NRN Staff and Committees

[AAFP National Research Network]

Staff of the AAFP NRN

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

Jennifer K. Carroll, MD, MPH - Network Director
1-800-274-2237, ext 3151
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.

Emily Bullard, MPH - Research Project Coordinator
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3174
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 - Biostatistician
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
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3184
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 Van Auken (Kittell) - Senior Program Coordinator
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3180
Kaari performs and/or coordinates administrative activities for the AAFP National Research Network, is responsible for maintaining the research network membership, coordinates meetings and conference calls for various NRN staff and senior scientists, manages the NRN’s Advisory Group, and performs contract or project work as assigned.

Robin Liston, MPH – Senior Project Manager
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3175
Robin Liston serves as a senior project manager for the AAFP National Research Network and manages several multi-stakeholder research projects across institutions and primary care practices simultaneously. She has 14 years of experience research conducting clinical trials, practice-based health research and quality improvement projects, community-engaged health studies and health policy research. She has a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Robin currently shares her time between the AAFP NRN and the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she is a Project Director in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

Natalia Loskutova, MD, PhD - Senior Scientist and Director of Evaluation
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3186
Dr. Loskutova is a Senior Investigator and Director of Evaluation at the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network where she focuses on practice-based patient centered research activities applicable to primary care. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Loskutova received her medical training in general psychiatry. She received her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Kansas Medical Center with the focus on aging, cognitive impairment and neurorehabilitation. Dr. Loskutova’s primary research interests are in practice-based studies and aging, especially in improved detection, management, care delivery and patient safety in aging. She has served in key roles on several large practice-based research projects, has a strong background in research design and methods and in-depth understanding of practice-based research, dissemination and implementation research and research evaluation.

Brian K. Manning, MPH, CHES - Associate Research Director
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3179
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 – Independent Contractor
1-800-274-2237, ext.
Dr. Neuhaus is a part-time senior scientist, assisting with investigator activities on various AAFP NRN studies. 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.

Craig Smail, MSc - Research Project Coordinator
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3185
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
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3178
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, MA - Research Program Administrator
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3172
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.

William Venable, MPA, MBA - Research Project Manager
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3177
Bill joined the NRN in early 2016 as a part-time associate and currently provides support to a variety of studies including data collection, communications with practices and assisting with preliminary data analysis. He has spent the last ten years as a full-time educator where he was voted the most outstanding faculty member by the student body at Park University (May 2016), and he received one of ten National Teaching Excellence Awards from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) in June 2016. His academic background includes a BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas, an MBA from Rockhurst University, and an MPA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Bill is nearing completion of his doctoral program at the KU School of Medicine in Health Policy and Management, where his area of specialization focuses on primary care and dementia among the members of the aging population.

Leadership and Senior Scientist

The Leadership Group consists of 8 individuals who meet weekly to review and discuss upcoming and current grant opportunities, proposals, and future research focus for the AAFP NRN.

Jennifer K. Carroll, MD, MPH - Network Director (SEE BIO UNDER ABOVE HEADING: STAFF OF THE AAFP NRN)

Jodi Holtrop, PhD, MCHES
Dr. Holtrop is an Associate Professor and Associate Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine and the Co-Director of Practice-based research through ACCORDS at the Univeristy of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. She has extensive experience in successfully partnering with primary care practices and communities to accomplish research. Her expertise is in the use of qualitative and mixed methods to inform research questions, including the use of theoretical models as a lens in which one can understand how implementation works and to produce generalizable findings regarding the how, why, who and what of intervention, in particular implementing health behavior and chronic disease management programs in primary care. Additionally, as a master certified health education specialist (MCHES) with expertise in patient education and health behavior change, she utilizes this expertise in understanding what is involved in health behavior change in practice.

Rodger Kessler, PhD, ABPP - Senior Scientist
Dr. Kessler is a senior scientist and director of the Collaborative Care Research Network at the AAFP NRN, assisting with investigator activities on various studies. Dr. Kessler is also a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine and a Clinical Associate Professor at Arizona State University in the Doctorate in Behavioral Health Program. His research interests include Practice based research, cost effectiveness and cost offset effectiveness of behavioral health in primary care.


Joseph LeMaster, MD, MPH - Senior Scientist
Dr. LeMaster is a senior scientist at the AAFP NRN, assisting with investigator activities on various studies. Dr. LeMaster is also an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Family Medicine. His clinical focus is on health promotion, preventive health, refugee healthcare, and adolescent medicine while his research interests include community-based participatory research on physical activity and wellness topics among adults and children - as well as studying the effects of exercise on chronic disease processes.

Natalia Loskutova, MD, PhD - Director of Evaluation (SEE BIO UNDER ABOVE HEADING: STAFF OF THE AAFP NRN)

Brian Manning, MPH, CHES - Associate Research Director (SEE BIO UNDER ABOVE HEADING: STAFF OF THE AAFP NRN)

Wilson D. Pace, MD, FAAFP - Senior Scientist
1-800-274-2237, ext.
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.

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