ACORN Co-Directors

Paulette Lail Kashiri, MPH
Practice Advocate & Professional Research Associate

(804) 827-6750

Paulette Kashiri has been an ACORN Professional Research Associate since 2010 and has served as the lead practice advocate for the network since 2015. As the practice advocate she is charged with coordinating and organizaing network activities, serving as a key contact for practices, ensuring practices feel supported throughout research activities, and building a sense of community for members. She is passionate about understanding practices’ and patients’ interests and needs and ensuring that ACORN’s research advances primary care.

Alex Krist, M.D., M.P.H.

(804) 827-6750

Alex Krist has served as an ACORN researcher since 2001 and network co-Director since 2012. He also serves as the Director for Community Engaged Research for VCU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) and has been a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) since 2015. As a family physician and educator, he teaches and sees patients at the Fairfax Family Practice Residency. His research aims to make lives better for primary care patients and clinicians. Much of his work has focused on redesigning care to better inform, engage, and activate patients in their care as well as addressing the root causes of disease and suffering.

Sebastian Tong, M.D., M.P.H.

(804) 828-3258

Sebastian Tong joined VCU in 2015. He became a lead network researcher and ACORN co-Director in early 2016. He is an accomlpished family physician who delivers comprehensive care at VCU’s Hayes E. Willis Health Center. His research interests span disparities in care, addiction medicine, integrating population health into primary care, promoting prevention and wellness, and understanding issues impacting family medicine workforce and scope of care.

ACORN Investigators

Marshall Brooks, Ph.D.
Research Faculty

Marshall Brooks has been an ACORN researcher since 2015. He is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests span the social ecology of health and wellbeing, underserved patient populations, integrated primary care, substance use and addiction, mental health, and program evaluation. He is an expert in qualitative methodology, including ethnographic research methods.

Andrew Bazemore, M.D.
Research Faculty

Andrew Bazemore is the Director of the Robert Graham Center and conducts research in health workforce and training, access to care and spatial analysis. He is also a faculty member at VCU and sees patients at the Fairfax Family Medicine Residency Program.

Rebecca Etz, Ph.D.
Research Faculty

Rebecca Etz is a cultural anthropologist. She is currently leading an ACORN study on supporting diabetic registry implementation. Her interests include primary care measures, qualitative methodology and practice transformation.

Anton Kuzel, M.D., M.H.P.E.
Research Faculty & Department Chair

Tony Kuzel is the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at VCU. In addition to support the department’s clinical and educational mission, he is an expert in practice redesign and management, qualitative methodology and health services research. He is currently the principal investigator of a large AHRQ grant to improve joy in practice in primary care in Virginia.

Winston Liaw, M.D.
Research Faculty

Winston Liaw, MD MPH is the Medical Director at the Robert Graham Center and conducts research on the integration of primary care and public health, primary care delivery, and the primary care workforce. He is also an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, teaching and seeing patients at the Fairfax Family Medicine Residency Program.

Daniel Longo, Sc.D.
Research Faculty

Daniel Longo is a health services researcher who has interests in diabetes, health communication and practice innovation. He is also the Director of the Grant Generating Project, which supports grant writing in junior family medicine faculty nationally.

Bergen Nelson, M.D., M.S.
Research Faculty

Bergen Nelson, MD, MS is a general pediatrician and child health services researcher with an interest in early childhood development, screening for developmental and behavioral concerns, and promoting healthy development for children living in vulnerable circumstances. Dr. Nelson is a graduate of Wellesley College, Harvard Medical School, and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at UCLA. Prior to medical school she was a bilingual school teacher in New York City, and after medical school completed training in pediatrics in the inaugural year of UCSF’s Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) residency program.

Roy Sabo, Ph.D.
Biostatistician & Research Faculty

Roy Sabo joined the VCU Department of Biostatistics in 2008 and has worked with the researchers in both ACORN and the VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health since 2012. He specializes in designing and analyzing data from clustered longitudinal studies. He also teaches study design, elementary statistics, and model building for graduate students and working professionals throughout the VCU Medical and Health Sciences communities.

Elizabeth Wolf, M.D., M.P.H.
Research Faculty

Dr. Wolf is a general pediatrician who joined VCU in 2015. She is the director of the Public Health Tract of the VCU Pediatric Residency. Dr. Wolf's research interests are in improving the attendance and quality of well-child care visits. She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters about vaccine delivery, immigrant health and global health.

Steven Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.
Research Faculty & Director Center on Society and Health

Steve Woolf is the Director of the Center for Society and Health at VCU. He has published more than 150 articles in a career that has focused on evidence-based medicine and the development of evidence-based clinical guidelines, with a special focus on preventive medicine, cancer screening, quality improvement, and social justice. His studies demonstrate that addressing poverty, education, and the causes of racial and ethnic disparities could accomplish far more to improve the health of Americans than investing predominantly in medical technological advances. 

Graduate Students and Fellows

Camille Hochheimer
Ph.D. Candidate, Biostatistics
Vivian Jiang, M.D.
Maurice Wood Fellow
Nader Silver
Maurice Wood Fellow
Erin Elizabeth Donahue
Ph.D. Candidate, Biostatistics

Teresa Day
Database Manager
Jeanine Giles-Larson
Post Award Grant Specialist
Martha Gonzales
Qualitative Analyst
Vicki Humphreys, M.B.A, C.R.A.
Grants Administrator
Nicole Johnson
Professional Research Associate
Harris Middleton
Office Manager
Julia Rozman
Professional Research Associate
ACORN Partner Board

Gregory Biernacki, M.D.
Family Physician
Sentara Family Medicine New Town
Teresa Howard
Senior Practice Administrator
Prince William Family Medicine
Micha Joffee, M.D.
Family Physician
Vienna Primary & Preventive Medicine
Sally Beth Johnson, Ph.D.
Research Dircetor
Carilion Family Medicine Research
Janet Mendoza
Office Manager
Town Center Family Medicine
Amy Norris
Practice Manager
Bowles and Bowles Family Physicians
Michael Rodriguez, M.D.
Family Physician
Broadlands Family Practice
Sarah Rohrs, N.P.
Nurse Practitioner
Chester Family MedCare
Jonathan Winter, M.D.
Family Physician & Resident Educator
Front Royal Family Practice