, MEd, is the Training Coordinator for the PERU SBIRT student training collaborations. She earned a master’s degree in health education from Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental health from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is experienced with social service systems, client treatment, program development, and employee training initiatives.
Brianna McDonough, MPH, CPH
Brianna McDonough, MPH, CPH, is a training coordinator at PERU with a focus on SBIRT and organizational health. She earned a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in behavioral and community health sciences, as well as a certificate in public health preparedness and disaster response, from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. McDonough holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and history and philosophy of science (HPS) from the University of Pittsburgh. She is board-certified in public health.
Vanessa Baaklini, MSW
Vanessa Baaklini, MSW, is a research specialist for Pennsylvania SBIRT. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her master’s degree in social work with a specialization in mental health and substance use from The Ohio State University. Ms. Baaklini’s role is to conduct data collection, evaluation, and reporting for PA SBIRT.
Allison Burrell, MPH, CPH, CHES
Allison Burrell, MPH, CPH, CHES, is a research specialist for the TAC. She earned her master’s degree in public health with a concentration in environmental and occupational health, as well as a certificate in risk assessment, from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Burrell earned her bachelor’s degree in public health from Oregon State University, as well as a certificate in global health from the Centre for Social Medicine, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences in India. She is a certified health education specialist and board-certified in public health. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning and grant management, as well as data collection, analysis, and reporting. Ms. Burrell uses geographic information system (GIS) software to identify hot spot areas in counties looking to reduce overdose and manages the OverdoseFreePA overdose death data.
Laken Ethun, MPH
Laken Ethun, MPH, is the lead research specialist for the TAC. She earned a master’s degree in public health, specializing in behavioral and community health sciences, from the University of Pittsburgh. During her time at Pitt, she conducted a practicum at Prevention Point Pittsburgh. Ms. Ethun earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Joseph’s University. Her areas of expertise include county coalition development, communication, and sustainability, as well as the implementation of programs that reduce opioid overdose. In addition, she plans and develops county-level workshops related to various aspects of the opioid and drug overdose epidemic, and conducts legislative research to brief county leadership on relevant state and federal laws.
Susan Fisher, MUP
Susan Fisher, MUP, is a research specialist for the Centers of Excellence project, she works with counties throughout the Commonwealth to implement sustainable programs and build stakeholder relationships to help reduce opioid overdoses in communities. Ms. Fisher has more than 15 years of experience managing community health and economic impact projects, and conducting quantitative and qualitative research and analysis.
Marco Pugliese, MS
Marco Pugliese, MS, is a research specialist for the TAC, where he manages the organization and content of the OverdoseFreePA website in collaboration with partner organizations. He earned a master’s degree in health, physical activity, and chronic disease, as well as a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Pugliese has prior research experience with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, both in Pittsburgh. His areas of expertise include coalition health assessment and evaluation, motivational interviewing, and communication strategies.
Erin Straw, MPH
Erin Straw, MPH, is a research specialist for the TAC, where she assists with data analysis and information management for various healthcare entities, law enforcement, emergency medical services and departments. Her areas of expertise include county coordination, community activation and awareness, and recovery support. Ms. Straw earned a master’s degree in public health, specializing in environmental and occupational health, with a certificate in risk assessment from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and natural science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Heather Santa, MS, MA
Heather Santa, MS, MA, is a research specialist for PERU’s SBIRT initiatives. She earned two master’s degrees from Chatham University in biology and psychology. Ms. Santa earned her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Westminster College. She conducts data collection, evaluation, and reporting for Pennsylvania SBIRT and the student training projects for healthcare professionals.
Ryan Stept, MSc
Organizational Health Specialist
Ryan Stept, MSc, is an organizational health specialist for the Wave III MyVA Access evaluation where he assists with data collection, data analysis, reporting, and providing recommendations for improving organizational health within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system. Mr. Stept obtained his bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Colorado and a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration from St. Joseph’s University. He has multiple years of pharmacy experience at both the clinical and administrative level.
Robbie Sciulli, BSN, MPM
Robbie Sciulli, BSN, MPM, is the research clinician at PERU, where she utilizes her clinical expertise in various research initiatives. Ms. Sciulli earned a master’s degree in public management from Carnegie Mellon University and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from The Pennsylvania State University. She works to develop telephone-based applications for veterans in collaboration with the Veterans Health Administration. Ms. Sciulli is experienced in designing efficient hospital operations and embedding processes to support best clinical practices. Her clinical specialties include cardiac, vascular, pulmonary, critical care, and pediatrics.
Nicholas Korach, MS
Nicholas Korach, MS, is the data manager for data quality control for PERU’s SBIRT student training programs and assists with the administration of the PGH SBIRT training website. Mr. Korach earned a master’s degree in applied statistics from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Reina Wang, PhD
Research Data Analyst
Reina Wang, PhD, is a research data analyst for the TAC. She earned her doctoral degree in rehabilitation science with a concentration in health information management, from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wang has prior research experience with the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve (FOCUS Pittsburgh) to develop data-driven systems to support medically under-served communities. Her areas of expertise include healthcare informatics, data analytics, and telemedicine.
Monica Gaydos, MA
Monica Gaydos, MA, is a Technical Writer for the TAC and the Centers of Excellence (COE) projects within PERU. Monica holds a master’s degree in Social, Therapeutic, and Community Studies from the University of London. Her background in technical writing, graphics, and editing was gained from positions held at law firms, financial firms, and major publishing houses in New York City from 1990-2006, and as a freelance technical writer, editor, and grant writer for several nonprofit organizations in Pittsburgh, PA since 2006. Monica also has research, clinical, and teaching experience as a registered dance/movement therapist (R-DMT) and yoga therapist (RYT-200) and brings a strong commitment to health and wellness to her research and writing work at PERU.
Manager of Research Projects and Finance
John McKaveney is the Manager of Research Projects and Finance. In this role, he administers contracts, budgets, and other items to support PERU’s research portfolio and mission. Mr. McKaveney has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance. He has previous experience in payment processing and compliance with Tufts University’s International Programs and Partnerships.
Ellie Sweeney, MS
Ellie Sweeney, MS, is the executive assistant to Dr. Pringle and assists with administrative responsibilities at PERU. She earned a master’s degree in criminology from Florida State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice with a minor in Russian, also from Florida State University.
Research Administrative Assistant
Susan Price is a research administrative assistant at PERU. She has worked with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy since 1980. Ms. Price’s areas of expertise are research and administration. She assists in data and study coordination, as well as the coordination of conferences and other events for PERU.