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ACH Putnam Scholars

Janeane N. Anderson, PhD, MPH
2020 Putnam Scholar
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

About Dr. Janeane Anderson: 
Dr. Janeane N. Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, TN. Dr. Anderson’s research targets the relationship between patient-provider communication practices and clinical and quality of life outcomes among women and adolescents of color. She studies the ways in which patients and medical care providers share power and responsibility to achieve patient health goals in sexual health and chronic disease management. She was awarded a National Cancer Institute Diversity supplement (3R01CA218155-01S1) to examine the effect of patient-provider sexual communication on adjuvant endocrine therapy adherence, sexual dysfunction management, and sexual quality of life among Black women with early-stage hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. She is co-leading an NCI-funded study to explore patient-provider communication, treatment adherence and sexuality disclosure issues among lesbian, bisexual, and queer women with breast cancer (5R01CA218155-02). She is also the research consultant for an ongoing NIH/NIMH-funded K01 grant project to develop a multi-component intervention to increase HIV risk perception and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) initiation among Black sexual minority men (BSMM) in Baltimore, MD. The project seeks to test the feasibility of using a peer advocate and mobile app to mitigate the impact of internalized and enacted stigma which may hinder BSMM’s HIV risk perception and willingness to initiate PrEP use.

Dr. Anderson’s goal as a Putnam Scholar is to advance her training in intervention design to continue developing and testing patient activation interventions to empower Black women to advocate for more patient-centered, effective sexual communication during their encounters with healthcare providers. Healthcare professionals often have little formal training in sexual communication and report feeling discomfort bringing up sexual health-related topics with their Black female patients; thus, her goal is to also gain new skills in developing provider-directed communication interventions to lessen healthcare provider concerns about initiating sensitive, sexual health conversations.

Carma Bylund, PhD, FACH
University of Florida

About Dr. Carma Bylund: 
Carma L. Bylund is a professor in the College of Journalism and Communications and College of Medicine, University of Florida. Dr. Bylund is a communication scientist with international expertise in healthcare communication and medical education. She studies provider-patient communication, including developing and evaluating provider-focused and patient-focused interventions to improve communication. Her research is primarily focused on cancer, spanning the cancer continuum from prevention to survivorship. Dr. Bylund’s research collaborations have resulted in more than $10 million in grant funding.

Dr. Bylund has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters and is co-editor of two Oxford books. She is Associate Editor of Patient Education and Counseling, and co-editor of the upcoming International Encyclopedia of Health Communication (Wiley-Blackwell). Dr. Bylund was previously Director of the Communication Skills Training and Research Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, NY, where she co-developed the Comskil Model for communication skills training. Following, she was Associate Director for Medical Education at Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, where she led the dissemination and evaluation of the Comskil Model for teaching in a multi-cultural environment. Dr. Bylund is a fellow in the Academy on Communication and Healthcare.

Johanne Eliacin, PhD, HSPP
2020 Putnam Scholar
Roudebush VA Medical Center

About Dr. Johanne Eliacin:
I am a research scientist and core investigator at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, with a background in clinical psychology and anthropology. I hold secondary appointments as research scientist at the Regenstrief Institute and research assistant professor in the department of psychology at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, (IUPUI). I am also a VA health services research and development (HSR&D) career development awardee and a NIH mixed- methods research fellow.

My research lies at the intersection of mental health services, healthcare disparities, health communication, and implementation science research. My overarching research goal is to improve mental health services for minority populations through the development and implementation of effective patient-provider communication interventions. Toward this goal, my career development award focuses on developing and implementing a peer-led patient navigation program to engage racial minority veterans in VA mental health services, and to increase their participation in mental health treatment decisions.

I plan to advance my training in health communication research through the Putnam Scholar Program and engage in a new line of research that will focus on improving health equity in Alzheimer’s Disease research. My Putnam Scholars research project will examine communication strategies to engage African-Americans in Alzheimer’s Disease research.


Dr. Kenzie A. Cameron, PhD, MPH, FACH
Northwestern University

About Dr. Kenzie Cameron:
Kenzie A. Cameron, PhD, MPH, FACH is a Research Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM), with secondary appointments in the Departments of Medical Education, Preventive Medicine, and Medical Social Sciences. She is a communication-trained health services researcher with extensive experience in theory-based message design and persuasion research. As Principal investigator, she has received funding from CDC, NIA, NCI, and AHRQ to design innovative health communication interventions promoting preventive health behaviors (influenza vaccination, pneumonia vaccination, colorectal cancer screening), with a focus on addressing racial and ethnic disparities. Dr. Cameron has served as a Co-Investigator or Mentor on over 45 funded grants and contracts ranging from contralateral prophylactic mastectomy to Simulation-Based Mastery Learning to communicating diagnostic uncertainty in the emergency department. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications with colleagues from communication, internal medicine, emergency medicine, hospital medicine, medical education, medical social sciences, preventive medicine, and transplant, among others. In 2016 she was named a Fellow of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare, was awarded The Graduate School’s Faculty Service Award (Northwestern), and the FSM 2016 Mentor of the Year Award. She is passionate about mentoring, serving as a mentor to medical students, graduate students, and fellows, while successfully mentoring multiple faculty to career development awards, and NIH and AHRQ R-series awards. Dr. Cameron is a member of the Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators, directs the Mentor Consultation Service at FSM, and recently was named the Director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) Mentoring Programs. In 2020 she received the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award.


Kristen Pecanac, RN, PhD
2019 Putnam Scholar
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing

About Dr. Kristen Pecanac: 
Dr. Pecanac is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing. Dr. Pecanac completed her BS, MS, and PhD in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing and completed 1 year of an Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. Dr. Pecanac’s research program and overall career goal is to improve communication during treatment decision making in the acute care setting, particularly at the end of life. The ultimate goal of this research is to facilitate engagement in productive conversations that will lead to reduced stress and suffering for patients and their family members.​

Dr. Pecanac's goal as a Putnam Scholar will be to advance her training in conversation analysis and use conversation analysis in a mixed-methods study of surrogate decision making at the end of life. This study will improve our understanding of how communication strategies can be linked to surrogate outcomes. Her intent is to identify communicative strategies that promote surrogate participation in decision-making and incorporate these strategies into an intervention.​

Douglas W. Maynard, PhD 
University of Wisconsin

About Douglas W. Maynard, PhD:
Douglas W. Maynard is the Maureen T. Hallinan WARF Professor, Conway-Bascom Professor, and Harold and Arlene Garfinkel Faculty Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of Bad New, Good News: Conversational Order in Everyday Talk and Clinical Settings (2003), and co-editor (with John Heritage) of Communication in Medical Care: Interaction between Primary Care Physicians and Patients. His current work includes co-editing (again with John Heritage) a volume entitled Harold Garfinkel: Praxis, Social Order, and Ethnomethodology’s Legacies (forthcoming with Oxford University Press), and writing a monograph co-authored with Jason Turowetz on the testing and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD (forthcoming with University of Chicago Press). Other current work deals with end of life conversations in palliative care/oncology. At UW, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on ethnomethodology, on conversation analysis, and on social psychology. Doug is the immediate past president of the International Society for Conversation Analysis.​

Brooke Cunningham, MD, PhD
2019 Putnam Scholar
University of Minnesota

About Brook Cunningham:
I am a general internist, a sociologist, and an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at University of Minnesota. As a clinician, I practice internal medicine at the Community-University Health Care Clinic (CUHCC), a federally-qualified health clinic that serves a diverse patient population, most of whom live in poverty. As an educator, I teach first year medical students at the University of Minnesota about race as a social construct and the mechanisms through which racism affects health. I have also begun training internal medicine residents to communicate with their patients about their experiences of racism. In addition, I have been invited to speak about race, racism and health to a variety of local and national groups, including the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Minnesota Medical Association, and medical schools around the country. As a researcher, I use mixed methods to examine factors that impede or facilitate health systems’ efforts to address health equity, such as colorblindness, implicit bias, and conceptualizing race as a biological variable. I was recently awarded an NIH NHLBI K23 Mentored Career Development Award to develop and test a feasible, acceptable, and evidence-based method for health care providers to communicate about racism with multigenerational African-American patients.

Dr. Susan Eggly
Wayne State University

About Dr. Susan Eggly:
Dr. Susan Eggly is a Professor in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and a Scientist in the Population Studies and Disparities Program at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in communication studies at Wayne State University. As a communication scientist and health behavior researcher, Dr. Eggly’s research focuses on developing a better understanding and improving patient-physician communication as a way to improve physical and psychosocial health outcomes for patients and their families. She has or has had NIH-funded research in the areas of clinical communication and outcomes related to clinical trials, health disparities, treatment decisions, pain, and parental bereavement. Most of Dr. Eggly’s research involves the systematic analysis of real-time video recordings of clinical interactions with physicians, patients, and patients’ companions, and a true hallmark of her work is her ability to collaborate across disciplines and make creative connections.


Jody Lin, MD
2018 Putnam Scholar
Stanford University Pediatric Hospital Medicine; Clinical Instructor

About Jody Lin, MD: 
Jody Lin, MD is a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Stanford University. She received her BS in Chemical Biology with a minor in Public Policy at UC Berkeley followed by her MD at UC Irvine. She then completed her general pediatrics residency at Baylor College of Medicine before coming to Stanford to complete concurrent fellowships in Pediatric Hospital Medicine at the Department of Pediatrics and Health Systems Design at the Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC). Dr. Lin is currently a Spectrum KL2 Career Development Award scholar through which she will complete a Masters in Health Policy.

Dr. Lin’s current research focuses on improving shared decision making for children with medical complexity and their families. During her fellowship she completed a secondary database analysis that established the association between medical complexity and poorer quality shared decision making in children. Under her ongoing KL2 award, she explored parental perspectives on shared decision making for children with medical complexity. Dr. Lin’s long-term goal is to establish an evidence base between shared decision making and health outcomes in children with medical complexity.

Lee Sanders, MD, MPH 
Stanford University 
Associate Professor of Pediatrics

About Lee Sanders, MD, MPH:

Lee Sanders, MD, MPH is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Co-Director of the Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention (CPOP), and Division Chief for General Pediatrics at Stanford University.  Dr. Sanders is a national expert in the fields of health literacy and health disparities. With funding from the NIH, CDC, and other national agencies and foundations -- Dr. Sanders directs the Stanford Health Literacy Lab, which aims to address child disparities (including obesity, chronic illness, and educational achievement), by reimagining primary-care and community systems to support parents and families.  Through this lab, Dr. Sanders also leads multi-disciplinary teams that provide analytic guidance to public policy at the local, state and national levels.  He has served as an advisor to several national agencies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, the Institute of Medicine, the CDC, and the FDA.  At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the Gardner Packard Children’s Health Center, he provides primary care to children with medical and/or social complexity.


Jennifer Barsky Reese, PhD
2018 Putnam Scholar
Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center

About Jennifer Barsky Reese, PhD:
Jennifer Barsky Reese, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Reese’s research focuses on designing, evaluating, and disseminating methods for improving intimacy, interpersonal functioning, and quality of life among those with cancer. She completed her undergraduate degree from Barnard College and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She completed a psychology clinical internship in the Behavioral Medicine track at Duke University Medical Center, followed by a one-year T32-funded postdoctoral fellowship also at Duke and then a three-year American Cancer Society-funded post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Reese is currently funded by a five-year Mentored Research Scholar Grant by the American Cancer Society centering on the development of clinician- and patient-focused interventions to improve patient-clinician communication about sexual concerns in the context of cancer.

Dr. Reese’s goal as a Putnam Scholar will be to build off of her research and clinical knowledge in sexual and interpersonal functioning for cancer survivors in order to gain expertise in patient-provider communication and use this knowledge to develop evidence-based interventions to enhance communication about sexual concerns for those with cancer. Her Putnam Scholars project will focus on adapting a previously tested clinician-focused intervention aimed at enhancing breast cancer clinicians’ communication about sexual concerns to a mobile technology-based (mLearning) format in order to increase its reach, and conducting a pilot test of the intervention. The overarching goal of this work is to improve the health and well-being of individuals diagnosed with and treated for cancer through integrating sexual quality of life into patients’ routine cancer care. Dr. Reese lives with her husband and two daughters in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and enjoys traveling, discovering new restaurants, and spending time in museums and outdoors with her family.

Mary Catherine Beach, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins University Professor of Medicine

About Mary Catherine Beach, MD, MPH: 
Mary Catherine Beach, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Beach is a Core Faculty Member of the Berman Bioethics Institute and Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research. Dr. Beach received her B.A. from Barnard College, her MD from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and her MPH from Johns Hopkins. She has completed the Greenwall Fellowship in Bioethics and Health Policy as well as a fellowship in the Division of General Internal Medicine. In 2001, Dr. Beach was a Congressional Health Policy Fellow in the office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, where she worked on such issues as the patients rights, mental health parity, human subject protection, genetic discrimination, human cloning and stem cell research. Dr. Beach is a past recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar Award and a K-08 Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She is currently conducting research on the theoretical foundations of respect and the impact of physician attitudes and patient-physician communication on patients in the primary care setting, in the treatment of HIV and substance abuse, and in the treatment of sickle cell disease.

Elaine Wittenberg, PhD
California State University, Los Angeles
Associate Professor

About Elaine Wittenberg, PhD
Dr. Elaine Wittenberg is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. She holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Oklahoma and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles on palliative care communication, cancer family caregivers, and communication training. She is co-author of three books, two of which have been awarded Book of the Year by the National Communication Association, and the lead editor of the Textbook of Palliative Care Communication. Dr. Wittenberg is co-founder of the COMFORT Communication project, a national health communication training program funded by the National Cancer Institute. Her research and teaching awards include the Applied Research Award from the International Communication Association and Donohew Health Communication Scholar Award from the University of Kentucky.

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