All projects and staff members are categorized into a portfolio area, functional group, or additional group as noted below. The portfolio groups implement, evaluate, and/or research evidence-informed programs. Functional groups serve as specialized internal consulting teams for all projects, and additional groups ensure the project activities are technically applied by functional groups and align with the PERU values.

  • Portfolio areas: Innovative Health System Initiatives (IHSI), Community Health Initiatives (CHI)
  • Functional groups: Data Analytics and Informatics (DAI), Program Evaluation and Quality Improvement (EQI), Training and Communications (T&C)
  • Additional groups: Administration, Equity, System Transformation Support (STS), Research Science
Lori Abbott
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Lori Abbott, MA LPC, is the Associate Program Implementation Specialist in the Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy. Within PERU, Ms. Abbot has worked across several programs providing technical assistance in establishing both SBIRT and Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) in primary care and single county authority (SCA) settings. Additionally, Ms. Abbott has provided over 50 trainings to both PERU staff and stakeholders. Ms. Abbott has worked for over 25 years in mental health and substance use treatment services.
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Poonam Alaigh
Director of Innovation
Poonam Alaigh, MS, MD, is the Director of Innovation for PERU. Poonam has worked in a variety of high-level healthcare administration and policy roles. Most notably: Acting Under Secretary of Health and Senior Advisor for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Medical Director for GlaxoSmithKline and Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and as Commissioner for the Commission of Health and Senior Services for New Jersey. As PERU’s Director of Innovation, Poonam identifies best practices and emerging healthcare trends. Poonam works with healthcare leaders in both the government and private sector to enhance PERU’s capabilities and offerings and ensure its growth. Poonam earned her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Science in Health Care Policy and Management from Stony Brook University. Poonam is a Six Sigma Black Belt and mom.
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Rahul Amruthapuri
Manager, EQI
Rahul has eight years of experience working within and outside the United States. Before coming to Pittsburgh, he worked with a team implementing a year-long community health fellowship program in Bengaluru, India. At Pitt, he started working as a graduate student researcher with the Center for Health Equity and later worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health. He currently works as the Manager of Program Evaluation and Quality providing evaluation support for various federally and state-funded grants.
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Daniel Auflick
Program Manager, CHI
Daniel Auflick, LMSW, is the Program Manager for Criminal Justice within Community Health Initiatives (CHI). He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Binghamton University and a Master of Social Work from the University at Buffalo. For the last eight years, Daniel has provided both direct services and community-based programming aimed at engaging and improving health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness and substance use disorder. When not working, you can find Daniel playing with his two daughters, losing to his partner in Scrabble, or watching his beloved Arsenal Football Club. Pronouns: He/Him
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Toluwanimi Babarinde
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Toluwanimi Babarinde MB; BS, MPH, MS is passionate about Public Health, Child Development, and Transformative Creativity. He is a Nigerian-trained physician and has a keen interest in health promotion and education, mental health, and human development and has worked in the health and education fields, researching and developing effective behavioral interventions using evidence-based methods. He is an AmeriCorps alum, builds libraries for underserved children in Nigeria through the Great Minds Library nonprofit, and writes and publishes transformative stories for children.
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Fran Baisden
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Fran (they/them), MID, began their journey as an Associate Implementation Specialist at PERU in April 2021 and carries over one and a half years of experience as a substance use disorder (SUD) counselor. They are passionate about gender and educational reformation policies, and strive to destigmatize SUD in their professional and personal life. Fran enjoys reading, anime, dancing, and most importantly, spending time with their cat and best companion, Artemis.
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Shiryl Barto
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Shiryl Barto, M.Ed. (she/her) is an Associate Program Implementation Specialist for Criminal Justice in the Community Health Initiatives(CHI) portfolio at PERU. She provides training and technical assistance to funders and community stakeholders engaged in evidence-based program implementation. Prior to her arrival at Pitt, she provided public health-driven leadership to prevention efforts addressing school-based health, community violence, and child sexual abuse prevention and intervention. Shiryl enjoys traveling, golf, Pitt football & spending time with her husband and their four children.
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Katherine Bedford
Program Manager, CHI
Julie Brewer
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Julie (she/her) is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist for the Centers of Excellence within the Community Health Initiatives (CHI). She has worked in various settings including substance use, mental health, and criminal justice. Julie earned her Masters' of Social Work and Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh.
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Rachel Carpenter
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Rachel is an Associate Program Implementation Specialist for the Opioid Use Disorder Technical Assistance Center (ORTAC). She earned a Master of Science in Global Health from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to coming to Pitt, she was a Disease Investigator for the Health Department and has managed health education teams in Nigeria and Kenya. She has over two years of experience teaching infection control to displaced populations in Pittsburgh. Rachel's passions are working with underserved communities, maternal and infant health, and those struggling with substance use disorders.
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Chris Chirdon
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Chris Chirdon, MEd (he/him) is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist in the Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center. Though his credentials lie in education policy and community engagement, he also has significant experience in information technology and project management. As such, he tends to use online collaboration tools and technology to innovate solutions to his projects and new problems he encounters. Outside of PERU, Chris works to improve bike and pedestrian mobility equity through his nonprofit. He enjoys dystopian stories, absurdist comedy, and hacker/maker tinkering.
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Allison Clevenger
Deputy Director, IHSI
Alli Clevenger, MPH (she/her), IHSI Deputy Director. She offers strategic leadership, management, and business development for the IHS portfolio, including overseeing over 10 federal and state funded programs to improve substance use and mental health prevention, treatment, and recovery services. She has extensive experience in developing and implementing data-informed, evidence-based, and actionable strategies resulting in legislative, policy, and practice change. Alli has over 10 years' experience designing, managing, and evaluating public health programs at global, state, and local levels.
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Renee Cloutier
Director, Research
Dr. Renee Cloutier joined PERU in 2021 after completing a series of NIDA funded pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at the University of North Texas and Pennsylvania State University. Renee brings 10+ years of experience to assist the PERU Director in running a research unit focused on public health programs related to substance use disorders and mental health prevention initiatives. This includes identifying and operationalizing evidence-based practices to inform implementation, disseminating findings, developing funding proposals, as well as establishing community and academic partnerships.
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Jacqueline Cohen
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Jacqueline Cohen, MPH, is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist for the Care Coordination team within Innovative Health System Initiatives (IHSI). She is responsible for developing and implementing programs that improve care pathways for individuals with substance use disorder. She is responsible for creating educational materials, facilitating trainings, developing implementation materials, and strengthening relationships with grant partners. Prior to joining Pitt, she interned at the CDC Genomics and Precision Health, where she helped communicate genetic health information to the public.
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Abby Cotton
Deputy Director, IHSI
Abby is a Deputy Director for the Innovative Health Services Initiatives portfolio at PERU. Abby manages the design, implementation, and evaluating of several evidence-based public health programs within various healthcare settings spanning the state of Pennsylvania.
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Kate Cridlebaugh
Associate Instructional Designer, T&C
Kate is an Associate Instructional Designer for all PERU projects. In this role, she focuses on developing interactive e-learning modules, audiovisual materials, trainings, supporting any design needs, and managing PERU's internal Learning Management System (LMS). Kate joined PERU in 2018 as a Program Implementation Specialist with CHI and transitioned her focus to instructional design in 2020. Before joining PERU, Kate educated college students and families on health insurance and facilitated access to LGBTQ+ resources in Portland, Oregon. Kate can usually be found drinking a single origin coffee with her cats Ira and Miso.
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Monique Davis
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Mindy Dawson
Executive Assistant
Mindy has more than 15 years of experience in various administrative roles. She joined the University in January 2022 as the Executive Assistant to Dr. Pringle. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, being outdoors, and especially enjoys trips to the beach.
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Jesse Dubin
Senior Program Evaluation Specialist, EQI
Jesse Dubin (they/them) is a Senior Program Evaluation Specialist. They specialize in social justice work, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary and intersectional analyses at the structural and systemic level. Jesse has over 6 years of public health research experience, working in both Spanish and English. Jesse is an abolitionist who believes true freedom will come from our collective liberation. They are originally from Central Jersey and have run 2 marathons, the most recent of which was the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2019.
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Grace Drnach-Bonaventura
Program Manager, IHSI
Grace Drnach-Bonaventura, (She/Her) MPH, CHES, is a Program Manager for the Care Coordination Projects at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU). She has experience working in maternal and child community health settings and adolescent substance use prevention programs in New Orleans. She is also an adjunct instructor at Lamar University in the Department of Health and Kinesiology. Grace earned her Masters’ of Public Health from Tulane University and is working towards her Doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Kat Fieser
Associate Training Coordinator, T&C
Kat Fieser (she/her) has over 11 years' experience in advocating for individuals and families impacted by substance use disorder. Her experience has been in direct service, curriculum development, and training service providers. She currently works as an Associate Training Coordinator with the SCOPE project to strategize ways to implement Recovery Oriented Systems of Care across our Commonwealth while assisting in diminishing the stigma and bias commonly associated with treating Overdose Survivors and their loved ones.
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Susan Fisher
Associate Communications Specialist, T&C
Susan is an Associate Communications Specialist with Training and Communications. She edits project documents, compiles a monthly report to the state, and creates a monthly internal newsletter. She has more than 20 years of project management experience.
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Kiandra Foster
Program Manager, CHI
Charles Franklin
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Chip is the Senior Program Implementation Specialist responsible for the SCOPE Statewide program in Pennsylvania. He has over 30 years of experience in Emergency Medical Services and has been involved in the Mobile Integrated Health movement as a Community Paramedic. Prior to coming to Pitt, he was a Community Paramedic at the Allegheny Health Network. He works continuously to elevate the standard for out of hospital medicine by challenging the way we've always done it.
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William Gorsuch
Assistant Training Coordinator, CHI
Will is an Associate Training Coordinator working with PERUs Strategies to Coordinate Overdose Prevention Efforts (SCOPE) Statewide First Responder Training. He brings over a decade of marketing, public relations, and social media experience to PERU along with his Master of Arts (MA): in Journalism and Mass Communications background. A pop culture and video game enthusiast, Will also enjoys building computers and listening to audiobooks on various subjects. Currently, Will is working on his goal to collect all 6 of the Infinity Stones.
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Greg Elvis Griffith
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Greg (he/him) is a Senior Implementation Specialist with IHSI. He provides site consultation, training presentations, and technical assistance for stakeholders on behalf of the NWPA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program. Greg earned an MSL from Pitt School of Law and is a Navy and Reserve Veteran. He has 20 years working on healthcare & criminal justice reform, lobbying at both the state and federal level for change in unequal sentencing laws. Greg admits that he may be a professional Jedi, but he’s just a Padawan to his daughter Lali, who always reminds him that his training is not complete.
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Brenda Hall Sciulli
Deputy Director, CHI
Brenda Hall Sciulli, BA, OCPC, is the Deputy Director for the Community Health Initiative Portfolio working with the Strategies for Coordinating Overdose Prevention Efforts (SCOPE) and Pennsylvania Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center (ORTAC) Coalition projects. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Individual Family Studies from Kent State University and has her certification as an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant. Brenda has 24 years of extensive experience working in the field of Prevention and Coalition Building. She enjoys spending time with her family and 3 dogs.
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Michelle Hansel
Fiscal and Grants Manager
Michelle has seven years of experience in grants management. She is responsible for fiscal administration and reporting, research administration and compliance, high-level sponsor relationship development and maintenance, research and related legal agreement development and execution, and project management for PERU's portfolios. She has worked with funding agencies such as the Health Resources & Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, PA Commission On Crime and Delinquency, and various foundations.
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Rachel Hersh
Portfolio Director, CHI
Rachel (she/her) has dedicated her career to serving marginalized and economically at-risk communities. She is passionate about the health and cultural wellness of vulnerable communities. Her work has been instrumental in designing and implementing integrated clinical and community service lines to improve access to care and defragmented health systems. She is skilled at spotting unseen patterns, connecting the dots inside complex bodies of knowledge, and identifying where systems overlap in order to envision an organization's preferred mission and vision-based future.
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Lois Hilty
Operations Manager
Joshua Hoffman
Assistant Data Manager, DAI
Joshua (he/him) works as an Assistant Data Manager for the Data, Analytics, and Informatics (DA&I) functional group. He also supports projects in the Capacity Development portfolio under the Innovative Health System Initiatives (IHSI). Joshua collects, manages, analyzes, and reports evaluation data across several projects. His work also extends to supporting the Fiscal & Grant Services in budgeting and reporting. Joshua has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration.
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Katie Holler
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Katie Holler, MPH, is a Senior Project Implementation Specialist who has worked for PERU’s Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center (ORTAC) since 2021. She provides technical assistance to county and neighborhood-based coalitions across Pennsylvania to help them fulfill their visions and work towards reducing overdoses in their communities. Katie earned her Master of Public Health in 2016, and has been working in the Pittsburgh region since then in roles dedicated to reducing health disparities, improving health access, and empowering communities to achieve positive change.
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Brian R. Issi
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Brian R. Issi, MSW, CRS is an Associate Program Implementation Specialist for the Centers of Excellence (COE) project in the Community Health Initiative (CHI). He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and Master of Social Work from Penn West California. Brian brings with him five years of front-line experience working for, and later supervising, a successful COE in Southwestern Pennsylvania. He has been a person in recovery since 2014 and is passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding opioid usage.
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Marla B. Johnson
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Marla B. Johnson, EdD is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist for Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center (ORTAC). Dr. Johnson provides technical assistance and consulting services to funded grantees and coalitions in implementing overdose reduction projects through the delivery of strategic projects, and coordinate data, and evaluation needs. Prior to joining Pitt, Marla spent over 20 years working with non-profits, HIV/AIDS, teaching in religious and secular settings and as a co-occurring therapist. Marla is an educational and beauty consultant, artist, and an ordained minister.
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Lara Konefal-Shaer
Senior Data Analyst, DAI
Lara Konefal-Shaer, MS, is a senior data analyst with PERU's data and informatics team. She is the primary data analyst assigned to several projects across both portfolios within PERU, providing analysis, reporting, data collection assistance and other data related program and stakeholder support. Lara was formerly the Data Analyst for 2-1-1 and other program areas with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
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Mandy Kramer
Executive Assistant, CHI
Mandy Kramer, BA, is the Executive Assistant to the CHI Directors and Program Managers. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Grand Canyon University and completed coursework towards an MFA from Point Park University. Mandy has 10 years of experience working in higher education, having first discovered her passion for in this field during her freshman year of college. Mandy loves spending time with her family, making fresh green juice, and hiking in North Park with her dogs.
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Katie Krancevich
Program Manager, IHSI
Katie Krancevich, MPH, is a Program Manager for the Northwest Pennsylvania Veteran Suicide Prevention Program within the Innovative Health System Initiatives (IHSI). In her role, she oversees and coordinates the implementation of the programs strategic plan and is responsible for developing strong relationships with federal, state, and local partners. She earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and has spent her career working on translational research programs.
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Martha Landolina
Senior Training Coordinator, T&C
Martha Landolina, MEd, is a Senior Training Coordinator serving multiple PERU projects. Marty provides support for projects training healthcare professional students to address harmful substance use and is a member of the Training and Communications functional team. Marty has over 35 years of experience in training related to behavior change, trauma-informed care, health and wellness, and program improvement. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and her Master of Education in Health Education from the Pennsylvania State University.
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Latonya Latamore
Senior Equity Specialist
Latonya Latamore, PhD, serves as the inaugural Senior Equity Specialist at PERU. She has over 20 years of experience working in local government, specializing in federal and private grant funding in the areas of financial/program monitoring, contract administration, and workforce development. Dr. Latamore provides consultation and facilitates conversations on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in government and faith-based and community organizations. She has an interest in health equity research that focuses on structural racism and discrimination and disparities affecting BIPOC.
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Lori Lawrence
Deputy Director, CHI
Lori Lawrence, MBA, MS, LPC, is a Deputy Director within the Community Health Initiatives portfolio. She earned a Bachelors of Arts: Psychology from Ohio University, Master of Science: Psychology from Chatham University and a Master in Business Administration: Strategic Leadership and Globalization from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has over a decade of leadership, management and direct service experience in the healthcare industry with a focus on individual, organizational and system change.
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Mark Livingstone
Graduate Research Assistant
Mark (he/him) is one of the Graduate Research Assistants working within the research department of PERU. He has experience working in Bioengineering at Clemson University and is bringing that experience to PERU. He works to help with conferences, manuscripts, and organization in PERU.
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Kayla McCormick
Associate Implementation Specialist, CHI
Kayla McCormick (she/they), MA, is an Associate Implementation Specialist for the Overdose Prevention Technical Assistance Center (ORTAC). Kayla has prior experience working on grants where they served as Program Manager for an Interprofessional Teamwork and Collaboration HRSA grant and assisted with the SAMHSA funded Suicide Prevention grant at WVU.
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Helen Matusick
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Helen Matusick has more than a decade of experience in Labor Relations, having worked as a Uniserv Director for the Ohio Education Association, as well as the Service Employees International Union, in San Diego. She has negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements and successfully litigated many labor arbitration hearings on behalf of the unions. Later in her career she became very involved in volunteer efforts, working in recovery in Pittsburgh, which led to a career in Harm Reduction working as the Service Navigator for Prevention Point of Pittsburgh.
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Brianna McDonough
Manager of Training and Instructional Design, T&C
Brianna McDonough, MPH, CPH provides support and oversight on both internal and external training and instructional design efforts at PERU. Brianna has more than eight years of experience in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health initiatives. She has researched strategies for effective stakeholder communication and engagement. She has also implemented user-centered design processes in the development of educational tools and trainings. Her areas of interest include behavioral health, health equity, emergency preparedness/response, and philosophy of science.
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Joseph McNeill
Associate Program Evaluation Specialist, EQI
Annette Mich
Director, System Transformation Support (STS)
Annette Mich, MS, is Director of System Transformation Support across all PERU projects. Annette earned a Master of Science from Rush University and a Bachelor of Science from The Pennsylvania State University. Annette has devoted her career to system design and improvement as a means to helping people succeed at work that has meaning to them. Annette met her husband at and sent her children to Penn State. She Hails to Pitt except when the Nittany Lions take on the Pitt Panthers in football. Pronouns: She/Her
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John Miller
Manager of Technical Writing, T&C
John and the Technical Writing and Communications team ensure PERUs message is clear, consistent, and has a positive impact on the people and communities served. His past roles at the University include grant writing at the Graduate School of Public Health and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he led grantee and public communications, helped launch the Giving Pledge, and managed local sponsorship grants around the Pacific Northwest.
About Me
Debra Moore
Director, EQI
Debra Moore, PhD, has over 15 years experience as a psychometrician, evaluator, data analyst, and methodologist. Prior to PERU, she directed the statewide assessment for students with cognitive disabilities, developed competency-based curricula and assessments for university degree-granting programs, and was psychometrician, evaluator, and data analyst for federal, state, and privately funded programs seeking to improve STEM education or increase opportunities for minoritized populations. A NBPTS-certified music teacher, she has taught courses in research methods, assessment, and statistics.
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Jessica Northcott
Program Manager, IHSI
Jessica (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is currently working in a program manager role within the Innovative Health System Initiatives (IHSI). Jessica supports the pharmacy and treatment integration teams, focusing on increasing access to MOUD in the community and implementing SBIRT in pharmacy settings. Prior to coming to Pitt, Jessica was providing substance use treatment services in a jail-based setting to a variety of patient populations. Jessica loves spending her free time with her two dachshunds, Oscar and Fenway.
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Joshua O'Malley
Associate Program Evaluation Specialist, EQI
Riley O'Neill
Assistant Informatics Analyst, DAI
Jennifer Palmquist
Senior Training Coordinator, T&C
Jennifer Palmquist (she/her), M.Ed., is a Senior Training Coordinator with PERU. She currently works with the Strategies for Coordinating Overdose Prevention Efforts (SCOPE) project within Community Health Initiatives (CHI). Jennifer has nearly 10 years of experience developing, facilitating, and evaluating curriculum and programming including professional development for diverse groups of individuals. She is passionate about learning opportunities for all and believes that it is a lifelong endeavor.
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Jill Petanovich
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Jill is an Associate Program Implementation Specialist for the Centers of Excellence project in CHI. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. Jill has over 12 years of experience working in mental health and substance use disorders as both a clinician and a regulatory program monitor.
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Matt Phillips
Associate Program Implementation Specialist (PIS)
Matt has more than 20 years of experience working in content development, communications, and marketing at several of Pittsburgh's cultural institutions, including the National Aviary, Kennywood Park, and Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where he served as Exhibit Developer and Senior Writer/Editor. His favorite accomplishment was creating the storylines for Dinosaurs in Their Time, the dramatic multi-million dollar reimagination of the museum's venerable Dinosaur Hall. As Executive Coordinator at PERU, he assists Dr. Pringle with project management tasks.
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Dylan Pieper
Associate Data Analyst, DAI
Dylan (he/him) is an Associate Data Analyst in the Data, Analytics, and Informatics functional group. He is responsible for developing data pipelines and reports, running statistical analyses, co-authoring manuscripts, and training staff. He earned a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. Dylan works remotely and lives in Wisconsin.
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Susan Price
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Susan Price is an Associate Program Implementation Specialist for the Innovative Health System Initiatives (IHSI) Team. Over the past 30+ years, she has had the pleasure of holding several roles (I especially enjoy working with people). Susan started working at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy right out of high school, being the youngest member of the staff. Now, to say she went from being single, to married, to a proud mom of twin boys, and now a proud "Grandma” and is still HERE but not the youngest member anymore. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
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Janice Pringle
PERU Founder and Director
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. Pronouns: She/Her
About Me
Sierra Raby
Associate Data Analyst, DAI
Sierra (she/they) is an Associate Data Analyst at PERU. She recently graduated with an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from UCLA. Sierra has experience with GIS, data analysis, and community-based environmental health initiatives. She previously worked as a Peace Corps environment volunteer in Mexico, and has contributed geospatial research to public and planetary health labs at UCLA. In her free time she loves to surf and rock climb!
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Rachel Rock
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Rachel Rock, MA, is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist within Community Health Initiatives (CHI). She provides technical assistance for the Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center (ORTAC) and Strategies for Coordinating Overdose Prevention Efforts (SCOPE). Rachel has 12 years of experience working in allied healthcare as a medical assistant and medical coder, and over 14 years working in post-secondary education as faculty and corporate registrar.
About Me
Bobby Ryan
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Bobby is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC) serving as a Senior Program Implementation Specialist within the IHSI portfolio. Additionally, he is a private practitioner at Associates in Behavioral Diagnostics and Treatment (AIBDT) focusing on trauma therapy. He entered the field of behavioral health in 2012 and joined the Pitt community in April 2021. Bobby stays civically engaged as a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2006. Joining him in many virtual meetings are his two dogs Milo and Luna.
About Me
Kristy Rzepecki
Program Manager, CHI
Kristy Rzepecki, BS, is the Program Manager for SCOPE within Community Health Initatives. She earned a BS from West Liberty University in Criminal Justice with a minor in social work. Kristy joined the University in 2013 as the Sr. Title IX and Diversity Specialist. In her position, she addressed harassment and discrimination complaints; providing Title IX and diversity trainings; collaborating with students, staff, and faculty as well as the regional campuses on Title IX and diversity issues. She enjoys watching Pittsburgh sports and spending time with her daughter, Kylee. Pronouns: She/Her
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Heather Santa
Program Manager, IHSI
Heather Santa, MS, MA, is the Program Manager for Capacity Development within Innovative Health Systems Initiatives (IHSI). Heather supports PERU's vision by leading implementation, evaluation, and reporting efforts on numerous projects. She has been a part of PERU since September 2016. Heather earned both a Master of Science: Biology and a Master of Arts: Psychology from Chatham University. She enjoys relaxing with her two cats and playing pickleball in her spare time. Pronouns: She/Her
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Ellie Schneier
Associate Technical Writer, T&C
Ellie Schneier, MS, serves as associate technical writer on PERUs Training and Communication team. She is responsible for writing, editing, and proofreading grant proposals, contract proposals, manuscripts, website copy, and other scientific written and visual deliverables for external stakeholders. Prior to her position as a technical writer, she worked as a research specialist providing technical assistance and technical writing expertise on projects related to opioid overdose prevention, veteran suicide prevention, and opioid use disorder-related community-based care management.
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Elizabeth Schrage
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Elizabeth Schrage, MA, MPP, LCSW, is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist for the Centers of Excellence (COE) project. She provides technical assistance to COE sites, collaborates with MCOs, and works on other specialized projects. Prior to joining Pitt, Elizabeth spent decades working for various entities using clinical, quality, and program monitoring skills to improve clients behavioral health and services received. She enjoys helping others, traveling, cooking, golfing, attending theater productions, and watching Pittsburgh sports.
About Me
Georgie Scott
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Georgie (she/her) has spent over 3 years at PERU integrating Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) programs into many healthcare settings. She currently works on improving Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) programs in various healthcare settings. Georgie received her MPH in microbiology from the Graduate School of Public Health at Pitt prior to joining as a staff member.
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Erin Seger
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Erin Seger, MPH (she/her), is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist with the Centers of Excellence team. She is responsible for providing technical assistance to healthcare providers across Pennsylvania who serve people with opioid use disorder. Prior to joining PERU, she worked for the University of Pittsburgh's Health Sciences Library System, where she focused on increasing access to trustworthy health information for clinicians and public health practitioners.
About Me
Lisa Sipusic
Director, T&C
Lisa Sipusic, MPPM, is the Director of Training and Communications and works across PERU projects. She earned a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from The Pennsylvania State University. Lisa has more than 18 years of experience working in the health care industry in areas such as marketing and communications, project management, and strategic planning. Lisa enjoys being active outdoors, running, and traveling with her daughter.
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Deborah Sprowls
Associate Data Manager, DAI
Deborah Sprowls, BS, is an Associate Data Manager for PERU. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Penn State University. Prior to working for Pitt, she was the Database Technician at a public school district, worked at an accounting firm and was the Finance Director at some non-profit organizations. Deb lives in Berlin, PA with her husband Tom and they love to spend time with family, hike and travel, especially taking groups to Israel!
About Me
Sharon Sumansky
Director, IHSI
Sharon Sumansky is a twenty plus year veteran in the fields of behavioral & integrated health and working with vulnerable populations. She joined PERU in 2020 working as a Deputy Director in the Innovative Health Systems Initiatives (IHSI) Portfolio within PERU. Currently, Sharon is the director of the IHSI portfolio. She oversees overall portfolio and project operations, development, management, and strategic positioning.
About Me
Patti Tanner
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Patti Tanner, MA is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist for the Northwest Pennsylvania Veteran Suicide Prevention Program (NWPAVSPP). In her role, Patti provides technical assistance, site consultation and mentorship, and program implementation to community partners and stakeholders. Prior to joining Pitt, Patti served in the U.S. Navy as an AEGIS radar operator on the USS Gettysburg. Patti's civilian career has focused on community development, community organizing, advocacy work, program development and applied research.
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Lee Wagner
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Lee Wagner, BS, is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist for the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program within IHSI. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University. Lee served in the US Marine Corps for eight years and has over seven years of experience working with veterans who have experienced trauma while serving. Lee is a certified yoga teacher, and he enjoys leading others in a variety of meditative practices.
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Alexis Waksmunski
Associate Training Coordinator, T&C
Alexis Waksmunski, MPIA, serves as an associate training coordinator with the Training and Communication Functional Group. She works across projects, serving SCOPE Statewide/SCOPE Virginia and RAMP Expansion projects within the Community Health Initiatives and Innovative Health System Initiatives. She began working at PERU in 2018 and contributed to multiple projects as a program implementation specialist with the Centers of Excellence and Veterans Affairs Initiatives. Before arriving at PERU, Alexis worked at the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies.
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Jonathan Walkush
Director of Operations
• Jonathan is the Director of Operations for PERU. He earned a Bachelor's in Political Science and an Asian Studies Certificate, Chinese Language Concentration, from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as his MBA. Jonathan has lived abroad in Taiwan and Japan and has traveled throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. He has over 25 years of management experience in government, non-profit, and university settings. Jonathan is an avid reader, crossword solver, soccer and tennis player, and lover of music and the arts. He lives in Pittsburgh with his spouse of 23 years, with a son living in Philadelphia.
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Caitlin Walsh
Associate Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Caitlin Walsh, MHA, CPhT is an Associate Program Implementation Specialist for the Innovative Health Systems Initiative portfolio. Caitlin provides technical assistance and support to the Pharmacy Integration Program and the Treatment Integration Programs. Before coming to Pitt, she was a Pharmacy Operations Specialist at Allegheny General Hospital Inpatient Pharmacy. Caitlin has over 10 years of experience working in the Pharmacy profession and currently sits on the board of the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society for Health-System Pharmacists (PSHP) as a technician member.
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Erh-Hsuan (Reina) Wang
Director, DAI
Erh-Hsuan (Reina) Wang, PhD, is the Director of Data, Analytics and Informatics Functional Group. Dr. Wang’s areas of expertise include healthcare informatics, data architects, data analytics, and eHealth. One of her particular strengths is in bridging the gap between IT and clinical practice in various multidisciplinary environments. She has over 10 years’ experience working with healthcare professionals and public health communities to design data-driven optimization strategies to support decision making and continuous quality improvement.
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Erica Pitacciato Wasik
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, CHI
Erica is a Senior Implementation Specialist with Community Health Initiatives. She has 10 years of experience working in behavioral health and substance use disorder. She graduated from Waynesburg University with a master's degree in clinical mental health. She currently works on the Strategies to Coordinate Opioid Prevention Effort grant within Jefferson County, Ohio.
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Annette Werner
Associate Data Manager, DAI
Annette Werner is an Associate Data Manager for PERU. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy of Science from University of Pittsburgh. Before coming to PERU, Annette worked as a Research Data Manager for the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics for nearly 12 years and as a Research Assistant for the Department of Biostatistics for 6 years.
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Audrey Wong
Assistant Program Evaluation Specialist, EQI
Audrey is an assistant program evaluation specialist for the Program Evaluation and Quality Improvement (PEQI) team. She started as an all-temps employee since June 2021, providing support for various health initiative groups such as SCOPE, ORTAC, and COE with report writing, survey generation, interviews, data analysis, and other related tasks. She attended Pitt in 2019 focusing on the applied developmental psychology field, with interest in behavioral and community health. Prior to Pitt, she supported research projects at NYU through data collection, coding, transcription, and paper review.
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Katie Wooten
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Katie, MPH, serves as Senior Program Implementation Specialist, working with programs to improve the quality of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) treatment. She is a collaborator and partners with physical and behavioral health providers to implement programs that will improve outcomes for patients with OUD. For more than 12 years, she has developed expertise in areas such as clinical quality of care, access, and utilization of preventative services, performance measurement, and community engagement.
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Lisa Guizzetti Zur
Senior Program Implementation Specialist, IHSI
Lisa Guizzetti Zur, MPH, is a Senior Program Implementation Specialist within IHSI who currently works on the State Colleges and Universities SBIRT project. Lisa earned her Master of Public Health from the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She has experience working in communities around substance use education, prevention, and research. Lisa enjoys being with her husband, Ilan, and their three children. In her free time, she serves as the Vice President of Fundraising for Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 PTO.
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Laura Zurowski
Senior Technical Writer, T&C
Laura Zurowski, EdM, is an Senior Technical Writer with the Training and Communications functional group. Laura earned a Masters of Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy, from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Emerson College, and a Professional Certificate in Clinical Research Administration from Emmanuel College. Laura has worked in higher education writing and communications since 2001. Laura is originally from Providence, RI and moved to Pittsburgh in 2012.
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