Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health

Alumni

 

 

Past Fellows

Health for America (HFA) at MedStar Health is proud to have supported the early careers of 15 alumni—and counting. Following is a snapshot of these rising innovators organized by their fellowship class, with more information about their professional background available below. The alumni completed projects in the areas of stroke, type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure and childhood asthma.

2016-17 Fellows: Stroke Focus

2015-16 Fellows: Type 2 Diabetes Focus

2014-15 Fellows: Congestive Heart Failure Focus

  • Nick Azpiroz
  • Megan Caldwell, who then served as Health for America’s Executive Director post-fellowship prior to the MI2 integration
  • Sandra Hwang
  • Ellen Kourakos, who then served as Health for America's Chief Operating Officer post-fellowship prior to the MI2 integration

2013 Summer Fellows: Childhood Asthma Focus

Stephanie Guang

Stephanie Guang

Stephanie is a medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where she continues to incorporate design thinking into medical innovation. Prior to HFA, Stephanie studied biomedical engineering and public health at Brown University with project work focused on virtual reality in medical education as well as burnout in medical students. As a 2016-17 HFA fellow, she was able to grow and augment those skills by playing a major role in developing KnightCap and designing its clinical efficacy study. Moving forward, Stephanie hopes to find a unique path toward becoming a physician innovator. Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn.

Michael Mezher

Michael Mezher

As a 2016-17 fellow, Michael played a major role in designing and developing KnightCap, an EEG system aimed at the early detection of wake-up strokes in populations with a temporarily elevated risk of stroke. His past work includes mapping select neurons within the primary motor cortex of a rhesus monkey to voluntary movement, developing a wearable, lightweight, and low-cost assistive sit-to-stand device, and applying artificial neural networks to short-term binary prediction of stock prices based on stock technical analysis and mined sentiment data. Michael graduated from George Mason University with a BS in Bioengineering and a minor in Mechanical Engineering. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

King John Pascual

King John Pascual

In September 2017, King joined MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab (SiTEL) as an instructional designer. Before his HFA fellowship, King taught high school science for two years in the South Bronx through Teach for America. As a 2016-2017 HFA fellow, King collaborated in the development of Galva, a novel personalized education and wellness service for stroke survivors and their primary caregivers. He studied human biology and ethnic studies at Brown University and holds a master’s degree in science education from Relay GSE. King aspires to become a physician innovator working at the intersections of mental health, education, and patient experience. Connect with King on LinkedIn.

Ekaterina (Katia) Vlasova

Ekaterina (Katia) Vlasova

Katia became a 2016-17 HFA fellow after completing a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship year exploring the mind-body connection in the context of local healing practices across India, Thailand, Japan, Peru, and Germany. She will matriculate into Thomas Jefferson University’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College in 2018. After contributing to the development of Galva during the 2016-17 HFA fellowship, Katia plans to apply human-centered design to her future work as a physician and proponent of integrative medicine. Katia graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in biology. She taught mindfulness meditation at Bryn Mawr, leading an initiative to expand student-run resources for mental health on campus. Connect with Katia on LinkedIn.

Dan Hoff

Dan Hoff

Dan works with early stage digital health startups to help them bring their products from proof-of-concept to market launch. He currently leads product management and business development activities for two seed-funded startups. During the 2015-2016 fellowship class, Dan established the early technical components of WellRooted, the fellows’ type 2 diabetes solution that became MedStar Healthy, and managed partnership initiatives. Prior to the fellowship, Dan worked in healthcare and tech consulting. He holds a ScB in Biomedical Engineering with honors from Brown University. Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.

Amanda Newman

Amanda Newman

An alum of the fellowship now serving as a strategic advisor to MI2/HFA, Amanda supported the evolution of WellRooted into MedStar Healthy for MedStar. She also contributes to the daily operations of HFA. Previously, Amanda worked as an artist, facilitator, and communications coordinator at Dance Exchange in the Washington, D.C., region. She graduated with a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah where she also founded a community health program to support under-resourced populations. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Social Work at Hunter College in New York City. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

Maythana Paquete

May Paquete

May joined HFA after working in public health policy helping policy makers connect and implement innovation strategies. The fellowship ignited her passion for and training in human-centered design and, continuing forward, May’s career goal is to work at the intersection of design and health. Previously, she has worked with the National Academy for State Health Policy, Children’s National Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. May graduated from University of Maryland in Behavioral and Community Health, where she also worked on Sister to Sister: Life Choices, an intervention targeted to reduce obesity rates in African-American women. Connect with May on LinkedIn.

Jake Vildibill

Jake Vildibill

Jake is an Operations Associate and founding team member at Docent Health in Boston. He leverages his diverse talents to help develop healthcare solutions that improve patient experience. Jake’s current work focuses on service design and implementation. During the HFA fellowship, Jake brought his engineering knowledge to the development of WellRooted, the 2015-16 HFA fellows’ type 2 diabetes solution. Prior to joining HFA, Jake graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Jake’s previous projects include developing non-electric hospital equipment and deploying it to developing countries. Connect with Jake on LinkedIn.

Nick Azpiroz

Nick Azpiroz

Nick is a product designer and engineer who continues to create solutions aimed at achieving meaningful social impact. Some of his projects since the fellowship include the development of energy-efficient solar incubators for rural Tanzanian farmers, the creation of a device to improve the surgical gowning process, and multiple initiatives within the Family­-Centered Care Department of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Nick holds a BS in Science, Technology, and Society as well as an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Connect with Nick on LinkedIn.

Megan Caldwell

Megan Caldwell

Megan is a Director of Customer Success at Castlight Health in San Francisco. She leads a team of customer success managers who work alongside Fortune 500 companies to ensure their employees have access to innovative health and wellness benefits. She was previously the Executive Director of HFA, writing the health and professional development curricula and facilitating HFA's integration with MedStar Health. Before serving as a 2014-2015 HFA fellow, she was a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Megan holds a BSPA and BA from Indiana University. Connect with Megan on LinkedIn.

Sandra Hwang

Sandra Hwang

Sandra is a Design Strategist for Healthcare at Continuum, a global innovation design firm. Previously, her work at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health focused on patient safety and patient-centeredness in domestic and international health. As a design thinking educator, she worked with audiences from patients to providers to address challenges across the healthcare system using human-centered design. Prior to, she worked at the World Health Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Group Health. Sandra holds a MSPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BS in Biology and Society from Cornell University. Connect with Sandra on LinkedIn.

Ellen Kourakos

Ellen Kourakos

Ellen is a Product Manager for the health-tech company Ultralinq Healthcare Solutions. She interviews users to become the voice-of-customer, creates product strategy, defines market opportunities, and collaborates across teams to build a cloud-based, medical image management product. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer of Health for America, where she was named one of Aspen Institute’s inaugural Urban Innovators in 2015, a fellow of Health for America, and R&D engineer for the medical device company CareFusion, where she holds a patent. Ellen studied human­-centered design and earned a BS in Manufacturing and Design Engineering and a minor in Psychology at Northwestern University. Connect with Ellen on LinkedIn.

Abena Dakwahene

Abena Dakwahene

Abena is a Project Director at EmPoWER Somerset, a non-profit organization in New Jersey which focuses on substance abuse prevention among youth. Abena is also working part-time at Mathematica Policy Research conducting surveys for research and data collection purposes. She is dedicated to improving health among minority and/or vulnerable communities and advocating for patient-centered care. Abena is a lover of all things New Jersey and Ghana. She holds an MPH with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from Boston University and a BS in Community Health with a concentration in Global Health from George Mason University. Connect with Abena on LinkedIn.

Glenn Means

Glenn L. Means III

Glenn is a Constituent Services Analyst for The Legislative Research Commission, addressing constituent concerns for 138 members of Congress. He is also the Co­-Founder and Events Director for event planning company EPOCH Affairs. Additionally, Glenn is the Lead Organizer for The LGBTQIAA Consortium, a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a volunteer for CASA of Lexington. Previously, he was the Director of Development at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. Glenn graduated from Morehead State University with a MA in Public Administration and a BS in Psychology. He most recently graduated from Kentucky State University with his Associate's Degree in Nursing. Connect with Glenn on LinkedIn.

Miki Templeton

Miki Templeton

Miki currently works at the National Science Foundation as a Program Analyst, where she supports Program Directors who award science/technology research and development grants to universities and small businesses. In 2016, Miki received her MA in International Development and a certificate in Global Health Affairs from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. From 2014-2016, Miki served in the Peace Corps in Moldova, where she worked as a community and organizational development advisor and collaborated with youth and adults on multiple small grants and trainings. Connect with Miki on LinkedIn.

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