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Online Master of Public Health


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 doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Irvine.

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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.

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.

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.

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Katrin Burkhart 

Katrin Burkhart is a geographer and climate scientist and an assistant professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. In this role, she works on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project, conducting research on environmental risks and methods to include exposure to suboptimal temperature. Burkart is also working on projections of future temperature-related mortality under climate and population change scenarios. In addition to accounting for rising temperatures, she is particularly interested in incorporating the dynamics of global change, especially demographic and epidemiological change as well as urbanization into her estimations and projections. Burkhart also has pursued collaborative projects with Dr. Jeremy Hess and others associated with the UW Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE). She earned her doctorate in climate and health from Humboldt University of Berlin.

Beatriz Helena Carlini

Beatriz Carlini is an acting associate professor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health and a research scientist at the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute at UW School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She leads the ADAI Program of Research & Education on Cannabis. As a first-generation immigrant and a foreign-born American citizen, she is especially interested in the impact of cannabis and tobacco use on perpetuating health and social disparities. She holds a doctorate in social psychology from the Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and an MPH from the University of Washington. 

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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.

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Christian Dimaano

Christian Dimaano is a clinical assistant professor in the UW School of Public Health where his research focuses on the use of qualitative methods to highlight gaps in health disparities and health education. His teaching has largely focused on the social determinants of health and health equity. Dimaano leads a team of health outcomes-focused scientists at Mirati Therapeutics, Inc., a biotech company focused on developing therapies for cancers with unmet needs. He also currently serves as chair of the Washington State Board of the American Cancer Society. He received his doctorate in oncology from the Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, and he holds master’s degrees in immunology from the California State University, East Bay and public health from the University of Washington.

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Todd Edwards

Todd Edwards is an investigator with the Seattle Quality of Life Group. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, Edwards received his doctorate in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University in 1994.

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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 doctorate in public administration and public policy from George Washington University.

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Molly Firth

Molly Firth is the owner of MCG Consulting, a health policy consulting firm in Seattle, and provides health policy research, legislative advocacy and strategy services to clients. She is a clinical instructor and teaches health policy development and advocacy at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health, Department of Health Systems and Population Health. Firth is also a maternal health advocate, sharing her personal story of severe maternal morbidity (2016) and advocating for improvements to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Previously, she  was the director of public policy at the Community Health Network of Washington, a network of community-based health clinics across the state, and Community Health Plan of Washington, the state’s only safety net health plan. She advocated for Washington State's community health centers for over 10 years and is committed to improving access to health care for uninsured and underserved individuals and families. Firth chairs the board of trustees for Bloodworks Northwest, the regional blood health organization that supplied the blood for her needed transfusions. She received her MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine.

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, as its 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 earned a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, an MPH from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the University of Washington. 

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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 doctorate  in communications from the University of Washington.

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Jeff Lane

Jeff Lane is an assistant professor with the University of Washington Department of Global Health and is a core faculty member with UW's International Training and Education Center for Health. He is the principal investigator  of the Capacity Building for Sustainable HIV Services Program, which implements HIV programs in Botswana, Caribbean, India, Kenya, Mozambique and Ukraine. During his career, Lane has worked to strengthen health policy and regulatory environments in Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States and Zambia. His research interests focus on how policy development and implementation impact public health around the world and specifically on access to essential medicines and health services. Lane received his Juris Doctorate and his MPH from the UW.

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. 

Kathryn Lofy

Kathy Lofy is a clinical instructor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health and a public health consultant. Prior to becoming a consultant, she worked at the Washington State Department of Health for almost 20 years, initially as a communicable disease epidemiologist then as the state health officer and chief science officer from 2014 to 2020. Her areas of expertise include public health practice, health policy, surveillance, epidemiology, public health informatics and leadership. Lofy earned her medical degree at the UCLA School of Medicine and completed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service Program.

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. He's 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.

Julianne Meisner

Julianne Meisner is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and a researcher in the Center for One Health Research. Her research focuses on the intersection of human, animal and environmental health under the One Health framework. Meisner also has strong interests in epi and biostat methods that are uniquely suited to One Health research — including spatial epidemiology, methods for dealing with high-dimensional data and network analysis — and the application of causal inference methods to One Health questions. She has a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington and a doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Edinburgh.

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Paj Nandi 

Paj Nandi is an independent consultant and a clinical faculty member at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health. He recently joined Desautel Hege Communications as associate vice president, where he provides strategic counsel to advance equity-centered communications and DEI practices across the agency. Nandi most recently served as the director of community relations and equity for the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). As an agency leader, he advised the secretary of health, the state health officer, executive and other agency leadership on key equity and community relations issues and represented DOH on the governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities. Paj also served on the Washington State Public Health Association Board for seven years, including as president in 2016–17. More recently, he served on the Health & Wellbeing Curriculum Committee for Leadership Tomorrow in Seattle highlighting public health issues through a racial equity and social justice lens. Nandi earned his MPH from the George Washington University.

Suzinne Pak-Gorstein

Suzinne Pak-Gorstein is an associate professor in the departments of pediatrics and global health (adjunct). She serves on the steering committee for the Academic Pediatrics Association's Global Health Special Interest Group, the Washington State Refugee Health Promotions Program, the New Arrivals Working Group of King County, and Pediatric Academic Societies Planning Committee for the Coalition of Centres in Global Child Health. She co-chairs the American Academy of Pediatric Telehealth Workgroup in Health Equities and serves on the AAP Council on Immigrant Child/Family Health. Her scholarly interests in health equities focus on refugee child health, nutrition and medical education.

Pak-Gorstein co-directs the Resident Education & Advocacy in Child Health (REACH) program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which she co-founded in partnership with the Univeristy of Nairobi. She's worked on program monitoring/evaluation, nutrition surveillance and national surveys in Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Bangladesh and India. She's also an attending physician at Harborview Pediatric Clinic. Pak Gorstein earned her medical degree at Michigan State University, a doctorate in population planning and international health at the University of Michigan and an MPH at the University of Michigan.

Anne Riederer

Anne Riederer is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. She is an environmental health scientist focused on assessing exposures of young children and pregnant women to heavy metals, air pollution pesticides and other environmental neurotoxicants. She also has a professorial lecturer appointment at The George Washington University, where she teaches in the online MPH program. Riederer has previously held positions as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, a research assistant professor and co-director of the Global Environmental Health Program at Emory University and a senior research associate for Hagler Bailly Consulting. She has a doctor of science in environmental health from Harvard University and a master of science in foreign service Georgetown University.

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.

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Maureen Sarewitz

Maureen Sarewitz is a clinical instructor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health and the founder of Acacia Growth & Impact Consulting, a product management and marketing consultancy supporting the growth and strategic priorities of nonprofits and startups. She has worked with a variety of public health organizations, including a nonprofit health tech company that leverages and democratizes data to improve global health outcomes, as well as the Global Health eLearning program at the UW. Sarewitz previously worked at UW's International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) where she supported the capacity building of health care workers in Tanzania and Namibia. She also spent 10 years managing complex projects and initiatives in the technology sector. Sarewitz earned her master's degree in development economics from Tufts University and an MBA from Dartmouth College.

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. 

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Alyson Shumays

Alyson Shumays currently works as a Program Manager at Global WACh, supporting the Gut Health and Child Survival research portfolio. She has over 20 years of experience in global health project and program management. Shumays worked at Akeso Associates, a small consulting firm, mainly supporting organizational development and monitoring and evaluation. She previously worked at UW's International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), where she led teams implementing large health systems to strengthen programs in Tanzania, Namibia and China. Her duties included program and budget management, supervision, training, program design and evaluation. Prior to working at I-TECH, Shumays worked at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies on the Board on Global Health. She also has several years’ experience working as a grant manager at nonprofit organizations and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. Shumays completed her MPH at Johns Hopkins University.

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 doctorate in health services research from the University of Washington.

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