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


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CCDOR Fellows


Rebecca Brown, PhD, MEd, RN
VAQS Fellow

 Rebecca BRown

Rebecca Brown is a nurse scientist. The focus of her dissertation research was to expand recognition of peripheral artery disease (PAD) symptoms with the ultimate goal of improving detection and treatment of individuals with PAD. In her work, she uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to generate new knowledge and works with interdisciplinary teams to comprehensively translate science into practice. Her next area of research focuses on screening, clinical decision support, and symptom management for Veterans with PAD.


Research Interests:

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Policy
  • Disease detection
  • Clinical decision support
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to care delivery
  • Healthy aging
  • Exercise therapy
  • Symptom management
  • Translational Science


  • BS, Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • MEd, Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • MN, RN, Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • PhD, Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.

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

Patrick Cruitt, PhD
VAQS Fellow


Patrick is a VA Quality Scholar (VAQS) Fellow and clinical psychologist. He is interested in interprofessional collaboration and improving mental health care in integrated settings. His research focuses on personality assessment, personality functioning in later life, and the interaction between personality and stressful life events (e.g., unemployment) in predicting health outcomes.


Research Interests:

  • Personality assessment
  • Personality functioning and healthy aging
  • Unemployment, personality, and health
  • Quality improvement


  • BA, Psychology and Theology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
  • PhD, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  • Psychology Internship, Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN

 Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.

Jillian Fish, PhD
HSR&D Fellow

Jill Fish, PhD is a counseling psychologist. The focus of her research and clinical practice is transforming social institutions to be more just and equitable for Native American and Indigenous peoples. Towards this end, she strives to integrate science, practice, and culture in her work, in which she uses innovative story-based strategies, traditional medicines, and cultural modalities of healing to promote the health and well-being of Native American and Indigenous peoples. She is a member of the Tuscarora Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

Research Interests:
  • Indigenous well-being
  • Science-practice-culture integration
  • Story-based data gathering strategies
  • Community-based research
  • Systemic change to promote equity


  • BA, Psychology and Philosophy, Niagara University, Lewiston, NY
  • MS, Mental Health Counseling, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
  • PhD, Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.

Adam Kaplan, PhD
HSR&D Fellow

 Adam Kaplan

Adam is a Biostatistician. His focus is developing Bayesian methods that facilitates hierarchical modeling and flexible clustering in the context of large health records data. In future collaborations that aim to learn from high-dimensional data, he aims to incorporate external, investigator-given information to assist in estimation of the main relationships of interest. At CCDOR, Adam’s context of interest is improving current understanding of the therapists’ effects on how their veterans’ respond to PTSD treatment.

Research Interests:

  • Supplementing Phase III trials sample size estimation with Phase II and Pilot study data
  • Bayesian Hierarchical modeling


  • B.A., Mathematics, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • M.S., Biostatistics, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
  • Ph.D., Biostatistics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Check out a full publication list on Google Scholar.

Wendy Miller, MD
HSR&D Fellow

Dr. Miller is a general interest with an interest addiction treatment and chronic pain as well as healthcare disparities. Her current research focus are addiction treatment implantation and chronic pain.

Areas of interest

  • Addiction treatment
  • Healthcare access and disparities
  • Chronic pain treatment 


  • BS, Biology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • MD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis, MN



Alexander Thompson, DNP, PMHNP-BC
VAQS Fellow 

Alex Thompson

Alex is psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. His primary practice experience is with patients who have severe mental illness. Prior to completion of his DNP degree at the University of Minnesota he worked as an inpatient psychiatric nurse on a high-acuity unit. Primary areas of interest for research and quality improvement including psychiatric care delivery, methods for patient engagement and activation for patients with severe acute psychiatric symptoms and innovations in psychiatric nursing practice.


Areas of Interest

  • Care of patients with severe mental illness
  • Psychiatric nursing care delivery
  • Innovations in procedures for staff and patient safety
  • Patient and staff engagement


  • BSN, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN
  • DNP, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN


Past CCDOR Fellow (last 5 years)

  Fellowship Years / Type Position after CCDOR Website
Allison Gustavson, PhD 2019-2021 / HSRD Investigator, CCDOR NIH
Joyce Brettner, DNP, MAHS, RN-BC 2019-2021 / VAQS Assistant Professor in Nursing, St. Catherine University  
Noah Venables, PhD 2019-2020 / VAQS Investigator, CCDOR Google Scholar
Patrick Hammett, MA, PhD 2018-2020 / HSRD Statistician, CCDOR Google Scholar Page
Lauren Mitchell, PhD 2018-2020 / HSRD Assistant Professor, Emmanuel College, Boston MA Google Scholar Page
Kerry Sheets, MD 2018-2020 / HSRD Geriatrics Faculty at Hennepin Healthcare Google Scholar Page
Elizabeth Goldsmith, MD, MS 2017-2019 / HSR&D Investigator, CCDOR Google Scholar Page
Helen Valensten-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 Website
Elisheva Danan, MD, MPH 2014-2016 / HSR&D Investigator, CCDOR
Assistant Professor, UMN Medical School
Staff Physician, Minneapolis VA
NIH Publication List