Carol Tobias, M.M.H.S.,
Ms. Tobias has directed the Health and Disability Working Group since 1996, including the group’s public policy work, program development, training, and technical assistance activities. She has also conducted numerous program evaluations and is currently the Principal Investigator of a national multi-site evaluation of different outreach programs and their effectiveness in engaging and retaining people with HIV in health care.
Ms. Tobias’s interests and experiences are wide-ranging. Her interest in disability issues spans the spectrum of disability and other special health care needs including physical disability, developmental disability, psychiatric disability, HIV and AIDS, substance abuse, children with special health care needs, children in state custody, frail elders, and people with multiple chronic illnesses. She has worked with public policy-makers at the national and state level, managed care organizations, health and social service providers, foundations, and consumer advocacy organizations to promote innovative health care services for people with disabilities and chronic illness. She has convened educational forums, consumer training programs, and national conferences to promote the exchange of ideas and innovative practices, and has authored numerous publications and manuals on the subject of health care and disability. Ms. Tobias has a special expertise in health care delivery systems for people with disabilities, including the financing of care, the use of managed care tools to promote service innovation and flexibility, quality measurement, performance evaluation, and consumer involvement in system design and implementation.
Ms. Tobias is an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, where she teaches a course on managed care and special needs populations. She has a Master’s degree in Human Services Management from the Heller School at Brandeis University.
Sara S. Bachman, Ph.D, Director of Research
Sara S. Bachman, Ph.D. is the Director of Research for the Catalyst Center and co-Principal Investigator of the SPNS Innovations in Oral Health Evaluation and Technical Support Center. Dr. Bachman is Associate Professor in the Research Department at the Boston University School of Social Work. She has twenty years' experience with health policy research and program evaluation, especially in the area of state health policy for youth and adults with disabilities or complex health and social conditions. With Dr. Allen, Dr. Bachman directs a project to develop a research infrastructure to investigate disability issues with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; the project has a special focus on youth transitioning to adulthood. With Ms. Tobias, Dr. Bachman previously completed a NIDRR funded study to examine health care access issues for persons with disabilities as well as a Robert Wood Johnson funded grant about state approaches to providing substance abuse treatment services to Medicaid recipients with disabilities who are enrolled in managed care plans. Dr. Bachman is currently Co-Principal Investigator of two program evaluations sponsored by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. One is an evaluation of an outreach and case management program for injection drug users at risk for HIV and the second is an evaluation of an outreach and case management program targeting men who have sex with men. Her work includes surveys of consumers with disabilities, surveys of providers who offer health care to people with disabilities, and interviews with state policymakers who establish systems of care for people with disabilities. Previously, Dr. Bachman also led an MDPH-funded project to study physician perceptions about care provision and care coordination for young people with disabilities who are in transition. Dr. Bachman has an M.S. in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health, and this perspective has informed her approach to understanding disability and public health issues. Dr. Bachman received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University's Florence Heller School where she was a Pew Health Policy Fellow. Dr. Bachman teaches Research Methods to Master's and Doctoral students at the Boston University School of Social Work. She chairs the School's Program Assessment Committee, and serves on the Boston University Institutional Review Board. She has been nominated by students three times to receive the School's Teaching Excellence Award.
Deborah Allen, Sc.D., Senior Research Associate
Deborah Allen came to the Boston University School of Public Health in March 2002, as Senior Research Associate at the Health and Disability Working Group and Associate Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health. Dr. Allen has a master's degree in Health Policy and Management, and master's and doctoral degrees in Maternal and Child Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Before coming to BU, Dr. Allen was the director of the Division for Special Health Needs of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for 11 years. The division includes the state's Title V program for children with special needs and their families and the Office on Health and Disability, which addresses health needs of individuals with disabilities of all ages. It also administers Massachusetts' Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers with special needs.
Dr. Allen's academic and research interests include design and implementation of health services for children and adults with disabilities, the role of public health in disability services, family roles in health policy and program development and transition for youth with disabilities. Her projects at Health and Disability Working Group will focus on achievement of the national 2010 objectives for children with special health care needs, development of a public health disability curriculum, evaluation of care coordination for children with special needs and their families, and transition from pediatric to adult health services.
Dr. Allen is a Section Councilor of and co-chairs the Children with Special Health Care Needs Committee of the American Public Health Association's Maternal and Child Health Section. She has also served as a member of the Program and Policy Committee of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth and Families.
Onedia Asiedu, B.A., Office Manager
Ms. Asiedu is the Office Manager for the Health and Disability Working Group; she holds a B.A. in General Studies from the University of New Orleans with a concentration in Counseling and Social Work. Ms. Asiedu previously worked as the Claims Manager for Louisiana State University Medical Center, where she managed the billing department, implemented a training program for client billers, and acted as a liaison between the client providers and the Office of Community Services. She also has worked as a client supervisor for Donaldsonville Area Association for Retarded Citizens in Louisiana, and in customer service in university and health care settings.
Meg Comeau, M.H.A., Project
Meg Comeau is the Project Director for the Catalyst Center. She is responsible for direct day-to-day operations and management. Ms. Comeau has a master's degree in Healthcare Administration from Simmons College. She has earned several honors, including the Linda Roemer Award for Excellence in Community Service from Simmons College, a Young Investigator Award from the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies for her work with Elaine Meyer, R.N., Ph.D. on parental design preferences in the pediatric intensive care unit and the 2000 David S. Weiner Award for Outstanding Leadership in Child Health from Children's Hospital. Ms. Comeau is a member of the Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society for healthcare management.
Prior to joining the Catalyst Center in the summer of 2005, Ms. Comeau was a member of the Children's Hospital Boston Center for Families staff for seven years, where she was the coordinator of the Family Initiatives program. In that role, Ms. Comeau was responsible for facilitating family input into hospital policy and programming design. Her major projects focused on issues related to pediatric palliative care and bereavement support, health care quality and improving parent/professional communication. She was the parent co-chair of the Family Advisory Committee, chair of the Family Faculty program and a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee. Ms. Comeau continues to be a faculty member with the Program to Enhance Relational and Communication Skills (PERCS) at Children's. She is also the chair of the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Consortium for Children with Special Health Care Needs.
Sharon Coleman, M.P.H., Data Manager and Analyst
As Data Manager and Analyst at the Health and Disability Working Group, Boston University of Public Health, Sharon Coleman brings over three years of experience in epidemiological and public health research.
She has served on the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS)
Outreach Initiative sponsored by the HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at The Fenway Institute/Fenway Community Health, Boston, MA. She spearheaded a supplemental project that consisted of giving telephone and mail interviews to HIV patients that had been lost to follow up at Fenway Community Health. Ms. Coleman received her Masters in Public Health at the Boston University School of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She graduated as a Delta Omega Scholar, which is an honorary society that recognizes excellence in practice, research, education and academic achievement in the field of public health.
Ms. Coleman also holds a MSPT degree from Boston University and practiced clinical physical therapy for 7 years. She also holds a MPH that stimulated her interest in the determinants and distribution of disease.
M.A., M.P.H., Senior Evaluator
Ms. Rajabiun holds Master's Degrees in Public Health and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Hygiene and Public Health and School of Advanced International Studies. She is currently a Senior Evaluator on HRSA-funded Center for Outreach Research and Evaluation.
Ms. Rajabiun’s areas of expertise include maternal/child health and nutrition and HIV/AIDS. She has over eight years’ experience working on these issues in the United States and other countries. As the Maternal/Child Health Specialist for USAID’s Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project, Ms. Rajabiun worked with non-governmental organizations and host country governments in Peru and Bolivia to improve maternal/child health and nutrition programs. She has also assisted the Government of Peru in developing a national nutrition strategy while an employee of Tufts University. In Malawi, she conducted research on nutritional issues for persons living with HIV/AIDS and worked with donors, governments, and community-based organizations to develop policy and program guidelines for nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
Additionally, Ms. Rajabiun has worked in programs in Bolivia, El Salvador and Guatemala to promote improved health and nutrition practices, conducting qualitative research and designing and implementing training and education programs for health workers and communities on improved health and nutrition practices among pregnant women and young children under age 5 years.
Ms. Rajabiun is trained as an HIV counselor, and has previously worked as a women’s health and HIV counselor for Thundermist Health Center in Rhode Island.
Leticia Manning, B.S., Research Assistant
Leticia Manning is the Research Assistant for the Catalyst Center. She received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester. While a student, she worked with the Neurology Department as a research assistant. Ms. Manning joins us after working as a secondary school teacher and community health educator with the U.S. Peace Corps for three years and two years as a secondary school counselor in Tanzania. She is currently seeking a MPH in International Public Health at the Boston University School of Public Health.
Liz Faye, B.A., Research Assistant
Liz Faye is the Research Assistant for the Evaluation Center for HIV and Oral Health (ECHO). She received her Bachelor of Arts in Community Health and Sociology from Tufts University. Previously, Liz has worked with Children's Hospital Boston as a clinical research assistant and she has also worked as an emergency medical technician for Boston EMS. She is currently seeking a MPH in Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health. She is also currently volunteering with Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontiers to create a fundraising series in order to improve medical resources in rural areas of Ethiopia.
Jane Fox, M.P.H., Project Director
Jane Fox, MPH joined the Health and Disability Working group as the Project Director for Evaluation Center on HIV and Oral Health in August of 2007. She is responsible for direct day-to-day operations and management. Ms. Fox has a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Education from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
Ms. Fox has 15 years of experience in both HIV prevention and care dating back to the early 1990's when she started her career as the Executive Director of the Nevada AIDS Foundation. Throughout her career she has worked on community, state and regional levels to promote HIV prevention and care services for persons infected with HIV. Prior to joining ECHO, she worked closely with medical and oral health providers and other HIV professionals working in community clinics and organizations to conduct needs assessments and trainings on HIV issues at the Southeast AIDS Education and Training Center at the Emory University School of Medicine.
A 5-year multi-site evaluation and support center funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – Division of HIV/AIDS Bureau – Special Projects of National Significance.
National Evaluation and Program Support Center to conduct a multi-site evaluation of outreach activities designed to engage and retain individuals with HIV in medical care. Funded by Health Resources and Services Administration
A national evaluation of peer education training programs for people living with HIV.
A National Center working to advance the Healthy People 2010 objective that all children with special health care needs have access to adequate health insurance and financing for their care.
A cross-disciplinary training curriculum in HIV and substance abuse, designed for health care providers, support service providers and substance abuse treatment providers.