Medicaid Waiver – About the Team

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The Medicaid 1115 Waiver Evaluation Team is comprised of four distinct groups, each playing a crucial role in assessing the effectiveness of the Medicaid Waiver. These groups carry individual responsibilities for producing multiple deliverables required by the State. Collectively, these four groups form a cohesive unit, working together to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the Medicaid 1115 Waiver.


Mark Holmes, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and Director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, where he is also the Director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center and the Co-Director of the Program on Health Care Economics and Finance at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.






Sandra Greene headshot


Dr. Greene holds a DrPH in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

She teaches courses in research design and methodology for the DrPH program in Health Leadership. She also is a Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Program on Healthcare Finance at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.




Domino portrait

Marisa Domino, PhD,  joined the College of Health Solutions at the Arizona State University in January 2022 as a Professor and the Director of the Center for Health Information and Research (CHiR).

She received her doctoral degree in health economics from Johns Hopkins University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the economics of mental health at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy.

Dr. Domino’s research interests include the economics of mental health, agency relationships among physicians, patients and insurers, the diffusion of new technologies and the public provision of health care and health insurance to low-income populations.




Paula H. Song, PhD, MHSA, MA, is a professor in the Department of Health Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to her current appointment, she was an associate professor and director of the residential master’s programs in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School.

Dr. Song’s research expertise includes health care finance, accountable care organizations (ACOs), payment reform, community benefit, and utilization and access for vulnerable populations, including the underinsured and children with disabilities. Her current research interests focus on innovative financing and delivery mechanisms to improve the delivery of health care. She has expertise using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Dr. Song teaches graduate level courses in healthcare financial management and has co-authored several leading textbooks in healthcare finance.




Valerie A. Lewis, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Fellow in the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. She is a sociologist and policy researcher with extensive experience researching health care payment and delivery reform, health care organizations, and intersections with health equity and the safety net. She uses a mix of research methods, from quantitative data and sophisticated statistical modeling to in-depth qualitative site visits. Her work has been supported by NIH, AHRQ, the Commonwealth Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Donaghue Foundation, Arnold Ventures, and The Duke Endowment. Dr. Lewis earned a BA from Rice University and an MA and PhD in sociology from Princeton University. She completed postdoctoral training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, she was on the faculty of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.






Dr. DeWalt is an expert in primary care and innovative models of care delivery and financing. His research spans new models of care, health disparities, health literacy, quality improvement, and patient reported outcomes. From 2014-2016, Dr. DeWalt led a group at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to help support new models of care delivery and financing. Dr. DeWalt has a long history of research and quality improvement at local, regional, and national levels. Dr. DeWalt was the principal investigator for the North Carolina Infrastructure for Maintaining Primary Care Transformation (NC IMPaCT) grant from AHRQ.






Dr. Christopher M. Shea

Dr. Shea’s training is in the fields of organizational behavior and health informatics. His research focuses on evaluating innovations within health organizations, particularly innovations supported by information technology for the purpose of improving care quality. Examples of such innovations include electronic health record (EHR) modules to improve provider-patient communication; EHR meaningful use objectives for improving care coordination and patient-and-family engagement; and virtual tumor boards to engage clinicians in multidisciplinary discussions of complex cancer cases.

His research has employed both quantitative and qualitative methods. For example, Dr. Shea has used latent class analysis to develop a taxonomy of EHR sophistication in U.S. hospitals. Regarding qualitative methods, he has experience conducting interviews with clinicians and staff in health care organizations.




Justin G. Trogdon, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Prior to his faculty appointment, Dr. Trogdon was a Senior Research Health Economist in the Public Health Economics Program at Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) and a visiting instructor at Duke University.








Dr. Seth A. Berkowitz is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology. His specialty area is primary care internal medicine. Dr. Berkowitz’s clinical and research interests include unmet basic resource needs, food insecurity, and methods of casual inference.








Project Managers



Dawn Bergmire has been a Project Manager at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for over 18 years. Having managed research projects at The School of Nursing and Gillings School of Global Public Health, she now supports principal investigators at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.  She currently manages the Qualitative and Survey components of the NC Medicaid 1115 Waiver Evaluation.



Alejandra Madrid is a Project Manager at Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Service Research. She received her Bachelor’s in Sociology from Central Connecticut State University and her Master’s in Business Analytics from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She currently manages the Quantitative component of the NC Medicaid 1115 Waiver Evaluation.





Myklynn LaPoint is a Project Manager at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She manages the Healthy Opportunities Pilot component of the NC Medicaid 1115 Waiver Evaluation. Her areas of interest are related to understanding the impacts of systemic inequities within the realms of both healthcare and education with the goal to assist in improving outcomes and policies.




Data Scientists



Ashley Avis


Ashley is a Data Scientist at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. She received Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics and Mathematics Education from NCSU and her Master’s in Analytics from NCSU. Ashley is passionate about using healthcare data to support patients, the community, and policies or processes. Ashley has particular interests in Health Equity and AI Ethics to ensure equitable treatment of patients and people. Nicknamed “The Ms. Frizzle of Data Science”, Ashley is passionate about explaining patterns and findings in clear and exciting ways to help others notice and interpret results.




Phil is a Data Scientist and Data Engineer at the Sheps Center with the University of North Carolina. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Connecticut and his Master’s in Analytics North Carolina State University. With experience in the Financial industry and Juvenile Justice, among others, Phil is passionate about using his knowledge and experience to better the world, and at Sheps that’s possible through improving health care and health services for the North Carolina community and setting the example beyond the state. Outside of work, Phil enjoys challenging himself to continue learning through his interest in music and staying enjoying nature through running, backpacking, and even a new-found hobby of disc golf.






Stephanie Pierson


Stephanie is a Sr. Data Scientist with over 25 years of experience in SAS programming and managing and analyzing health/medical research data. Her Master’s degree is in Health Informatics from the University of Missouri-Columbia.







Marta is a Research Associate / Data Analyst for the Sheps Center. Her love
for data began during her master’s program when she did research to help
launch the New York State Slavery Records Index. It continued to grow
when she became a program manager for CUNY LEADS PLUS. After taking
courses, her favorite programming languages include SQL, R and now SAS.





Jessica Archibald

Jessica Archibald is a Data Scientist at the Sheps Center. She is passionate about using healthcare data to improve the health and well-being of individuals and the community. She is also experienced in using a variety of coding languages (SAS, SQL, Python, R) to manage, analyze, and visualize health data including primary data collection and claims data





Zhitong Yu is an early career data scientist at Sheps. As a UNC double alumna, she holds a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Public Health Data Science and a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics and Analytics with a second major in Biology. She is passionate about the application of data science in public health, including health policy and health equity. Prior to joining Sheps, she has worked as quality and population health evaluator, data analyst, and researcher at public health agencies and research organizations.








Salma Ali, MPH is a recent graduate of UNC Gilling’s School of Global Public Health. Her areas of expertise include reproductive health and justice. She is passionate about equity, a driving ethos of her work. Currently, she is the research coordinator of the Health Opportunities Pilots (HOP) where she conducts qualitative research evaluating non-medical interventions to address unmet health-related social needs for high-needs Medicaid enrollees.









Dr. Bruce is a Data Scientist with the Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Research interests include chronic disease prevention and management, veterans’ and military health, scale development in pain and social functioning, biostatistics, health economics, patient safety, and value-based decision making. Passionate about data, she uses SAS, R, SQL, Python, PowerBI/Fabric, and Tableau, along with reproducible research and automation techniques in Agile teams, to wrangle, build, curate, visualize, report, and document data warehouse resources for translation into actionable insights.


Dr. Bruce earned her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Health Services Research at the Cecil G. Sheps Center, University of North Carolina.




Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)


Aniyar Izguttinov


Aniyar Izguttinov is a Doctoral student of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He holds an MPH in Health Services from the University of Washington, Seattle. Aniyar has previously been involved in projects that span across several domains of the U.S. health care policy and delivery. His expertise lie in conducting systematic/rapid literature reviews and evaluating policy impact through applied econometric analyses, utilizing datasets like MEPS, BRFSS, and claims data. In his current position as a Research Assistant at Sheps, Aniyar is contributing to multiple areas of work including data analysis, programmer support, writing papers and reports.





Joseph Konstanzer


Joseph Konstanzer is a 5th year PhD student in Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. As a graduate research assistant on the Medicaid Waiver Evaluation Project, his primary responsibility is creating a dashboard for state stakeholders to view key evaluation metrics. His previous experience include building similar dashboards for CDC’s anti-HIV programs abroad.







Nicholas Moloci


Doctoral Student in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Nicholas Moloci is a Graduate Research Assistant on the North Carolina Medicaid Wavier Evaluation project working on evaluating North Carolina’s transformation of Medicaid. Prior, Nicholas was a Lead Statistician within the Dow Health Services Research Division at the University of Michigan. Nicholas was also the President of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Statistical Association.





Monisa Aijaz


Monisa Ajiz is a physician who, while practicing in India, recognized the need for effective implementation of evidence-based interventions. Following the completion of the MPH program, she has supported the WHO Collaborating Center’s work on adaptive leadership for service system strengthening and implementation capacity building for low- and middle-income countries. Her research activities include identification of implementation science competencies, identification, and prioritization of adaptive leadership competencies and development of adaptive leadership self-assessment. She is interested in understanding common implementation concepts/variables, measures, and their influence on health outcomes.





Natalie Rivadeneira is PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, with a substantive area of research in social epidemiology. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked on various public health projects in government, academia, and nonprofit organizations. Her current work on the Medicaid Waiver project supports all aspects of the Medicaid Provider Experience survey.