Justine Budhram, MA
Justine Budhram is the Staff Assistant for the Department. She has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance. In addition to her work for DHDPS, she has been teaching yoga for 12 years and is the owner and director of Ananda Yoga. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and playing keyboard with her rock band, riding her motorcycle, and traveling with her husband and son.
Aubri A. Drake, MSW, MLS
Aubri Drake is the Research Manager for the Department. They graduated summa cum laude from Southern Connecticut State University with a BA in Psychology, and earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Library Science degree from Southern Connecticut State University.
Aubri has a background in social-behavioral research, including research related to adolescent pregnancy prevention with young fathers, faith-based Type 2 diabetes prevention for those with pre-diabetes, and rapid rehousing for those experiencing homelessness. They manage all aspects of projects and administration within DHDPS—such as federal grant submissions, grant management, budgets, IRB, data requests, and project management.
Julianna Eve, PhD, MS
Juli Eve is a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Department. She has a PhD in Kinesiology from UMass Amherst where she specialized in balance and movement training to improve quality of life in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). During her time at UMass she worked as a graduate researcher on a number of different MS studies ranging from: measuring the balance and walking changes that occur due to MS; assessing the dual task impact on standing balance while texting in MS; analyzing possible measures for earlier detection of MS progression; and evaluating the use of mindfulness training (Tai Chi or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) to improve well-being and standing balance in people with MS. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing martial arts (Tae Kwon Do and Yang style Tai Chi), reading, and going on adventures with her family.
M. Kamal Faridi, MPH
Kamal Faridi is a biostatistician at the Department. Kamal has a master’s degree in Public Health in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health. He has previously worked at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Kamal has experience with creating and managing large databases, including diverse study designs and statistical analyses. His work includes using large administrative data sets such as Medicare, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) family of databases as well as survey data including Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registries, the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS).
Sara Hazeltine is a Clinical Research Assistant at the Department. She graduated from Western New England University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Chemistry. While at WNEU, Sara focused her studies on how academic stress effects the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis function. Sara has been at Baystate Health since 2017, first in the Emergency Department and now within DHDPS.
Outside of school and work, Sara was a Student Ambassador in the Office of Admissions, Dance Team President, Spring Event Public Relations Chairperson, and was a Woman in Sports Day teacher/mentor. She studied abroad in South Africa, focusing on apartheid history and its current social and political effects. She participated in service trips doing Hurricane Harvey relief in Beaumont Texas, and the NOLA Tree Project in New Orleans Louisiana.
Briana Jurkowski is a Clinical Research Assistant at the Department. She graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Pre-Medical Studies. While at UMass, Briana participated in Baystate’s Summer Scholars Program, worked as an intern to Dr. Peacock-Chambers, as well as completed a student practicum. During that time at Baystate, she worked on several research projects, focusing on interventions to promote early childhood development among families with history of substance abuse, and is a co-author on the manuscript “Engagement in Early Intervention Services among Mothers in Recovery from Opioid Use Disorders” in Pediatrics.
Briana is currently working for the Department on multiple grants. One grant is focused on Medicare Accountable Care Organizations and improving outcomes for patients with heart failure. She is also working on a pilot randomized controlled trial implementing a program for mothers in recovery from substance use disorders, Mothering from the Inside Out, into existing home-visiting services such as Early Intervention. She plans on taking the Medical College Admissions Test and applying to medical school.
Rajashree Kotejoshyer, ScD, MS
Raj Kotejoshyer is a Research Project Manager at the Department. She has a background in Physical Therapy, with a master’s degree in Allied Health Sciences/Health Promotion from UConn Storrs. Her doctoral work at UMass Lowell and post-doctoral fellowship work at UConn Health focused on occupational injury, epidemiology, and occupational health interventions for healthcare and correctional workplaces. Raj is a mixed methods researcher with experience in intervention evaluation and has published numerous scientific journal articles. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, photography, and adventures with her family.
Kyle McAnally is a Clinical Research Assistant at the Department. He has a BS in Geographic Information Systems from the University of North Alabama and has completed classes through the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical program at Northeastern University. Kyle previously spent 5 years working on multiple Urologic quality of life and biomarker research studies for prostate, kidney, and bladder cancer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Kyle is currently working at the DHDPS on a grant focused on identifying and refining implementation strategies to increase heart failure patient’s use of cardiac rehabilitation.
Aruna Priya, PhD(c), MA, MSc
Aruna Priya is a biostatistician with the Department. She has graduate degrees in Statistics (Operations Research) from the University of Hyderabad in India and in Biostatistics from the University at Buffalo in New York. Before joining DHDPS, Aruna was employed as a statistician for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, NY.
She has experience working with large administrative databases as well as RCTs, and studies on in-house databases collected by individual physician researchers. She is a coauthor on several of the Department's published papers and also serves as a peer reviewer for various journals. She is associated with work that focuses on research in healthcare quality while her additional statistical interests include statistical modeling, multivariate statistics, experimental design, statistical inference and machine learning methods.
Karen L. Riska, PhD, MS
Karen Riska is a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Department. She holds a PhD in Kinesiology from UMass Amherst where she received a grant from the American College of Sports Medicine to examine AKT1 single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with body composition. She received a Master’s of Science in Exercise Science from St. Cloud State University in MN.
Prior to her arrival at DHDPS, she was teaching classes in Anatomy, Motor Learning, and Kinesiology at Smith College. While there, she also advised graduate and undergraduate research projects; the most recent was focused on examining the validity and reliability of a wireless EEG system during eccentric exercise and as an outcome measure of delayed onset muscle soreness. When not at work, she enjoys volunteering with Girls on the Run and being active with her family.
Meng-Shiou Shieh, PhD
Meng-Shiou Shieh is a biostatistician with the Department. She received her PhD in statistics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before coming to DHDPS, she worked as a statistical consultant where she proofread and verified formulas for the study, "Measurement Error: Models, Methods and Applications,” published March 4, 2010 by John Buonaccorsi.
She is also a coauthor with Charles M. Schweik and Robert English for Chapters 9 and 10 of “The Success and Abandonment of Open Source Commons,” MIT Press, Spring 2012. Her recent work focuses on application of analytic methods appropriate for use with large observational databases like the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and Premier, Inc.’s Perspective.