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Durham Center of Innovation to ADAPT


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Current Fellows

Veterans Affairs Quality Scholars Fellows:

C. Graham Ford, PhD, MDiv – (VAQS 2021-2023)

Dr. Ford completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of New Mexico and his clinical internship at the Durham VA. Prior to his work in psychology, he obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. His research and clinical work focuses on 1) implementation of behavioral interventions to improve quality of life in Veterans with chronic disease (including chronic pain, cancer, and kidney disease) and 2) integrative mental health approaches to inform care for moral injury and suicide prevention in Veterans. These interests reflect his passion for the use of behavioral science to improve integrated medical teams and create more equitable and humane health care.

Elizabeth Myer, PhD, RN-BC – (VAQS 2021-2023)

Dr. Elizabeth Myer is an ANCC board certified medical-surgical nurse (RN-BC) and first year VA Quality Scholar at the Durham VA. She is passionate about improving the quality of care provided to older adults with and without cognitive impairment. Specifically, her research aims to improve pain management and mobility for hospitalized elderly Veterans. She completed her PhD in Nursing at UNC Chapel Hill as a part of the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation, an integrated pre-licensure BSN to PhD program that develops nurse scientists to drive innovations in health care. She partnered with Dr. Hastings and the Function QUERI team in completing her dissertation. Dr. Myer looks forward to extending her dissertation work at the Durham VA and gaining additional expertise in implementing pragmatic RCTs with AIM-Back for Veterans with low back pain. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the NC Nurses Association. . 

Jason Sharpe, PT, PhD
  (VAQS 2020-2023) 

Dr. Sharpe is a physical therapist health services researcher focused on improving care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions by understanding how patients choose and access the care of physical therapists. By understanding how patients access care with qualitative and quantitative methods, he hopes to better direct physical therapy care to the right patient at the right time. He completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA in 2014 and an Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency at Drexel University in 2015. Jason completed his PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Utah in the summer of 2020. Dr. Sharpe is working with Drs. Kelli Allen and Adam Goode to understand how Veteran’s access physical therapy for lower back pain and knee osteoarthritis after referral during his time as VAQS fellow.

Priyanka Sista, MD – (VAQS 2022-2024)

Dr. Sista is a Durham native and was an Emergency Medicine attending at Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN.  Her primary interest is in implementation science, change management, tele-health consults, and reducing health disparities.

Roberto "Rob" Loanzon, MD – (VAQS 2022-2024)

Dr. Loanzon was a Resident at Duke Integrated Vascular Surgery.  His clinical interest are in peripheral arterial disease and his research interest is in limb preservation, focusing on improving integrated care for veterans with diabetic ulcers and vascular disease.

Ariel Domlyn, PhD – (VAQS 2022-2024)

Dr. Domlyn is formally trained in Biomedical Anthropology and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology.  She completed her residency at the Durham VAMC.  Her clinical area of expertise is in trauma resilience, health psychology, and intgrative care models.  Dr. Domlyn's research area of interest is in implementation science, participatory and mixed method reseearch models, systems science and program evaluation.


Maria Collandrea, DNP, NP-C – (VAQS 2022-2024)

Dr. Collandrea is a Nurse Practitioner in the Department of Otolaryngology in the Durham VA.  Her clinical focus is in Otolaryngology/APRN Practice.  Dr. Collandrea is interested in Quality Improvement research including improving the delivery of tracheostomy care and removing barriers to practice for APRNs.

Health Services Research Fellows (sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs):

Catherine Sims, MD – (OAA 2022-2024)

Dr. Sims is a rheumatologist at Duke University working under the mentorship of reproductive rheumatologist Dr. Megan Clowse. Her research initiatives include quantitative and qualitative pregnancy outcomes in systemic vasculitides, creation of a pregnancy planning scoring system for women with systemic lupus erythematosus, and the utility of serum biomarkers to differentiate between preeclampsia and episodes of lupus nephritis during pregnancy. Working closely with national advocacy groups and patient representatives she has created patient centered, easily accessible information detailing the importance of birth control, intentional pregnancy, and family planning for people with vasculitis. Through novel research efforts, education of providers, and streamlined communication with patients her hope is to improve the reproductive experience for women with autoimmune diseases.

National Clinician Scholars Program Fellows:

Vishnukamal Golla, MD – (NCSP 2021-2023)

Dr. Golla grew up in Austin, Texas, and attended the University of Southern California where he earned his B.A. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Business Administration. He then attended medical school at the University of Texas at Houston, graduating with honors and being elected to AOA. He took an additional year in medical school to complete an MPH at the University of Texas at Houston School of Public health and pursue urological research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He completed his Urological Surgery residency at UCLA where he developed a passion for the delivery of high-quality oncologic care. As a National Clinicians Scholar at Duke/Durham VA, he will focus his research on developing value-based care redesign pathways for urologic oncology patients and investigating targets for financial toxicity mitigations.

Melissa Harris, PhD – (NCSP 2021- 2023)

Dr. Harris is a first-year scholar in the NCSP. Prior to coming to Duke University, she completed her PhD in Nursing at the University of Michigan where she was a predoctoral fellow in the Predoctoral Fellowship Training Grant (2018-2021), Complexity: Innovations in Promoting Health and Safety Fellowship. Her research interests focus broadly on the quality of life and care of older adults living with dementia and their families. More specifically, her research focuses on the relationships between the health and wellness of people living with dementia and their family care partners, as well as innovative, non-pharmacologic interventions to improve the well-being of those living with dementia in the community setting. As a component of her dissertation, she examined the feasibility and acceptability of a virtually delivered, in-home weighted blanket intervention for older adults with dementia living with family care partners in the community. She also explored the perceptions and experiences of family care partners of older adults with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic through a qualitative, exploratory study. Dr. Harris is interested in expanding her knowledge and skills to better connect her research findings to practice and policy to address the unique needs of families affected by dementia with the overarching goal of improving their quality of life and care.


Tyra Girdwood, PhD, RN – (NCSP 2022-2024)

Dr. Girdwood is a registered nurse and fellow within the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) at Duke University. Prior to coming to Duke, she obtained her PhD in Nursing at UNC Chapel Hill where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar. Her research interests focus broadly on transitional care and health care systems improvement. She has a particular interest in improving the transition from pediatric to adult health care among adolescents and young adults with chronic conditions. Her dissertation examined multi-level predictors of transition readiness and health care transition experiences among adolescents and young adults with cystic fibrosis and their caregivers. As a NCSP fellow, Dr. Girdwood will expand upon her dissertation by investigating structural barriers to successful transitions in care among vulnerable populations and exploring health policy innovations to enhance transitional care outcomes. During her time off, she likes to kayak and is an avid volunteer with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the UNC Mobile Health Clinic.


Carri Polick, PhD, BSN, RN, CEN – (NCSP 2022-2024)

Dr. Polick is a nurse scientist in the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP). She completed her PhD at the University of Michigan where she was a T32 predoctoral fellow.  Her clinical background is in emergency nursing. Her dissertation focused on the impacts of childhood adversity and adult stressors on Multiple Sclerosis biopsychosocial outcomes. Dr. Polick's research  interest encompass trauma-informed precision healthcare for all populations, preventative and mediating factors of adverse stressors and health outcomes, and equitable healthcare access and delivery.

Judith Vick, MD, MPH – (NCSP 2022-2024)

Dr. Judith Vick is an internal medicine physician, a health services researcher, and a fellow in the National Clinician Scholars Program at Duke. She is a graduate of Barnard College, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Osler Medical Residency. In her research, Dr. Vick is interested in healthcare processes and outcomes for older adults and their families in the inpatient setting. She is particularly focused on understanding and intervening on the frictions of healthcare to make our system more user-friendly and better able to coproduce goal-concordant care.

VA ADAPT COIN Equity Scholars:

 Jashalynn German

Jashalynn German, MD – (2022-2024)

Dr. Jashalynn German, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, completed her Internal Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview and will be completing her Endocrinology fellowship at Duke University in the summer of 2023. 
 Throughout her early career, Dr. German has shown a consistent passion for improving health outcomes. She has been involved in organizing and implementing events such as community health fairs and community / population-based research and interventions to improve outcomes among children/adolescents, the elderly and other at-risk populations.  As a physician health services researcher with an emphasis in health equity, her focus is improving access, utilization and quality of care related to endocrine diseases with the ultimate goal of being a change agent at systems levels to improve health outcomes.