CCDOR Fellows - Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research
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CCDOR Fellows


Amanda Christensen, BS, RN, DNP student
VAQS Fellow

Christensen headshot

Amanda is a Doctorate of Nursing Practice student at the University of Minnesota. Her area of focus is Health Innovation and Leadership. Her current areas of research interest include improving access to healthcare, community based integrative models of care, nursing education, quality improvement, and design and systems thinking.

Areas of Interests:

  • Improving healthcare access
  • Community based integrative models of care
  • Nursing education
  • Quality improvement
  • Design and systems thinking


  • BS, RN, Nursing, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • DNP student, Health Innovation and Leadership, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Allison Gustavson, DPT, PhD
HSR&D Fellow

Gustavson headshot

Dr. Gustavson is a Physical Therapist and clinical researcher with in an interest in advancing the application of evidence into clinical practice through implementation science. Her research focuses on optimizing interdisciplinary rehabilitation approaches to maximize short and long-term functional outcomes for healthy aging.

Research Interests:

  • Healthy aging
  • Rehabilitation
  • Functional outcomes
  • Functional recovery post-hospitalization
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to care delivery
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Implementation Science
  • Mixed Methods


  • BS, Biochemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • DPT, Physical Therapy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • PhD, Rehabilitation Science, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO

Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.


Patrick Hammett, MA, PhD
HSR&D Fellow


Patrick Hammett, MA, PhD is a social/behavioral epidemiologist with an interest in designing and evaluating smoking cessation interventions tailored to vulnerable populations. His current research focuses on identifying strategies for overcoming healthcare access and utilization barriers for smokers with serious mental illness. 

Research Interests:

  • Behavioral Epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Mental Health
  • Healthcare Access and Utilization
  • Quantitative Data Analysis


  • BA, Psychology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
  • MA, Psychology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.


Lauren Mitchell, PhD
HSR&D Fellow

mitchell photo

Lauren Mitchell, PhD, is a developmental psychologist focused on personality and identity development across the lifespan.  She uses longitudinal structural equation modeling techniques and mixed methods to examine the interplay between personality, mental, and physical health.  Her current research focuses on veterans’ adjustment to disruptive life events, such as reintegration after combat deployment, and major physical injuries.

Research interests:

  • Identity development
  • Adulthood and aging
  • Personality
  • Mental health


  • BA, Psychology, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI. 
  • PhD, Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.

Joyce Rudenick, DNP, MAHS, RN-BC
VAQS Fellow 

Joyce is a nurse VA Quality Scholar (VAQS) fellow at the Minneapolis VA Health Center. She is a board-certified nurse informaticist. She is interested in improving nursing education in the areas of informatics and the science of improvement to advance quality and safety in health care through evidence-based quality improvement practices.


Areas of interest:

  • Informatics and nursing informatics
  • Integrative health and holistic nursing
  • Nursing education
  • Process and quality/systems improvement
  • Improvement science


  • AD, Nursing, Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, MN
  • BS, Nursing, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.
  • MA, Holistic Health Studies, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN
  • DNP, Informatics, University of MN, Minneapolis, MN


Kerry Sheets, MD
HSR&D Fellow


Dr. Sheets is an internist and geriatrician with an interest in helping older adults age well. Her current areas of research focus are cognitive impairment, preservation of functional independence with aging, and medication management in older adults.

Research interests:
  • Cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Functional independence
  • Polypharmacy
  • Medication management

  • AB, Biological Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Chief Resident, Internal Medicine/Primary Care, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Fellowship, Geriatrics, Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis, MN
Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.

Noah Venables, PhD
VAQS Fellow

Dr. Venables is a clinical psychologist with interests in addiction, suicidal behavior, and related personality traits. His research uses a multimodal approach towards translating brain and behavioral measures into clinical assessment. While a fellow at CCDOR, his work will also include quality improvement in the areas of addiction and suicide.

Research interests:

  • Addiction and related externalizing psychopathology
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Psychophysiology (e.g., EEG/ERP, startle, heart rate)
  • Neurocognitive and motivational/affective processes
  • Healthcare quality improvement


  • BA, Psychology and Criminology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.

Past CCDOR Fellows (last 5 years)

  Fellowship Years / Type Position after CCDOR Website
Elizabeth Goldsmith, MD, MS 2017-2019 / HSR&D Investigator, CCDOR Google Scholar Page
Helen Valenstein-Mah, PhD 2017-2018 / HSR&D Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow, Minneapolis VA Health Care System Google Scholar Page
Erika Pinsker, PhD, MPH 2016-2018 / HSR&D Research Scientist III, California Tobacco Control Program, California Department of Public Health Google Scholar Page
Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH 2014-2015 / HSR&D Research Associate, Division of Health Care Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic Google Site
Elisheva Danan, MD, MPH 2014-2016 / HSR&D Investigator, CCDOR
Assistant Professor, UMN Medical School
Staff Physician, Minneapolis VA
NIH Publication List
Sarah Lillie, PhD 2013-2016 / HSR&D Research Associate, CCDOR Google Scholar Page
Brittin Wagner, PhD 2012-2014 / HSR&D Research Associate, UMN