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.
Shannon Kearney, DrPH, MPH, CPH
Shannon Kearney, DrPH, MPH, CPH, is the associate director of PERU, where she oversees the strategic planning and business operations via grants management and contract negotiations. In addition, Dr. Kearney conducts research and evaluation on health outcomes and cost effectiveness related to medication adherence. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in public health, as well as a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, all from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kearney is also board-certified in public health.
Samantha Collins, MA, LPC, NCC, MAC, CACII
Program Director, SBIRT
Samantha Collins, MA, LPC, NCC, MAC, CACII, is the program director of SBIRT at PERU, where she oversees SBIRT student training and Pennsylvania SBIRT projects. Ms. Collins is a licensed counselor, as well as a certified addictions counselor. She is experienced in providing clinical training and supporting the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practices in physical and behavioral healthcare settings. She earned her master’s degree in forensic psychology from the University of Denver and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
Stephen Garcia, MBA
Program Director, Organizational Health
Stephen Garcia, MBA, is the organizational health program director at PERU, where he works on numerous projects that involve program implementation and support and organizational health evaluation and technical assistance. His background includes previous work in community health, as well as employee training and project management. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from Lewis University and a certificate in executive leadership from Cornell University. Mr. Garcia also holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Northern Illinois University.
Sherry Rickard-Aasen, MBA
Sherry Rickard-Aasen, MBA, is the training coordinator for PERU’s student training projects for healthcare professionals within the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and School of Medicine. She has spent the majority of her career in the healthcare field in a variety of positions, including marketing research and marketing information systems, project management, clinical trial management, study coordination, and training coordination for healthcare provider education. Ms. Rickard-Aasen earned her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University.
Alexandra Nowalk, MPH, CPH, CHES
Alexandra Nowalk, MPH, CPH, CHES, is the training coordinator for the Pennsylvania SBIRT project at 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.
Jennifer Tracy, MSEd
Jennifer Tracy, MSEd, is the training coordinator for PERU’s SBIRT student training projects for healthcare professionals at Chatham University, the University of the Sciences, Morehouse School of Medicine, Kennesaw State University, and Clark Atlanta University. Previously, Ms. Tracy worked in the education field. She earned a master’s degree in education at Simmons College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in psychology at West Virginia University.
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.
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.
Abigail Bartus, MPH, CPH
Abigail Bartus, MPH, CPH, is a research specialist for Project RAMP. She earned her master’s degree in public health with a concentration in management, intervention, and community practice at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in infectious diseases and microbiology. Ms. Bartus earned her bachelor’s degree in public health at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. She is experienced in health education curriculum development, as well as disease surveillance and monitoring. She is also board-certified in public health.
Jaime Fawcett is a research specialist with a focus on program implementation and organizational health technical assistance and qualitative evaluation. Prior to her role as research specialist, Ms. Fawcett was PERU’s communications specialist where she developed scientific reports, presentations, academic manuscripts, grants, and other communications. 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.
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.
Abigail Talbert, CPH
Abigail Talbert, CPH, is a research specialist 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.
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.
John Radack, MS
Research Data Analyst
John Radack, MS, is the research data analyst at PERU, where he works on a number of PERU’s large healthcare data projects. He conducts analyses on cost, patient health outcomes, training proficiency for the SBIRT projects, and program satisfaction. Mr. Radack earned a master’s degree in applied statistics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, both from Villanova University. He is experienced in conducting statistical research projects. Mr. Radack has also taken part in the Summer Institute for Biostatistics (SIBS) at the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
Melanie Callahan is the research administrator where she assists with PERU operations, including grant pre- and post-award administration. Ms. Callahan earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently a Spring 2018 Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in behavioral and community health sciences.
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.