AAFP NRN Staff and Committees
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.
Elisabeth Callen, PhD – Senior Data Scientist
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3187
Dr. Callen is a Senior Research Data Analyst and Data Manager at the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network. She provides data analysis and management for the AAFP NRN on various projects. She has a Bachelor degree in Astronomy and Mathematics and a Masters of Science in Atmospheric Science from the University of Kansas. Her doctorate is in Meteorology with a minor in Statistics from Iowa State University.
Ileana E. Cepeda, MPH – Research Assistant
1-800-274-2237, ext 3177
Ileana E. Cepeda, MPH serves as a bilingual research assistant for the PeRson EmPowered Asthma Relief Study (PREPARE) at the American Academy of Family Physicians. She received her Masters of Public Health from Kansas State University in 2017 and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Newman University- Kansas Catholic College in 2015. Ileana is currently sharing her time between AAFP NRN and The University of Kansas Cancer Center, where she is working on the Wyandotte County Clinical Trials Project.
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.
Ashley C. Grill, MPH, RDH - Research Engagement Specialist
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3178
Ashley serves as the research engagement specialist at the American Academy of Family Physicians. Her focus includes engaging providers in research and communication with the network. Starting in 2010, Ashley held the position of coordinator with the Practitioners Engaged in Applied Research and Learning (PEARL) Network, a practice-based research network in dentistry that originated from New York University. She also taught as an adjunct clinical associate professor at New York University in the dental hygiene programs, until the spring of 2018. A past president of the New York and New Hampshire Dental Hygienists’ Associations, she’s helped publish over 15 articles related to the PEARL Network. She obtained her master of public health degree from the University of New Hampshire, and a bachelor of science in dental hygiene from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Christina M. Hester, PhD, MPH – Research Director
1-800-274-2237, ext 3144
Christina M. Hester, PhD, MPH 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 AAFP NRN. Christina is a microbiologist and primary care researcher and has developed a translational research program with the goal of reducing health disparities. Her work focuses primarily on increasing colorectal cancer screening uptake and elucidating the role of the gut microbiota in colorectal cancer risk and disparities. Christina formerly served as Assistant Director for Research in the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency Program, within which she mentored all residents through inception, implementation, and completion of primary care, community health, and health disparities related research projects.
Keron Hopkins, MA, MPA, CRA – Research & Operations Administrator
1-800-274-2237, ext 3134
Keron has worked in the field of research administration for 20 years. She was first introduced to the field while working as a James E. Webb Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. During that time, she was principal in the drafting of its Misconduct in Science policy. Ms. Hopkins later went on to sharpen her skills in the field while working at American University, the Smithsonian Institution, George Washington University, Kansas University Medical Center, the University of Kansas, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2015, she became a certified research administrator (CRA). She is a member of the National Council for Research Administrator, and has presented at its regional meeting in 2016 and its annual Financial Research Administration conference in March 2017. In her private business, she provides accounting and grant administration consultation to small businesses. She has bachelor degrees in psychology and accounting, and master degrees in public administration and economics. While working on her degree in economics, she studied abroad in Brazil for one year.
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.
Cory Lutgen, BS - Research Project Manager
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3174
Cory joined the NRN in 2017 and serves as project manager for multiple research studies that encompass numerous stakeholders, research institutions, and primary care practices. He oversees study management and communication, data collection and analysis, site facilitation and leadership. Prior to joining the NRN, he spent 9 years working in Biopharmaceutical R&D and advancement. Cory received a BS in Microbiology from the University of Kansas.
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.
Joel Shields, MA – Senior Research Project Coordinator
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3183
Joel has served as a senior project coordinator for the PeRson EmPowered Asthma RElief study (PREPARE), a pragmatic asthma trial based at Harvard University, since August 2016. He is involved with project management, research design, data collection, supporting research sites, human subjects protection and IRBs, and practice and subject recruitment. Prior to his work on PREPARE, Mr. Shields worked as a quantitative and qualitative research in the Marketing Division at the American Academy of Family Physicians from 2006-2016. Mr. Shields completed his Master of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2007 and his Bachelor of Science in sociology from Missouri State University in 2000.
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.
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. She is also an Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Kaari Van Auken - 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.
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 - Senior Scientist
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 University 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.
Kim S. Kimminau, PhD - Senior Scientist
1-800-274-2237, ext. 3184
Dr. Kimminau serves as a senior scientist for the AAFP 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.
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
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.
Follow the link to learn more about the AAFP NRN Advisory Group, and apply for an open position(s).
Current Advisory Group Members
Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH
AG Role: Robert Graham Center (shared role)
Director of the Robert Graham Center
Edward Bujold, MD, FAAFP
AG Role: Historian
Chief Medical Officer of KPN Health Analytics
Family Physician at Family Medical Care Center
Granite Falls, NC
Joan Fleishman, PsyD
AG Role: Behavioral Health Clinician
Assistant Professor, Behavioral Health Clinical and Research Director
Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University
Doug Kamerow, MD
AG Role: Robert Graham Center (shared role)
Senior Scholar at Robert Graham Center.
Professor of Family Medicine at Georgetown University
Jeanie Latz, BS
AG Role: Community Member
Executive MBA Faculty, University of Missouri
Governance and Strategy Consultant
Kansas City, MO
Ranit Mishori, MD, MHS, FAAAP
AG Role: PBRN Expert Researcher
Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Director, CAPRICORN (GUMC PBRN)
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Rebecca Mullen, MD, MPH
AG Role: SRF Engagement
Research Fellow at University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency
AG Role: Student
Oregon Health & Science University
Rahmat Na’Allah, MD, MPH
AG Role: Residency Clinician
Residency Clinician at UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine - Peoria
Peoria, Illinois 2
AG Role: Resident/Fellow
West Virginia University
Wayne Reynolds, DO
AG Role: Family Medicine Clinician Researcher
Sentara Family Physicians - Gloucester
Matthew Simpson, MD, MPH
AG Role: New Physician
Assistant Professor at Department of Family Medicine - University of Colorado School of Medicine
James Stevermer, MD, FAAFP
AG Role: Commission of the Health of the Public and Science
Professor - Clinical Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri
Tom Vansaghi, PhD
AG Role: NAPCRG liaison
Executive Director – North American Primary Care Research Group )NAPCRG)
Linda Doolin Ward
AG Role: Patient Advocate
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for the Center for Practical Bioethics
Kansas City, MO