NRN Staff and Committees

Staff of the AAFP NRN

The National Research Network is part of the Health of the Public and Science Division.

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, MPH - 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.

Jennifer K. Carroll, MD, MPH - Network Director
Dr. Carroll is a family physician and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado. She recently relocated from Rochester, NY to Denver, CO and began as the director of the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network. Dr. Carroll's clinical work, research, and community service have focused on underserved populations in federally qualified health centers. She also has a strong interest in interventions to promote healthy lifestyles (such as physical activity, healthy diet, and healthy weight) in primary care and community settings. Dr. Carroll has a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Connecticut School Medicine, as well as an Masters Public Health from the University of Rochester, where she also completed her residency. She has clinical certifications in Integrative and Holistic Medicine and Exercise Prescription and Programming.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wilson D. Pace, MD, FAAFP - Senior Scientist
Dr. Pace is the CEO of DARTNet Institute, an organization that conducts research, supports collaboration among health care providers and organizations, and hosts data sets of health information for quality improvement and research. Dr. Pace also served as the director of the AAFP NRN from 2004 to 2015. He will remain at AAFP NRN as a senior scientist and will continue to work in the capacity of a Principal investigator for a few limited projects. Dr. Pace's past research has focused on patient centered health information technology, electronic data collection techniques, behavioral change, practice reorganization, 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.

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 is responsible for managing the communication efforts of the AAFP the National Research Network. She distributes research announcements and study recruitment messages, along with handling the dissemination of information and research results through targeted publications, conferences, and presentations. Mindy serves as the coordinator for the AAFP NRN's internship program. She also coordinates the IRB activities for the AAFP NRN and serves as a liaison between the NRN and the AAFP IRB. Mindy performs research management duties for various projects on an as needed basis.

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.

Advisory Group Members

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
  • Turner White, MBA - Helzberg School of Management, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO

Contact Us

AAFP National Research Network
11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
Leawood, KS 66211
800-274-2237, ext. 3180