Faculty

Our expert faculty bring a wealth of experience to the classroom, whether online or in-person, and are passionate about teaching, mentoring and making a difference in public health.

Core Faculty

Miruna Petrescu-Prahova — Program Director

Miruna Petrescu-Prahova is the director of the Online MPH program and a core investigator at the Health Promotion Research Center. She is also a senior lecturer in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Sociology. Petrescu-Prahova's research has mostly focused on healthy aging, social networks and the social determinants of health. She earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Irvine.

Profilemirunapp@uw.edu


Daniel Enquobahrie — Associate Program Director

Daniel Enquobahrie is the associate program director of the Online MPH program. He is also an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. He is director of the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health.

Profiledanenq@uw.edu


Wendy Baesler

Wendy Baesler is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health and an independent consultant. She has a master's in accounting from Brigham Young University.

Profilewbaesler@uw.edu


Noelle Benzekri

Noelle Benzekri specializes in infectious diseases and tropical medicine. She has worked with the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, PATH and non-governmental organizations on numerous projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Benzekri uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand and address social and cultural barriers to care in West Africa. She is interested in the development and implementation of community-level interventions to improve health outcomes and enhance social justice. She is currently based in Senegal, where she is the principle investigator of studies to evaluate partnerships with traditional healers to improve HIV and TB outcomes, interventions to address food insecurity and improve HIV outcomes, and social protection interventions to improve TB outcomes. She attended UCLA medical school and completed an internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Washington. She has a DTM&H from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and received training in qualitative research methods from the University of Oxford.

Profile benzekri@uw.edu


Stephen Bezruchka

Stephen Bezruchka is a senior lecturer in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health and the Department of Global Health. He worked in clinical medicine for 35 years, including more than a decade in Nepal, where he set up a hospital for training generalist doctors and worked to improve surgical services. Bezruchka is passionate about improving the health of populations, and he founded the Population Health Forum to promote dialogue about how political, economic and social inequalities interact to affect the overall health status of society. He was awarded the School of Public Health's Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002 and its Faculty Community Service Award in 2008. Bezruchka earned an MPH from John Hopkins University and an M.D. from Stanford University.

Profilesabez@uw.edu 


Brad Finnegan

Brad Finnegan is a clinical instructor whose research interests includes consumer choice, health insurance, value base payment and health system transformation. He earned his Ph.D. in public administration and public policy from George Washington University.

Profile | bfinne@uw.edu


Elise Chayet

Elise Chayet is a clinical instructor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health and director of external and community affairs at Harborview Medical Center, the region's level 1 trauma center and the largest safety net hospital in Washington state. Prior to joining Harborview in 1995, Chayet was the county division director at Public Health – Seattle & King County. Before moving into public health, Chayet provided advocacy for low-income residents in public entitlement programs and housing at Evergreen Legal Services. From 2011 to 2016, Chayet served on the City of Seattle's Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee, providing guidance to the city on its implementation of the levy and the Preschool for All program. Chayet formerly served on the board of the Mockingbird Society and she's currently on the governing board of the King County Accountable Community of Health. Chayet earned her MHA at the University of Washington.

Profileechayet@uw.edu


Mary Fliss

Mary Fliss is an affiliate instructor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. She has more than 30 years of experience in health care administration, including leadership positions in the Washington State Health Care Authority. A certified health executive, Fliss holds an MHA degree from the University of Minnesota.

Profileflissm@uw.edu 


Jeffrey Harris

Jeffrey Harris is the professor and chair of the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health and an investigator at the UW Health Promotion Research Center, which he directed from 2007 to 2015. Previously, Harris served the U.S. Public Health Service and CDC for 20 years. He was a co-investigator of a 120,000-person cholera vaccine trial in Bangladesh; led the development of the 70-country AIDS prevention program at the Agency for International Development; oversaw the development of CDC's Guide to Community Preventive Services and served as CDC's policy director under David Satcher, CDC's liaison to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force; and as its lead participant in the development for HEDIS quality-of-care measures by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Harris is a physician who is board-certified in internal medicine and preventive medicine. He received an MPH from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the University of Washington. 

Profile | jh7@uw.edu 


Hilary Karasz

Hilary Karasz, an affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health, is a public information officer and education consultant at Public Health – Seattle & King County. She has a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Washington.

Profile hilary.karasz@kingcounty.gov 


Gita Krishnaswamy

Gita Krishnaswamy is a senior lecturer in the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health and an affiliated faculty member with the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (NWCPHP). Her areas of specialization include population health, quantitative methods and health education. Krishnaswamy has many years of K–12 classroom and administrative experience in the field and consults with school districts and nonprofit organizations interested in health equity, the bidirectional relationship of education and health, and problem-based learning pedagogy. She directs the capstone experience for the COPHP program and manages community-based student projects through the NWCPHP. She earned an M.Ed. at DePaul University and an MPH at the University of Washington.  

Profilekrishna2@uw.edu 


Daniel Lessler

Daniel Lessler is chief medical officer for the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), which administers the state’s Medicaid and Public Employees Benefits programs. He is also a clinical professor of medicine and health services. Lessler’s research and administrative interests have focused on the design and operation of programs that promote high-quality, cost-effective medical care. He has a particular interest in improving preventive and chronic illness care for underserved and vulnerable populations and using health information technology as a means of achieving such improvement. Prior to joining the Washington State HCA, Lessler maintained an active primary care practice and served as an attending physician at Harborview Medical Center. A native of Connecticut, he earned his medical degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine and an MHA at the University of Washington. 

Profiledaniel.lessler@hca.wa.gov 


Lloyd Mancl

Lloyd Mancl is a research associate professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences and an adjunct research associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics. His research interests include statistical methods for correlated and longitudinal data; generalized estimating equations and random effects modeling; and periodontal disease and TMD. Mancl has a Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Washington.

Profile llman@uw.edu 


Rick McPherson

Rick McPherson is a full-time lecturer in the Foster School of Business. He spent 25 years in business in the telecommunications industry, rising to the position of vice president at both AT&T Broadband and T-Mobile USA. For the past 15 years, he has combined academic courses with his business experiences to teach strategy, business planning, organizational behavior, decision making, and leadership and ethics in both the undergraduate and MBA programs.

McPherson continues to consult with businesses and is on the board of directors of Alpine Evergreen. McPherson has authored, co-authored or advised on the development of 20 live business cases, and been the instructor/adviser on over 250 business plans and more than 70 business consulting projects. At the UW, he has also taught in the Master of Communication in Digital Media program and for the UW Professional & Continuing Education program. McPherson received his MBA from the University of Denver and his bachelor’s in business administration at Arizona State University.

Profilersmcpher@u.washington.edu


Nicole Sadow-Hasenberg

Nicole Sadow-Hasenberg is a health communications professional with extensive experience developing and implementing public health communications and education initiatives on a variety of health topics. From 2005 to 2014, she was part of the communications team at Public Health – Seattle & King County, where she worked as an educator consultant, public information officer and communications strategic planner on two large federal grants tackling tobacco use and obesity prevention. Sadow-Hasenberg frequently coaches public health professionals in writing. She has an MPH from the UW School of Public Health.

Profile nicole.hasenberg@gmail.com


Kenneth Sherr

Kenneth Sherr is an associate professor in the Department of Global Health and director of Implementation Science and Mozambique Programs at Health Alliance International. He is also an adjunct associate professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Industrial & Systems Engineering. Over the past 20 years he has worked primarily in the public and NGO sectors in Mozambique, Uganda and Bolivia. His research interests focus on identifying and testing practical solutions to support service integration into the primary health care framework as a means of improving health system efficiency, coverage and quality. Particular areas of emphasis include improving data-driven decision making, expanding human resources for health and identifying effective approaches to foreign assistance. Sherr received his Ph.D. in epidemiology and MPH in international health/health services from the University of Washington. 

Profile ksherr@uw.edu 


Genya Shimkin

Genya Shimkin is the practicum director for the Online MPH program and is an education specialist in the Department of Family Medicine at the UW School of Medicine. She is also founder and CEO of Q Card Project, which she founded to improve communication and relationships between LGBTQ youth and healthcare providers. Shimkin is passionate about LGBTQ health, health care access, health justice and anti-oppression frameworks for health promotion. 

Profile gshimkin@uw.edu


Caroline Soi

Caroline Soi is a global health implementation science researcher at the University of Washington. As an experienced global health practitioner, Soi provided primary and emergency health care services in several hospitals in Kenya and worked for Medicin San Frontier’s HIV programs in Zimbabwe. As a technical advisor seconded to the Mozambique Ministry of Health’s national HIV and malaria programs, Soi was at the core of the program’s scale up and strengthening around program management, monitoring and evaluation, health workforce and health financing. As part of her Ph.D., she led a comprehensive project evaluating the national immunization program process in Mozambique. Her research focused on identifying determinants of health influencing the success and failure of program implementation. Soi is a senior fellow working on the Mozambique systems analysis and improvement approach (SAIA) and the Kenya scaling up of cognitive behavior therapy (BASIC) projects. She completed her masters in STI and HIV at the University College London and her Ph.D. in global health implementation science from the University of Washington.

soic@uw.edu


Sarah Veele

Sarah Veele is the research and program evaluation administrator for the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families, and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. She is a 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leaders fellow and a 2013 fellow of the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Program at Georgetown University. Her research interests include juvenile justice reform; evidence-based programming; racial and ethnic disparities; applied and translational research; and university, community and governmental collaboration. Veele’s current research focuses on the risks and needs of some of Washington state's most vulnerable youth: children ages birth to five, children who are involved with child welfare, and those who have been committed to Washington state for treatment and rehabilitation. She earned an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in health services research from the University of Washington.

Profile | sarah.veele@del.wa.gov


Tyler Watson

Tyler Watson is the program director of experiential learning at the UW School of Public Health, where he conducts research to better understand high-impact practices (e.g., service learning, capstones and electronic portfolios) and improve experiential equity among all students. He earned his MPH and Ph.D. in environmental health sciences at UCLA. As a graduate student researcher, he coordinated and evaluated interdisciplinary campus health projects for the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative and the UC Global Food Initiative. He has taught in the areas of biological sciences and environmental science, including the creation of an undergraduate course Farm to Fork: The U.S. Food System and Public Health. 

Profiletywatson@uw.edu

Emeritus Faculty 

Branko Kopjar

Branko Kopjar is an associate professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. He is also director of the Clinical Research Center (International Division) at Chongqing University in China. Kopjar’s research and academic focus is on evidence-based health policy, clinical epidemiology and health outcomes. He has authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific publications. Kopjar has an M.S in biostatistics and an M.D. from the University of Zagreb in Croatia and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Oslo in Norway.

Profile | brankok@uw.edu

David Masuda

David Masuda is a lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. His academic interests include applied pedagogy, educational technologies and distance learning. He earned his M.D. at the University of North Dakota.

Profiledmasuda@uw.edu