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The Office of Health Equity Research is pleased to announce the finalists and recipients of the 2021 OHER Awards for Yale Research Excellence

January 30, 2022

The Office of Health Equity Research (OHER) is pleased to announce the finalists and recipients of the 2021 OHER Awards for Yale Research Excellence.

Original health equity research articles were eligible if first-authored by Yale-affiliated early-stage investigators and published in 2021. Out of hundreds of eligible papers, thirty finalists and five awardees were selected.

We extend our deep appreciation to Kate Nyhan at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library and our panel of 24 reviewers, comprising Yale investigators and New Haven community leaders, for their dedication to this effort.

A special congratulations to this year’s five awardees! Please click on the video links below to hear about their work.


Eileen Condon, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC
Racial Discrimination, Mental Health, and Parenting Among African American Mothers of Preschool-Aged Children
article / video

Dr. Eileen Condon completed her postdoctoral training at the Yale School of Nursing in August 2021 and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. Dr. Condon’s research incorporates biological, behavioral, and genetic approaches to understand the intergenerational transmission of childhood adversity and protective factors among socioeconomically marginalized families. Inspired by her background as a family nurse practitioner working with underserved communities, the goal of Dr. Condon’s program of research is to identify novel targets for intervention to promote heath and reduce health inequities among marginalized families. Dr. Condon is currently funded by a Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research, and her past research has been funded by NINR, the American Nurses Foundation, and numerous other foundation grants. Dr. Condon earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Villanova University in 2008, and a Master of Science from the Yale School of Nursing in 2012, and PhD in Nursing from Yale University in 2018.

Flavia DeSouza, MD, MHS
Coping with Racism: a Perspective of COVID-19 Church Closures on the Mental Health of African Americans
article / video

Doctor Flavia DeSouza is a native of Jamaica. Between college and medical school at Yale University, she worked as a community organizer for mobilizing Christian leaders to pursue health equity and social justice. She completed psychiatry residency at Yale University. She is now a Child and Adolescent psychiatry fellow at Georgetown University, part-time attending at Howard University Hospital, and clinical instructor at Yale University. Given personal and professional experiences, Dr. DeSouza has particular interests in equipping church leaders to better understand and manage mental health issues as well as increasing mental health literacy in the Caribbean immigrant population.
Doctor Carmen Black is a proud second-generation graduate of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) and grew up in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church alongside her mother, the Rev. Dr. Maria Black. She joined faculty at Yale Department of Psychiatry as assistant professor in September 2019. Her primary clinical appointment is dedicated to the traditionally underserved residents of New Haven at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Dr. Black’s educational and research interests focus on antiracism and removing policing practices from behavioral emergencies within hospital medicine.
Reverend Doctor Maria Black is one of the first Black women to ever graduate from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), having begun her medical degree only 8 years after its desegregation. She was one of only four incoming Black students in a class of 180, and the only Black woman. She dedicated her four decades of internal medicine practice to physically healing the residents of Georgia, beginning as faculty at MCG and later moving into the public sector. Rev. Dr. Black is an ordained minister and lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, where she has professionally delivered spiritual healing to Black Americans for over 25 years.

Nancy Ringel, MD, MS
Disparities in Complications After Prolapse Repair and Sling Procedures: Trends From 2010-2018 article / video

Dr. Ringel received her bachelor’s degree in Biology with a Specialization in Neuroscience from Boston University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with College Honors. She then spent several years working in international development addressing global health inequities prior to starting her medical career. She received her MD from Harvard Medical School, and completed Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at New York University and Bellevue Hospital, where she earned several academic and teaching awards while caring for New York City’s diverse population. She then completed her Urogynecology/Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) fellowship at Georgetown University School of Medicine/Medstar Health, where she also completed a Masters of Science in Clinical and Translational Research through the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science with a focus on Health Disparities and Community Engagement. She is a board-certified Obstetrician Gynecologist through the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is a fellowship-trained subspecialty surgeon in Urogynecology/FPMRS. Dr. Ringel has published numerous peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters, and has presented her research at many academic conferences. She has held national leadership positions and is an active member of leading medical societies in her field. Her research focuses on optimizing clinical outcomes for patients with a focus on equitable care.

Benjamin Tolchin, MD, MS, FAAN
Racial disparities in the SOFA score among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 article / video

Dr. Tolchin is Director of the Center for Bioethics at Yale New Haven Health, and Assistant Professor of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine. His research focus is on the impact of crisis standards of care and triage protocols on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities. In addition, Dr. Tolchin has a clinical and research focus on functional neurological disorders and epilepsy. Dr. Tolchin completed medical school at Harvard University, neurology residency at Columbia University Medical Center, and fellowships in medical ethics, clinical neurophysiology, and epilepsy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. His research has been recognized with Young Investigator Awards from the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society and the American Epilepsy Society, the Rebecca Goldberg Kaufman Honor from the American Epilepsy Society, the Emerging Leaders Fellowship from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and the 2020 Epilepsia Clinical Science Prize from the International League Against Epilepsy. Dr. Tolchin is a Fellow of the AAN and serves on the AAN's Guidelines Subcommittee and Ethics, Law, and Humanities Committee.

Vesal Yaghoobi, MD, MSc
Quantitative assessment of the immune microenvironment in African American Triple Negative Breast Cancer: a case–control study article / video

Dr. Yaghoobi attended medical school in Iran and completed a master’s degree in Biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Yaghoobi served as a Postdoctoral Associate in Yale Pathology from 2018-2021 and then joined Hartford Healthcare as a pathology resident at Hartford Hospital, while continuing research at Yale as a visiting research scientist in pathology. Dr. Yaghoobi's research focus is breast cancer.


Julián Acosta, MD
Cardiovascular health disparities in racial and other underrepresented groups: Initial results from the All of Us research program

Lilanthi Balasuriya, MD, MMS
COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and Access among Black and Latinx Communities

Tanner Bommersbach, MD, MPH
Treatment of substance use disorders among black and white adults: rates, correlates, and racial discrimination

En Cheng, MD, PhD, MSPH
Neighborhood and Individual Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Survival among Patients with Nonmetastatic Common Cancers

Geena Chiumento, MPH
Persistence of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status disparities among non-institutionalized patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut, July to December 2020

Fouad Chouairi, MD
Evaluation of racial and ethnic disparities in cardiac transplantation

Matthew Denney, MA, MPhil
Compounding racialized vulnerability: COVID-19 in prisons, jails, and migrant detention centers

Allison Elizabeth Gaffey, PhD
Baseline Characteristics from the Women Veterans Cohort Study: Gender Differences and Similarities in Health and Healthcare Utilization

Alissa Haas, MPH
Post-incarceration outcomes for individuals who continued methadone treatment while in Connecticut jails, 2014–2018

Benjamin A Howell, MD, MPH, MHS
The Transitions Clinic Network: Post Incarceration Addiction Treatment, Healthcare, and Social Support (TCN-PATHS): A hybrid type-1 effectiveness trial of enhanced primary care to improve opioid use disorder treatment outcomes following release from jail

Walter Hsiang, MD, MBA
Access to Urologic Care at Urgent Care Centers

Paul Joudrey, MD, MPH
Reporting of substance use treatment quality in United States adult drug courts

Honghyok Kim, PhD, MPH
Temporal transition of racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes in 3108 counties of the United States: Three phases from January to December 2020

Shiwani Mahajan, MBBS MHS
Trends and Predictors of Use of Digital Health Technology in the United States

Reed Mszar, MPH, MS
Racial/ethnic disparities in screening for and awareness of high cholesterol among pregnant women receiving prenatal care

Katherine Nash, MD
Equitable and Timely Care of Febrile Neonates A Cross-Sectional Study

Connor Peck
Racial Disparities in Complications, Length of Stay, and Costs Among Patients Receiving Orthognathic Surgery in the United States

Sarah Phillips
Racial Disparities in the Surgical Management of Benign Craniomaxillofacial Bone Lesions

Vidya Puthenpura, MD, MHS
Racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic survival disparities in adolescents and young adults with primary central nervous system tumors

Taeho Greg Rhee, PhD, MA
Black-White Disparities in Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health Index and Their Associations with Self-rated Health and Functional Limitations in Older Adults

Elizabeth Rhodes, PhD, SM
Promoting equity in breastfeeding through peer counseling: the US Breastfeeding Heritage and Pride program

Shireen Roy, MPH
The potential impact of triage protocols on racial disparities in clinical outcomes among COVID-positive patients in a large academic healthcare system

Rohit Sangal, MD, MBA
Disparities in Accessing and Reading Open Notes in the Emergency Department Upon Implementation of the 21st Century CURES Act

Michael Shang
Socioeconomic disparities in surveillance and follow-up of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm

Tyler Shelby
Lessons Learned From COVID-19 Contact Tracing During a Public Health Emergency: A Prospective Implementation Study

Madeline Stenersen, PhD, MS
The impact of self-help groups on successful substance use treatment completion for opioid use: An intersectional analysis of race/ethnicity and sex

Yihua Su
Twitter-based analysis reveals differential COVID-19 concerns across areas with socioeconomic disparities

Max Jordan Nguemeni Tiako, MD, MS
Who is biking for? Urban bikeshare networks’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, disparities in bikeshare access, and a way forward

Phoebe Tran, MSc
National, regional, and state employment rates of U.S. adults who are deaf or hard of hearing

Christopher Williams, MPH
Syndemic Framework Evaluation of Severe COVID-19 Outcomes in the United States: Factors Associated With Race and Ethnicity

Review Panel

Mark Abraham

Dowin Boatright, MD, MBA, MHS

Sarwat Chaudhry, MD

Darcey Cobbs-Lomax, MBA, MPH

Cindy Crusto, PhD

Valentina Greco, PhD

Debbie Humphries, PhD, MPH

Danya Keene, PhD

Melissa Lang, DrPH, MPH, MPA, MA

Carolyn Macica, PhD, MS

Jason Martinez, MS

Carolyn Mazure, PhD

Susan Nappi, MPH

LaRon Nelson, PhD

Kieran O'Donnell, PhD

John Pachankis, PhD

Natasha Ray, MS

Suzi Ruhl

Alycia Santilli, MSW

Beverley Sheares, MD, MS

Amos Smith, MSW

Karen Wang, MD, MHS

Emily Wang, MD, MAS

Submitted by Tara M. Rizzo on February 01, 2022