holmes_mark_at mapCenter Director, Mark Holmes, PhD

Mark Holmes, PhD, has been the director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research since August 2016.

Holmes is a professor and associate chair for research in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. He has served with the Sheps Center since 1997, beginning as a graduate research assistant and most recently as the director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, a senior research fellow and the co-director of the Program on Health Care Economics and Finance.

Holmes received his B.S. from Michigan State University, majoring in mathematics and economics, and his PhD from the Department of Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill. His interests include hospital finance, rural health, workforce, health policy, and patient-centered outcomes research. In 2014, he received the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty and in 2015 he was named the Outstanding Rural Health Researcher by the National Rural Health Association. Previously, he was vice president of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, where he gained experience in North Carolina health policy. He also served on the board of the North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool, and is a member of advisory boards and committees to multiple programs in North Carolina. His state policy work led to his 2010 Health Care Hero “Rising Star” and 2012 “Forty Under Forty” awards from the Triangle Business Journal.

Deputy Director for Policy, Erin Fraher, PhD, MPP

Fraher-for-webFraher has worked as a policy analyst and health workforce researcher in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. She is the Director of the Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. For nearly 15 years, she has led the work of the Program to provide policy-relevant research to inform state and national debates about how to best educate and deploy health care professionals. Fraher is an Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, holding joint appointments in the Departments of Family Medicine and Surgery. Her current work focuses on assessing what educators, employers and other stakeholders can do to retool and reconfigure the health workforce to meet the demands of a transformed health system reform. Fraher earned her PhD in Health Policy and Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her Masters in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and her BA from Wellesley College.


Deputy Director for Data Analytics and Information Technology, Brian Cass

Cass has over 20 years of experience leading IT teams both in public and private sectors, and within the academic administration, education, and research spaces.  He is currently Deputy Director for Data Management and IT for the Cecil G. Sheps Center where he leads the 4 IT teams at Sheps, which are Data Analytics, Web and Database Programming, Systems Administration and Security, and Desktop Security. Since 2011, Cass participated in the design and implementation of over 50+ health services related research projects funded by NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Cancer Society, and private foundations.