IWL Public Health Equity Fellows

IWL is co-sponsoring 5 public health equity fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year.  Learn what these 5 women have to say about their collaborative research/scholarship related to public and health equity below!


Hannah Barbosa

hannah headshotAt the start of this year, I had the opportunity to join the team conducting research in Dr. Sandra Hunter’s lab on Marquette’s campus under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Piacentine. The research is investigating physiological changes in COVID survivors and control participants, and it includes qualitative interviews for both groups. My interest lies in learning more about the details of life changes being explored in these interviews. The opportunity to engage and listen to the stories of many individuals from different backgrounds as they adjusted and adapted to life these last 19 months has allowed me to broaden my understanding of the effects on lived experiences. I aspire to learn more about the lived experiences of individuals as they have navigated their way throughout the pandemic.


Radhika Dua

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Dr. Anjeli’s research focuses on how rhetoric in medicine plays an essential role in health care, specifically when it comes to emergency medical care. One of her multiphase projects focuses on understanding how EMS reporting is currently taught; the next phase is implementing a program and curriculum that works to achieve and improve workplace documentation.  

I am personally interested in working with Dr. Anjeli and her research with EMS writing because I understand how healthcare and hospitals rely on every team member. Every single person matters. Emergency Medicine providers currently go through a training course that covers a wide range of topics such as open listening and anti-racist training, yet it is not consistent as it is not required under state and national guidelines to have these subjects in their curriculum. These disparities in education can impact how and what gets reported and lead to confusion within the health care team. 

Through working with Dr. Anjeli in this research project, I want to learn about how our current system of training has impacted healthcare and how applicable and consistent training is when on the job in Milwaukee. By conducting surveys and documenting current standard procedures, I want to be involved in determining how writing reports impacts patient care and the health of our community.


Tara Neylon

tara headshotDr. Linda Piacentine reached out to me in regard to the project that she, Dr. Nilanjan Lodh, and Dr. Teresa Jerofke-Owen have been working on together.  Their project has been increasing identification and referral to resources for women who are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). They are currently planning a chart review to determine how many women in an OB/GYN clinic are affected by IPV. They will then further their project with an intervention phase.  I believe that this project will greatly help both women and even men who are victims of IPV gain access to the resources that are needed.  To me, this is a very important project since this topic is not talked about enough which in turn, causes women and other victims to not reach out for the help that they may need.  The goal is to increase IPV screening and help victims get directed and referred to the right services that can accommodate them.  As nursing students, we are taught to be the patient’s advocates and provide a safe space for them.  This project will aid many women that are victims of intimate partner violence, and it is something that I would be proud to be a part of.    


Alexis Ruffi

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For the fellowship, I intend to work with Dr. Kim Whitmore Ph. D, RN, CPN from the College of Nursing on a research project that aims at better understanding respite care needs of Latinx populations, as there is a gap in the literature. Currently, there are disparities in regards to the quality of respite care that Latinx families receive for children with disabilities. Specifically, we hope to partner with a non-profit located in Madison, Padres E Hijos En Acción, which is a grassroots organization that works to advocate for enhanced quality of life for Latinx children and their family members. By getting to know this community through a formalized research project, our goal is to better grasp the unique needs of this population and eventually develop a respite program that supports Latinx families.  


June Wang

june wang headshotMy education and clinical research experience in Dr. Alexander V. Ng’s Multiple Sclerosis research lab have provided me with independent working experiences in conducting research. Dr. Pinto is proposing that I join a project associated with a global initiative that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Pinto is the Rehabilitation Working Group (RWG) Co-Chair for the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF). A Rheumatologist collaborator and working group member noticed that his patients were receiving decreased rehabilitative care due to a combination of restrictions from COVID-19 and self-imposed restrictions due to fear of contracting COVID-19. The RWG applied for and received seed funding to develop a web application that is currently under development. The web application has the goal of providing content to improve nutrition, decrease falls among older adults and build bone health and improve balance through exercise. The web application will be translated into multiple languages for a truly global presence on the IOF website. Dr. Pinto is proposing the development of a survey to personalize the website. A beta version of the survey was developed, and pilot tested in Dr. Pinto’s Behavior, Engagement, and Health Technology Assessment (BEhTA) Lab. The vignette-based survey seeks to apply broad rules to optimize exercise selection for web users. The survey will be revised through interviews with physical therapists and completed by physical therapists asking them to prioritize their “top 5 exercises” for the patient described in the vignette. We will use a stakeholder engagement approach with the entire RWG of the IOF and we will work with patient partners in the process. The ultimate goal is to use survey results to make suggestions for web users who answer brief questions about their function on the rehabilitation web application.