Leadership

TBetsy Shenkman, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy

Dr. Elizabeth Shenkman is Chair of Health Outcomes and Policy and Director of the Institute for Child Health Policy. In addition, she is a health outcomes researcher working to achieve two goals: (1) determine which combinations of health care delivery, community, and patient factors influence quality and outcomes of care; and (2) the development of corresponding evidence-based health care delivery system and patient-centric interventions to improve outcomes of care. A substantial portion of Dr. Shenkman’s work in these two areas focuses on reducing cancer-related health disparities for adults and children through the implementation of evidence-based best practices for risk detection and treatment in a range of health care settings.

Dr. Shenkman is the Principal Investigator of the OneFlorida Cancer Control Alliance funded through Florida’s James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program. This statewide network is a partnership among UFHealth, Florida State University and the University of Miami. Dr. Shenkman is also the Principal Investigator of a Centers for Medicare- and Medicaid-funded five-year pragmatic randomized trial. The trial tests the effectiveness of a personal navigator and a flexible wellness account on cardiovascular risk reduction among disabled individuals with co-occurring physical and mental health conditions, including those who have cancer. The project is one of ten in the U.S., funded as part of CMS’s Medicaid Incentives for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions portfolio. The personal navigators are embedded within three Medicaid Managed Care Plans to ensure that the study is implemented in a sustainable and real world context. Outcome measures include: patient reported outcomes, LDL-C screening and control, tobacco cessation, control of high blood pressure, and BMI. A key patient-centric innovation lies in having every participant define his/her own individual health goals with support of his/her health navigator.

Dr. Shenkman also leads two major state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) evaluations: the Texas Medicaid Evaluation Project, which began in 2002, and the Florida KidCare and Healthy Kids evaluations, which began in 1997. These projects address the quality and outcomes of health and dental care for adults and children in Medicaid and CHIP. As part of this work, Dr. Shenkman oversees a 20-member Data Analytics Team, which manages 30 terabytes of data. This team has more than 15 years of experience in using health care claims and encounter and medical record data to calculate a wide range of performance measures across the spectrum from the individual to the health plan. The Data Analytics team integrates health record data with claims/encounter data and patient-reported outcomes to obtain a comprehensive picture of health care quality for preventive and chronic condition care. Dr. Shenkman also led the development of an interactive web portal (The Texas HealthCare Learning Collaborative; https://thlcportal.com) used by more than 1,500 health care plans, physicians, and policy analysts. Quality of care results and evidence-based best practices are shared through the portal.

Dr. Shenkman also serves as Co-Director of the Implementation Science Program within UF’s NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). In this role, Dr. Shenkman collaborates with faculty and staff to provide technical assistance in developing implementation science and patient-centered outcomes studies.

Dr. Shenkman’s research has been funded by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Her work is published in journals such as Pediatrics, Health Services Research, Clinical Epidemiology, Pediatric Blood and Cancer, and the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Shenkman is an elected member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society.


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Mildred Maldonado-Molina, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy

Dr. Mildred Maldonado-Molina is Associate Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy and the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida.  Dr. Maldonado-Molina’s research program focuses on reducing health disparities in alcohol-related consequences among youth.  She has published over 70 peer-reviewed studies related to the application of innovative statistical techniques to study the effects of context and structural interventions on behavioral and mortality outcomes, with particular focus among youth and young adults. She is the PI in six research projects at the University of Florida and the Institute for Child Health Policy. She is also a Co-Investigator in NIH projects, including a P50 Center grant from the Pennsylvania State University entitled “Center for Complex Data to Knowledge in Drug Abuse and HIV Behavioral Science” and an R25 project entitled “A Master Course on Power for Multilevel and Longitudinal Health Behavior Studies”.  From 2009-2014, she was the PI of a five-year study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism entitled “Alcohol Contextual Influences: Health Disparities and Mortality”.  She has also been principal, co-principal investigator, co-investigator or consultant in over 20 externally-funded projects examining the effects of alcohol policies on risky behaviors and health outcomes, and evaluating alcohol, drug use, and delinquency behaviors among minority adolescents. She was the Director of Education and Training in the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy. She is the Director of the Family Data Center, and a member of the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences and the MD/PhD Advisory Boards in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. She received the 2009 New Investigator Award from the National Hispanic Science Network and the 2009 Early Career Prevention Network (ECPN) Award from the Society for Prevention Research for her contributions in the area of statistical applications in the drug use and prevention field.  Recently, she received the 2013 and 2015 Exceptional Teacher Award for outstanding teaching accomplishments, College of Medicine at the University of Florida. She also received the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from The Methodology Center at Penn State for significant science contributions to the field of drug use.

 


Roland Estrella, B.S.C.E.

Roland Estrella is a senior analyst and research contract manager at the University of Florida, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy. He has worked for over 12 years developing data capabilities to inform public policy and to foster strategic investments in communities. Mr. Estrella holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), a Master’s in Business Management, and a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering. He directs statewide efforts in using data for health outcomes surveillance, informing and tracking investments in early education, and evaluating healthcare delivery programs. For communities, Mr. Estrella develops data solutions to help local leaders identify under-served populations and create strategic solutions to improve the people’s well-being. His work developing actionable data visualizations and maps was recognized with the Sapphire award by the Florida Blue Foundation and has been featured by national media including National Public Radio (NPR). Mr. Estrella’s achievements in informing policy and funding decisions with data are gaining momentum with local, State, and national organizations as a proven model to inform place-based interventions.


Chris Delcher, Ph.D.
Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy

Chris Delcher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy at the University of Florida. His current projects include evaluating prescription drug monitoring programs and the role in reducing prescription drug abuse, identifying and characterizing Medicaid superutilizers and the prescription drug related outcomes associated with multiple provider episodes, and implementing and evaluating surveillance systems in high and low resource environments.