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Yale Team

Leadership

  • Executive Director

    Hilary Hahn, EdM, MPH, is a Research Scientist at the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine. Ms. Hahn comes to the Elevate team from the Childhood Violent Trauma Center at Yale, where she was the Project Director for Yale’s site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dedicated to early intervention and a strong believer in building innovative forms of social support, Ms. Hahn has led training initiatives in trauma-informed policing and supported national dissemination of the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI). Ms. Hahn holds a Master’s in Educational Administration and Social Policy from Harvard and a Master’s in Public Health. Ms. Hahn is currently serving on the Elevate team as the Executive Director.

  • Senior Research Scientist

    B. Suzi Ruhl, JD, MPH, is a Senior Research Scientist at Elevate Policy Lab and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. Ms. Ruhl joins Elevate from her previous position, Senior Counsel for the US EPA Office of Environmental Justice, where she served as Co-Chair of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Committee of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJIWG), Co-Chair of the Rural Communities Committee of the EJIWG, and as Chair of the Subcommittee on Place Based Efforts for the EJIWG. Her work has focused on advancing triple bottom line (i.e. environmental, health and economic) justice by integrating environmental justice in agency decision-making, supporting community-based action, and fostering administration wide action that promotes healthy, equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities for overburdened and underserved populations. Ms. Ruhl co-founded Brownfields to Healthfields (B2H), a community driven, multi-stakeholder approach to transform contaminated properties into community spaces that meet essential needs (e.g. health care, food security, physical activity).  She also co-produced an analytical methodology for advancing consideration of environmental justice, including the human environment, in environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act. See Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews.

     

    Suzi brings her expertise on triple bottom line and community driven approaches to the Elevate team with a focus on centering environmental justice in the lab’s mission to promoting social and economic mobility for families living in poverty.  

     

    In addition to her law degree, Ms. Ruhl has a master’s degree in Public Health (Epidemiology). She is admitted to the bars of the Northern District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Core Staff

  • Research Manager

    Laura Callinan, MPH, is the Research Manger at Elevate. Ms. Callinan comes to the Elevate team after supporting the MOMS Partnership’s® work in New Haven through data collection, organization, management and analysis. Ms. Callinan earned a Master of Public Health from Emory University where she worked with the Centers for Disease Control in infectious disease research. She is excited to continue her work with the MOMS Partnership as Elevate expands programming.

  • Operations Manager

    Kari Cifarelli, MPH, is the Operations Manager for Elevate Policy Lab and the New Haven MOMS Partnership. Kari has worked in the research field for the past 12 years focusing on women’s mental health. Kari manages the overall operations of the office, and is responsible for supporting organizational processes, and to assist with the quality, productivity and efficiency of Dr. Megan Smith’s programs. Kari also supervises the research mission of the New Haven MOMS Partnership and works to provide the utmost of leadership to research staff. Kari is passionate about this work because she believes that mental health is critical at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence, through adulthood.

  • Special Assistant

    Annie Du, BA, is a Special Assistant at Elevate, where she supports operations across implementation & scaling, evaluation, policy, and communications. Annie earned her undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism. In seeking a niche in the expansive field of public health, Annie has engaged in multiple leadership roles through the American Public Health Association Student Assembly. She has also served in internship roles in adolescent health and surveillance, and more recently, in environmental testing for SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens at a biotechnology company. Annie’s research experience prior to Elevate includes laboratory work in elucidating the pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma as well as support of a project pertaining to interprofessional education amongst health professions and social work students. Annie’s involvement in mental health care began with her volunteer experience providing crisis prevention and intervention to texters through Crisis Text Line, and her interest in this field continues to grow and intersect with her passion for health equity and women’s health.

  • MOMS Partnership® Research and Evaluation Administrator

    Caroline Posner, BA, is an Administrator of Research & Evaluation for MOMS Partnership® Scaling at Elevate, coordinating research and evaluation work for scaling MOMS to new sites. Previously Caroline served as a Special Assistant at Elevate, contributing to research, communications, and administrative activities. Caroline earned her undergraduate degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience at Yale, where she engaged in activism for campus mental healthcare reform and published about her own experiences with mental illness and healthcare. Prior to Elevate, her research experience included laboratory work in the neuroscience of decision-making as well as adolescent cognitive development, in addition to work on the comparative history of the brain sciences in the United States and Soviet Union. Caroline is interested in the relationships between social exclusion, mental health, and the social reproduction of inequality, and is passionate about community-driven approaches to research and evaluation.

  • Senior Specialist for Policy Innovation and Impact

    Caroline Simmons, MA, is the Senior Specialist for Policy Innovation and Impact at Elevate, where she leads Elevate's policy portfolio to create a supportive policy environment to enhance the goals of the MOMS Partnership. Caroline is also currently serving in her third term in the Connecticut General Assembly as a State Representative from Stamford, CT. Caroline previously worked at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as Director of Special Projects in the Office of the Counterterrorism Coordinator, and at the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford, CT as a Program Specialist supporting entrepreneurial training programs for women across CT. She has also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Wesleyan University, where she taught State and Local Government. Caroline holds a BA in Government from Harvard University and an MA in Middle East Studies from George Washington University.

  • Special Assistant

    Seeyashree (Seeya) Sodani, BS, is a Special Assistant at Elevate, where she supports operations across implementation & scaling, evaluation, policy, and communications. Seeya earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Finance and with a minor in Analytics. Outside of her work at Elevate, she serves as the Executive Officer & Founding Board Member for Medical Minds Matter, Inc., a volunteer-led startup nonprofit organization that seeks to transform the narrative of mental health in the medical field through storytelling, community-building, and grassroots advocacy efforts. In addition to her health advocacy experience, she brings a strong business acumen through prior internships across multiple industries and her first post-graduate role at Liberty Mutual. Seeya is passionate about challenging cultural stigmas surrounding mental health specifically in marginalized communities while driving equity and transparency across mental health systems.

  • Implementation Team Lead & Project Specialist for Scaling Strategy and Development

    Maria Sperduto, MPH, is the Implementation Team Lead & Project Specialist for Scaling Strategy and Development. In this role, Maria leads the Elevate implementation team in tailoring and establishing the MOMS Partnership® model with government and community partners in emerging scaling sites. Maria earned her MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Yale School of Public Health, during which she also worked for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to develop and conduct research on an app-based program for young adults. Previously, Maria was a Presidential Fellow at Dartmouth College, where she helped launch The Student Wellness Center to advance campus-wide, research-based, wellbeing interventions. She became the first Wellness Program Coordinator there. Maria is also a Program Consultant to the Good Life Center at Yale. She is interested in interventions to nudge psychosocial and democratic wellbeing, build social capital across identity divides, and transform population level trends in mental health. Maria holds a certificate in Political Psychology from Stanford University and a BA in Sociology modified with Global Health from Dartmouth College.

  • Associate Research Scientist

    Keitra Thompson, DNP, MSN, MHS, APRN, is an Associate Research Scientist at Elevate, contributing to the lab’s scaling and evaluation of the MOMS Partnership. She joins Elevate after completing a two-year post-doctoral fellowship as a VA scholar in the National Clinician Scholars Program at Yale School of Medicine. During her fellowship, Keitra served as an affiliated post-doctoral fellow with Elevate, leading efforts to qualitatively evaluate the MOMS Partnership at scaling sites across three different states. In her current role, she will primarily lead Elevate’s efforts to scale the MOMS Partnership to serve the needs of mothers and children impacted by the U.S. criminal legal system. As a dually board-certified family and psychiatric nurse practitioner, Keitra brings her insights providing community-based clinical care to the work of Elevate. She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Nursing Leadership from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a Master of Health Science in Health Services Research from Yale School of Medicine. 


  • Program Administrator

    Isabel Torres, BA, is a Program Administrator at Elevate. In this role, she works on the implementation team to tailor, adapt, and scale the MOMS Partnership® with government and community partners. She also conducts qualitative research as part of program evaluation. She first joined Elevate as a Special Assistant, working closely with the Executive Director to support operations across implementation, policy, and communications. Isabel earned her undergraduate degree from Williams College in Critical Health Studies, a self-designed interdisciplinary major focused on engaging health and medicine in and through fields such as neuroscience, sociology, and anthropology. She has experience in ethnographic research and neuroimaging research on complex psychiatric disorders. Isabel previously taught science curriculum in elementary schools, working with peers and community leaders to develop and broaden conversations on trauma-informed practices in education. She is also passionate about reproductive health and justice, serving as a doula in her local community.

  • MOMS Partnership® Research and Evaluation Administrator

    Elizabeth Yeh, PhD, is a MOMS Partnership® Research and Evaluation Administrator at Elevate, where she helps drive the research and evaluation work of scaling MOMS outside of New Haven. She is a developmental psychologist with deep experience in research, assessment and program evaluation. During her career, Elizabeth has evaluated publicly funded programs for low-income populations in both the academic and private sectors. She earned a Ph.D. in Child Psychology at the Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She has co-authored several articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Child Development and Social Development. Elizabeth has a passion for using data to better the lives of parents and children in underserved populations.

Fellows & Interns

  • Elevate Postdoctoral Fellow

    Jennifer Morone, PhD, MA-ATR, BS-RN, is a post-doctoral fellow and VA scholar in the National Clinician Scholars Program at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Morone is a pediatric trained nurse scientist, and former mental health clinician, devoted to the pursuit of social justice and health equity for all families. Her program of research seeks to assess and address structural and systemic barriers and social determinants that contribute to pediatric racial health disparities through community-based participatory approaches, policy development and evaluation, and practice change. Focal areas of work include examining provider discrimination, enhancing social capital in vulnerable families, and the use, evaluation, and payment of community health worker approaches with vulnerable families. Dr. Morone joins the Elevate team as an Elevate Post-Doctoral Fellow.

Elevate-Affiliated Researchers