Staff

PAM CURTIS, MS

Pam Curtis is the Director of the Center for Evidence-based Policy. In addition to providing direction for CEbP, Ms. Curtis leads the Center's work on policy development and application, social indicators of health, consensus building, strategic planning and organizational development.Prior to working at the Center, Ms. Curtis served as policy advisor to three-term Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber on children's issues and human services. In this role, Ms. Curtis authored the Governor's initiatives on juvenile crime prevention and early childhood education. Prior to joining the Governor's staff, Ms. Curtis was the Interim Director and Field Manager for the Oregon Commission on Children and Families. She has additional professional experience in local government and the private sector fields of substance misuse and addiction, adoption, child abuse prevention, youth development and policy, and organizational development. Ms. Curtis has authored articles and reports on policy coordination, system redesign, and comprehensive planning. Ms. Curtis holds a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, and has received several honors for her work, including the Robert F. Utter Award for Civic Leadership, State of Washington, 2010; the Mental Health Award for Excellence, State of Oregon, 2002; the Distinguished Service Award, Citizen's Crime Commission, 2001; and the Outstanding Service Award, Governor's Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, 1999.

SUSAN AROMAA

Susan is the Program Manager for the Center’s groundbreaking Medicaid Evidence-based Decision Project (MED) and the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP). In this role, she plans and oversees the operations of these two state Medicaid program collaboratives. Susan has a background in alcohol and drug policy and an interest in reducing health disparities. Prior to joining the Center, she was the Community and Practice Research Program Manager for the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute. She also worked for several years at the Boston University School of Public Health where she developed and launched an online alcohol self-screening and referral tool and worked on other addiction issues. Susan has a degrees in Psychology and Applied Communications Research from Boston University.

SUSAN CARSON, MPH

Susan has been a research associate with the Center since July 2014, working primarily on the MED Project. Prior to coming to the Center, she spent 15 years at OHSU’s Evidence-based Practice Center, preparing systematic reviews to support decision-makers such as the US Preventive Services Task Force, The Brain Trauma Foundation, and the Drug Effectiveness Review Project. She has held positions as a data analyst with Oregon Department of Human Services’ HIV/STD/TB program, a research associate with the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, and a contractor with Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs.  Ms. Carson received her MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in 1996. While at Columbia, she was a research associate for children’s asthma health education programs, working with families, primary care providers, and public school personnel to increase asthma self-management skills among low-income children.  She began her career as a case manager for adults with serious mental illness, linking individuals to housing, medical, and social services, and she currently volunteers as the lead of a course for parents of preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities, focusing on literacy and early learning.

DEBBIE DION

Debbie Dion is a Project Coordinator at the Center for Evidence-based Policy. Her primary focus is providing assistance to state Medicaid agencies through the Medicaid Evidence-based Decision (MED) Project by assisting with webinars, state inquiries, and conference planning. Prior to joining the Center in 2013, Debbie was the Office Manager at the Colorado Community Managed Care Network. Debbie has a B.A. in Anthropology from Linfield College.

LANDON DONSBACH

Landon Donsbach is the Office Manager at the Center for Evidence-based Policy.  He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of many facets of the Center including administrative support, network/computer support, telephone support, special projects, and the Center's web presence, both public and proprietary. Prior to accepting the position at the Center, Mr. Donsbach worked at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, participating in and administrating a Women's and Children's Health Care Research Program with Elizabeth McGlynn, a nationally recognized expert on the issue.  Mr. Donsbach has an A.A. in Commercial Music Performance and a B.A. in English Literature.

RANDY EVANS, MA

Randy Evans is a Project Manager for the Center for Evidence-based Policy. Mr. Evans is charged with working to develop and manage collaborative and policy projects at the Center in coordination with project and research staff. Recent projects have included the Oregon Healthiest State initiative, an assessment and recommendations for the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission and a stakeholder engagement project for the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. Prior to his current position at the Center, Mr. Evans was a Senior Project Manager at the Portland Development Commission helping to coordinate economic development projects, programs and policy for the City of Portland. Mr. Evans has a B.A. in Geography from Sacramento State University, an M.A. in Social Science from Humboldt State and holds a certification in Project Management from Portland State University.

MARTHA GERRITY, MD, MPH, PHD
Clinical Evidence Specialist

Dr. Gerrity's primary assignment is to the Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions (MED) Project where her responsibilities include assisting participating states' in identifying and prioritizing topics for review, developing key questions related to the topics, reviewing and evaluating evidence, writing policy relevant reports summarizing the evidence, and facilitating participants access to other resources that might inform their policy decisions. Dr. Gerrity works closely with other project staff to assure that MED reports and those produced by outside vendors adhere to appropriate methodology and quality standards and provide education regarding research evidence. Dr. Gerrity is also an academic general internist at Oregon Health & Science University where she is Professor of Medicine and a staff physician at the Portland VA Medical Center.  She continues to see patients on the inpatient wards and in the primary care clinic at the Portland VA Medical Center. Her research focuses on improving outcomes for patients with chronic medical conditions in primary care settings, medical education, and measurement and survey research. Her educational activities include teaching and evaluating evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills. She has been faculty for many national and international workshops on EBM and has served as the Chairperson of the Society of General Medicine's Evidence-Based Medicine Task Force from 1999 - 2002. From 2004 - 2009, she and William Tierney, MD were Co-Editors of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Gerrity graduated from Northwestern University's Honors Program in Medical Education, a 6-year combined BS/MD program.  After an internal medicine residency at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Dr. Gerrity pursued fellowship training through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Clinical Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH).  During her 8 years at UNC-CH, Dr. Gerrity completed a MPH in epidemiology and a PhD in education. She returned to Portland and OHSU in 1993 to do faculty development and program evaluation for the School of Medicine's major curriculum revision.

MARK GIBSON

Mark Gibson is the Director Emeritus of the Center for Evidence-based Policy. Mr. Gibson served as Chief of Staff to Oregon Senate President John Kitzhaber from 1985-1993. In this role Mr. Gibson supervised the staff of the Senate and advised the President on the full range of issues considered by the Senate. During this time Mr. Gibson participated directly in the drafting and passage of the groundbreaking Oregon Health Plan. From 1995-2003 Mr. Gibson served as Policy Advisor for Health, Human Services, and Labor to Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon. In this role he led Oregon's numerous health initiatives from Worker's Compensation Reform to creation of the Oregon Children's Health Insurance Program as well as reorganization and expansion of the Oregon Health Plan. Most recently Mr. Gibson led the effort to enact the Practitioner Manager Prescription Drug Plan and served as Co-Chair of the Reforming States Group.

CATHY GORDON, MPH

Cathy Gordon is a Program Administrator at the Center for Evidence-based Policy. Her primary focus is engaging healthcare stakeholders in the Effective Health Care Program (EHC) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In this role she assists stakeholders to develop health care topics for consideration by AHRQ for comparative effectiveness or effectiveness research reviews, and provides staff support and guidance to increase interface between stakeholders and scientific processes. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Gordon worked as a Research Associate for the John M. Eisenberg Clinical Decisions and Communication Science Center at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). The Eisenberg Center develops plain language summaries of comparative effectiveness research reviews for the Effective Health Care Program. Ms. Gordon oversaw and conducted qualitative research activities with various stakeholder audiences including consumers, clinicians and policymakers. Ms. Gordon's previous research experience includes work on a number of NIH funded clinical trials, as well as social services and health policy research. She also has a background in clinical care where she worked in allied health for more than 20 years. Ms. Gordon has a Master's in Public Health in Health Education/Health Promotion.

CURTIS HARROD, MPH, PHD

Curtis Harrod is a Research Associate for the Center for Evidence-based Policy. Dr. Harrod's primary responsibility is conducting rapid reviews for the Center's Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions Project. Prior to joining the Center in 2014, Dr. Harrod worked as a Database Manager for two large cohort studies in Colorado. He also worked as a graduate research assistant for Dr. Carolyn DiGuiseppi focusing on primary prevention of suicide. He earned a Master of Public Health in Community Health and a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology from the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Harrod has several published peer-reviewed manuscripts, including Cochrane systematic reviews. He completed a graduate thesis and doctoral dissertation. Dr. Harrod has presented his research at national conferences and also serves as a reviewer for multiple clinical journals. 

SCOTT HARVEY

Scott is the Financial Administrator for the Center for Evidence-based Policy.  He joined the Center in February 2015.  Prior to this, he worked in a variety of leading financial roles during his 16 years at OHSU.  Some of the positions include: Assistant Director of Hospital Financial Services, Accounting Manager for the Hospital and the University and also Budgeting Director for the University.  His current responsibilities at the Center include managing the accurate and timely reporting of the financial statements, managing the budgets and forecasts of new and existing projects, tracking expenses and revenues, strategic financial planning for the Center, and also being a resource for contracts the Center is involved in.  Scott is an active member of the Oregon HFMA Chapter and is currently in the Treasurer role.  He has B.S. in Business Administration from Boise State University.

CHRISTOPHER KELLEHER

Chris is the Project Director for Pay for Prevention. Before joining the Center, he directed an NIH-funded program to develop open-source collaboration software and participated in a coalition that created standards for ontology-based knowledge sharing. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Kelleher served as Deputy Director of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute. In that role, he guided a program in cross-disciplinary research and helped to shape a nationwide research consortium. Prior to that work, Mr. Kelleher was a Senior Research Associate at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, where he managed a diverse research portfolio. His work at Kaiser included a multinational study of pulmonary disease, a range of projects focused on health economics and implementation science, and path breaking web initiatives directed at parenting and adolescent depression. Mr. Kelleher has also worked at the University of North Carolina and holds degrees in English and History from Vassar.

ANNE KING, MBA

Anne King is the Operations and Finance Director of the Center for Evidence-based Policy. In addition to directing the operations of the Center, she provides consultation and technical assistance in the areas of: strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, research program development, process improvement, grant writing, project management and program evaluation. She joined OHSU in 2001, first managing the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network, a collaboration of primary care and pediatric practices statewide that jointly conduct clinical and health services research. Her next position was as Associate Director of Administration of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute where she was responsible for operations, finance, strategic planning, program evaluation and grant development. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and a certificate in public and non-profit management from Boston University and an undergraduate degree from Smith College.

VALERIE J. KING, MD, MPH

Dr. King is the Director of Research at the Center where she oversees research methods and a variety of health services and clinical evidence research projects. She has been with the Center since 2007 and is also a Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. From 2005 through 2008 she was the Associate Director of AHRQ’s Eisenberg Clinical Decisions and Communications Science Center, part of AHRQ’s Comparative Effectiveness Program, at OHSU.  Dr. King has been an author of and served as an advisory panel member and peer reviewer for multiple AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Center evidence reports. Dr. King is a cum laude graduate of the School of Medicine at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) where she also completed residency training in both Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine and a Master’s degree in Epidemiology.  From 1995 through 1997 she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UNC.  Dr. King was an Atlantic Fellow in Public Policy at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University from 1998 to 1999, studying maternity services, health policy and systematic review methodology.  She completed a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Faculty Scholars fellowship in 2007 with a focus on maternity health policy. She is actively involved with the Cochrane Collaboration and the GRADE Working Group. Dr. King maintains a consulting and teaching clinical practice devoted to women’s health, maternal and newborn care.

ALLISON LEOF

Allison Leof, PhD, is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center. She prepares evidence and policy reports for the MED Project and other Center clients and contributes to the Center’s stakeholder engagement projects. Dr. Leof manages Project TEAM, a Bureau of Justice Assistance funded project to assist tribes and local governments in creating joint jurisdiction, justice-related collaborations. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Leof taught American politics and policy and worked in a number of policy and advocacy positions concerned with health care, public education and technology policy at the federal, state and local level. Dr. Leof graduated with honors from Yale College and received her PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.

STEPHANIE L. LYZELL

Stephanie Lyzell is a Project Coordinator/Manager at the Center where she works on a variety of projects and state collaborations. Some of her projects include the Texas Medical Benefits Redesign project, the Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions Project (MED), a Moda Health project supporting EOCCO funded grants, and recently starting on the New Hampshire SIMS project. While at her time with the Center she has also assisted with grant submission and logistics for Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ); as well as the grant submission and support for Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Stephanie has worked at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) for seven years, starting in clinical and translational research. She has a B.S. in Social Science with a minor in Psychology and Sociology from Portland State University.

ROBYN LIU, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Dr. Liu is a family physician and a clinical epidemiologist at the Center. Dr. Liu received her medical degree at the University of Kansas, where she met and fell in love with public health and population-based medicine. She came to Oregon Health & Science University to complete the joint residency program in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, obtaining both specialty board certifications as well as her MPH degree in Health Management & Policy. Dr. Liu practiced full-scope primary care in rural Kansas before returning to OHSU as an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Liu’s undergraduate training was in the history of science, and her interests lie in understanding how medical science exists in the public sphere, both influencing and being influenced by political and cultural forces.  Dr. Liu has served at the local, state, and national levels to help physicians organize and advocate for a better health care system.

MEGHAN MAYER

Meghan Mayer is a Policy and Outreach Specialist at the Center for Evidence-based Policy. She primarily works on the Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions Project (MED), serving the needs of the policymakers participating in this multi-state collaborative. Her responsibilities include developing policy and evidence resources, shaping agendas for MED member meetings, and conducting speaker outreach. Meghan has previously worked for non-profits in the economic development field and has experience in local, state, and federal policy issues. She has a degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. 

ADAM OBLEY, MD

Adam Obley, MD, is a Clinical Epidemiologist at the Center for Evidence-based Policy where he works on a wide variety projects applying clinical and health services research to policy development. Dr. Obley is an academic general internist at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) where he is Assistant Professor of Medicine and a staff physician at the Portland VA Medical Center. He continues to see patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings at the Portland VA Medical Center. His research interests are in medical education (particularly at the intersection of evidence-based medicine, clinical reasoning, and high-value cost conscious care), and physician workforce issues. He teaches clinical epidemiology to medical students and residents, and also teaches principles of clinical medicine in the pre-clinical medical school curriculum. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Obley was as a special assistant to Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius from 2003-2005. His portfolio in the office included health policy, as well as K-12 and higher education. During his time in the governor’s office, he worked on a major reorganization of state health care programs as well as substantial revisions to the school finance formula. Dr. Obley graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at OHSU where he also served as Chief Resident.

MELLISA PENSA, MD

Dr. Pensa is a Clinical Epidemiologist at the Center.  She primarily works with the New York State Evidence-based Benefit Review Advisory Committee, which makes coverage recommendations to the New York Department of Public Health. Mellisa is dual board certified in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine after completing OHSU’s combined residency program in 2012.  She served as National Conference Chair for the Resident and Student Section of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2011. During her training, she worked at the Center on a variety of projects including birth certificate analysis to determine hospital-specific rate of elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation. Upon graduating, Mellisa became an assistant professor and Associate Residency Director at the University of Virginia, where she practiced full-scope family medicine.  Currently, Mellisa resides in Connecticut, where is practices family medicine and is completing a fellowship in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Yale. Mellisa plans to perform environmental health research and inform policy in this area. 

CATHERINE PETTINARI, PHD

Catherine Pettinari is a Research Associate at the Center   where she conducts research for rapid reviews of clinical evidence and policy for the Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions project.  Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Pettinari contributed to the development of mental health guidelines for the National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) for England and Wales from the start of the NICE guideline program through 2008 during which she served as Centre Manager for the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, one of the four national guideline centers.  Dr. Pettinari’s research interests include communication in a range of health care settings, including nurse-led telephone advice helplines, health advocate home visiting, surgical education, and prison healthcare in which she developed a research program on the social organization of prison health care funded by the UK National Health Service and the Economic and Social Research Council.  Dr. Pettinari earned a degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Michigan.

NICOLA PINSON, JD

Nicola Pinson is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Evidence-based Policy.  She works primarily with the Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions Project to develop policy analyses and resources that that assist state efforts to implement evidence-based policies.  Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Pinson worked as an attorney specializing in health law and policy. Her practice areas included Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance law. Ms. Pinson also served as the Policy Director and Legal Counsel for the Oregon Primary Care Association, representing Federally Qualified Health Centers in Oregon.  In addition, Ms. Pinson has worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, conducting national studies of federal health care and public health programs.  She graduated with high honors from Middlebury College in Vermont, and holds a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.  Ms. Pinson is a member of the Oregon State Bar, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Health Law Section.  She is also a member of the board of directors for the Oregon Public Health Institute.

MOIRA K. RAY, MD, MPH

Dr. Ray works as a Clinical Epidemiologist at the Center in addition to maintaining a primary care practice in Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). A 2003 graduate of the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, she originally envisioned a career in ecology and ornithology.  After a short stint as a field biologist, she opted to pursue a new direction and began work in HIV prevention and clinical research with vulnerable populations.  Merging her interests in ecology, systems thinking, health and environment, she enrolled in a combined program in medicine and public health from OHSU, graduating with her MD and MPH. She then completed residencies in Family and Preventive Medicine.  Her interests continue to focus on the health and wellness of vulnerable populations, specifically women’s health, family planning, and poverty.

SHARON SCHUYLER

Sharon Schuyler is an Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Evidence-based Policy. In addition to providing administrative support to Pam Curtis and Duke Shepard, Co-Directors of the Center, Sharon works on special projects such as the Pay for Prevention and Washington HTA projects. Sharon comes to the Center from Indiana and has prior experience in Higher Education. She has held positions at Indiana University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and her most recent position at Butler University where she served as an administrative assistant to the Associate Provost and her staff. She holds an A.A. in business from Indiana University and a B.S. in Organizational Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida.

DUKE SHEPARD

Duke Shepard joined the Center as Deputy Director in January 2015.  He arrived at the Center after serving for four years as a policy advisor to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber where his portfolio included labor, human services, housing, and early learning.  In this role Duke advanced the Governor's aggressive agenda to reshape early learning in Oregon, expand integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, improve family stability and reduce foster care, reform Oregon's public employee pension structure, and develop a sustainable long-term budget. Duke's diverse array of experiences spans economic development and strategy, workforce training, local government, political campaigns, and labor union advocacy.  He has, uniquely, worked for both the Portland Business Alliance (Oregon's largest Chamber of Commerce) and the Oregon AFL-CIO (Oregon's largest union organization).  As a volunteer, Duke was elected to two terms on the Board of Mt. Hood Community College and has served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Oregon Commission for Voluntary Action and Service and the Oregon Progress Board.  Duke is a graduate of the University of Oregon.

SAMANTHA SLAUGHTER-MASON, MPH

Samantha is a Program Administrator at the Center for Evidence-based Policy. Samantha’s work is focused on effective stakeholder engagement, and process evaluation and design.  Prior to joining the Center Samantha worked for several non-profit organizations on health and environmental issues, and as a health educator. Samantha is currently working on her PhD in Health Policy through at Portland State University, and previously earned a Master of Public Health in International Health from Oregon State University, and degrees in Psychology and Health Communication from the University of Southern California.

AASTA THIELKE, MPH

Aasta is a health services research professional with experience in evidence review, policy analysis, project management, and process development. Ms. Thielke works closely with state Medicaid staff on creating understanding and developing processes for incorporating evidence into policy decision-making and implementation.  Recent and current projects include the Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions Project (MED), New York Medicaid Basic Benefits Review Advisory Committee & Dossier Process, Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission, PCORI Expert Interviews Project, Texas Medical & Dental Coverage Decision Process Redesign, and the Washington HTA Program Stakeholder Engagement Project.

Prior to joining the Center, Aasta worked as a research assistant at Portland State University focusing on policy implications for the planning and development of health information exchange in Oregon.  Aasta earned a Master of Public Health from Portland State University, and a degree in anthropology from the University of Victoria. Before her career in public health, Aasta was an instructor for Outward Bound Wilderness in Minnesota and Alaska.AL YANGAl Yang is the Financial Analyst for the Center for Evidence-based Policy.  His responsibilities include accurate and timely reporting of financials, managing the budgets and forecasts of new and existing projects, tracking expenses and revenues, as well as other pivotal accounting functions for the Center.  Prior to joining the Center, Al helped oversee finances for a local retail start-up specializing in bags and accessories for brands such as Converse, and was the Budget Manager and Financial Analyst for Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery's Marketing Department.  He has a B.S. in Finance from Oregon State University.     

ERIKA ZOLLER, MPH

Erika is a Research Associate for the Center for Evidence-based Policy. She provides technical assistance to state Medicaid agencies through the Medicaid Evidence-based Decision Project and other Center projects. She joined the Center in 2012 after working for an occupational health and safety program where she conducted fatality-prevention research and managed the operational components of the program. Ms. Zoller’s additional public policy and health services research experience includes the areas of housing and long-term care. Before her career in research, she worked as a community health educator for several non-profit health agencies and also worked in inpatient pharmacy. She holds a Master of Public Health from Portland State University and a Graduate Certificate in Health Care Management from OHSU.