Meet the Team
Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Community Health Impact Coalition
Dr. Madeleine Ballard designs and studies interventions to improve the performance of community health workers (CHWs) in low- and middle-income countries. She is lead author of the World Health Organization/UNICEF implementation support guide on CHWs and COVID-19 vaccination and co-author of the UNICEF/Global Fund implementation support guide on national georeferenced CHW master lists. She served on the guideline review committee for the first ever World Health Organization guideline on community health worker programs.
Dr. Ballard also conducted one of the earliest syntheses of existing guidance on the practice of overviews of reviews and led the development of a methodological checklist to minimize risk of bias in overviews; this checklist is now employed by overviews in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Dr. Ballard serves as Executive Director of the Community Health Impact Coalition, a quality of care collaborative by community health workers and health delivery organizations in 40+ countries that employs research and advocacy to build, test, and scale high-quality community health delivery.
Aaron Baum, PhD is an Assistant Professor and Economist at the Arnhold Institute of Global Health, the Department of Health System Design & Global Health. He is also a research affiliate at the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Primary Care at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Baum studies the organization and delivery of health services, the social determinants of health, and global health using methods from economics and statistical learning. His research mostly involves the analysis of claims and electronic health records datasets in collaboration with clinicians, epidemiologists, and health services researchers. He has also led a community intervention trial of a microfinance-based community health worker program in Haiti and now leads the evaluation of its national scale-up. His research has been published in JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, and other leading clinical and policy journals.
Dr. Baum's research is supported by a K01 award from the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, internal award from the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and subawards from the Centers for Disease Control, United States Agency for International Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Archstone Foundation.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Baum was part of the founding team at City Health Works in Harlem NY, a non-profit organization that employs community health workers to deliver home health coaching and care coordination services to Medicaid beneficiaries. In partnership with Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution in Haiti, he was part of the team that started a community health entrepreneur program that has been scaled up to reach millions of rural, low-income women and children and received a Canada Grand Challenges Rising Stars in Global Health Award, a Canada Grand Challenges Transition to Scale Award, and a 5-year $18 million award from USAID Haiti. Previously, he was a technologist in residence at Cornell Tech's Small Data Lab, under Dr. Deborah Estrin. He graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics (honors) from the University of Chicago and received his PhD from Columbia University.
David Citrin is an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor for the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Departments of Global Health & Anthropology at the University of Washington. He also serves as a Senior Research Collaborator at Medic and as an Implementation Research Advisor at Possible. He previously worked as the Founding Director of Impact at Possible and as a Founding Co-Director of the Nepal Studies Initiative at the University of Washington. His research areas of focus include medical anthropology, mixed methods implementation science, digital health, and global health ethics.
He has published in various journals such as Global Health Action, Medicine Anthropology Theory and Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. He holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology and a MPH in Global Health from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University.
Research Program Manager
Ashley Chory is the Pediatric HIV Research Program Manager at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. Under the leadership of Dr. Rachel Vreeman, Ashley manages a research program that focuses on improving the care of children and adolescents living with HIV through a collaboration with the Academic Model for Providing Access to Health (AMPATH) Research Network in Kenya. The AMPATH partnership provides HIV treatment for over 150,000 patients, over 6,000 of which are adolescents.
Ashley joined the Pediatric HIV Research Program given her interest in the mental and sexual and reproductive health of adolescents. She has previous experience working with marginalized groups living with HIV and is passionate about identifying and improving health care disparities for this population. Ashley’s research interest is in the differences in health care acquisition and the long term health trajectories of adolescents across gender, socio-economic status, and racial and national identity. She is committed to global-local partnerships and opportunities for reciprocal innovation toward promoting health equity for adolescents around the world.
Ashley received a Bachelor of Science from Sacred Heart University and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Global Health from the State University at Albany School of Public Health.
Nicholas DeFelice, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine and at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai, and is a member of the Mount Sinai Institute for Exposomic Research. Dr. DeFelice studies the environmental determinants of infectious disease transmission. He develops mathematical models that quantify the burden of disease attributable to poor infrastructure and other environmental exposures, along with systems to forecast infectious disease outbreaks. His current research focuses on forecasting West Nile virus outbreaks. More broadly, his research is addressing how climate change influences human health and the environmental solutions that can promote positive health outcomes.
Dr. DeFelice holds a PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he also completed his Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, his postdoctoral training was completed at Columbia University with a focus on climate and health.
Angela Diaz, MD, PhD, MPH, is Dean of Global Health, Social Justice, and Human Rights, the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor in Adolescent Health in the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, and Professor in the Department of Global Health and Health Systems Design at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. After earning her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, she completed a Master of Public Health from Harvard University and a PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia University.
Dr. Diaz is the Director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, a unique program that provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary, integrated primary care, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, optical and legal services to young people. Under her leadership, the Center has become one of the largest adolescent-specific health centers in the U.S., serving more than 12,000 young people every year – all at no cost to patients. The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center is a major training site in the field of adolescent health and medicine, with research funded by NIH.
Dr. Diaz is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, where she has sat on its governing council, been a member of the Health and Medicine Division, and served as Chair of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, of which she is still a member. She is currently Co-Chair of the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and a member of the Policy and Global Affairs Division.
Dr. Diaz has been a White House Fellow, a member of the Food and Drug Administration Pediatric Advisory Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In 2003, Dr. Diaz chaired the National Advisory Committee on Children and Terrorism for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Diaz is active in public policy and advocacy in the U.S. and has conducted many international health projects in Asia, Central and South America, Europe, and Africa. She is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the country and around the world.
Dr. James Eliades is an Emergency Medicine physician and epidemiologist. He is also Co-Director of the Global Health Division, Department of Emergency Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He also serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Arnhold Institute for Global Health. In his role as Co-Director, he coordinates activities within the Global Health division including project design and implementation, research, educational and advocacy initiatives.
In addition to his work as an emergency physician, Dr. Eliades has worked in global health for over 20 years for U.S.G. and U.N. agencies, non-governmental organizations, and was previously faculty in the Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The focus of his work has included humanitarian response and refugee health, emergency health systems development, and malaria control and prevention in over 30 countries. Dr. Eliades’ current research focuses on strengthening the delivery of emergency medicine globally through partnership at sites in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and domestically serving Native American communities in South Dakota and New Mexico. He also specializes in improving and expanding the delivery of prevention and treatment interventions for malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. He has served on WHO's technical expert group for artemisinin resistance, and numerous other advisory groups.
He's published numerous peer-reviewed publications, abstracts, CDC MMWRs, and book chapters. He recently returned from two years in Southeast Asia running a four-country, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded malaria elimination initiative. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan, a medical degree from Wayne State University, a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has basic conversational skills in Spanish and French. Dr. Eliades enjoys cooking and is working on his first novel.
Lonnie Embleton, MPH, PhD is an Assistant Professor and Adolescent Health Advisor at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai and for the Department of Global Health and Health System Design. She is responsible for conducting research addressing the health and needs of adolescents and youth, specifically underserved and marginalized people. Her research based in Kenya has focused on street-connected children and youth and orphaned and vulnerable children, emphasizing sexual and reproductive health, HIV, human rights, gender equity, and structural and social determinants of health. In both of her roles as Adolescent Health Advisor and Assistant Professor she supports efforts to improve adolescent health with the Department and Institute’s global partners. Dr. Embleton also strengthens and develops our adolescent health programs, and the collaborative care, education, and research partnerships focusing on adolescent health in Kenya.
Dr. Embleton’s research focuses on addressing structural and social determinants of adolescent health inequities and seeks to redress these health inequities using implementation science to improve access, uptake, and delivery of health services to young people. She aims to improve health services and advance health equity for underserved and marginalized adolescents in Kenya and New York, by conducting collaborative, inclusive, and participatory global health research. She previously served as a Postdoctoral Research fellow for the Centre for Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Dr. Embleton has had work published in various journals such as Jama Pediatrics and AIDS and Behavior. She has had many achievements in her career, including being nominated for the Canadian Women in Global Health list, and receiving the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Doctoral Research award from the International Development Research Centre.
Dr. Embleton holds two bachelor’s degrees from Ryerson University and Brock University, along with receiving her master’s degree in Public Health from Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She also holds a PhD in Medical Science from the University of Toronto. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling and exploring New York City by bike and cooking.
Martine Faustin is the Operations Manager at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. With over seven years of operational management experience, Martine is responsible for the overall administrative support for the Department Chair and the department’s core operations team.
Prior to joining the Arnhold Institute, she worked as an Administrative Coordinator at Catholic Charities Behavioral Health Clinic in Far Rockaway and Jamaica, Queens. While there, she assisted with the daily activities of the clinics as well as provided administrative support for the clinicians. Martine has also engaged in research as an Associate Researcher at the Nestler Lab at the Icahn School of Medicine, here at Mount Sinai.
Martine received her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Biology from Marymount Manhattan College. Because of her profound interest in access to quality healthcare in low-income communities and the inequities in health policies, she is currently pursuing a Masters in Health Administration at the Robert Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.
Kanwal Haq is the Program Manager for the NYC Partnership at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She helps to lead the team's community-based participatory research and implementation work to improve women's health. Currently she is working on building the HoPE program, which provides full-spectrum, community-based doula care, free-of charge to any birthing person at Elmhurst Hospital and Queens Hospital.
Prior to joining Icahn School of Medicine, Kanwal worked at the Yale School of Medicine, completed a United Nations fellowship, an Americorp Fellowship, and conducted research in Kigali, Rwanda. Kanwal completed her B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Missouri and her M.S. in medical anthropology from Boston University School of Medicine. She is originally from Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
Dr. Krupa Harishankar is an assistant faculty member in the Departments of Health Systems Design and Global Health and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science. Dr. Harishankar practices at Elmhurst Hospital, in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is working with the New York City partnership team on care-delivery improvements and research.
Krupa graduated with a BA from Columbia University and an MD from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai through the Humanities in Medicine program. As a medical student, Dr. Harishankar participated in the AIGH global health program. She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai, where she led the department’s Anti-Racism Task Force, and created the Healthcare Equity Residency curriculum and track. Krupa has a long-standing commitment to working with justice-involved women, as an advocate, researcher, and clinician, in partnership with community-based organizations and Correctional Health on Riker’s Island.
David Heller is an assistant professor and a practicing internist and clinician-investigator developing programs for the integrated screening, prevention, and care of multiple chronic conditions worldwide.
Dr. Heller focuses his work on integrated care models for hypertension, depression, and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). With Dr. Raymond Aborigo, Dr. Heller co-directs the Arnhold Institute’s partnership with the Navrongo Health Research Centre in Ghana. This team is leveraging a nurse-led primary care platform - the Community-Based Health Planning and Services initiative - to provide front-line care for hypertension and depression in rural Ghana.
Dr. Heller also directs the PeakHealth Wellness Program, which provides online and in-person peer coaching to Mount Sinai patients struggling with multiple chronic conditions via the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) workshop program. He serves on the steering committee of the Coalition for Access to NCD Medications and Products, and is collaborating to improve hypertension control through nurse-led “adherence clubs” in Kampala, Uganda.
Dr. Heller’s work and publications have appeared in The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Lancet, JAMA, BMJ and Circulation journals among others.
MD, University of California, San Francisco
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Residency, Internal Medicine, Osler Training Program, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Fellowship, Primary Care Research, University of California, San Francisco
Grants and Contract Manager
Shurnette Henry is the Grants and Contracts Manager at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Within her role, she actively assists investigators with all aspects of pre-award proposal development, as well as post award grants management. Additionally, she supports the research faculty with oversite and adherence to compliance, programmatic and financial management of the department’s research projects.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Shurnette has over 19 years of experience in finance, business development and project management. She began her career in grants management at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center before joining Mount Sinai in 2018 and working within Global Health to support the department’s objectives and scientific impact through sponsored projects.
Khadija Jones is a Program Manager within the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She is responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating programs aimed at helping health systems and their patients manage multiple chronic conditions worldwide.
In partnership with the Navrongo Health Research Centre, Khadija works to leverage the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) program in Navrongo, Ghana – a rural, resource poor region with rising chronic disease burden—to implement a nurse-led chronic disease control program. Khadija also manages the PeakHealth Wellness Program- a virtual peer support program aimed at high-risk Mount Sinai patients struggling to manage their multiple chronic conditions via the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). In Guyana, she is the Program Manager for the Service Delivery & Systems Strengthening Primary Care Initiative.
Khadija’s interest includes addressing racial injustices, health disparities, chronic disease prevention, and improving access to equitable care. She seeks to leverage health policy as a force for health equity, and use qualitative research methods to inform the delivery of evidence-based, person centered and technology-driven interventions and sustainable solutions. She has previous experience working with vulnerable populations and is passionate about advancing analytical tools to lead organizational and societal change and using implementation science to address public health issues in low income and inequitable environments globally.
Khadija received her Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Sociology from Binghamton University and her Master in Public Health from Hofstra University. She is currently pursing her PhD in Community Health and Health Policy from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health.
Dr. Craig Katz is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Education, and System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Arnhold Institute for Global Health, and the founder and director of Mount Sinai’s Program in Global Mental Health. He organized the psychiatric response to 9/11 in New York City through an organization he co-founded, Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, including founding and directing the World Trade Center Mental Health Screening and Treatment Program for 9/11 responders for several years. He has more recently served as Special Advisor to Mount Sinai's Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth
for addressing faculty, staff, and trainee mental health and well-being since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Dr. Katz holds numerous positions in the Department of Medical Education, including as a Faculty Advisor for medical students; Co-Director of Global Health Electives; Faculty Director of the mental health program within the student run, faculty facilitated primary care clinic, EHHOP; and Faculty Director for the Human Rights Program's Remote Evaluation Network.
Utsha G. Khatri, MD, MSHP, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She has a secondary appointment at the Institute for Health Equity Research, Department of Population Health Science and Policy. As a health services researcher, Dr. Khatri is interested in improving access, outcomes, and equity with regard to the health and health care of structurally marginalized populations. Her ongoing projects focus on the health care of individuals and communities affected by mass incarceration and those affected by substance use disorders. Dr. Khatri practices clinically as an attending emergency physician at Mount Sinai Hospital and at Elmhurst Hospital. She is fluent in English and Nepali and proficient in Spanish.
Dr. Khatri received her medical degree from the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She trained in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she served as chief resident. She completed the National Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania and received a master’s degree in Health Policy Research. She is also a former Fulbright Scholar.
Director of Global Health Education
As the Director of Global Health Education, Dr. Lee leads and expand opportunities for bilateral education exchanges within Mount Sinai’s strategic global health partnerships in Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, and New York. She partners with departments and programs across Mount Sinai to ensure the success of global health medical education. Dr. Lee also serves as the MPH Global Health Track Advisor, mentoring and supporting MPH students engaging in global health programs. Aligned with the Department Institute’s strategic goals, she will support our efforts to promote justice and equity in our global health education programs and partnerships and advance the larger goal of decolonizing global health.
Diana Lee, MD joined Mount Sinai in 2018 as a pediatric hospitalist at Kravis Children’s Hospital. She is committed to providing quality care to children both locally and globally through clinical care, education, quality improvement, research, and informatics. She has a joint appointment in the Departments of Pediatrics and Global Health. In addition to her global health roles and her clinical responsibilities, she holds an informatics role in the Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Lee graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, and completed her pediatric residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Prior to coming to Mount Sinai, she was a pediatric hospitalist at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and held leadership roles in global health, quality improvement, and informatics. She was a founder and associate program director of the Montefiore Pediatric Global Health Program, which included pediatric residency global health electives, integration of global health education into the main pediatric residency curriculum, local and global partnership development, and establishment of a pediatric residency global health track. In partnership with others in this program, she contributed to quality improvement work around pediatric sepsis in Ghana and tuberculosis screening and diagnosis of children living with HIV in Togo. In addition, she has participated in clinical work in Mali and Ethiopia.
At Mount Sinai, Dr. Lee continues to participate in clinical, quality improvement, informatics, and global health efforts. She led the development of Mount Sinai’s clinical guidelines for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 and is the pediatric hospital medicine representative on the American Academy of Pediatrics MIS-C Interim Guidance Working Group. As an Epic Physician Builder for the Department of Pediatrics, she has contributed to implementation of electronic medical record changes to standardize documentation and increase adherence to quality and safety efforts. She is a faculty member for the pediatric residency global health track and is a member of the AMPATH Kenya Adolescent Health Working Group. She has also served as a facilitator for the global health-focused InFocus 2 course and served on selection committees for the Global Health Scholarly Year and Distinction in Global Health awards for the Icahn School of Medicine.
Dr. Lee’s scholarship includes clinical research on addressing obesity in the pediatric inpatient setting and the impact of obesity on hospitalized children, as well as quality improvement around transitions of care and in global health.
Whitney Lieb, MD, MPH, is a board certified, attending physician in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science. Her interests are in cervical cancer screening and prevention, maternal mortality, and reproductive health in the United States and globally.
Dr. Lieb completed a fellowship in Global Women’s Health at the Icahn School of Medicine, where she focused on international residency training and health workforce capacity. She is an active member of Physicians for Human Rights and is a voluntary faculty member at the Mount Sinai Humans Rights Clinic and Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, aiding victims of female genital mutilation, domestic violence and sex trafficking in their applications for asylum to the United States. Dr. Lieb also is a voluntary physician for the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, which provides care to uninsured, underserved women in East Harlem.
Dr. Lieb is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of New England and her medical degree from St. George’s University.
Dr. Lieb completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Brooklyn Hospital Center, where she served as chief resident during her final year.
Clinical Research Coordinator II
Roxanne Martin is the Clinical Research Coordinator at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She supports the coordination of multiple global pediatric and adolescent HIV research studies through the collaboration with the AMPATH Research Network in Kenya. She also coordinates Dr. Rachel Vreeman’s work as the chair of the Global Pediatric Working Group for the International Epidemiologic Databases Evaluating AIDS (IeDEA) consortium, a global consortium of HIV care programs that compiles data from seven international regional data centers.
Prior to joining the Arnhold Institute, she worked at Gynuity Health Projects. At Gynuity, she supported over 15 international and domestic research projects on maternal and reproductive health. She completed a practicum at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant, and Reproductive Health. She helped coordinate the launch of the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee. The Committee reviews cases of pregnancy-related deaths and complications in order to identify potential causes of racial disparities in poor maternal outcomes.
Roxanne received her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health.
Duncan Maru, MD, PHD is an epidemiologist and physician trained in internal medicine and pediatrics who conducts implementation science research on strategies to improve the equity of healthcare delivery systems. Duncan is an Associate Professor at the Arnhold Institute of Global Health and the Departments of Global Health, Pediatrics, and Internal Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He teaches and practices clinically at NYC H&H / Elmhurst Hospital Center, a long-standing partner of the medical school.
Duncan works on solutions that support frontline providers' abilities to improve equity and access with their communities. In work in Nepal, with an organization he co-founded fifteen years ago, Possible, he has conducted research around community health workers, primary care improvement, digital health, and motivational interviewing. In work in NYC, with the CURE-19 partnership, Duncan is collaborating on efforts to improve equity in COVID vaccination through community health workers.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, he served on the faculties of Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Global Health Equity, Boston Children's Hospital Complex Care Service, and Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. Duncan graduated from Harvard College, received his MD/PhD from Yale University, and completed the Harvard Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program and the Brigham and Women's Global Health Equity Residence Program. Duncan's work as a physician researcher and epidemiologist has generated over 60 peer-reviewed articles. He is a recipient of the NIH's High Risk, High Reward Early Independence DP5 Award, an NIH R34 award, a Canada Grand Challenges Stars in Global Health Award, a Canada Grand Challenges Transition to Scale Award, a USAID PEER award, and a World Economic Forum and Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In his advocacy work, he works with students and trainees around improving more equitable financing in New York, particularly in support of financing for marginalized populations and for safety net healthcare delivery systems. He also works on advocacy around the threats posed by misinformation to the health of our communities, and for holding social media platforms accountable to mitigating those threats.
He and his partner Dr. Sheela Maru, also on faculty at the Department of Global Health and Elmhurst Hospital Center, live in Jackson Heights with their sons Anand and Umed and parents Hansraj and Usha. He was a distance runner and triathlete growing up, and continues to swim, bike and run wherever he can.
Assistant Professor for Global Health and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, and Advisor for Possible
Dr. Maru is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Health Systems Design and Global Health and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science. Dr. Maru is an Advisor for the organization Possible, supporting health systems strengthening and implementation science work in rural Nepal. Her research is focused on improving healthcare access and quality for women and children in rural South Asia.
Additionally, she is an attending physician at Elmhurst Hospital where she practices as a generalist ObGyn and is exploring collaborations in global and community health.
Dr. Maru joined Mount Sinai in 2018. She previously worked at Boston Medical Center where she was an attending ObGyn, Director of Global Health, and Director of the Refugee Women’s Health clinic in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Ben McVane, MD is Assistant Clinical Professor at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and the Department of Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai. He works clinically at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, and the Cheyenne River Health Center in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Dr. McVane is also the Senior Medical Educator at The Libertas Center for Human Rights, where he teaches and supervises forensic medical examinations and research. He has worked internationally with humanitarian responses in Greece, Bangladesh, and Mexico.
His research specializations include asylum, documentation of human rights abuses, and medical care of refugees and asylum-seekers. He has had work published in various journals such as The Journal of Emergency Medicine and American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. McVane received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Political and Social Thought and a medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Assistant Director of Operations and Global Partnerships
Amanda Misiti is the Assistant Director of Operations and Global Partnerships at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She helps to lead the development of the institute’s global care, education and research programs for global partnerships. She manages internal and external communication strategies and coordinates the department’s fund development efforts. She previously managed grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund focused on applying best practices from low- and middle-income country contexts to the United States.
Before joining the institute, Amanda worked for the BRAC Social Innovation Lab as a Knowledge Management and Communications Officer where she led a mobile money innovation fund supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a learning initiative focused on scaling social initiatives in South Asia funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to BRAC, Amanda was a Program Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the Beacon Community Program. She served as a Health Education Specialist at the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali. Amanda holds a joint Executive Masters in Global Public Policy and Management from New York University and University College London, and graduated from McGill University with a Bachelors in International Development with minors in Economics and Political Science. She is originally from Medina, New York
Dr. Arun Nandi, MD, FACEP, FRCS is a Secondary Faculty of Emergency Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine and at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. He is currently the System Medical Director of Case Management for Mount Sinai Health Systems. In this role he is involved in oversight of clinical processes, admissions, throughput, denials, case management and utilization review at all Mount Sinai hospitals. At Mount Sinai he joined as the Director of the Emergency Department at the Mount Sinai west campus. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, he was the Chair of Emergency Medicine at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut and at Columbia Memorial Hospital in New York. Throughout his leadership roles, he has led the restructuring & reorganization of emergency departments and systems of care for stroke, cardiac emergencies & trauma.
Clinically, Dr. Nandi has experience as both an emergency physician in the United States, and as a surgeon in the United Kingdom, India and Trinidad & Tobago. He completed his residency in emergency medicine from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Jacobi Medical Center and formally trained as a surgeon in trauma & reconstructive surgery, completing fellowships at the Royal College of Surgeons, in both London and Edinburgh. As part of his academic research, he investigated wound healing at Stony Brook University and expanded his research into keloids & hypertrophic scarring.
Dr. Nandi’s passion lies in cultivating global health programs for emergency medicine and is active in the education, operations and research efforts of multiple organizations. He is the Deputy Ambassador to India for the American College of Emergency Physicians, International section and Visiting Professor for Emergency Medicine at JIPMER Pondicherry, his Alma mater where he spearheaded the emergency medicine residency training program and setting up emergency services. He is also the ACEP ambassador to Sri Lanka and visiting professor of Emergency Medicine at AIIMS, Mangalagiri, South India. Beyond the realm of medicine, Dr. Nandi is fluent in Hindi, Tamil & Bengali and loves traveling & hiking with his dogs.
Grants and Contracts Assistant
Juliet Ottenberg is a Grants and Contracts Assistant at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In her role, she assists in developing pre-award grant proposals and post-award grant management. She facilitates adherence to requirements and budgetary oversight.
Prior to joining the Arnhold Institute, Juliet received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, where she studied Human Biology & Society and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Her previous roles include working as an undergraduate research assistant at UCLA’s Semel Institute, where she assisted clinical psychology research in children with sleep disorders, as well as organizing records and managing funds and supplies for a free primary care clinic in Los Angeles.
Ashante R. Patterson, MCM is the Communications Manager at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and the Department of Health System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine. She manages internal and external communications, including overseeing social media, the web site and the department newsletter. She also serves as a liaison to the Mount Sinai press office and helps to manage donor cultivation efforts and events. Ashante is passionate about health equity, maternal, adolescent, and community health.
Prior to joining the Institute, Ashante helped to coordinate fundraising efforts and communication strategies at several non-profits and universities, including the National Hemophilia Foundation, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Rutgers University.
She received her master’s degree in Communication and Media with a specialization in Health Communication, and a Bachelors in English with a minor in Business & Technical Writing, both from Rutgers University.
Ashante is an avid writer and reader. She enjoys collecting eyeglass frames and jewelry, spending time with family and friends and going to church.
Director of Operations and Global Partnerships
David Plater is the Director of Operations and Global Site Development for the Department of Health Systems Design and the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. In this role, David is focused on expanding and strengthening Sinai’s network of global health partners along with the infrastructure and operational supports needed for effective care, research, and education programs in global health. David helps lead core operations for the Department and Institute.
David has nearly 20 years of experience managing international development and global health research programs. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, David served as the Associate Director of Research at Indiana University’s Center for Global Health where he helped build IU’s global health research partnerships and programs with a special emphasis on strengthening the IU-led Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare’s (AMPATH) research program at Moi University and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Western Kenya. Over the last decade, he has focused on the development and strengthening of effective local institutions and their administrative systems, policies and procedures, training programs, human subjects protections programs, financial administration, laboratory and biobanking infrastructure, and other core infrastructure and facilities to support international research collaborations focused on improving the health of people in resource limited settings. This research infrastructure has supported the development of a broad research network involving partners from more than 20 institutions in North America, Europe, and Africa with more than US$150 million in cumulative research and training awards from the NIH, CDC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other major sponsors, as well as, more than 800 publications in peer reviewed journals.
David is passionate about building highly effective international partnerships that contribute to improving people’s health in the most challenging settings around the world. His focus on partner development and empowerment began while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa and South Asia. Working in these resource-limited environments, David has focused on developing enduring counterpart relationships focused on expanding the capacity of local partner institutions and administrative systems that deliver aid, healthcare, and other services to clients in underserved areas of the world. After returning from the Peace Corps, David coordinated and evaluated major international initiatives and strategic partnerships focused on health, hunger, water and sanitation, and education for Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. In these roles, David sought to bridge the gap between research and the strategies used by international development organizations to implement effective programs.
Research Program Coordinator
Payal Ram is the Research Program Coordinator for the COVID-19 Unit for Research at Elmhurst and Queens (CURE-19), a collaboration between the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst Global Health Institute, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens.
Payal built her research foundation as a Research Technician at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her projects investigated the effects of aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation by the environmental toxin dioxin (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, TCDD) on energy pathways and post-translational modifications.
After years of experimental based research, Payal shifted to patient centered research to align with her interests in healthcare. As a Research Coordinator for Mount Sinai Services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, she worked on various Trauma and Pulmonary/Critical Care studies including investigating traumatic brain injuries in undocumented immigrants, massive transfusion protocol activation in non-trauma patients and development of acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute kidney injury in COVID-19 patients.
Payal graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Science with a minor in History.
Nepal Informatics Lead
Anant Raut has joined Arnhold Institute for Global Health as the Nepal Informatics Lead. For the last five years, he has served as the Healthcare System Engineer and Director of Informatics at Possible, where his responsibility was to lead the design, advocacy and policy-building of NepalEHR as an integrated population-based care delivery and learning platform that can serve as the model for public healthcare systems globally. With Possible, he led the rollout of NepalEHR, an OpenMRS-based EHR system at Possible’s district-level hospital hubs in Nepal. NepalEHR not only integrates the various hospital functions from supply chain to frontline care with insurance claims submissions and automated regulatory reporting, but also pioneered integration of hospital and community-based digital systems to provide evidence-based longitudinal care without the need for advanced computer skills. He helps improve health outcomes and patient experience through innovative digital systems design and quality improvement. Prior to Possible, Anant led various projects innovating user-centered solutions for companies like Hospira, P&G and Samsung. He is from Nepal, where he completed high school. He completed his MS in Engineering Design & Innovation from Northwestern University, and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College in Connecticut.
Anya Romanoff is a Breast Surgical Oncologist who focuses on improving breast cancer care in resource-limited settings. Dr. Romanoff earned her medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine and completed General Surgery Residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During residency, she was awarded a Fulbright-Fogarty Postdoctoral Research Award in Public Health, which she used to investigate access to breast cancer care in Peru. She then went on to pursue a fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she became involved in the African Research Group for Oncology, a National Cancer Institute recognized consortium dedicated to improving cancer care in Nigeria.
Dr. Romanoff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and Health System Design at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She also is a Global Cancer Disparities Researcher in the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Romanoff collaborates with clinician-researchers in Nigeria and other low- and middle-income countries to implement strategies promoting the early detection of breast cancer and access to effective treatment, with the ultimate goal of improving breast cancer outcomes globally.
Sabitri Sapkota is the Executive Director at Possible and is an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Arnhold Institute for Global Health. As Executive Director, she works closely with the Board, team members, advisors, local, regional and global partners to develop revenue strategies, cultivate new funding sources, and lead the research process. As an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, she supports in strengthening research efforts and institutional partnerships to advance the global health agenda. Her research specializations consist of Sexual Reproductive Maternal Neonatal and Child Health (SRMNCH) and behavioral and implementation research to improve maternal and child health among vulnerable populations. Sabitri has worked as a Regional Research Advisor at Marie Stopes International United Kingdom and as a Director of Research, Policy and Advocacy at Marie Stopes International Nepal.
She has had her work published in PubMed and various journals. She has won several awards including a dean award from Hiroshima University for outstanding research, and a Vice Chancellor gold medal for her scholarly achievements during her undergraduate studies. She received her master’s in Public Health from the University of Melbourne in Australia and a PhD in Health Science from Hiroshima University in Japan. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and gardening.
Associate Director of Finance
Ky-Shana Urie is the Associate Director of Finance for the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and the Department of Health System Design and Global Health. In this capacity, she provides leadership and administrative direction for faculty and staff in the department, which includes strategic planning of both grant activities and delivery system-based initiatives as well as oversight of grants and non-grants financial accounts, and serving as the primary financial officer overseeing the grants and finance team and human resource needs. She supports global operations through the development and management of critical finance and administrative infrastructure development with our partners in Kenya, Nepal, Ghana and New York.
Before her current role, she was a Practice Improvement Facilitator at NYU Langone Health. She was responsible for preparing staff and providers on value-based healthcare by improving workflows, optimizing skillsets, and training staff and providers. Ky-Shana previously managed the daily operations as a Business Manager at NYU Langone Health and as a Practice Manager at NYU College of Dentistry. Before her career in healthcare, she was a Human Resources Manager in the hospitality industry.
Ky-Shana’s extensive experience in human resources and in improving operational efficiency, program development, and strategic planning helps provide exceptional care to patients and foster an environment for staff to grow.
Director and Chair
Dr. Rachel Vreeman is the Chair of the Department of Health System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She is also a Professor of Pediatrics. A pediatrician and health services researcher, Dr. Vreeman has extensive history of leadership building Global Health research programs to generate the evidence needed to improve care systems worldwide. Her own research focuses on improving the care of children and adolescents living with HIV within resource-limited settings.
Dr. Vreeman chairs the Global Pediatric Working Group for the International Epidemiologic Databases Evaluating AIDS (IeDEA) consortium, a global consortium of HIV care programs funded by the National Institutes of Health that compiles data for more than one million people living with HIV. She is also a standing member of the NIH Scientific Review Group on HIV/AIDS Intra- and Inter-personal Determinants and Behavioral Interventions and on the scientific advisory committee for the International AIDS Society’s Collaborative Initiative for Pediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER).
Dr. Vreeman is an international expert on children’s adherence to HIV therapy, supporting disclosure of HIV status, HIV-related stigma, and mental health and other behavioral challenges for adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. She is the immediate past Director of Research for the AMPATH Research Network in Kenya. The AMPATH partnership provides HIV treatment for over 150,000 patients in Kenya and is building a comprehensive healthcare model in Kenya in partnership with the Kenya Ministry of Health. Dr. Vreeman now leads Mount Sinai’s participation in the AMPATH Consortium.
Dr. Vreeman graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University. She received her MD from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and completed her internship, residency, and a chief residency in Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She also completed a fellowship in Children’s Health Services Research and a master's degree in clinical research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Vreeman served as the Director of Research for the Indiana University Center for Global Health from 2014-2019.
In addition to her academic research pursuits, Dr. Vreeman is the co-author of three popular books debunking medical myths and applying evidence to the (often false) ideas people hold about their bodies and health. These best-selling books, Don’t Swallow Your Gum: Myths, Half-truths, and Outright Lies about your Body and Health, Don’t Cross Your Eyes… They’ll Get Stuck Like That! And 75 Other Health Myths Debunked, and Don’t Put THAT in THERE! And 69 Other Sex Myths Debunked, provide light-hearted reviews of the science that explains why so many of those weird and worrisome things we think about our bodies are mistaken. Dr. Vreeman’s myth-busting research has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, Newsweek, and many other publications. She has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, CNN, Dr. Oz, BBC News Hour and many other national and international television and radio shows.
Director of Global Health Informatics
Dr. Weisman directs the Design and Informatics Core teams at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. The Cores bring unique methods, tools, technologies, and multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives to the Institute's researchers, faculty, staff, and students.
As a faculty member, Dr. Weisman's work centers on novel applications of available technologies to address health information challenges and disparities on a global scale. His long-standing research and applied interests include informatics-mediated frameworks to support information inoculation theory and the psychology of judgement and decision, information systems to support mass prophylaxis and disaster response, accident theory's application to public health and health system design, and scaling information technology solutions for public and precision health interventions.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Weisman spent three decades working in primary health care and disaster preparedness and response. As a UNIX/Linux systems administrator, non-profit CIO and CTO, and Strategic Technologies Director, he has supported clinicians, medically underserved and immigrant populations, and disaster response. In these capacities he co-developed the first mobile clinic electronic patient record system for homeless children and families, data tools and warehouses to improve quality and continuity of care for marginalized populations, implemented health technologies for mobile primary clinics, and developed mobile telecommunication and information systems to support responders to natural and human-made disasters and humanitarian crises. He holds a doctorate in anthropology, focusing on computer-mediated culture, and has been a practicing archaeologist and forensic anthropologist.
In addition to his work at the Icahn School of Medicine, Dr. Weisman is a researcher and doctoral supervisor at SMARTlab, University College, Dublin and OCADU, Toronto. He lectures, builds tools, and advises on ethics in technology, disaster preparedness and response, and unanticipated uses of information technologies.
Ilene Wilets, PhD is a Secondary Faculty for Global Health and Health Systems Design at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and at Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She is also an Associate Professor for the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health. Ilene also serves as a Chair for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) within the Program for the Protection of Human Subjects (PPHS) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In her role as Chair, she provides training for board members on the federal regulation governing human subjects protection, develops institutional research policy, and conducts empirical studies on research ethics. As an Associate Professor, she is responsible for supporting investigators with the development of study protocols to meet the highest ethics and safety standards. Dr. Wilets is also involved in curriculum development and teaching for the Mount Sinai-Clarkson University master’s program in Bioethics, along with serving as a mentor to graduate level students working on scholarly projects involving research ethics. She previously worked for the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University as an Executive Director of the Institutional Review Board.
Her research focus involves empirical work on research ethics and informed consent. She has had work published in many journals including JAMA and the American Journal of Bioethics. She also received the Mount Sinai Institutes for Clinical and Translational Sciences Award and the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research Regional Connections Program grant.
Dr. Wilets holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in Psychology, a master’s degree in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a PhD from Columbia University.
A Secondary Faculty of Medical Education and Pediatrics, Lori Zbar, MD is the Icahn School of Medicine Director of Student Health and Wellness. Dr. Zbar received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Yale University and her medical degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she also completed her residency in Pediatrics. As a faculty member, she enjoys teaching students and residents as well as caring for patients through the Mount Sinai Student Health Center. She is dedicated to wellness programming and innovation in both the curricular and extracurricular realms of the medical center.
Dr. Zbar has also served as an attending clinician/educator at the Mount Sinai Global Health partner site in Monrovia, Liberia. She remains committed to working with medical trainees to provide healthcare to underserved communities around the world. She is the recipient of numerous awards for clinical excellence.