People

Executive Committee
The Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute is led by an Executive Committee composed of Drs. Phyllis Dennery, Maureen Phipps, and Patrick Vivier. Dr. Vivier also serves as Institute Director, with responsibilities for the day‑to‑day operation of the Institute. The leadership team provides broad expertise in maternal health, child health, clinical medicine, population level research and basic science.

Core Research and Evaluation Faculty
The Institute’s Hassenfeld Core Research and Evaluation Unit consists of six core faculty members, identified as Hassenfeld Faculty Scholars, as well as a robust and experienced research staff. Their activities span Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital, the Alpert Medical School, the School of Public Health, the broader university, and additional partners.

Current Initiative Leads
There are three current initiatives that fall under the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. They are:

 (1) Autism, a Precision Medicine Approach - The leadership for the Autism, a Precision Medicine Approach Initiative is based at Bradley Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, under the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART).

(2) Childhood asthma research innovation - Leadership for the Childhood Asthma Research Innovation Program is from the asthma research team at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Bradley Hospital.

(3) Healthy weight, nutrition and physical fitness - Leadership for the Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Fitness Initiative is based in the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital.

Executive Committee

The Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute is led by an Executive Committee composed of Drs. Phyllis Dennery, Maureen Phipps, and Patrick Vivier. Dr. Vivier also serves as Institute Director, with responsibilities for the day‑to‑day operation of the Institute. The leadership team provides broad expertise in maternal health, child health, clinical medicine, population level research and basic science.

Phyllis Dennery, MD
Executive Committee, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute
Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor and Chair of Pediatrics, Brown University
Pediatrician‑in‑Chief, Hasbro Children’s Hospital

In April 2015, Dr. Phyllis Dennery, Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Pediatrics, took the lead for pediatric care, teaching, and research at the Lifespan health system and Alpert Medical School. She serves as pediatrician-in‑chief and medical director at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, as well as chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Brown. Dr. Dennery’s research, consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health for 24 years, addresses lung problems and other medical conditions among newborns. She has served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM) and advocated for a Center for Health Disparities while serving at the University of Pennsylvania.

Maureen Phipps, MD, MPH
Executive Committee, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute
Chace-Joukowsky Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology,  Professor of Epidemiology, Brown University
Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women & Infants Hospital
Executive Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Care New England

Important factors influencing child health occur in the neonatal, prenatal, and even preconception period. Women and Infants Hospital, nationally recognized for excellence in obstetrics care and women’s health, is a critical partner within the Institute. As a leader in Rhode Island and nationally, Dr. Maureen Phipps will provide leadership on the complex range of maternal factors that affect child health. Dr. Phipps’ federally funded research focuses on preventing maternal health problems before they can adversely affect the health of the mother and the child.

Patrick M. Vivier, MD, PhD
Executive Committee, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute
Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Brown University

Dr. Vivier serves as the Institute Director of HCHII. In addition to being a pediatrician and doctorally trained health services researcher, Dr. Vivier has extensive experience in curriculum development and teaching for undergraduates, graduate students, medical students and postgraduate trainees. He is the Director of Interdisciplinary Education Programs in the School of Public Health. As Institute Director, Dr. Vivier is responsible for day‑to‑day operations.

Core Research and Evaluation Faculty

The Institute’s Hassenfeld Core Research and Evaluation Unit consists of six core faculty members, identified as Hassenfeld Faculty Scholars. The six Hassenfeld Faculty Scholars that compose the Hassenfeld Core Research and Evaluation Unit are:

Elizabeth Chen, MA, PhD (Bioinformatics)
William G. Fairbrother, MA, PhD (Genomics)
Annie Gjelsvik, PhD (Epidemiology)
Adam J. Sullivan, PhD (Biostatistics)
Erika Werner, MD, MS (Maternal Health and Clinical Research)
Patrick M. Vivier, MD, PhD (Child Health and Health Services Research)

In addition to this multidisciplinary faculty team, the Hassenfeld Core Research and Evaluation Unit includes a research coordinator, data analysts, and research assistants. Their activities span Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital, the Alpert Medical School, the School of Public Health, the broader university, and additional affiliated hospitals.

Hassenfeld Faculty Scholars

Elizabeth S. Chen, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medical Science, Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Associate Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics, Brown University
Dr. Chen is the Founding Associate Director of the Brown Center for Biomedical Informatics (BCBI). Her research interests include electronic health records (EHR), clinical documentation, clinical decision support, natural language processing, and data mining. Dr. Chen’s current work is focused on using EHR data and computational techniques to study the interactions among social, behavioral, environmental, and familial determinants of health for conditions such as pediatric asthma. She earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics from Columbia University in 2004.

 

William G. Fairbrother, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology, Brown University
Dr. Fairbrother received his PhD from Columbia University in 2000. He was a PhRMA Post-doctoral Fellow in Informatics at MIT under mentorship of Christopher Burge and Nobel Laureate Phillip Sharp. Dr Fairbrother is currently a tenured, associate professor in the MCB Department and the Director of Graduate Studies for the Center for Computational Molecular Biology at Brown. His research has focused on precision medicine and RNA genomics.

 

Annie Gjelsvik, PhD
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Brown University
Dr. Gjelsvik obtained her PhD in epidemiology from Brown University in 2003. She worked for 10 years at the RI Department of Health in both the Center for Health Data and Analysis and the Division of Community Health and Equity including six years as the epidemiologist for the RI Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. Her research interests include maternal child health and chronic illness.

 

Adam J. Sullivan, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Brown University
Dr. Sullivan is the Director of Masters Programs in Biostatistics at Brown University. Dr. Sullivan has taught and developed curriculum at all levels from high school, undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students and professionals. He received his PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University in 2015, Masters in Mathematics from South Dakota State University and a Bachelors in Math and Adolescent Education from Houghton College. Dr. Sullivan's research interests are innovative teaching methods, statistics education and statistical modeling. 

 

Erika Werner, MD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brown University
Dr. Werner is a Obstetrician/Gynecologist who completed her Maternal Fetal Medicine fellowship at Yale University. She has published widely on cost effectiveness.  Her current research focuses on diabetes in pregnancy, preeclampsia and preterm birth.  She is particularly interested in the effects of pregnancy on long term health for both the mother and infant. She has several ongoing trials at Women & Infants Hospital.

 

Patrick M. Vivier, MD, PhD
Director, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute
Royce Family Associate Professor of Teaching Excellence; Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice; Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Director of Interdisciplinary Education Programs, School of Public Health
Director of Fellowship Research Training Program, Hasbro Children’s Hospital

Dr. Vivier serves as the Institute Director of HCHII. In addition to being a pediatrician and doctorally trained health services researcher, Dr. Vivier has extensive experience in curriculum development and teaching for undergraduates, graduate students, medical students and postgraduate trainees. He is the Director of Interdisciplinary Education Programs in the School of Public Health, previously served as a member of the University’s College Curriculum Council (CCC), is an affiliated faculty member of the university-wide Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4), and has been actively engaged as faculty in the Swearer Center’s inaugural TriLab that focused on early childhood development.
 

Hassenfeld Core Staff

Michelle L. Rogers, PhD
Senior Research Analyst
Dr. Rogers serves as the Senior Research Analyst for HCHII. She is a social demographer with extensive experience in analyzing longitudinal and cohort-based child health data. She has over 20 years of experience with statistical programming and complex data management.

 

Sharon Moitoso
Project Coordinator
Ms. Moitoso serves as the Project Coordinator for the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. In this position, she provides overall coordination of the birth cohort study, budget management and grants management.

 

 

Kelley Smith

Kelley Alison Smith, MPH
Program Coordinator
Ms. Smith is the Program Coordinator for the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. She assists with grant proposals, IRB submissions, and coordinates the Summer Scholars program. She received her MPH from Brown in 2008.

 

Lauren Schlichting, PhD
Research Analyst
Dr. Schlichting serves as a Research Analyst for HCHII. She completed her doctoral studies in epidemiology, with a focus on pregnancy complications and access to care for pregnant women with congenital heart defects (CHDs). Her research interests include perinatal exposures, birth defects, and maternal and child health.

 

 


Lynn Carlson, GISP
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager
Ms. Carlson is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager at Brown University and has been working with GIS for over 20 years, including eleven years with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.  She provides technical assistance and research support across the entire campus, regardless of discipline, and also teaches the Introduction to GIS course.
 

Raul Smego, MPH
GIS Research Analyst
Raul Smego obtained a Master of Public Health with a concentration in environmental health from the Brown University School of Public Health in 2015.  His research interests include maternal child health and environmental health.

 

Current Initiative Leads

Healthy Weight, Nutrition and Physical fitness

Leadership for the Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Fitness Initiative is based in the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital.

Elissa Jelalian, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics and Senior Research Scientist at The Miriam Hospital​
Dr. Elissa Jelalian is Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics and Senior Research Scientist at The Miriam Hospital.  Her research focuses on development and implementation of weight control interventions for children and adolescents, as well as dissemination of evidenced based treatments to community and clinical care settings.  She also has interest in understanding the health implications of obesity-related policies.
 

Erika Werner, MD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brown University
Dr. Werner is a Obstetrician/Gynecologist who completed her Maternal Fetal Medicine fellowship at Yale University.  She has published widely on cost effectiveness.  Her current research focuses on diabetes in pregnancy, preeclampsia and preterm birth.  She is particularly interested in the effects of pregnancy on long term health for both the mother and infant.    She has several ongoing trials at Women & Infants Hospital.
 

Rena Wing, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital​
Dr. Rena Wing is Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital.  She is an internationally recognized leader in the development of behavioral approaches to weight loss and weight loss maintenance.  Dr. Wing has been continuously funded by NIH for the past 35 years to conduct work related to obesity, weight gain prevention, and type 2 diabetes. She also has interest in interventions to decrease gestational weight gain and reduce obesity in pediatric populations.

Autism, a Precision Medicine Approach

Leadership for the Autism, a Precision Medicine Approach Initiative comes from the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) based at Bradley Hospital and includes Dr. Eric Morrow, Dr. Stephen Sheinkopf and Dr. Thomas Anders, with input from Dr. Glenn Tung and Dr. Patrick Vivier.
 

Eric Morrow, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Eric Morrow, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist with extensive experience in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Morrow received his MD-PhD from the Harvard Medical School-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Division of Health Sciences and Technology program. He completed psychiatry and neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. He conducted a postdoctoral fellowship in human genetics at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT. Since moving to Brown University in 2009, Dr. Morrow has taken an active role in building a multidisciplinary, translational research program in autism research. His research focus is on normal mechanisms that regulate brain development and on genetic and cellular mechanisms that lead to severe forms of autism. 

Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Research), Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Research)
Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD, is a clinical and developmental psychologist with a specialty in autism and developmental disabilities.  Dr. Sheinkopf is a graduate of Tufts University and completed his doctoral training at University of Miami under the mentorship of Peter Mundy, PhD.  Dr. Sheinkopf works as both a clinician and a researcher with a focus on the early development of children with autism, including infant signs of risk and the development of language and social behaviors in children with autism. Dr. Sheinkopf’s clinical service is focused on the early diagnosis and clinical management of autism. Dr. Sheinkopf is co-director of RI-CART. 

Thomas Anders, MD
Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Thomas Anders, MD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Emeritus) at the University of California, Davis {UCD}, emeritus member of the UCD Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute and Past President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine (1960). He headed Divisions of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford University (1974-1984) and Brown University (1985-1992). He joined the faculty of UC Davis as Chair, Department of Psychiatry (1992-1998) and Executive Associate Dean of the School of Medicine (1998-2002). He retired in 2005 but continued an active program of research at the UC Davis MIND Institute until 2009. In 2009, Dr. Anders returned to Brown University as Adjunct Professor to establish a statewide autism consortium, leading to RI-CART.

Childhood Asthma Research Innovation

Leadership for the Childhood Asthma Research Innovation Program is from the asthma research team at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Bradley Hospital, including Dr. Gregory Fritz, Dr. Daphne Koinis-Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth McQuaid.

Gregory K. Fritz, MD
Professor and Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vice Chair, Dept. of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Academic Director, E.P. Bradley Hospital, Associate Chief and Director of Child Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Dr. Fritz is a national leader in child and adolescent psychiatry. As president-elect (2013 to 2015) and president (2015 to 2017) of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, his focus is on the integration of medical and mental health care. He is an advocate for mental health parity, expanding the child mental health research base, increasing access to child mental health services and expanding the workforce, and developing a more rational and effective mental health delivery system. His research interests deal with mind/body interactions in chronic medical illness. He has studied the psychophysiology of asthma, asthma disparities, the psychology of physical symptoms, socio-cultural factors affecting disease management, and physician-patient interactions.

Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, Ph.D
Associate Professor (Research), Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics, Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. Koinis-Mitchell’s research focuses on multi-level contributors (biological, sociocultural, environmental and familial) to pediatric disparities in asthma, sleep, and school outcomes. She has been the PI and Co-I of 15 NIH-funded studies on pediatric health disparities and on family/cultural and contextual risk and protective factors related to asthma outcomes in urban children.  Her current research involves observational/longitudinal, intervention and experimental approaches across home, school and clinic settings. She is currently the director of the Community Asthma Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital. She is also highly invested in mentoring early career investigators, particularly from underrepresented groups. She is the PI of a K24 award focused on mentoring trainees and faculty at all levels interested in research in pediatric health disparities. 

Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP
Professor (Research), Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics, Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Dr. McQuaid’s work has focused on health disparities research specific to pediatric asthma, driven by a model that incorporates individual, family, cultural, and systems contributions to variability in asthma outcomes.  Dr. McQuaid’s research program has also emphasized the development of theoretically-drive interventions to improve pediatric disease management and outcomes, including medication adherence, environmental remediation, and smoking cessation.  Dr. McQuaid has been a PI or Co-I on over 20 federally-funded studies in pediatric asthma and allergies, and faculty mentor to numerous trainees and junior investigators.  She is the Director of the Brown Clinical Psychology Training Consortium.