Our Research Team

Qualitative Team

Catherine Brown Johnson, PhD - Qualitative Research Scholar


Cati Brown-Johnson, PhD is a trained mixed methods researcher interested in patient-provider communication. With the ESU, Cati is applying eight years of experience in program evaluation and individual behavior change to explore the impact of system-wide healthcare initiatives on patients. Passionate about health and people, Cati is a social scientist dedicated to using qualitative methods to bring the voice of patients and stakeholders into academic research.

Laura Holdsworth, PhD - Qualitative Research Scholar


Laura has been a qualitative health services researcher since 2006 and is experienced in mixed methods research and evaluation. She uses a range of methods in her work including interviews, focus groups, ethnography, participant observation, document review, survey and literature reviews. Her content areas of focus have been in palliative, end of life, long term and integrated care. Her specific research interest is in understanding the patient experience of health services in order to improve the implementation and delivery of services.


Nadia Safaeinili, MPH- Qualitative Researcher


Nadia Safaeinili, MPH is a Qualitative Researcher in the division of Primary Care and Population Health. Nadia brings experience in project management of innovative community health interventions, as well as quantitative and qualitative research experience as a research assistant on public health research studies at UC Berkeley and New York University. Nadia holds a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and specializes in program development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination.

Heather Z. Mui, MPH- Qualitative Researcher


Heather Mui, MPH, is a Qualitative Researcher and project manager with the Evaluation Sciences Unit. Heather's previous research experience includes quantitative and qualitative research in early childhood education at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and in substance abuse and mental health at the Institute for Scientific Research. Heather received her master’s degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in Sociomedical Sciences and specializes in program and resource development, evaluations, and working with vulnerable and minority populations.

Erika Saliba Gustafsson, MMSc, PhD – Project Manager and Qualitative Researcher


Erika is a project manager and qualitative researcher at the Evaluation Sciences Unit. She is experienced in project management as well as qualitative and quantitative research within the field of infectious diseases and antibiotic use. She has a keen interest in implementation research to improve the delivery of healthcare services. Erika earned her PhD from the Department of Global Public Health at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Her research focused on changing antibiotic prescribing behavior for respiratory tract infections among family doctors in Malta through the implementation of a social marketing behavior change intervention. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in nursing obtained from the University of Malta, Malta.

Quantitative Team

Samantha M.R. Kling, Ph.D., R.D. – Quantitative Research Scientist


Sam is a quantitative researcher focused on evaluating the implementation of quality improvement initiatives for healthcare services in inpatient and outpatient settings. Previously at The Pennsylvania State University and Geisinger, her research focused on ingestive (eating) behavior, childhood obesity prevention, innovations in pediatric clinical and community healthcare, and development of research tools and technologies for these settings. She has experience utilizing data from clinical and community electronic health records and evaluating short-term experimental studies, cross-sectional observational designs, and randomized controlled trials. As a fellow in the USDA’s Childhood Obesity Transdisciplinary Training Program, Sam earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State with a minor focused in human methodology and statistics from the Department of Human Development. She also has a B.S. in Dietetics from Iowa State University and is a Registered Dietitian.

Donn W. Garvert, MS- Biostatistician


Donn Garvert is a Biostatistician working on the Quantitative Team for the Evaluation Sciences Unit. He works primarily with the Improvement Capability Development Program (ICDP), a joint venture between the Department of Quality for Stanford Healthcare and the Stanford School of Medicine. He also provides expertise for the Seed Grant Support for the Division of Primary Care and Population Health (PCPH) faculty. His experience includes quantitative work at the National Center for PTSD and the Division of Infectious Diseases & Geographic Medicine in the Stanford School of Medicine. Donn received his M.S. degree in Biostatistics from the California State University, East Bay.

Darlene Veruttipong, MPH - Research Data Analyst


Darlene Veruttipong, MPH is a data analyst.  She organized and analyzed registry data as an epidemiology intern at the Tanta Cancer Center in Egypt and as data manager at UCLA Radiation Oncology.  Similar to her previous positions, at ESU she will be working on quantitative research projects.  Darlene is dedicated to improving value and integrating data from primary care and public health to enhance quality of life for individuals and communities through research.

Winnie Wu, MPH -Research Data Analyst


Winnie Wu has a MPH degree from University of Southern California. She is a research analyst in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health. She works on Stanford Military Data Repository (SMDR) projects, analyses data related to physical and mental health of active-duty U.S. Army soldiers, extracts administrative data, explores relationship between solider characteristics and administrative data. 

Liberty Greene, MS, MEd - Research Data Analyst


Liberty is a Research Data Analyst in handling large, complex data sets to study health care delivery and patient experience. Her work includes integrating data from multiple systems including the electronic health record (EHR), sample surveys, and common healthcare data models and vocabularies. Liberty works on several projects with the Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i) at VA Palo Alto. Liberty holds an M.S. in survey methodology from the University of Maryland and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University.

Research Coordination

Mae Verano, BA - Research Coordinator


Mae Verano serves as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Evaluation Sciences Unit. Their work include patient recruitment, survey distribution, and qualitative interviewing for clinical research within the ESU's portfolio. Their research interests lie at the intersection of Public Health and Ethnic Studies, particularly how vulnerable populations experience and understand their relationship to health.

ESU Operations and Administration

Anna Sophia Lestoquoy, MPH - Research Operations Manager


Anna Lestoquoy, MPH is a Research Operations Manager in the Evaluation Sciences Unit.  Her previous work in health services research has involved projects on chronic pain, integrative health approaches, and cross-cultural mental health at the Boston Medical Center and Cambridge Health Alliance.  Anna’s experience includes research project management as well as quantitative and qualitative techniques. She holds a Master’s of Public Health degree from Boston University School of Public Health in community health sciences.

Robert Kato, BA - Research Administrator


Robert Kato is a Research Administrator in the Evaluation Sciences Unit. His work includes coordinating the review process and monitoring for PCPH Seed Grants, as well as assisting with other administrative tasks. He previously worked at PAVIR, where he worked with a team of analysts for large grants that were conducted at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.