RHeaDI Fellowship Program

Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics Pre and Postdoctoral Training Program

Funded by an NIH-NINR T32 Institutional Training Grant, the Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI) Pre and Postdoctoral Training Program provides seven trainees with research support, didactic courses, networking opportunities, and financial assistance to conduct interdisciplinary research using informatics and precision medicine approaches to advance health equity and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations.

Columbia University School of Nursing has been the leader in preparing nurse scientists to conduct interdisciplinary informatics research which advances nursing science and health equity.

RheaDI aims and training activities are well-aligned with three of four scientific areas in the 2016 NINR Strategic Plan (symptom science, wellness, and self-management), and address the following cross cutting areas:

  • Promoting Innovation
  • Technology to Improve Health and 21st Century Nurse Scientists 
  • Innovative Strategies for Research Careers

For 2017 to 2022, RHeaDI adds data science-enabled precision medicine approaches consistent with the National Institutes of Health’s broad definition of precision medicine as an emerging approach that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle. Importantly, RHeaDI training will continue to target underserved, disadvantaged, and diverse populations across the care continuum and, consistent with evolving trends, its frame has shifted from reducing health disparities to advancing health equity—the attainment of the highest level of health for all people.

The specific aims of RHeaDI are to:

  • Maintain an administrative structure to support interdisciplinary research training for nurses focused on the use of informatics and precision medicine approaches to advance health equity and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations.
  • Recruit and train a qualified diverse cadre of nurses (predoctoral and postdoctoral) to conduct interdisciplinary research using informatics and precision medicine approaches to advance health equity and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations.
  • Enhance the knowledge and skills of predoctoral and postdoctoral nurse trainees in the integration of theories and methods from informatics and precision medicine to advance health equity and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations.
  • Evaluate the training program structures, processes, and outcomes on an ongoing and annual basis.

The RHeaDI Program

RHeaDI training is restricted to registered nurses and is funded for four predoctoral and three postdoctoral positions per year.

Predoctoral trainees must be PhD students in nursing or biomedical informatics. Trainees complete the core requirements for their PhD program as well as the RHeaDI seminar. Core requirements are complemented by electives in areas of research interest. Trainees also participate in faculty programs of research throughout their PhD program and are expected to present at conferences and publish journal papers as part of their training experience. Predoctoral trainees are funded by RHeaDI for two years of the PhD program.

Postdoctoral trainees are selected based on their match with RHeaDI objectives and faculty programs of research, academic performance, and research goals. They conduct interdisciplinary informatics research under the supervision of a RHeaDI faculty mentor. Trainees participate in the RHeaDI seminar and may take additional coursework relevant to their research interests. However, the majority of time is spent conducting research, publishing research abstracts and papers, and advancing grantsmanship skills. Postdoctoral trainees are funded by RHeaDI for two to three years.

Diversity

RHeaDI has a strong history of recruiting and retaining trainees from diverse backgrounds. Faculty and trainees are committed to diversity and inclusion. This commitment is supported through campus resources and the Office of Diversity and Cultural Affairs.

Faculty Mentors

Health Equity

  • Maureen George, PhD, RN, AE-C, FAAN (Lead)
  • Walter Bockting, PhD
  • Elaine Larson, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC
  • Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, PhD
  • Rebecca Schnall, PhD, RN, FAAN

Information Visualization

  • Jacqueline Merrill, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN (Lead)
  • Adriana Arcia, PhD, RN
  • Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
  • Haomiao Jia, PhD

Precision Medicine

  • Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
  • Noemie Elhadad, PhD, FACMI
  • Lena Mamykina, PhD
  • Arlene Smaldone, PhD, CPNP-PC, CDE, RN
  • Nicholas Tatonetti, PhD
  • Chunhua Weng, PhD, FACMI

Predoctoral Trainees

  • Betina Idnay, RN
  • Kelseanne Breder, RN
  • Jessica Schwartz, RN
  • Sabrina Mangal, RN

Postdoctoral Trainees

  • Kasey Jackman, PhD, RN
  • Laura Britton, PhD, RN
  • Ashley Anderson, PhD, RN

Past Trainees 

Past Predoctoral Trainees

  • Jacqueline Merrill, PhD, RN, MPH, FAAN, FACMI (2002-06)
  • Tsai-Ya Lai, PhD, RN, MPH (2002-06)
  • Sarah Anne Collins, PhD, RN (2005-09)
  • Maryelena Vargas, PhD, RN, (2006-08)
  • Sunmoo Yoon, PhD, RN (2007-10)
  • Andrew Philips, PhD, RN (2008-12)
  • Njoki Ng'ang'a, PhD, RN (2009-10)
  • Kenrick Cato, PhD (2010-14)
  • May Uchida, PhD, RN (2010-11)
  • Manuel C. Co, Jr., PhD, RN (2010-15)
  • Patricia Semeraro, PhD, RN (2010)
  • Silvia Raquel Ramos, PhD, RN (2011-15)
  • Elizabeth Heitkemper, MSN, RN, PhD (2012-16)
  • Kyungmi Woo, MA, RN, PhD (2013-17)
  • Janet Woollen, MSN, RN, PhD (2015-18)
  • Melissa Beauchemin, RN, PhD (2015-19)

Past Postdoctoral Trainees

  • Jeungok Choi, PhD, RN (2003-06)
  • Tsai-Ya Lai, PhD, RN, MPH (2006-07)
  • Dean Wantland, PhD, RN (2008-09)
  • Robert Lucero, PhD, RN, FAAN (2008-10)
  • Sunmoo Yoon, PhD, RN (2010-11)
  • Adriana Arcia, PhD, RN (2011-13)
  • Roxana Maffei, PhD, RN (2011-12)
  • Alsacia Pacsi, DNSc, RN (2013-16)
  • Ruth Masterson Creber, PhD, MPH, RN (2014-16)
  • Theresa Koleck, PhD, RN (2015-17)
  • Samantha Stonbraker, PhD, RN (2016-18)
  • Maichou Lor, PhD, RN (2017-19)
  • Dawon Baik, PhD, RN (2017-19)

Past Predoctoral Affiliates

  • Patricia Dykes, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI (2000-03)
  • William Dan Roberts, PhD, RN (2001-05)
  • Jeeyae Choi, PhD, RN (2002-06)
  • Sookyung Hyun, PhD, RN (2002-06)
  • Nam-Ju Lee, PhD, RN (2002-06)
  • Rebecca Schnall, PhD, RN, FAAN (2006-09)
  • Po-Yin Yen, PhD, RN (2006-10)
  • Barbara Sheehan, PhD, RN (2005-10)
  • Olivia Velez, PhD, RN (2007-11)
  • Young-Ji Lee, PhD, RN (2009-13)
  • Na Ra Jang, PhD, RN (2011-15)
  • Ragnhildur Bjarnadottir, PhD, RN (2012-16)

Contact

For more information, please contact Suzanne Bakken, RHeaDI Director and Principal Investigator, at sbh22@cumc.columbia.edu.