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Meet the Team – Center for Equity in Aging

HISTORY

JHSON has been a leader in research focused on aging for more than two decades. The Center for Equity in Aging was launched in 2011 to advance novel behavioral interventions to enhance the health, well-being, and aging of older adults and their families. In an effort to broaden the Center’s focus beyond behavioral interventions, JHSON launched the Center for Equity in Aging under the leadership of Dr. Katherine Ornstein in 2022.

MEET THE TEAM

CENTER DIRECTOR

Katherine Ornstein

Katherine Ornstein

Director, Center for Equity in Aging

Research areas:  Home-based primary and palliative care; dementia caregiving, hospice and palliative care delivery; long-term services and supports, health equity

Associate Director of Innovation & Implementation

Quincy Samus

Quincy M. Samus

Associate Director for Innovation, Center for Health Equity in Aging, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Research areas:  Improve dementia care quality, delivery, and equity through translation of practical evidence-based, and cost-efficient practices to meet the needs of patients, families, providers, and health systems

Associate Director of Health Services Research

Kali Thomas

Kali Thomas

Associate Director of Health Services Research, Center for Equity in Aging

Research Areas: Big Data, Dementia, Disaster Preparation, Gerontology, Health Policy, Loneliness, Military/Veteran’s Affairs, Public Health, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research Methods/Statistics, Social Determinants of Health, Transition of Care

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

RESEARCH TEAM

Erika Hornstein, MBA, MA

Director of Engagement Initiatives

Erika serves as the Director of Experience Design. In this role, she creates events, programs, and initiatives that enhance the experience of SON’s faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders. Prior to this position, Erika worked on Dean Szanton’s research team, applying design thinking principles to the design and growth of CAPABLE and other older adult research projects. She is grateful to have the opportunity to apply her skillset at JHSON, a beacon of health leadership and equity for the country and world.

Erika’s previous work experience includes management consulting, product development, and healthy housing. She completed MBA/MA degrees in Design Leadership from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Erika serves as president of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, is a volunteer for Thread, and loves going on adventures with her husband and two children in Baltimore

Samantha Curriero, MPH

Sr. Research Program Coordinator

DATA ANALYSTS

Hannah Charankevich, PhD

Sr. Research Data Analyst

Yifan Liu, MS, MMed

Research Data Analyst

For analytic support, please contact [email protected].

ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

Linda Lauritsen

STEERING COMMITTEE

Anna Beeber

Anna Beeber

Associate Dean, Faculty Development

PRINCIPAL FACULTY

Research areas: Heart failure, caregiving, quality of life, shared decision-making, and palliative care

Anna Beeber

Anna Beeber

Associate Dean, Faculty Development

Research areas:  Aging, dementia, disparities, equity, gerontological / geriatric, gerontology, quality improvement, safety

Research areas: Dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; aging

Research areas:  Interprofessional education; underserved populations

Research Areas: Cardiovascular care, transitional care; underserved populations

Patrick Doyle, PhD 

Regional Vice President, Brightview Senior Living

Research areas: Dementia; assisted living care; aging

Jessica Gill

Jessica Gill

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Research areas: biological mechanisms of traumatic brain injuries, biological mechanisms of PTSD and depression

Hae-Ra Han

Hae-Ra Han

Associate Dean, Community Programs & Initiatives

Research areas: chronic care, community, disparities, equity, health behavior, public health, social determinants of health

Research areas: Dementia, aggressive behaviors, neuropsychiatric symptoms, elder abuse, caregiving, geropsychiatry, person-centered interventions, restraint/seclusion reduction

Research areas: Aging, Chronic Care, Vulnerable Populations

Research areas: Cardiovascular Health, Palliative Care, Care of People with Complex and Chronic Conditions

Research Areas: Aging, sleep, physical activity, cognition; person-centered dementia care

Research areas: Senior Housing, Aging in Place, Home Safety, Dementia Care, Osteoporosis, Falls and Fractures

Kathryn McDonald

Kathryn McDonald

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Research areas: Care Coordination, Chronic Care, Disparities, Equity, Health Policy, Integrated Health, Leadership/ Organizational Culture, Primary Care, Public Health, Quality Improvement, Safety, Transition of Care

Carrie L. Nieman, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Research areas: Hearing health equity, age-related hearing loss, dementia, health disparities, community-based interventions

Katherine Ornstein

Katherine Ornstein

Director, Center for Equity in Aging

Research areas:  Home-based primary and palliative care; dementia caregiving, hospice and palliative care delivery; long-term services and supports, health equity

Jeanine M. Parisi, PhD

Senior Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Research areas: Cognitive aging, prevention, lifestyle activities, personality, community-based interventions, public health

Craig Pollack

Craig Pollack

Katey Ayers Endowed Professor

Research areas: Community / Public Health, Disparities, Primary Care, Social Determinants of Health/Poverty, Vulnerable Populations

Nicolas Reed, AuD

Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Research areas: hearing; hearing loss; hearing aids; amplification; health care; health services; hearing care utilization; gerontology; presbycusis; delirium

Research areas: Dementia-related restlessness, myriad problems resulting from the ambiguity of restlessness, including improperly-targeted behavioral interventions

Research areas: Socioeconomic status, neighborhoods, aging, chronic disease, health disparities, health promotion

Quincy Samus

Quincy M. Samus

Associate Director for Innovation, Center for Health Equity in Aging, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Research areas:  Improve dementia care quality, delivery, and equity through translation of practical evidence-based, and cost-efficient practices to meet the needs of patients, families, providers, and health systems

Research areas: Aging, Health Disparities, Gerontology, Social Determinants of Health/Poverty

Kali Thomas

Kali Thomas

Associate Director of Health Services Research, Center for Equity in Aging

Research Areas: Big Data, Dementia, Disaster Preparation, Gerontology, Health Policy, Loneliness, Military/Veteran’s Affairs, Public Health, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research Methods/Statistics, Social Determinants of Health, Transition of Care

Research areas: Minority aging; pain; women’s health

Jennifer A. Wenzel

Jennifer A. Wenzel

Director, PhD and Postdoctoral Programs

Research areas: Oncology, health disparities, health services research; managed care, case management, treatment decision making; computer-assisted qualitative data analysis

Research Areas: Palliative and end-of-life care; wound care; dementia; geriatrics; family caregivers; health care experiences and service design


TRAINEES

Jamie M. Smith

Postdoctoral Research Fellow,  Health Services and Outcomes Research T32 Fellowship Program

Smith’s research is informed by nearly two-decades as a registered nurse working in clinical care, policy, and education. Her current work will examine how structural and social determinants influence access to home health care for older adults with dementia. Smith earned her PhD at Rutgers University, School of Nursing, where she was a Jonas Nurse Scholar. Smith’s long-term goal is to develop a meaningful research program that informs equitable care delivery for older adults with complex needs to maintain their independence and quality of life.

Mary Louise Pomeroy

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Health Services and Outcomes Research T32 Fellowship Program

Mary Louise received her MPH from Johns Hopkins University in 2017 and her PhD in health services research from George Mason University in 2022. Her research areas include social isolation, long-term services and supports, and suboptimal health care utilization among aging populations. Her current work leverages national longitudinal datasets to examine mechanisms that may enhance social support to reduce nursing home placement.

Rhonda Smith Wright

Rhonda Smith Wright

PhD Candidate

Rhonda’s current work examines associations between neighborhood-level structures such as residential segregation and sickle cell disease pain outcomes. Her research interests are informed by over ten years as a public health professional working in administration, nursing, and education. Rhonda earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania, MHSA at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and her MSN from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate and Public Health Nursing Clinical Lab Instructor.

Yiqing Qian (

Yiqing Qian

Postdoctoral Fellow in Caregiving Science

Yiqing’s passion for caregiving science is driven by her training in public health and her lived experience. Yiqing received her PhD in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2023 and her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan in 2016. Her research areas include health disparities, sociocultural aspects of caregiving, and stress coping. Yiqing’s current work will explore national datasets to examine unmet needs of homebound older adults, trajectories of caregiving activities, and the heterogeneities across illness contexts and socio-demographic backgrounds.