CORE: Our Team

CORE: Our Team

At CORE, our staff of researchers, scientists, and other experts specialize in high-impact research, evaluation, analytics, and strategic consulting.

Learn more and get in touch below

Keri Vartanian, Director of CORE

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Keri Vartanian is the director of CORE and is responsible for developing and implementing CORE’s vision and strategy. As a research scientist, she leads a diverse portfolio of research and evaluation projects. Dr. Vartanian is interested in understanding the ways in which systems, social factors, and health care access lead to poor health and drive health disparities. Her goal is to do actionable research that creates ways to meaningfully improve health and health equity in our local community and nationally. Dr. Vartanian has extensive experience in both biological and social sciences research. Her past experience includes research as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, a post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, and 10 years at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) as a graduate student and post-doctoral researcher. She joined CORE in 2015. Dr. Vartanian has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from OHSU. She most enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, and extended family in the Pacific NW and England.

Lisa Angus, MPH, Program Director

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As a program director for CORE’s Analytics & Strategic Consulting team, Lisa oversees ASC’s work and collaborates with CORE’s partners to design, implement, improve, and/or evaluate health system transformation or cross-sector collaboration initiatives. Focus areas include public policy and applied research for systems and social change. She enjoys blending research, program planning, and stakeholder engagement to help projects succeed. Lisa has worked on health policy, health systems transformation and public health projects in Oregon since the early 2000s. In 2015-16, she was a Commonwealth Fund Australian-American Health Policy Fellow and studied integrated care strategies and measurement in initiatives across Australia. She was director of health policy development at the Oregon Office for Health Policy and Research and a key member of the team that developed Oregon’s Medicaid transformation waiver in 2012. She holds a MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Lisa enjoys gardening and traveling.

Denise Baldwin, Senior Administrative Coordinator

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Denise Baldwin is the operations coordinator at CORE, where she provides a variety of administrative and other support for the CORE team. Denise keeps things running smoothly so that researchers and analysts can focus on other important aspects of their work. Prior to joining CORE, Denise worked as an administrative assistant at the Merchants Exchange of Portland and Portland General Electric. When not at work, you can usually find Denise doing some sort of fiber art.

Abby Bush, MPA, Project Manager

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Abby is a project manager for CORE's Analytics & Strategic Consulting (ASC) team; she is responsible for managing multiple projects for the team. She is excited to be part of a team which is furthering knowledge about the social determinants of health. Before joining CORE, Abby was the program manager for Help Me Grow Oregon, supporting families with young children in seamlessly connecting to community services. Prior to that, Abby worked at the Oregon Community Foundation in the early childhood program, focusing on parenting education, professional development for the child-care workforce, and connecting early learning and K-3 education. Abby has a BA from Oberlin College and an MPA from New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In her free time Abby can often be found knitting, exploring Portland's amazing food scene, and taking in live performances.

Hannah Cohen-Cline, PhD, MPH, Program Director, Research & Evaluation

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Hannah is the program director for CORE’s Research & Evaluation team, and is responsible for overall strategy, design, and implementation. As a research scientist, she also leads research studies and program evaluations. Hannah is passionate about improving population health and is particularly interested in using cross-sector data to explore the relationships between social factors, health and wellbeing. Prior to joining CORE, Hannah was a graduate student in the University of Washington PhD program and research assistant at the Washington State Twin Registry and the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, where she explored access to preventive cancer screenings and conducted studies to understand the associations between built and social environments and mental health. Hannah holds a PhD in epidemiology and a master’s in public health from the University of Washington. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys reading, dancing, being out in nature, and cake decorating.

Claire Devine, JD, MPH, Research Associate III

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Claire provides scientific support for both qualitative and quantitative projects for CORE’s Research & Evaluation team. She is particularly interested in increasing her understanding of a wide range of statistical methods and is committed to promoting health equity and supporting underserved populations through research and collaboration. Claire has presented her research into the effects of adverse childhood experiences on health at the 2019 Oregon Public Health Association Annual Conference. Her past experience includes working as a patent litigation attorney on technology and medical device matters. She holds a JD from Columbia Law School, an MPH in epidemiology from the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, and a graduate certificate in biostatistics. In her free time, Claire enjoys reading and writing poetry and fantasy, with a particular love of Dickinson and Tolkien.

Lindsay Dickey, MPH, Research Analyst

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Lindsay is a research analyst with CORE’s Analytics & Strategic Consulting team. Lindsay’s responsibilities include survey based analyses and helping organizations create and track health metrics for their population using claims data and population datasets. In her role, she helps create survey tools, analyzes and presents data, and highlights key findings for project leads. Lindsay’s interests include resiliency and physical activity, and she enjoys learning more about project areas and tools to improve her efficiency as an analyst. Prior to joining CORE, Lindsay received her Master’s of Public Health at the University of Texas. She enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors, and as a new homeowner, finds much joy in pruning overgrown brambles on her property.

Taylor Doren, BA, BS, MA, Data Systems Analyst

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Taylor is a data systems analyst for CORE and is responsible for overall database design; data ETL and warehousing; analytic table creation; and person and organization fuzzy matching strategies. Taylor enjoys the challenges of preparing useful analytic-ready data sets, finding creative solutions to difficult data puzzles, and the never-dull task of fuzzy matching projects. Prior to coming to CORE, they spent a decade with the Oregon Department of Human Services, briefly as a research analyst before serving as the technical lead for the Integrated Client Services data warehouse. They have a BA in psychology, a BS in information technology, a MA in psychological research, and a graduate certificate in biomedical informatics from OHSU. When not wrangling data at work, Taylor tries to wrangle their partner, tween, and cat-sized dog, before giving into the inevitable and allowing themself to be wrangled instead.

Kristen Dulacki, MPH, PMP, Operations Manager

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Kristen is CORE’s Operations Manager, providing department-wide administrative and operational support. Kristen leverages her administrative skills and background in public health research and project management to support the CORE team and its efforts to improve the health of underserved populations. Previously, she worked as a field supervisor on the Oregon Health Study and as research associate and exercise physiologist at Oregon Health & Science University. She holds a BS in exercise and sports science from Oregon State University and a Master’s in public health from Portland State University, as well as a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Kristen loves to play soccer and is an avid Portland Thorns and USWNT fan. She also enjoys the wide variety of outdoor activities that the beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Daniel J. Fish, PhD, Data Scientist

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Daniel is a data scientist at CORE, where he provides a variety of analytical and technical leadership on CORE projects and lends his expertise to addressing a wide range of data, analytical, and technical challenges. Focus areas include investigative design, development of technical tools, statistical analysis, verifying data accuracy, and interpretation and communication of results. Prior to joining CORE, Daniel was a professor and lecturer in mathematics at Portland State University (PSU) and Portland Community College and performed computational research in biotechnology and systems dynamics. He holds a PhD in systems science / mathematics from PSU and a MA in mathematics from the University of Florida. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys a variety of musical activities and loves biking, birdwatching, hiking, and camping all around the Pacific Northwest.

Lizzie Fussell, MPH, Program Manager

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Lizzie Fussell is a program manager for CORE’s Analytics & Strategic Consulting team, and oversees community capacity building, equity, population health, and data strategy projects. Lizzie brings intersectional approaches and solutions to projects that are grounded in a commitment to support community self-determination and center racial equity and social justice. Prior to joining CORE, Lizzie managed family support, community health worker, and home visiting programs through the Multnomah County Health Department. She brings 15 years of experience working with community-based organizations to strengthen capacity through community organizing, evaluation, policy advocacy, and strategic planning. Lizzie holds a Master in Public Health from Portland State University/Oregon Health and Science University and a BA in environmental studies from Lewis & Clark College. Lizzie is a proud mother, auntie, and organizer. She loves to hike, climb, and kayak throughout the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Ritu Ghosal, MS, MPH, Research Associate

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Ritu focuses on the design, planning, fielding, analysis, and dissemination of projects for the Research & Evaluation team. She is passionate about public health research and translating those findings into public health policy. Her research interests include social determinants of health, health disparities, access to care/health Insurance, healthcare organizations and environments. Ritu’s extensive background in public health includes roles with the Public Health Foundation of India in the Chronic Disease Prevention and Surveillance Program, and as a research consultant for Ikonet Research and Consultancy Private Limited. Ritu holds a MS in public health from the London School of Economics, an MPH in health systems and policy from OHSU, and a MS in biotechnology and molecular biology from the University of Kalyani, India. Outside of work, Ritu enjoys long hikes, books and dancing to classical music.

Monique Gill, PhD, MPH, Research Scientist

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Monique Gill is a research scientist for CORE’s research and evaluation (R&E) team and is responsible for designing and leading R&E projects, developing partnerships across a variety of disciplines and sectors, and disseminating research findings to partners and funders. Monique is passionate about advancing social change and promoting health equity through research approaches that are community-engaged and focused on the social determinants of health. Prior to joining CORE, Monique worked as a researcher in academic and non-profit settings, and has a background in education and teaching. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and a PhD in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Outside of work, Monique enjoys playing tennis, crafting, time with family, and being outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Aisha Gilmore, MPH, PMP, Project Manager

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Aisha Gilmore is a project manager for CORE’s Research & Evaluation team and is responsible for carrying out operations support and management of research projects. Aisha is interested in understanding ways to improve the health of historically underserved populations, as well as learning new techniques in research project management. Prior to joining CORE, she worked in the field of research, health and wellness, and project management at organizations such as Oregon Health & Science University, the National Cancer Institute, New Mexico State University, and Providence Health Plan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Carleton College, a Master of Public Health (MPH) specializing in community health education from New Mexico State University, and has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Aisha enjoys spending her free time with her family, doing barre, and enjoying all the good food that Portland has to offer.

Ben Gronowski, MHR, Research Associate

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As a research associate with CORE’s Research & Evaluation team, Ben supports a variety of research and evaluation projects from design to dissemination. Ben is passionate about better understanding the complex relationships between social determinants of health, health care access, and health outcomes, and using this understanding to inform policy and work with our partners to create meaningful change. Prior to joining CORE, Ben worked as a policy and payment reform analyst for Colorado’s association of Federally Qualified Health Centers. He’s also worked as a human rights researcher, a workers’ rights investigator, and a Peace Corps Volunteer. Ben holds a BA in Spanish & International Studies from Willamette University and a Master of Human Rights from the University of Minnesota, in addition to a graduate certificate in Program Evaluation. When he’s not at CORE, Ben can be found backpacking in the mountains, riding bikes, paddle boarding, and reading in hammocks.

Megan Holtorf, MPH, CCRP, Data & Analytics Manager

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Megan Holtorf is the data and analytics manager for CORE, where she provides oversight and governance of CORE’s data and analytics systems. Additional responsibilities include leading the data analyst team and working to foster collaboration between CORE and other teams and institutes at Providence. Megan’s areas of interest include health services research, built environment, and data visualization. She’s passionate about making research findings accessible to all audiences and increasing the capacity of organizations to leverage analytics for decision making. Prior to joining CORE, Megan worked for several years as a basic science researcher and most recently managed clinical trials for adult oncology. She has a BS in biology, an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics, graduate certificates in both geographic information systems and bioethics, and is a certified clinical research professional. When not in the office, Megan can be found exploring trails and rivers around the Pacific Northwest.

Kyle Jones, MSc, MA, Research Analyst

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Kyle is a research analyst for CORE’s Research & Evaluation team. He is responsible for sample design, data cleaning, and conducting and interpreting analyses. Kyle’s primary research interests include sexual health and the role of social factors as a driver of overall health and effective engagement with the healthcare system. Kyle spent three years working in South Africa and the U.K. in academic institutions focusing on public sexual health before moving to the U.S. After working directly in health insurance for 18 months, Kyle made the move to CORE where all his previous experience could be leveraged together. Kyle holds a Master’s in Research Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a Master’s in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A glutton for punishment, Kyle enjoys endurance races of all kinds and is always looking for the next challenge.

Natalie Kenton, MS, MPH, Research Scientist

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Natalie is a research scientist for CORE’s Research & Evaluation team. She is passionate about participatory research methods and capturing and elevating community voice. Past and current focus areas include health equity, community health workers, collective impact, and health care transformation. She was a member of the 2016 Providence Innovation Fellowship cohort and of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. Previously, she worked as research coordinator for the USDA Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging’s Dietary Assessment Unit. She has a BS in human physiology from University of Oregon, as well as a MS in food policy and applied nutrition and MPH in health communications from Tufts University. Natalie spends her free time outdoors, either in her garden, exploring Portland neighborhoods, or on the trail.

Kristen Lacijan, MS, MPH, Program Manager

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Kristen is a program manager for CORE’s Analytics and Strategic Consulting (ASC)  team. She is passionate about enacting health system transformation to improve population health, especially innovations that focus on social determinants of health, racial justice, and improving outcomes for people with substance use disorders. Kristen has deep roots in Quality Improvement (QI), research, program evaluation, healthcare transformation, and more. Most recently, she served as manager of the Quality & Analytic Insights team at Health Share of Oregon. She has also worked extensively as a QI analyst and in program evaluation and other QI roles. Kristen has MS (Agriculture, Food, and the Environment) and MPH (Master of Public Health) degrees, both from Tufts University. Kristen enjoys reading, dancing, and spending time outdoors with her two children..

Roxanne Marsillo, MA, Research Associate

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As a research associate, Roxanne provides a wide range of support for CORE’s research and evaluation projects. Her research interests include understanding and determining how inequities in food, housing, and health systems intersect, especially in underserved and minority communities. She is particularly interested in conducting research that culminates in supporting communities impacted by severe social inequities. Roxanne’s work prior to joining CORE includes numerous years working extensively with the Somali refugee community in San Diego, CA. She has also worked for several San Diego-based nonprofits and local community-based organizations where she expanded her knowledge of community-based research. Roxanne holds a BA in anthropology from San Jose State University as well as a MA in anthropology from San Diego State University. She spends her free time weight training, hiking, cooking and creating recipes for her food blog.

Erica Millan-Juarez, Administrative Systems Coordinator

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Erica Millan-Juarez is the administrative systems coordinator for CORE. She supports the CORE admin team and is responsible for key functions including timekeeping, invoices, reconciliation, reimbursement, assisting staff with surveys, and more. Erica is passionate about her work at CORE, particularly her efforts to improve workflow, develop new skills, and help others on the team. Erica loves to spend time with her family and enjoys any new adventures.

J.B. Rinaldi, PMP, Project Manager II

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JB is a project manager at CORE. He’s responsible for managing a variety of projects to ensure they are completed on time and with high quality results. JB is interested in improving public policy and researching how social determinants of health and access to housing impact health outcomes. As well as how we can use genetic testing to help identify and potentially treat certain cancers earlier. Prior to joining CORE JB worked as a nursing assistant in Eugene, Oregon. JB has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon and the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Sarah Roth, PhD, Associate Research Scientist

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Sarah Roth is an associate research scientist for CORE’s research and evaluation (R&E) team. In this role, she is responsible for the design, leadership, and dissemination of R&E projects, as well as supporting collaboration with partners across a variety of disciplines and sectors. Sarah is passionate about leveraging community-engaged research to promote health justice across multiple content areas. Prior to joining CORE, she spent five years as a researcher in the department of community health sciences at UCLA and three years as a program manager at the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians. Sarah received her PhD in community health sciences from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health with a concentration in urban planning. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, snacking, working on crossword puzzles, and being outdoors.

Charles Schroeder, MPA, CRA, Finance Program Manager

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Chuck is the finance manager for CORE. He is responsible for managing CORE’s finances, developing and tracking project budgets, advising on compliance with regulations and funding requirements, and providing financial reporting and analysis for investigators. His main charges at CORE are in streamlining financial operations for projects and across the department, reducing administrative burden for investigators, and above all to effectively support the science of CORE. His past experience includes serving as manager of sponsored projects administration at Portland State University. He has also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania, and financial support roles for RWJF national program offices. Chuck has a Master’s of Public Administration from Portland State University and is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA). Outside of work, Chuck’s hobbies include outdoor gardening, bicycling, and camping.

Maggie Weller, MS, PMP, Project Manager Supervisor

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Maggie is the project manager (PM) supervisor for CORE’s Research & Evaluation (R&E) team, and is responsible for supervising the R&E PM team, overall PM strategy, systems, and implementation. Maggie is passionate about improving processes and supporting research that advances health equity and social justice. She has contributed to multiple journal articles, and media dissemination of pivotal research. Her past experience includes serving as a PM for the Health Commons Grant at Health Share of Oregon, as the Internal Systems Coordinator with the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Healthy Kids and as Policy and Program Director at CCO Oregon. Maggie holds a BS in psychology from Winona State University, MN and an MS in women’s studies from MN State University, Mankato, as well as a PMP certification. She lives in North Portland with her wife and daughter and enjoys hiking, discovering new podcasts, outdoor concerts, and volunteering in her community.

Bill Wright, PhD, VP of Health Innovation Research, Providence

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Dr. Wright is the VP of Health Innovation Research at Providence, where he oversees CORE and supports other health transformation research across the system. Dr. Wright is a sociologist with a principal focus on survey design, and specializes in longitudinal research with low-income and vulnerable populations. His research focuses on the intersection between health policy, health systems design and the social determinants of health. Dr. Wright has led numerous studies of low-income Oregonians, and he is a principal investigator on the Oregon Health Study, the first-ever randomized trial on the effects of health insurance. His other research has examined cost sharing structures in Medicaid, the impact of continuity and churning in Medicaid, the impacts of accountable care health reform on outcomes for people served by Medicaid and the role of built and social environments as drivers of population health.

Chia-Hua Yu, MBI, Reporting Analyst

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Chia-Hua is the reporting analyst for CORE’s Analytics & Strategic Consulting team, and is responsible for the design and creation of interactive data tools. Chia-Hua’s interests lie in designing and creating interactive tools that allow users of all data fluencies to glean insight from their data. Prior to CORE, Chia-Hua spent five years at the maternal and child health team in the State of Oregon’s Department of Public Health. Before that, he worked at Oregon Health Science University as a research technician. Chia-Hua graduated from Oregon Health and Science University with a Master’s of bioinformatics.

CORE's partners include other researchers, state and local agencies, hospitals and health systems, community organizations, non-profits, and communities.
Learn about CORE's team of researchers, scientists and data experts.
At CORE, our team of scientists, researchers and data experts regularly publish findings and insights in peer reviewed journals and publications. Find CORE publications.