Nazan Aksan, Ph.D.
Nazan is Senior Biostatistician in the Department of Population Health at Dell Medical School, and works on a number of Factor Health programs. Her original training is in Psychology with a graduate minor in Statistics from University of Iowa (BS) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD). Her subject matter expertise ranges from aging related declines (cognitive function, mobility, functional outcomes) in at-risk populations (e.g. sleep-disordered, healthy aging, and neurodegenerative conditions), to childhood obesity, to mental health across childhood. Nazan brings a strong methodological skill set to her work including multivariate statistical techniques, psychometrics, objective measurement methodologies to quantify within and between-person differences. Over the course of 20 years since gaining her PhD, she has enjoyed collaborations with projects that engage her dual expertise in behavioral sciences and methodology. Missions that align with addressing disparities are particularly close to her heart.
Rhonda Aubrey, BSN, MHI
Co-Director and Lead, Health Business
Rhonda is Senior Health Business Director for Health Ecosystem at Dell Medical School. Prior to joining Dell Medical School, Rhonda managed a California health care network of eight Federally Qualified Health Centers for over 20 years as Chief Operating Officer of Community Health Center Network, growing from 1,300 to 140,000 covered Medicaid lives. She has developed expertise in cost drivers and motivating factors for health plan partners as well as achieving improved health outcomes by the provider network. Rhonda has a background in both Nursing and Business and holds a Masters in Healthcare Innovation that supports her passion for building new models to address chronic challenges in the health care environment and promote greater health.
Nicole Clark, MBA
Lead, Program Launch
Nicole is Director, Strategic Partnerships at the Dell Medical School. She builds strategic partnerships with industry, community and government agencies to strengthen Dell Med translational research and the broader health ecosystem. She graduated with an MBA from Texas State University. Her previous work includes managing graduate medical education programs.
Maria Cowley-Morillo, BS
Maria is a Research Associate at Dell Medical School. Born and raised in Austin, TX, she recently graduated the University of Texas with a BSc in Psychology. As an undergrad, she acquired over four years of research experience, primarily focusing on how to get individuals to play a larger role in their own healthcare. Within Factor Health she has most recently been working on the Social Connection program, which seeks to improve isolation among the elderly population. Through this work she is influencing care for the most vulnerable in our community.
Laura Gougeon, Ph.D.
Research Director, Health Programs
Laura moved from Canada to join our Factor Health team and brings strong systems thinking and applied community-based research experience from Brazil and Canada. Her background in nutrition and dietetics comes from an undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees in the field, followed by an academic position in the Human Nutrition department at a university in the Atlantic Canada. Passionate for systems change, she became the lead scientist in a community-based research group within the Alberta’s public health authority to test innovations for healthy communities. Now, as the Research Director for Factor Health, she will collaborate with our experienced interdisciplinary team to oversee the research-focused activities, ensuring their fidelity and quality in the projects.
Julia Guerra, M.Sc.
Julia has 17 years of experience working in the academic, government and private sectors. She obtained an M.Sc. from Oxford University (U.K.) in Evidence-Based Social Interventions, a certificate in Training for Social Scientists at the Said Business School and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Monterrey. Julia lived in Mexico, Florida, France and England before moving to Austin. Julia’s role in Factor Health includes supporting the research and operational needs of program launches and conducting data collection.
Jennifer Hodgdon, MSSW, LMSW
Jennifer is a Program Manager on the Factor Health Team at Dell Medical School. She a bilingual social worker with a history of working in the hospital & health care industry along with a passion for working with underserved populations. Jennifer holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Health in addition to a Masters Degree in Social Work.
Deanna Hoelscher, Ph.D., R.D.
Advisor and Co-Investigator, Youth Health Program
Deanna M. Hoelscher, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., C.N.S. is the John P. McGovern Professor in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and founding director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at The University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus. Deanna’s research interests include child and adolescent nutrition, school-based health promotion programs, dietary and physical activity assessment methodology, evaluation of child obesity policies, and dissemination of school health programs.
Mini Kahlon, Ph.D.
Director and Founder
Mini is the founding Vice Dean for Health Ecosystem at Dell Medical School, Associate Professor of Population Health and the Director of Factor Health. A behavioral neuroscientist, she trained at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where later, she led efforts to accelerate the translation of research for impact as the Executive Director and Chief Information Officer at the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI). In addition to leading the Factor Health platform, she supports innovations across Dell Med that deliver health in the landscape of people’s lives integrating this “Healthscape” pillar with the traditional clinical, research and education missions.
Kathryn Kalinowski, BA
Kathryn Kalinowski is the Project Coordinator for Factor Health. She holds a BA in Inernational Relations and Affairs from American University.
Lisa is the Senior Policy Director for Dell Medical School where she leads health policy research and analysis to support innovations in health care delivery and payment. She holds a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Dell Med, she worked for more than 13 years at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program policy issues. She also served as the chief deputy Medicaid/CHIP director, where she oversaw the policy department and the development and implementation of the more than $10 billion Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program under Texas’ 1115 health care transformation waiver.
Courtney Mulligan, MA
Courtney is a Program Manager at Dell Medical School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey and a Master’s degree from The University of Sheffield, England. Courtney brings experience in research program coordination and management from positions held at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine and Dell Med’s Department of Population Health. She is an active member of Dell Med’s Culture Council and Diversity, Climate & Engagement Committee. Driven by her commitment to improving health equity in the Austin community, she is excited to support the planning and daily operations for Factor Health’s innovative community-based initiatives and health interventions.
David Pereira, BS
David Pereira is a Research Associate on the Factor Health Team at Dell Medical School. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology from The University of Texas at Austin.
Matt Sither, M.Eng.
Lead Software Engineer
Matt Sither is the Lead Software Engineer for Factor Health, where he develops tools and products for various programs. He holds a Master of Engineering from the Massachussets Institue of Technology.
Empathy & Health Promotion Lead Caller
Sandy is the Empathy & Health Promotion Lead Caller on the Factor Health Team at Dell Medical School. In her role, Sandy leads a team of empathetic callers for the Sunshine Calls Empathy in Action Diabetes Program.
Donald E. Wesson, MD, MBA
Advisor, Chronic Kidney Disease
Donald Wesson is Professor of Medicine, Texas A&M College of Medicine, Dallas, TX. He is a thought-leader in academic medicine, an internationally recognized researcher in kidney acidifying mechanisms, an expert in community-based interventions, and a long-time advocate for improving the health of communities through focused, data-driven population health initiatives. He has translated insights from his basic science studies to clinical studies that examine the role of nutrition in population health and its kidney-protective benefits. As a part of the Factor Health team, he serves as advisor for Factor Health programs that intervene in chronic kidney disease.
Factor Health Alumni
Allison Marshall, PhD, MPH, MSSW
Research Manager, Youth Health Program
Allison is an instructor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. She served as Research Program Manager on the Factor Health – Youth Health Nutrition Education and Exercise Program. Allison’s background includes social work, public health, and international trade. She has a passion for community-based work using a strengths-based perspective and enjoys research and working with children and families. She has 7 years of experience in health promotion research and is motivated by opportunities to leverage research to inform practice in hopes of working towards a more equitable future.
Katherine Sebastian, RN, MPH
Kate is a research program manager in the Department of Internal Medicine at Dell Medical School. She has over 15 years of experience in clinical research coordination and management, including implementing research interventions in rural and low-income communities.