NRN Staff and Committees
The National Research Network is part of the Health of the Public and Science Division.
Wilson D. Pace, MD, FAAFP - Network Director
Dr. Pace is a Professor of Family Medicine and the Green-Edelman Chair for Practice-based Research at the University of Colorado and has served as the director of the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network since 2004. Dr. Pace’s research has focused on practice reorganization, practice-based research methodology, electronic data collection techniques and patient safety. Dr. Pace received his MD degree from the University of California, Irvine, in 1979. He is a board-certified Family Physician with a CAQ in Geriatrics.
Elias Brandt - Research Systems Analyst
Elias Brandt graduated with distinction in 2002 from the University of Colorado at Boulder with bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Economics. He joined the AAFP National Research Network in 2004 where he has served as project manager on several NRN studies and has coauthored several articles. Currently, he oversees data collection for multiple research projects using the Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet).
Emily Bullard, MSc - Research Project Coordinator
Emily joined the NRN in early 2013 and provides support on studies through all stages of their implementation. She assists with data collection, communications with practices, and preliminary data analysis. Emily received a BS in Biology from Olivet Nazarene University and an MPH from the University of Kansas and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Her background is in evidence-based public health and facilitating the process of moving research into practical applications within the community.
Miriam Dickinson, PhD - Senior Scientist
Dr. Dickinson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Miriam’s areas of research and teaching interest include practice-based research, health services research, research methods, and multilevel modeling.
Deborah G. Graham, MSPH - Senior Scientist
Debbie directs the day-to-day operations of the AAFP NRN, is part of the NRN senior research team, and serves as the Chief Operations Officer of DARTNet. Debbie also serves as project manager for selected research projects and directs the Human Subjects work of the Network.
Sharon C. Hunt, MA - Research Project Manager and Qualitative Analyst
Sharon joined the NRN in 2011 and specializes in qualitative research and evaluation. She received her M.A. at the University of Missouri – Kansas City with special work in gerontology. She is responsible for the preparation, implementation and supervision of various NRN mix-methods studies.
Kim S. Kimminau, PhD - Research Director
Dr. Kimminau serves as the research director for the AAFP National Research Network and is responsible for the conduct, overall supervision, staffing, and budgeting of studies fielded within the NRN.She is a biomedical anthropologist and health services researcher. Throughout Kim's career, she has taught, and worked both in the public and private sectors. Her focus is on policy and practice issues in primary care, community/health and health disparities. Her personal areas of research interest include oral health, overweight/obesity and cervical cancer. Kim is currently sharing her time between the AAFP NRN and the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine.
Kaari Kittell - Senior Program Coordinator
Kaari coordinates the clerical and administrative duties for the NRN and provides administrative support to all NRN staff. She is also responsible for the recruitment of clinicians into the NRN and assists with the recruitment of practices into specific research studies, in addition to assisting with various other activities within the Network. Kaari also performs research assistant duties for various projects on an as needed basis.
Robin Liston, MPH, CHES - Research Project Manager
Robin joined the AAFP NRN in 2012 and holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Kansas and a MPH from Kansas University Medical Center. Robin has a background in preventive medicine and public health and holds a certification as a certified health education specialist. Robin is currently serving as a project manager for many studies and is responsible for the preparation, implementation, and overall supervision of these studies.
Natalia Loskutova, MD, PhD - Director of Evaluation
Dr. Loskutova joined the NRN in 2011. She currently serves as a project manager for many studies and is responsible for the preparation, implementation, and overall supervision of these studies. She has a background in psychiatry, neuriorehabilitation and clinical research. Natalia holds and MD and PhD in Rehabilitation Science and her personal research interest areas are in mental and behavioral health and physical decline with aging.
Natabhona M. Mabachi, Ph.D, MPH - Research Associate/Project Manager
Dr. Mabachi serves as the Project Manager/Research Associate for the AHRQ Task Order: Demonstration of Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit Project. She is responsible for coordinating and managing the implementation, analysis, and dissemination activities of the project. A Health Communication scholar and practitioner, Dr. Mabachi is interested in the ways communication can be used to encourage individuals to engage in healthy behaviors in primary care and community health settings both locally and internationally. Dr. Mabachi divides her time between the AAFP NRN and the University of Kansas Medical Center where she is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Family Medicine.
Brian K. Manning, MPH, CHES - Associate Research Director
Brian became involved in research in 1999 following a brief stint in the NFL. He currently serves as a project manager for many studies and is responsible for the preparation, implementation, budget, analysis, manuscript preparation and overall supervision of these studies. Brian has extensive experience with conducting large-scale randomized clinical trials that address areas in smoking cessation, dietary modifications, and patient/doctor communication.
Kris Neuhaus, MD - Senior Scientist
Dr. Neuhaus is a part-time senior scientist, assisting with investigator activities on various AAFP NRN studies. Dr. Neuhaus is fellow with the Research Division at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Family Medicine. Her research interests include reduction of health disparities, in particular through restructuring the built environment to foster healthier habits, and bringing an ecologic perspective to health initiatives.
Laura Nichols, MS - Professional Research Assistant
Laura joined the AAFP NRN in 2010 and currently provides support on studies through all stages of implementation via the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver. She oversees data collection and assists with preliminary data analysis.
Jessica Sand, MPH - Research Project Coordinator
Jessica joined the NRN in 2013 and provides support with implementation and coordination throughout all phases of the research project. She holds a BA in Human Biology from the University of Kansas and a MPH from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Jessica comes from a background of clinic and field work in the areas of infectious disease control and epidemiology.
Craig Smail, MSc - Research Project Coordinator
Craig joined the NRN in 2011 and provides support on studies through all stages of their implementation. He oversees data collection, communications with practices and assists with preliminary data analysis. Craig received an MA in business at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and an MS with distinction in Psychology at the University of Northumbria, England.
Mindy S. Spano - Research Communications Manager
Mindy manages the communication functions of the National Research Network. She is responsible for creating and distributing the NRN’s quarterly bulletin, maintaining the website, coordinating the internship program, and managing the dissemination efforts of the network. Mindy performs research management duties for various projects on an as needed basis. She also coordinates all of the IRB activities for the NRN and serves as a liaison between the NRN and the AAFP IRB.
Elizabeth W. Staton, MSTC - Writer
Elizabeth works on improving written, graphic, and electronic communication and usability. She writes and edits grant applications, papers, and other materials, and manages the NRN Web site. She is also an Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Thomas V. Stewart - Research Program Administrator
Tom has coordinated the efforts of the NRN since its founding. He currently manages the fiscal and contractual obligations of the NRN, as well as other departments within the Scientific Activities Division. Tom communicates regularly with network members and facilitates studies throughout the network.
The Advisory Committee provides advice regarding the National Research Network's operations and policies. The Committee meets twice a year, once face-to-face and once via teleconference.
Current Advisory Group Members
- Edward Bujold, MD, FAAFP - Family Physician, Granite Falls, NC
- Linda Doolin Ward, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for Center for Practical Bioethics, Kansas City, MO
- Chester Fox, MD - Director of Upstate New York Practice-based Research Network (UNY-Net), Buffalo, NY
- Kimberly Krohn, MD, MPH, FAAFP - Director of Center for Family Medicine, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Minot, ND
- Margaret Love, PhD - Associate Professor and Research Director of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
- Daniel Mullin, PsyD - Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Barre, MA
- Marci Nielsen, PhD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, Washington, DC
- Folashade Omole, MD, FAAFP Clinical Associate Professor, Assistant Chair & Residency Program Director for Department of Family Medicine, East Point, GA
- Dennis A. Robbins, PhD, MPH - President, Integrated Decisions, Ethics, Alternatives and Solutions (IDEAS), Phoenix, AZ
- Jonathan Lever, EdM, JD - Vice President for Health Strategy & Innovation, YMCA, Chicago, IL
- Tuner White, MBA - Helzberg School of Management, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO
AAFP National Research Network
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