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Evidence-Based Practice Center

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Faculty and Staff

Melissa McPheeters, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dr. McPheeters, Director of the EPC, is also a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and General Medicine and Public Health and the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Population Health Sciences . She is trained in scientific writing and research and epidemiology. Dr. McPheeters is an expert in evidence-based medicine, systematic reviews, and comparative effectiveness. Her work combines research translation and policy, including the role of stakeholders in CER, with the use of large databases and conduct of systematic reviews. She completed her PhD in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, led systematic reviews at the CDC as a coordinating scientist for the Guide to Community Preventive Services, and has led numerous complex projects at the EPC. This center conducts systematic reviews, technical briefs and future research projects on topics of high importance. Dr. McPheeters oversees all methods and methodologic training at the center, is the lead on engaging stakeholders and managing communication, guides topic development and refinement and leads individual reviews. She leads all dissemination efforts of the Center, and is the primary liaison for development of clinician and patient guides and CME materials based on the Center’s reviews. In addition to her work with the EPC, Dr. McPheeters is the program director of V-POCKET, Vanderbilt’s AHRQ-funded K12 award to train junior investigators in patient-centered outcomes research.

Aileen Ciampa, JD 
Ms. Ciampa is a Program Manager with the EPC.  After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center, Ms. Ciampa advised healthcare industry clients on regulatory compliance before joining the Food and Drug Administration.  While at FDA, Ms. Ciampa collaborated with medical and scientific staff on a number of public health policy initiatives.  She leverages that background to support  the EPC’s programs and reviews. 

Nila A. Sathe, M.A., M.L.I.S. 
Ms. Sathe is the Assistant Director of the Vanderbilt University EPC and holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Health Policy . She joined the EPC team in June of 2009, bringing with her expertise in communication, project management, organization, and appraisal of the literature. As a program manager and Assistant Director for the EPC she orchestrates the various phases of evidence reviews and works closely with methods and content leads and project coordinators to ensure that reviews are on track and participates as an investigator on review teams. She also contributes to literature abstracting and content development and contributes knowledge from her background in information science and informatics.

Katherine E. Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Hartmann is a Senior Fellow (founding Director) of the Vanderbilt University EPC and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is also the Deputy Director of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, where she serves as Director of Women´s Health Research, and as the Lucius E. Burch Vice Chair of Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Hartmann is a health care and reproductive epidemiologist. She received her medical training as well as a master´s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her residency and doctoral training in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina. She was the founding director of the Center for Women´s Health Research at the University of North Carolina before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University in 2006.

Shanthi Krishnaswami MBBS., M.P.H.
Dr. Krishnaswami is a Staff Scientist in the EPC and a physician by training (India) with a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology (infectious diseases) from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She has worked in various roles in several research projects in areas including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, hemophilia, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, spinal cord injury surveillance, clinical depression, and hypertension and the elderly. Dr. Krishnaswami has many years of electronic data management and statistical analysis experience, spanning literature reviews to managing and analyzing data to summarizing results for conferences and papers. Dr. Krishnaswami has coauthored several journal articles in the past 15+ years. Her medical background combined with her epidemiology training and extensive research experience in many fields of medicine will be helpful across the evidence review process.

Tanya Surawicz, MPH 
Ms. Surawicz is a staff scientist in the EPC and an epidemiologist by training (University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health). She has worked on evidence reviews for autism treatments in 2-12 year olds, strategies to prevent Cesarean sections, and primary care management of abnormal uterine bleeding. Prior to joining the EPC, she worked on a variety of research projects, including a brain tumor registry, a study of diet and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and a variety of other chronic disease research projects. She has extensive experience in data management, data analysis, and has co-authored 20 journal articles.

Shannon Potter, M.L.I.S.
Ms. Potter joined the EPC in September of 2010, as a program manager. As a trained medical librarian, Ms. Potter brings expertise in navigating the medical literature and applying knowledge resources to inform clinical decision making. Ms. Potter has worked on various projects within the Vanderbilt Medical Center supporting evidence based practice and patient health information needs. Most recently, in her role as a protocol analyst for the medical center´s Institutional Review Board, Ms. Potter facilitated the submission and review of biomedical research to ensure that individual studies included appropriate protections for research subjects under federal regulations and institutional policies.

Katie Worley, M.L.I.S.
Ms. Worley joined the EPC team in February of 2012, as a program manager. She graduated from the University of Denver in 2011, with a degree in Library and Information Science, specializing in Archives and Records Management. Mrs. Worley has worked in various roles in library sciences, including recent work as a Project Archivist at the American Alpine Club Library & Archives in Golden, Colorado. She worked concurrently in Technical Services at the University of Colorado, Denver Auraria Library. Ms. Worley’s current role at the EPC includes managing future research needs projects, topic refinement projects, archiving and organization of existing documentation, and coordinating special projects.

Sanura Latham, B.S. 
Ms. Latham joined the Evidence-based Practice Center in March 2011. Originally from Washington, DC, she graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in Health Sciences (with a concentration in Public Health). Previously she worked at TSU as an administrative assistant in an academic department and handled all aspects of office management. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Memphis. Her previous background in administrative processes coupled with her public health knowledge has prepared her for the detailed and involved work to support staff and faculty at the EPC.

Jessica Kimber, B.S.
Ms. Kimber joined the Vanderbilt EPC in December 2013. She graduated from Belmont University with a degree in psychology. Her background in psychological research as an undergraduate student and lab assistant has prepared her for her role as a research analyst working on various projects at the EPC.