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Our Team

Karen Schifferdecker
Director
Karen Schifferdecker, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. A medical anthropologist, she has extensive experience overseeing and conducting evaluation projects in institutions, clinical sites, and community-based settings using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. She has evaluated grant- and non-grant funded studies for over 25 years and widely disseminates results from these evaluations. Examples of her grant- and contract-funded experience include evaluating community interventions through the Center for Disease Control Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth, creating patient-reported outcome measures through a PCORI-funded project, and examining variations in end-of-life quality among minority patients in an American Cancer Society funded project.

Rebecca Butcher
Assistant Director
Rebecca Butcher, MS, MPH, has been with CPDE since 2011 after spending 20 years as a physical therapist, researcher, consultant, and Assistant Professor at Boston University. With expertise in evaluation design, mixed methods research, and project management, she leads a number of CPDE’s multi-site and multi-level evaluations, including two five-year demonstration projects in NH’s child welfare system and several state and regional population health improvement and workforce development initiatives. In her role at CPDE, Rebecca provides leadership and operational support to the rest of the team, and draws on her experience in healthcare delivery, clinical education, curricular design, and community-based research to help clients design and build an evaluation infrastructure to assess achievement of their goals.

Kathleen Carluzzo
Senior Research Associate
Kathleen Carluzzo graduated with a Masters of Science in Healthcare Research from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Since 2010, she has contributed to a variety of qualitative and quantitative research projects at Dartmouth. She has demonstrated skills in survey design, database development, research project management, grant writing, and conducting focus groups. She has experience analyzing a variety of primary and secondary data, including those from clinical, claims, survey, patient-reported, and qualitative sources.

Lynn Foster-Johnson
Faculty Fellow
Lynn Foster-Johnson, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Geisel School of Medicine who is an accomplished statistician with expertise and publications in multivariate analysis methods and multi-level modeling. She also has experience working as an evaluator and regularly utilizes qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods data analyses.

Erin Knight
Research Associate
Erin Knight earned her PhD in education from the University of California, Riverside. In her previous work, she conducted research on the education of students with developmental delays and evaluated the effectiveness of academic and social/emotional school-wide systems. In her work at CPDE, Erin has been involved in projects using mixed-methods approaches. She has contributed to these projects in various ways, including through survey and interview/focus group guide development, data collection and analysis, and report writing. Her skills include identifying program goals, analyzing quantitative data, and writing grants and reports.

Katherine Merriweather

Katherine Merriweather
Research Associate
Katherine Merriweather is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Kansas. Her dissertation examines organizational barriers to careers in K-12 educational administration. Prior to joining CPDE, she led and coordinated evaluation on multiple projects related to maternal and child health and early childhood systems building. She has also researched topics including leadership, teacher retention, special education, gender, and race. In her work at CPDE, she executes evaluations and mixed methods research on a variety of projects where she conducts qualitative interviews and focus groups, survey development, and quantitative analyses. She received a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in History with a teaching certification through the UTeach-Liberal Arts program from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sharon O'Connor
Senior Research Scientist
Sharon O'Connor has a MS in Clinical and Health Services Research from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and an MBA from Boston University. With over 20 years of experience as project manager and research professional, Ms. O'Connor provides program leadership in research design and evaluation, including questionnaire, data collection, and analysis design and planning. A skilled analyst and communicator, she has worked in diverse work environments requiring high levels of collaboration and teamwork in private, public and non-profit agencies. Ms. O'Connor specializes in translating quantitative and qualitative data into clear, concise evidence and actionable results.

Nithya Ramesh
Research Associate
Nithya graduated from Brown University School of Public Health with an MPH degree after obtaining a degree in Dental Surgery from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Health Sciences in India. As a mixed-methods researcher, Nithya has previously published work in the field of oral epidemiology and in shared decision making. She has been a part of The Dartmouth Institute since 2017 and played a pivotal role in the development, execution, evaluation, and improvement of courses offered in the MPH programs at TDI. She has experience in survey design, program management, curriculum development, and clinical dental research. Due to her unique background of being a Dentist, an Epidemiologist and a Public Health Educator, she serves on research teams as a clinician who can analyze as well as communicate healthcare information to populations and stakeholders in various settings.

Danielle Vaclavik
Research Associate
Danielle Vaclavik earned her PhD in Community Psychology from DePaul University. In her previous work, she conducted research and evaluations with religious ministry organizations, homelessness service providers, and youth mentoring organizations. In her work at CPDE, Danielle is involved in a variety of projects using mixed methods approaches. She has contributed to these projects in various ways, including through survey and interview/focus group guide development, data collection, data analysis, and report writing. She earned a M.A. in Community Psychology from DePaul University and a B.A. in Psychology from Butler University.

Virginia Reed
Director Emerita
Virginia Reed, PhD, MPH, Emerita Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. She came to Dartmouth after spending many years in health care practice and consulting. She specializes in evaluation research, particularly in areas relating to medical and health care education. She has spoken extensively about implementing change in health care and about achieving cost efficiency. As a principal in the Center for Educational Outcomes at Dartmouth, a precursor to CPDE since 1997, she led evaluations for a wide range of local, national, and international programs. Dr. Reed's recent research has been in the area of learning experiences and in research methodology.