Health Equity Research Lab

People

 

Investigators

 
Ben.JPG

Director

Benjamin Lê Cook, PhD, MPH

Benjamin Lê Cook, PhD, MPH is Director of the Health Equity Research Lab and the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Director of Research, Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance, and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His research interests are in improving methods for measuring disparities, and applying these methods to understanding the mechanisms underlying mental health and substance abuse treatment disparities, the association between acculturation and mental health, and geographic differences in mental health service use disparities. He received a Ph.D. in Health Policy at Harvard University concentrating in Evaluative Science and Statistics, an MPH from UNC-Chapel Hill in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, and a BA in psychology from Swarthmore College. 

 

Education

Harvard University
PhD, Health Policy

UNC Chapel Hill
MPH, Health Behavior and Health Education

Swarthmore College
BA, Psychology

Contact

Email: bcook@cha.harvard.edu

Phone: 617-806-8741

Curriculum Vitae

LinkedIn

 
Nick headshot.jpg

Clinical Research Associate

Nicholas Carson, MD, FRCPC


Nicholas Carson, MD, FRCPC is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Clinical Research Associate at the Health Equity Research Lab and the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research. He is also Medical Director for Child & Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance, leading services in outpatient, school-based, and integrated care settings. He enjoys teaching clinical scholarship and psychopharmacology to child psychiatry fellows. Dr. Carson's research interests include the application of natural language processing and machine learning approaches to support adolescents at risk for severe psychiatric outcomes, such as suicide and psychosis. He studies the quality of mental health services for multicultural communities, particularly among youth, and pursues coproductive performance improvement strategies to support shared decision making with families. He is also interested in the impact of mass media and technology on youth development. Dr. Carson received his BA and MD from McGill University, completed his Psychiatry residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and completed his fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School.

 

Education

McGill University
MDCM

BA, English Literature

Contact

Email: ncarson@cha.harvard.edu

Phone: 617-575-5269

Curriculum Vitae

LinkedIn

 
Progovac_2018_Headshot_High-Resolution.jpg

Senior Scientist

Ana M. Progovac, PhD

Ana M. Progovac, PhD is Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Senior Scientist at the Health Equity Research Lab. Her research focuses on improving the quality of mental health care in the U.S., with a focus on reducing disparities for underserved populations. Dr. Progovac’s projects use a variety of research methods, including quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods research, implementation research methods, and community-engaged research. She is interested in approaches to improve mental health that span across systems, and therefore enjoys collaborating with students, community members, other researchers, clinicians, administrators, and policy advocates. She is currently the Primary Investigator on an NIMHD R03 award (and past recipient of a Harvard Catalyst Health Disparities Pilot Award) which both focus on measuring and reducing mental health care disparities for gender minority individuals in the United States. She is also the recipient of a Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry Kaplen Award to conduct a mixed-methods analysis of an implementation of a behavioral health home for patients with serious mental illness, as well as its potential for dissemination to additional sites within Cambridge Health Alliance.

 

Education

University of Pittsburgh
PhD, Health Services Research & Policy

University of Michigan
BS, Neuroscience

Contact

Email: aprogovac@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8738

Curriculum Vitae

LinkedIn

 
Dharma.jpg

Senior Scientist

Dharma Cortés, PhD

Dharma recently joined the lab as a Co-Investigator. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico, a Doctorate degree in Sociology from Fordham University, and completed her post-doctoral training in Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Social Medicine. For more than twenty years Dr. Cortés has been conducting community-based research with Latinos in the U.S., focusing on acculturation, health, mental health, and access to healthcare. She has contributed as principal investigator, co-investigator and consultant to studies funded by the NIH, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Robert Wood-Johnson Foundation.

Contact

Email: decortes@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8749

LinkedIn

Education

Fordham University
PhD, Sociology

University of Michigan
MS, Clinical Psychology

BA, Psychology

 
 
DSC_4219 2 (1).jpg

Research and evaluation scientist

Michael Flores, PhD, MPH

Michael Flores is a Research and Evaluation Scientist at the Health Equity Research Lab. He is a graduate of the doctoral program in Health Services Research at the Brown University School of Public Health. His dissertation evaluated the impact of access and utilization of health services among Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illness of Rhode Island’s Medicaid Health Home through the use of quasi-experimental methods and longitudinal administrative claims data, His research interests include access and utilization of health services by populations with mental illness, healthcare integration, implementation science, social determinants of health, racial/ethnic disparities, community-based interventions, and patient-provider communication. Michael received his BA in Spanish Literature and Latin American Iberian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPH in Health Policy from Fresno State. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

 

Contact

Email: mwflores@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8758

Curriculum Vitae

LinkedIn

Education

Brown University
PhD, Health Services Research

California State University, Fresno
MPH, Health Policy

University of California, Santa Barbara
BA, Spanish Literature and Latin American Iberian Studies

 
Leslie.jpg

postdoctoral fellow

Leslie Adams, PhD, MPH

Leslie Adams is a David E. Bell Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and collaborator with the Health Equity Research Lab. She completed her doctorate in Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research interests explore the intersections between masculinity, racial identity, and mental health service disparities among Black men. This work, which is shaped by behavioral theories in psychology and public health, has a central focus on factors that drive initiation and retention to mental health care. Currently, her research examines relationships between depressive symptomatology and health services utilization using a mixed methods and community-engaged approach. Her research agenda also focuses on populations across the African Diaspora with emphasis on Black men residing in the United States and South Africa. Previously, Leslie has contributed to community-based research studies examining the relationship between neighborhood contexts and risk-taking behavior in Black communities. Leslie is from Atlanta, Georgia and earned her B.A. and MPH from Dartmouth College. 

 

Contact

Email: lbadams@hsph.harvard.edu

Curriculum Vitae

LinkedIn

Education

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
PhD, Health Behavior

Dartmouth College
MPH, Health Policy

BA, Neuroscience

 
Aaron.png

postdoctoral fellow

Aaron Samuel Breslow, PhD

Aaron Samuel Breslow, PhD is a postdoctoral Research Fellow in Health Disparities and Multicultural Mental Health with dual affiliation at the HER Lab at Harvard Medical School and the PRIME Center for Health Equity at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is also a Behavioral Health Fellow at the Einstein-Rockefeller-CUNY Center for AIDS Research and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University. Dr. Breslow received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and completed his pre-doctoral clinical training at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center. His research aims to identify strategies to promote LGBTQ+ health and mitigate the psychological burdens of HIV stigma and criminalization. He received his BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Brandeis University and is Co-Founder of Queer Anga, a community-based wellness collective in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Contact

Email: abreslow@montefiore.org

Phone: 718-839-7548

Curriculum Vitae

LinkedIn

Education

Columbia University
PhD, Counseling Psychology

Brandeis University
BA, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

 

Staff

 
brian.jpg

Senior data analyst

Brian Mullin

Brian Mullin is a Senior Data Analyst at the Cambridge Health Alliance and the Health Equity Research Lab. He specializes in quantitative analysis and uses his expertise to answer questions, concerning health policy, using raw data. Brian graduated Boise State University with a degree in Economics. His previous work experience includes Senior Research Analyst for the state of Idaho. He also worked as a Senior Programmer for Abt Associates, a Senior Data Analyst for Neighborhood Health Plan, and a Senior Data Analyst for the Mental Health Services Program for Youth in the Greater Boston Area. Most recently, Brian worked as a Senior Medical Economics Analyst for the Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan/Well Sense Health Plan. 

Contact

Email: brimullin@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8747

LinkedIn

Education

Boise State University
BS, Economics

 
 
DSC_4192 2 (1).jpg

data analyst

Yanyi Jiang, MS

Yanyi is a Data Analyst at the Health Equity Research Lab. Yanyi's work at the lab includes the analysis of large health datasets and natural language processing/machine learning workflow design. Yanyi holds an MS in Applied Statistics and Psychometrics from Boston College and a BA in Psychology from Brandeis University. 

Contact

Email: yajiang@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8745

Education

Boston College
MS, Applied Statistics & Psychometrics

Brandeis University
BA, Psychology

 
 
DSC_4154 (1) 2 (1).jpg

Office ManagER

Angela Orangio

Angela Orangio is the new Operations Manager of the Health Equity Research Lab.  She has her BA in Business Administration from Boston College, and her varied past work experiences include:  birth doula, childbirth educator; breastfeeding counselor; and long term natural gas supply contracting. For the past 12 years she was the Community Health Worker at CHA’s Cambridge/Somerville Healthcare for the Homeless team. She is excited to continue to support work on a team that will give voice to underserved populations.

Contact

Email: aorangio@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8739

Education

Boston College
BA, Business Administration

 
 

Research assistant

Margo Moyer

Margo is a Research Assistant at the Health Equity Research Lab. She earned her BA in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies at James Madison University. She was previously an AmeriCorps Fellow for a nonprofit in San Diego, where she worked to coordinate educational and mentorship programs for Latina women. Her research interests include systemic health disparities, sexual and reproductive health, and race/ethnicity health access. 

Contact

Email: mamoyer@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8743

Education

James Madison University
BA, Sociology and Women and Gender Studies

 
 
DSC_4200 (1) 2 (1).jpg

Research assistant

Nathaniel Tran

Nathaniel is a Research Assistant at the Health Equity Research Lab. They earned their BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a concentration in Health, Culture, and Vulnerability and Spanish from Tufts University. They were a 2018 Fulbright Scholar at the University of Buenos Aires. Other public health experiences include work with the Rice Women’s Resource Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, South End Community Health Center, and The Sharewood Project at Tufts University School of Medicine. Their research interests: community-engaged, mixed-methods research, LGBTQ health, ethnic/racial minority health disparities, social medicine, and history of public health.

Contact

Email: nmtran@challiance.org

Phone: 617-806-8736

LinkedIn

Education

Tufts University
BA, Spanish and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

 
 
 

Our lab alumni go on to do great things!
Read about them here.