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Leadership

  • Erik Groessl, PhD

    Erik Groessl, PhD

    Executive Director 

    ​Dr. Groessl has served as Center Director of the UCSD Health Services Research Center since 1999 and as Executive Director since 2014. He is a Professor of Public Health at UCSD and is a Principal Investigator at the VA San Diego.  He received his Clinical Psychology PhD in 1999 from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program with a specialization in Behavioral Medicine/ Health Psychology.

    Dr. Groessl conducts research in the general areas of:

    • -Integrative Medicine
    • -Behavioral Interventions
    • -Veterans and military health
    • -Cost-effectiveness
    • -Health-related quality of life
    • -Patient self-management


    His current projects focus on the benefits of yoga for older adults and for military veterans with chronic pain and/or PTSD. He also conducts cost-effectiveness analyses for a variety of different projects. 

    Contact:
    egroessl@health.ucsd.edu 
    858-642-6347

  • Andrew Sarkin, PhD

    Andrew Sarkin, PhD

    Director of Evaluation Research

    Dr. Sarkin is a clinical psychologist and expert in the measurement and assessment of health and behavioral outcomes with over 20 years of experience in program evaluation. He is currently the Health Services Research Center (HSRC) Director of Evaluation Research and has served as a co-investigator for a San Diego County Behavioral Health  Services contract to provide data analysis and performance monitoring and evaluation since 2002. 

    Dr. Sarkin directs the evaluation of several SAMHSA contracts. He manages the evaluation of the San Diego Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Prevention and Early Intervention and Innovations evaluation efforts manages the processes of stakeholder and advisory group engagement, oversees data analysis, and is active in designing and delivering program staff training. In addition, he teaches program evaluation classes at San Diego State University and UCSD and has over 42 peer-reviewed publications.

    Dr. Sarkin provides expertise in evaluating policy and systems change, evaluating community engagement, collaboration, and partnerships, and evaluating study design. He also has experience in key informant interview data collection, conducting evaluation of health programs that target priority populations, longitudinal qualitative data analysis, and data dissemination. He is also the director of the internship program at HSRC.

    Contact:
    asarkin@health.ucsd.edu 
    858-622-1771

     

  • Steve Tally, PhD

    Steve Tally, PhD

    Director of Clinical Research

    Dr. Tally received his doctoral degree in Human Development at the University of California, Irvine, and his M.A. in Experimental Psychology from San Diego State University. He currently oversees a series of sports medicine clinical trials examining performance, hydration, and recovery from concussion and TBI. He additionally as a lead role managing reporting efforts for the San Diego County Adult and Older Adult Mental Health System supervising analysis and reporting efforts for both San Diego County Mental Health and Drug and Substance programs. Dr. Tally has served as a Task Force member for the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP) since 2014.  

    Contact:
    stally@health.ucsd.edu 
    858-622-1771

Team

  • ​​Trinell Brashear

    Programmer/Analyst

    tbrashear@health.ucsd.edu 

     

  • Danielle Casteel, MA

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    dlcasteel@health.ucsd.edu 

    Danielle earned her Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis on physical and mental health research from San Diego State University.  As a program evaluation specialist at HSRC, she is the project manager for the Overcoming Pain Through Yoga in the Military (OPTYM) study, which is testing the feasibility of a tailored yoga intervention for chronic lower back and neck pain in active duty military. Additionally, she is part of the evaluation team for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Innovation 2 Program - Building Trauma Resilient Communities and the Orange County MHSA Programs Net Benefit Analysis. Lastly, she is a member of the California Health Benefits Review Board (CHBRP) Task Force and assists in producing medical effectiveness reviews of proposed California health legislature. 

  • Kim Center, MA

    ​​Program Evaluation Manager
    kcenter@health.ucsd.edu 

    Kim Center has an MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health Research from San Diego State University. Ms. Center is project lead on HSRC’s evaluation the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)’s Innovation 2 (INN2) project with Todd Gilmer, PI. She assists in the development of evaluation plans and measure selection, and conducts training sessions, facilitates quarterly collaborative learning sessions with providers and county staff, and serves as a liaison with community groups. She also led HSRC’s recent evaluation of the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Behavioral Health Integration Complex Care Management Initiative (BHICCI), which was a practice transformation initiative focused on developing integrated complex care teams that provide care coordination for individuals with complex physical and behavioral health needs.  She has also worked on the ongoing evaluation and reporting of outcomes for San Diego County’s Behavioral Health Services (BHS) Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs. Ms. Center participated in the Los Angeles County Mental Health Services Innovations Project, which evaluated several models of care designed to integrate physical and behavioral health services for homeless and underserved population. Her expertise is in evaluation design, analysis, data visualization and reporting. 

  • Kyle Choi, MPH

    Kyle Choi, MPH

    Informatics Project Manager

    kchoi@health.ucsd.edu 

    Kyle Choi holds a Master's degree in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. His focus of study has been the effects of victimization from violence on mental health. At HSRC, his work has involved managing the informatics team that develops and supports data capture and reporting systems for HSRC.​

    Kyle currently works on both the Los Angeles County Innovations Models Evaluation and the San Diego County Behavioral Health Services Adult and Older Adult CSS, PEI, INN and Clubhouse contracts, providing research support, HOMS systems development and technical support, and data analysis and reporting.

  • Karina Soto, BA

    Bilingual Administrative Assistant
    k6soto@health.ucsd.edu 

    Karina earned her BA in Political Science and Anthropological Archaeology from the University of California San Diego. In 2012, she graduated from UCSD Extension's Paralegal Studies program and went on to work in a civil litigation firm in San Diego as a Bilingual/Trial Paralegal for several years. Karina returned to UCSD as a staff member in 2017 and joined the Health Services Research Center team in June 2021 as a Bilingual Administrative Assistant.

    Preferred pronouns: she/her/ella


  • Anah Esquerio, BS

    Anah Esquerio, BS

    Intern Research Assistant
    ajesquerio@heatlh.ucsd.edu 

    Anah Esquerio just graduated from the University of California San Diego with a B.S. in Global Health in the Spring of 2020. Anah works on the California American Indian Tobacco Initiative Evaluation project (CAITIE) at HSRC as an Intern Research Assistant.

    She uses gender pronouns she/her/hers and is pursuing her Master’s at San Diego State University in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. After COVID-19, she saw the health impact disproportionately affecting the Navajo Nation and the underserved communities in this country which furthered her resolve to be an Epidemiologist in the future.
  • Marlin Hart

    Survey Researcher Assistant
    mhart@health.ucsd.edu 

    At HSRC, Marlin works primarily with the Prevention and Early Intervention Evaluation team, as well as the Community Services. Marlin supports the PEI and CSS teams where he assists with quality assurance for County level and State level reporting as well as creating protocol manuals, trainings, testing, developing and development for the Mental Health Outcomes Management System (mHOMS).
  • Richard Heller, MA

    Community Education Specialist 
    rheller@health.ucsd.edu 

    Rick Heller holds a Masters degree in anthropology.  His research interests in the field include ethnomusicology and transcultural psychiatry.  He was a pioneer, working as a peer counselor in a psychiatric day treatment facility, long before peer counseling was common.  He also served on the San Diego County Mental Health Board.  He has worked as a freelance writer, penning articles about mental health, as well as music.  In addition, he has done research for documentary films.

    At HSRC he does various tasks as assigned for the County Mental Health contract, including attending the state mandated Quality Review Council, the Cultural Competency Resource Team and the Behavioral Health Advisory Board meetings.  Work for the contract with the Suicide Prevention Council is included in his duties.  He identifies relevant articles for people working on opioid abuse, suicide prevention, as well as current trends in treatment.  He has worked at HSRC since 2007.

  • Naomi Hillery, MPH

    Project Manager
    nhillery@health.ucsd.edu 


    Naomi holds a Master's degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. She is the Project Manager for a group of international studies evaluating diagnostic tests for tuberculosis, a Project Manager for the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System for the County of San Diego, and Project Coordinator for clinical trials with Stage 2 Innovations. She is also an analyst for the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP).

    Projects:
    • -Global Consortium for Drug-resistant TB Diagnostics (GCDD)
    • -Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System
    • -Stage 2 Innovations
    • -California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP)

     
    For more information on these projects, please visit the Projects tab.

  • Lena Hofmann, MA

    Lena Hofmann, MA

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    lhoffman@health.ucsd.edu  

    Lena earned her Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Catholic University of Applied Sciences Aachen in Germany. At HSRC, Lena currently is involved in the evaluation of La Maestra Family Clinic’s SAMHSA-funded projects. She manages the evaluation of the Medication Assisted Treatment - Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) Program and contributes to the evaluation of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). 

    In addition, she supports the Suicide Prevention Council (SPC) Program Evaluation and the Data De-identification Project. Prior to the position at UC San Diego, Lena worked as a Research Associate at the German Institute on Addiction and Prevention Research.
  • Merissa Kado, MPH

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    mnkado@health.ucsd.edu 

    Merissa has a Master of Arts in Psychology from SDSU. She previously worked for HSRC between 2016 - 2018. 
  • Louielyn Lirio, MPH

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    llirio@health.ucsd.edu 

    ​​Louielyn has a Master's degree in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health from California State University San Marcos. At HSRC, she provides program evaluation services such as, evaluation design, program support, data management, analysis, and reporting on multiple projects, including the evaluation of San Diego County's Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs and the California American Indian Tobacco Initiative Evaluation (CAITIE) project.
  • Symone McKinnon, MA

    Symone McKinnon, MA

    Program Evaluation Specialist 
    samckinnon@health.ucsd.edu 

    Symone earned her Master’s degree in Psychology with a focus on physical and mental health research from San Diego State University. As a program evaluation specialist at HSRC, she worked as a recruitment coordinator for the Overcoming Pain Through Yoga in the Military (OPTYM) study, which focuses on testing the acceptability and feasibility of a yoga intervention for chronic lower back and neck pain in active duty military personnel, and the Neuro-Cognitive Disorder due to traumatic brain injuries (NCDT) study, which focuses on the validation of a rapid saliva test to detect neurocognitive disorders in concussed athletes.

    She also assists with the bi-annual distribution and processing of the state-wide Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program (MHSIP) survey to adult consumers of county-funded mental health services in San Diego County. Lastly, she provides research support to several international tuberculosis (TB) studies that focus on identifying the growing problem of drug-resistant TB and its transmission. Collectively, Symone has assisted in data management responsibilities for each project.

  • Mark Metzger, BS

    Programmar/Analyst
    mcmetzger@health.ucsd.edu 
  • Gina Misch, MA, MPA

    Gina Misch, MA, MPA

    Project Manager
    rmisch@health.ucsd.edu 

    Gina Misch has been utilizing data analysis tools to improve the outcomes of social services, health organizations, and businesses since 1997. Her many years of project management and data analytics have given her expertise in the fields of economic development, program and process evaluation, social and policy research, business development, child, youth, and family services, mental health, developmental services, and grant writing. 

    When she is not crunching numbers or creating great data visualizations, Gina teaches at community colleges in the subjects of statistics, sociology, and psychology. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California (a loyal Trojan fan) and Master of Arts in Sociology from Humboldt State University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UC Irvine. 

    At HSRC, Gina is the project lead for the evaluation of San Diego County's Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs and the California American Indian Tobacco Initiative. She provides assistance to a variety of other projects through evaluation design, program support, data management, provider training, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and reporting. Additionally, she serves as an intern supervisor supporting continued learning for college students. 

  • Amanda Moran, MPH

    Amanda Moran, MPH

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    amoran@health.ucsd.edu 

    Amanda earned her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At HSRC, Amanda supports the Southern California Evaluation of the Early Psychosis Learning Healthcare Network, a collaboration with UC Davis and UC San Francisco. Prior to working at UCSD, Amanda served as a Field Interviewer for the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System and worked on various other research projects throughout the DC Metropolitan area focused on substance use, driving behaviors, and HIV prevention.
  • Calvin Navarro, MS

    Calvin Navarro, MS

    Programming Analyst
    c1navarro@health.ucsd.edu 

    Calvin Navarro is a programming analyst at HSRC and is currently working on the following projects: 

    • -MHOMS
    • -IsafeCare
    • -IMHOMS
    • -BPSM
    • -TOPCKD
  • Amy Pancakiewicz, MA

    Senior Evaluation Research Associate
    apanczakiewicz@health.ucsd.edu  

    Amy earned her Master's degree in Psychology with an emphasis on behavioral and cognitive neuroscience from San Diego State University. As a senior evaluation research associate at HSRC, her work focuses on managing reporting efforts for the San Diego County Behavioral Health Services Drug Medi‑Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS). She also manages the neuropsychological data collection at UCSD as a part of two multi-site studies focusing on the validation of saliva biomarkers for Neuro-Cognitive Disorder due to traumatic brain injuries (NCDT). Her past work at HSRC includes management of the reporting efforts for the San Diego County Adult and Older Adult (AOA) Behavioral Health System, assistance with the evaluation of the Behavioral Health Integration and Complex Care Initiative (BHICCI) in the Inland Empire, and development of automated reports for the Mental Health Outcomes Management System (mHOMS) data system.

  • Jorge Perez, BA

    Programmer/Analyst
    jlp007@health.ucsd.edu 

    Jorge holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.  Jorge has several years of programming experience developing applications in several languages. At HSRC, Jorge assists the senior programmer in developing, maintaining and implementing Health Management Systems
  • Alexandra Resari, MA

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    aresari@health.ucsd.edu 

    Alex conducts evaluation activities for the California American Indian Tobacco Initiative Evaluation (CAITIE) and the County of San Diego’s Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs. She is also the training coordinator for the PEI team, where she is responsible for coordinating workshops and providing technical assistance to County mental health programs on how to collect, analyze, and use data from the Mental Health Outcomes Management System (mHOMS). Alex has a Master’s degree in Psychology with a co-concentration in Health Behavior Research and Evaluation from Claremont Graduate Univers

     

  • Frances Reyes Yee, MA

    Senior Evaluation Research Associate
    fjreyes@health.ucsd.edu 

    Frances earned her Master's degree in Psychology with a co-concentration in Applied Developmental Psychology and Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University. As a Program Evaluation Associate at HSRC, she oversees the evaluation of La Maestra Family Clinic’s SAMHSA-funded projects: 

    • -Medication Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction Program (MAT-PDOA)
    • -Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
    • -Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC)

    She also manages the evaluation of San Diego County Clubhouses. Her previous work includes leading the development of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) Toolkit for Evaluation, Assessment, and Measurement for Adult Community Services and Supports (CSS) Programs and the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Demographics, Screening and Referral Tracking Tool. In addition, Frances contributes to the San Diego County Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) and Suicide Prevention Council (SPC) evaluations.

  • Andow Rodriguez

    System Administrator 
    anr118@health.ucsd.edu
  • Katie Rule, MPH, MSW

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    klrule@health.ucsd.edu 

    Katie holds a Master's degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Healthcare Management and Policy, along with a Master's degree in Social Work with an emphasis on Administration from San Diego State University. After graduate school, Katie was a Management Fellow for the County of San Diego, focusing most of her work within the Behavioral Health Services Department developing the Drug Medical Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) proposal to the State in response to the 1115 Waiver.

    Through past work experience, Katie has compiled, analyzed, developed, and clearly conveyed complex information and data through reports or ad-hoc assignments for internal leadership, stakeholders, and/or contract funders. Within Health Services Research Center, Katie is the project lead for the County of San Diego Community Services and Supports (CSS) programs, along with organizing and leading the DMC-ODS Treatment Perception Surveys (TPS) each year for the DMC-ODS satisfaction surveys required by the State. Katie is also the project manager for the Next Steps Program, where she is responsible for training the staff on data collection and data entry, along with developing the bi-annual and annual report for the program.

    Katie is also involved in the following HSRC projects: 

    • -CSS: Project Manager
    • -PEI: Team Member
    • -Data Warehouse: Team Member
    • -DMC-ODS Treatment Perception Surveys (TPS): Project Lead
    • -Next Steps: Project Manager
  • Fatema Sakha, BS

    Survey Research Assistant
    fsakha@health.ucsd.edu 

     

    Fatema received a Bachelors of Science in Health Science with an emphasis in Public Health at San Diego State University. At HSRC, she provides support on report quality assurance, producing and designing reports, and survey support to the following projects:

    • -CSS
    • -DMC
    • -NCDT
    • -mHOMS
    • -Fatema is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology at San Diego State University.
  • Nisha Sanghvi, MPH

    Program Evaluation Specialist
    nsanghvi@health.ucsd.edu 

    ​Nisha has a Master’s degree in Public Health with a focus on policy and management along with global health. At HSRC, she works on a variety of projects including evaluation for Los Angeles County department of Mental Health Innovation2 (INN2) Program and Data deidentification, and previously, evaluation for San Diego County’s Prevention and Early intervention (PEI) programs.  Prior to working at UCSD, her research was in national hospital closures, hospital induced delirium, and global health education with previous work in hospital administration.
  • Vivianne Silva, BS

    Survey Research Assistant
    v1silva@health.ucsd.edu

    Vivianne received a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego with a minor in Education Studies. Vivianne currently works on a variety of projects at HSRC which include the Performance Improvement Projects (PIPs) for the San Diego County Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Innovations 2 Program – Building Trauma Resilient Communities.
  • Me Young Song, BS

    Survey Research Assistant
    mysong@health.ucsd.edu 

    Me Young received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health at UC San Diego and is currently a candidate for the Master in Public Health graduate program at UC San Diego. 

    She is currently working on the California American Indian Tobacco Initiative Evaluation (CAITIE), Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI), La Maestra – SAMHSA grants, and Data De-Identification projects at HSRC.

  • Edith Wilson, PhD

    Senior Evaluation Research Associate
    eewilson@health.ucsd.edu 

    Dr. Wilson is a Senior Evaluation Research Associate with the Health Services Research Center at UC San Diego. She is the project manager for the evaluation of the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Action Plan, HSRC Innovations Program contract, and data de-identification project. She also works on the California Collaborative Network to Promote Data Driven Care and Improve Outcomes in Early psychosis (EPI-Cal). She has been involved in the evaluation of Prevention and Early Intervention programs for San Diego County as well as projects funded by the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Prior to her position at UC San Diego, Dr. Wilson worked as a Senior Analyst for the UK Ministry of Justice. 
  • Zhun Xu, PhD

    Programmer/Analyst
    z2xu@health.ucsd.edu 


    Zhun holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Statistics and Biostatistics from California State University, East Bay and a doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has expertise in predictive modeling, strategy analysis, statistical analysis planning, regression, categorical analysis, survival, stochastic, simulation, and time series analysis.  Her current work focusses on retrieval and merging of data from multiple databases such as CCBH, DCR, HOMS and MHSIP Consumer Perception Survey database to generate system wide and/or ad hoc report for San Diego County Behavioral Health Services. She also plays a role in data management and statistical analysis for the following projects: 

    • -Community Services and Supports (CSS)
    • -Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI)
    • -Drug Medi-Cal (DMC), Children
    • -Youth and Families (CYF)
    • -SD Innovations (INN) projects