Duke NCSP Scholars

Cohort 6 (2024-2026)

Photo of Cassandra Dictus and Allison Taylor
Cassandra Dictus and Allison Taylor

Cassandra Dictus, PhDc, MPH, RN
Research project: "Investigating long-term care, systems, and policy to improve quality of life and health equity for older adults and their caregivers"

Allison Taylor, MD, MS
Research projects: "Understanding disparities in diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for patients with hematologic malignancies from under-represented racial and ethnic backgrounds;" "Developing relevant interventions to address these inequities through community engagement"

Cohort 5 (2023-2025)

Photo of Stephanie Hart and Ryan Kane
Stephanie Hart and Ryan Kane

Stephanie Hart, PhD, MSN, MA, APRN, NP-C
Research project: "Research aimed at improving access and quality of stroke care by examining and addressing health disparities and social and economic determinants of health"

Ryan Kane, MD, MPH
Research project: "Implementation and assessment of innovative models of equitable clinical care for weight management focused on intensive lifestyle modification and the social determinants of health"

Cohort 4 (2022-2024)

Photo of NCSP Cohort 4
(From left-right): Jeylan Close, Tyra Girdwood, Ceshae Harding, Carri Polick, and Judith Vick

Jeylan Close, MD, FAAP
Research project: "Implementing evidence-based mental health treatments in nontraditional settings, such as schools and primary care, with a focus on increasing overall access and equity in access to mental health care for youth"

Tyra Girdwood, PhD, RN
Research project: "Investigating structural barriers to successful transitions to adult health care in young, vulnerable populations and exploring health policy innovations to enhance transitional care outcomes"

Ceshae Harding, MD
Research project: "Establishing the healthcare infrastructure needed to provide comprehensive care for women of childbearing age"

Gabriela Plasencia, MD, MAS
Research project: "Assessing the impact of community engagement in decreasing health disparities in access to COVID-19 resources and COVID-19 health outcomes"

Carri Polick, PhD, CEN, RN
Research project: "Investigating the impacts of social determinants of health, such as trauma and adversity, on biopsychosocial health outcomes and healthcare service disparities"

Judith Vick, MD, MPH
Research project: "Improving the delivery of goal-concordant care for older adults in the hospital setting"

Cohort 3 (2021-2023)

Photo of NCSP Cohort 3
(From left-right): Kamal Golla, Melissa Harris, Jennifer May, and Karen Scherr

Kamal Golla, MD, MPH
Co-lead, Bass Connections Project
Research projects: "Developing value-based care redesign pathways for urologic oncology patients;" "Investigating targets for financial toxicity mitigation"

Melissa Harris, PhD, RN
Co-lead, Bass Connections Project
Research project: "Improving the quality of life and care for older adults living with dementia and their family caregivers by examining innovative, non-pharmacologic interventions to better manage challenging  symptoms of dementia"

Jennifer May, PhD, ANP-BC, RN
Co-lead, Bass Connections Project
Research project: "Investigating the role of  healthcare workers' implicit  bias (i.e., prejudice and  stereotyping) toward sexual and gender minority older adults in long-term  care/ assisted living facilities,  health outcomes, and  health policy"

Karen Scherr, MD, PhD
Research project: "Examining the use of clinic-community partnerships to empower individuals, families, and communities to improve their health and wellbeing, with a focus on reducing disparities in obesity and obesity-related illness"

Cohort 2 (2020-2022)

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(From left-right): Gill Adynski, Melissa Burnside, Rachele Lipsky, Justine Seidenfeld, and Yuqi Zhang

Gill Adynski, PhD, MHS, RN
Nursing & Health Policy Analyst, International Council of Nurses
Research project: "PEPFAR Implementing Partner Aid Turnovers Impact on HIV Outcomes"

Melissa Burnside, MD, MHS
Health Equity Consultant
Research projects: "Misinformation and Mistrust as Influences on Health Disparities;" "Partnering with UNC Fam Med + Vanderbilt to provide doula certification to Black Women"

Rachele Lipsky, PhD, PMHNP-BC
Health Services Research Fellow, Houston VA
Research project: "Impact of Traumatic Life Events & Polygenic Risk Scores for Major Depression & Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Iraq/ Afghanistan Veterans"

Justine Seidenfeld, MD, MHS
EM Physician, Durham VAHCS
Core Investigator, ADAPT Center
Research project: "Results of a Novel National ED Chief Complaint database in the Veterans Affairs Health System"

Yuqi Zhang, MD, MHS
Co-lead, Bass Connections Project
Surgery Resident, Yale
Research project: "Predictors of Hospital Bypass for Rural Residents Seeking Common Elective Surgery"

Cohort 1 (2019-2021)

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(From left-right): Sallie Allgood, Dominique Bulgin, Marcelo Cerullo, and Rushina Cholera

Sallie Allgood, PhD, RN
Health Services Researcher & Implementation Scientist, Durham VA
Research projects: "Developing a tool kit for primary care practices interested in hiring CHWs;" "Improving care-team dynamics & whole person health"

Dominique Bulgin, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Research project: "Piloting Telehealth Personalized Health Planning in Shared Medical Appointments for Sickle Cell Disease"

Marcelo Cerullo, MD, MPH
Surgery Resident, Duke
Research project: "Understanding Variations in Hospital Costs in Support of Value-Based Care Decisions"

Rushina Cholera, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Duke Pediatrics & Population Health
Faculty Fellow, Duke Margolis
Research project: "North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan: Evidence-based Policy Solutions"