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Population Health Research Institute Pilot Grants Awarded to Dr. Juan Pablo del Rincon Jarero and Dr. Michael Kelly

The Population Health Research Institute Pilot Grant Program for the 2022-2013 cycle has been awarded to two MetroHealth faculty researchers.  This cycle’s awardees are Juan P. del Rincon Jarero, MD; Biopsychosocial vulnerability in a gender diverse population: Understanding lower urinary tract symptoms and social needs, and Michael Kelly, MD; Reconciling Cardiovascular and Trauma Risk Among Older Adults.

 Dr. del Rincon Jarero’s project will look at the relationships between hormone treatment and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), and additional biological, behavioral, psychological, and socioeconomic factors. We will also investigate key variables involved in the well-being of transgender populations, including social determinants of health and quality of life. Dr. Kelly’s project will develop a risk model that includes multiple characteristics of pre-injury patient reported health status to estimate the risk of trauma events among people taking anticoagulation therapy.  Learn more here.


Dr. Kaelber Awarded NIH Grant to Focus on Oral Health Disparities 

David Kaelber, MD, PhD and collaborators, Greg Heintschel, DDS of MetroHealth and Suchitra Nelson, PhD (PI) at the CWRU School of Dental medicine have been awarded a 2-year NIH-NIDCR grant for $695,000. The project, titled “Multi-Level Interventions to Reduce Oral Health Disparities Among Adults in Primary Care Settings” which will test innovative interventions at the practice and provider levels to increase dental attendance and improve overall health and quality of life for adults aged ≥ 55 years attending primary care visits at MetroHealth and 10 diverse regional practices.  If successful, there is potential for the 2-year pilot to transition to a 5-year $6.4 million dollar project to reduce oral health disparities. 


Dr. Gaglioti Presents at National Academy of Medicine Workshop 

Anne Gaglioti spoke at a National Academy of Medicine workshop on June 17, 2022, aimed at speaking to AHRQ-PCORI-ASPE about how they should use their funds to advance health equity. Anne’s talk was focused on patient engaged work centered at National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine. 
The link to the workshop can be found here.


Dr. Sajatovic Receives AHA Grant  

Long-time collaborator, Martha Sajatovic, MD and her colleagues Jennifer Levin, PhD and Danette Conklin, PhD have received a new one-year grant from the American Heart Association (AHA). The project titled “RCT of a Remote Self-management Program (TEAM-Red) for Young Depressed African American Women at Risk for Hypertension” looks to evaluate the role of health-related social needs (HRSN) in hypertension outcomes in women at risk.  


Final Round of CRHD Pilot Grants Awarded 

The Center for Reducing Health Disparities have awarded five early-stage investigators $50,000 for projects utilizing community engaged approaches to reduce health disparities.  This investigator development program is part of the center’s U54 grant through the NIMHD and has awarded 3-5 pilots annually since 2018 to help provide both funding and mentorship to young investigators affiliated with Case Western Reserve University.   The awardees include Dr. Kirsten Eom (PHRI); Dr. Elliane Irani (CWRU- Nursing); Dr. Erika Kelley (University Hospitals); Dr. Maeve Macmurdo (Cleveland Clinic – Respiratory Institute) and Dr. Brittany Meyers (MetroHealth - Psychiatry).  More details about each investigator, project and partner can be found here: Round 5


Congratulations to Thomas Love, PhD, and Douglas Gunzler, PhD, both elected to ASA leadership roles

Thomas E. Love, PhD, was elected as the 2023 Chair-Elect of the American Statistical Association’s Council of Sections Governing Board. He will serve as Chair of this Board in 2024.

Douglas Gunzler, PhD, MA, was elected 2023 Chair-Elect of the Mental Health Statistics Section and will serve as its Chair in 2024. 

The American Statistical Association (ASA) is the world’s largest community of statisticians, the “Big Tent for Statistics.” It is the second oldest, continuously operating professional association in the country. Since it was founded in Boston in 1839, the ASA has supported excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science.

The Council of Sections facilitates exchange and coordination across multiple association sections representing a wide range of professions from biomedical research to defense and economics.

Learn more about the Council of Sections

Learn more about the Mental Health Statistics Section


Dr. Aleece Caron Presented Workshop at the Central Group on Education Affairs (CGEA)

Aleece Caron, PhD was selected and presented a virtual workshop entitled: “Something for Everyone: How Continuing Professional Development Can Advance Your Educational Goals” at the Central Group on Educational Affairs annual meeting on March 31, 2022.


Welcome Ms. Jacqueline Dolata!

Portrait of Jacqueline DolataWe would like to welcome Ms. Jacqueline Dolata into her new role as the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) Manager beginning Monday March 28th, 2022.  Ms. Dolata has been working in research for over 15 years at MetroHealth and has been serving as Manager for the Center for Reducing Health Disparities for over 5 years. 

Ms. Dolata received her MBA from Baldwin Wallace University and brings a wealth of passion and commitment toward population health research, staff development, and leadership. She will be modifying her time and effort on current grants over the next 6-12 months to ensure a smooth transition and we look forward to having even stronger cohesion and leadership support across our Centers.


Dr. David Kaelber was Site Lead for Recently Published Asthma Study in New England Journal of Medicine

Dr. David Kaelber, CCIRE Director, was a site lead for MetroHealth in a recently published study in The New England Journal of Medicine entitled Reliever-Triggered Inhaled Glucocorticoid in Black and Latinx Adults with Asthma - PubMed (  In this study, African American and Hispanic patients with asthma received one-time instruction to use inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) when they used their asthma reliever (in addition to whatever medications they were taking for asthma). This new use of ICS, not commonly studied in minority populations, decreased the risk of severe asthma exacerbations by 15%, reduced asthma symptoms, days of work missed and hospitalizations. MetroHealth participated as one of the top recruitment sites in the multi-centered population trial, providing more than 100 patients for the study with substantial benefits to our patient population.


Dr. Aleece Caron has New Publications Out  

Dr. Aleece Caron and Stephanie Kanuch were co-authors on one publication to assess the impact of patient education and shared decision making on influenza vaccination rates in outpatient care clinic (Beachwood) titled Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates in an Underserved Primary Care Clinic Using a Simple Educational Tool.  It was recently published in Quality Management in Health Care.

Another of her publications titled “Virtual Care Adoption - Challenges and Opportunities from the Lens of Academic Primary Care Practitioners” was just accepted by the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. It explores the use and challenges of implementing virtual visits during COVID-19 in primary care and identifying opportunities to improve virtual care.


Dr. Kristen Berg Publishes Manuscript Examining Consequences of Witnessing Intimate Partner Violence for Children's Physiological Functioning

Dr. Kristen Berg recently published a systematic literature review in collaboration with colleagues at Case Western Reserve University’s Center on Trauma and Adversity and Department of Psychological Sciences. This manuscript examined how witnessing intimate partner violence (i.e., domestic violence) affects children’s physiological functioning and is one in a series published as a special section in the Journal of Family Violence.

Findings suggest that exposure to intimate partner violence may have a deleterious effect on children’s endocrine, nervous, cardiovascular, and immune functioning, and that those physiological effects may render children more vulnerable to behavioral or physical health problems in the context of violence exposure.  The publication link can be found here.


Dr. Kristen Berg to Participate in Northwest University’s Summer Institute on Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences (SIBASS)

Kristen Berg, PhD was selected by the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) to participate in their 2022 week-long Summer Institute on Biological Approaches in the Social Sciences (SIBASSto be held this upcoming June at Northwestern UniversityRSF's interest in her application was partly based upon her PHRI pilot award and the biosocial work among young MetroHealth patients it has supported.


World Kidney Day Podcast

The Center for Reducing Health Disparities’ Erika Hood M.Ed. sat down on World Kidney Day with Ann Huml, MD and Marquisha Marbury to talk about kidney health and organ donation, on this month's Point Blank Podcast.


Center for Reducing Health Disparities hosted 3rd annual Research Collaboration Occasion (RCO)

On Thursday, March 10th, the Center for Reducing Health Disparities (CRHD) hosted its 3rd annual Research Collaboration Occasion (RCO). The RCO is an opportunity for all the passionate partners of the Center to meet with our pilot awardees, and their study teams, to talk all things dissemination!  The goal of this event is to create impactful and novel ways to disseminate study findings and resources to the broader community. Our network of community experts and stakeholders helped to guide dissemination ideas for our 8 current pilot projects.  Special guest, Chris Benninger, who is the founder and CEO of Your Story on Film, spoke to participants about innovative ways that his company has created to speak to various audiences. 


Dr. Adam Perzynski Selected as Google Cloud Research Innovator

Congratulations to Center for Health Care Research and Policy faculty, Adam Perzynski, PhD, who was recently selected as a Google Cloud Research Innovator. This is a global community of researchers using cloud-based big data resources to drive scientific breakthroughs. 


Dr. Mary Jo Roach Served on Expert Panel for Spine Injury

Mary Jo Roach, PhD served on the expert panel for the newly released Practice Guidelines for Spine Injury by The American College of Surgeons, Trauma Quality Program. This updated information is critical to health care professionals as they make treatment decisions with their patients.


The MetroHealth School Health Program

The MetroHealth System will be able to increase its comprehensive school-based health services with two school district partners, expand health clinics in Cleveland schools and begin to offer dental care in some schools thanks to a new state grant of nearly $4.5 million. The MetroHealth School Health Program – part of the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ – was the largest single recipient among the $25.9 million awarded for 136 new or expanded School-Based Health Centers throughout Ohio. The MetroHealth School Health Program was developed to make sure all children get the health care they need, including children who may not have access to a health care provider. It brings the power of MetroHealth to a very convenient place: a child's school.


Annual PHRI Awards

This year, we started a new tradition of faculty and staff awards in the categories listed below. Please help congratulate them with us. Congratulations to all our PHRI award winners!!!

  1. Above and Beyond Staff Award – Ms. Maria Zebrowski went above and beyond in so many ways that we could not count them all. Our place would crash and burn without you! Thank you!!!
  2. Community Partnership Award - Aleece Caron PhD; Adam Perzynski PhD; Doug Einstadter MD, MPH; Eileen Seeholzer MD, MS; Stephanie Kanuch MEd. Nominated by: Neighborhood Family Practice, Care Alliance and Signature Health for the team’s dedication to changing their curriculum to meet their community of practices’ needs during COVID. The work by participants has led to improved care practices among many primary care sites throughout the community. To learn more about the Training Primary Care Champions grant, visit Current Research Projects | The MetroHealth System.
  3. Dissemination Award (highest cited PHRI paper published in the last 5 years using SCOPUS) – Perzynski AT, Roach MJ, Shick S, Callahan B, Gunzler D, Cebul R, Kaelber DC, Huml A, Thornton JD, Einstadter DPatient portals and broadband internet inequality. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Sep 1;24(5):927-932. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocx020.


Dr. Ash Sehgal Discusses How Climate Change Impacts Health

Dr. Sehgal, co-Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities, was quoted in the Plain Dealer discussing how climate change impacts health.  If you are interested in learning more, you can register for the Case Western Reserve University course on Climate Change which is offered annually.


The National Clinical Care Commission (NCCC) Announces Recommendations for Improving Federal Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Programs

Dr. Bolen, Director of the Population Health Research Institute, recently completed a 3-year term on The National Clinical Care Commission (NCCC).  She was selected as one of 14 non-governmental employees along with 13 governmental employees to outline evidence-based, actionable recommendations to improve federal diabetes awareness, prevention and treatment programs. The National Clinical Care Commission, a federal advisory committee, has released its final report to Congress outlining these recommendations. 

The Commission’s report — the first of its kind since 1975 — calls for additional federal efforts to improve access to health care, address the social determinants of health, and improve collaboration among different federal agencies. 

Download and read the full report: National Clinical Care Commission Issues Final Report on Improving Diabetes Prevention and Treatment - News & Events |