2014 Faculty Biosketches

Ashley Hirai, PhD
Health Scientist
HRSA, Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Office of Epidemiology & Research

Ashley Hirai is a Health Scientist at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau whose research focuses on socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in maternal and child health and policy-relevant strategies to reduce inequality. She completed her doctoral studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with dual training in demography and perinatal epidemiology. 

Prior to joining MCHB, she worked as an epidemiologist for the Hawai’i Health Department and completed an Academy Health postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Health Statistics.  Her research has been published in the American Journals of Epidemiology, Public Health, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

She currently serves as the project officer of the MCH Epidemiology Training Course, editor of the annual Women’s Health USA data book, data coordinator for the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to reduce infant mortality, and Bureau expert in perinatal epidemiology, advanced research/evaluation methods, and GIS.

PatPatricia O'Campo, PhD
St. Michael's Hospital
Center for Research on Inner City Health

Patricia O’Campo is Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is Director of the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto, a center dedicated to reducing health inequities through research that supports social change for complex health and social problems.

As a social epidemiologist O’Campo has been conducting policy-relevant intervention research on the social determinants of health and well-being among women and children for over 25 years.

She has focused on methods development as part of her research including application of multilevel modeling to understand the effect of residential and workplace contexts on health, and the application of concept mapping to increase community input and perspectives into research. She has conducted extensive research on the topics of violence (e.g., partner violence and youth violence); women’s, children’s and infants well-being; and intersectoral action for health. The majority of her research is undertaken in partnership with community or policy partners who will use the evidence for change.

Sarah Ramowski, MSW
School Health Economist/Epidemiologist
Adolescent & School Health Program
Oregon Public Health Division

Sarah Ramowski is the School Health Economist/Epidemiologist for the Adolescent & School Health Program in the Oregon Public Health Division. Her work focuses on economic and health outcomes research related to School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs), adolescent health risks, health care transformation and the links between health and education. 

She is currently focused on developing Return on Investment metric s specific to adolescents and young adults served by SBHCs through work with Electronic Health Records and claims data. She also sits on the Evaluation & Quality Panel of the National School-Based Health Alliance.

Sarah has been a lead and co-author on publications related to youth risk behaviors in MMWR, Pediatrics, and the Journal of School Health. Prior to her current position, she served as an economic research analyst for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield and as an adolescent policy & research specialist in Oregon Public Health.   She is a proud 2010 graduate of the MCH EPI training!


Kristin Rankin, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago
School of Public Health

Kristin Rankin is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.  In addition to teaching academic courses at UIC such as Pediatric Epidemiology and Advanced Applied Methods in MCH Epidemiology, Dr. Rankin has served as a faculty member for the national training course in MCH EPI for the past six years and is the co-PI for a distance-based training course in analytic methods for CDC MCH EPI assignees to state health agencies. 

Dr. Rankin has conducted several pre-conference trainings and workshops about advanced epidemiologic methods at previous MCH Epidemiology Conferences and is a member of the Planning Committee and Scientific Review Panel for the CityMatCH/MCH Epidemiology Conference. 

Dr. Rankin’s research focuses on health services and social determinants of health in MCH populations, specifically with respect to women’s health and family planning in the postpartum period, as well as infant birth outcomes.  She has led or contributed to numerous studies utilizing MCH surveillance data source such as PRAMS, vital statistics, Medicaid claims data, prenatal care records, and the NSCH.

DebDeb Rosenberg, PhD
Research Associate Professor
University of IL at Chicago School of Public Health
Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Deborah Rosenberg is Research Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. Dr. Rosenberg has led national initiatives to enhance epidemiologic capacity in state and local health agencies for over fifteen years. From 1991-1997, she was core faculty and Co-Director of the Enhanced Analytic Skills Program at UIC and an outgrowth of this initiative was the MCHB publication, Analytic Methods in Maternal and Child Health.For the past seven years, she has been core faculty for the MCHB Training Course in MCH Epidemiology and she also leads distance-based courses in multivariable methods for the CDC MCH Epidemiology Program.

Dr. Rosenberg has conducted studies using data from PRAMS, the National Survey of Children with special Health Care needs, the National Survey of Children's Health, and from other large data systems. Her research focuses on maternal morbidity and mortality, prenatal care utilization, and the medical home. In addition, Dr. Rosenberg led an assessment of the functioning of MCH epidemiology in state health agencies.
She teaches biostatistics and epidemiology courses at UIC and is Co-Director of the MCH Epidemiology degree programs. In 2005, she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Coalition for Excellence in MCH Epidemiology.

William Sappenfield, MD, MPH
Professor  & Chair
USF College of Public Health
Community & Family Health

William Sappenfield has 30 years of experience in MCH epidemiological research and practice at a local, state, and national level. As a nationally recognized leader in the field of MCH epidemiology, he spent most of his career as a CDC epidemiologist working with state and local public health agencies to enhance their capacity to use epidemiology to improve the health of the women and children.His assignments include state public health agencies in Massachusetts, Mississippi, and South Carolina; CityMatCH, and a four year term as Team Leader of CDC’s MCH Epidemiology Program.

Upon retiring from CDC in 2005, Dr. Sappenfield served as State MCH Epidemiologist and Director of the MCH Practice and Analysis Unit at the Division of Family Health Services, Florida Department of Health. There he led the Department’s MCH epidemiology efforts, including directing a team of epidemiologists, working with programs across the Department, collaborating with state agencies, organizations, and universities; and assisting County Health Departments and community coalitions.

In 2011, Dr. Sappenfield became Professor and Chair of the Department of Community and Family Health in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL and Director of the Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies. He continues to conduct MCH epidemiological research, practice, and teaching and developing the future leaders in the field.


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