Analyst Team - Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)
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Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)


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Analyst Team

Bob Handley, PhD

Bob Handley, PhD, has worked as a Data Analyst for CIVIC since 2018. Prior to CIVIC, he was the Director of Strategic Analysis and Reporting at Washburn University from 2013-2018. He taught at the University of Denver from 2010-2013, and earned his PhD from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas in 2010.

Alex Hickok, MS

Alex Hickok, MS, is a Biostatistician and joined CIVIC in 2016. He primarily works with Dr. Hynes evaluating VA Community Care services and Care Coordination and their impacts on patient outcomes. Alex also works with fMRI data using machine learning techniques to investigate substance use disorders and treatments. He has also specialized in understanding and utilizing Community Care data sources within the VA. He received a MS in Biostatistics from Oregon Health & Sciences University and a BA in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College.

Beth Hooker, MS, MPH

Elizabeth Hooker, MS, MPH, joined the Portland VA and CIVIC in 2017 as a Biostatistician. She works with many of the Core Investigators, Fellows, and their teams throughout the research process, from study design and statistical support on grants, to complex data analysis and manuscript preparation. She also enjoys working one-on-one with colleagues to provide guidance around statistical concepts and using statistical programs. One of her primary goals is to make analysis accessible and understandable to all. Her interest in research began in 2010 with ethnographic fieldwork for her MS Conflict Resolution degree. A curiousity about combining this experience with quantitative research led her to OHSU's MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics program, where she graduated in 2015.

Lorie Jacob, ScM

R. Lorie Jacob, ScM is a data analyst working on research exploring the impact of Community Care Organizations on veterans’ health and access to care; and on the VA Evidence-Based Synthesis Program, piloting the use of VA data in the evidence synthesis process. Lorie joined CIVIC on October, 2019. Her previous research experience includes examining frailty in end stage renal disease patients with the Johns Hopkins Kidney Transplant team, studying health systems effectiveness at OHSU, to exploring access to care in the safety net population at OCHIN.

Lorie received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Master of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her interests turned to HIV epidemiology and resulted in a mixed methods thesis about high infectious risk kidney donor transplantation, incorporating multilevel modeling and focus group research methods to describe practices and attitudes around high risk kidney donation.

Megan Lafferty, PhD

Megan Lafferty, PhD, is an anthropologist and qualitative methodologist at CIVIC. She has worked in health services research since 2017, specializing in qualitative data collection and analysis that draws on methods such as ethnography, focus groups, interviews and video reflexive ethnography. Before joining CIVIC, she worked at the University of Michigan School of Nursing on a variety of mixed-methods projects aimed at improving clinician communication and quality of patient care within inpatient and ambulatory oncology settings. Dr. Lafferty’s research interests include ethnography, gender, masculinities, intimacy, and interpersonal social and kin relationships. She received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Melbourne, MA in political science from San Diego State University and BS in public relations and psychology from the University of Florida.

Summer Newell, PhD, MPH

Summer Newell, PhD, MPH is a sociologist and qualitative methodologist, serving at CIVIC since 2014. She has supported a variety of research projects within the VA, including two QUERI-funded partnered evaluation centers looking at (1) efforts to integrate interprofessional education into primary care clinics and the (2) outcomes associated with the VA Innovator’s Network. Other projects have included research aimed at improving and expanding care for woman-identified veterans, including those experiencing interpersonal violence. Other research interests include the experiences of corrections-involved individuals, in particular during the transition period following incarceration. She holds an MPH and a PhD (Sociology) from Portland State University, and a BS (Psychology; Women’s Studies) from the University of Oregon.

Meike Niederhausen, PhD

Meike Niederhausen, PhD is a CIVIC Affiliate Investigator and Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in the OHSU-PSU School of Public at Oregon Health & Science University. She has been conducting health services research at the VA since 2017, designing and analyzing a wide range of studies. Dr. Niederhausen is a faculty advisor for OHSU’s Biostatistics & Design Program and teaches graduate biostatistics courses for the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. She completed her MS in Statistics and PhD in Mathematics at Purdue University.

Allison O'Neill, MPH

Allison O'Neill, MPH has trained in epidemiology, survey methodology, and sociology. Her career in research began in 2006 and progressed to healthcare research in 2010. She has assisted in the development, execution and analyses of many substance abuse studies and continues to pursue this topic as an interest. She has also contributed to research into gender identity and its role in gaps in health care coverage, as well as PTSD, comorbidity algorithms, infectious diseases, and medical marijuana use. Her BA was completed at Washington State University and her MPH was completed at Boston University.

Jennifer Scott, MS

Jennifer Y. Scott, MS has been contributing to VA research as a Data Analyst since 2007, after receiving her Master’s in Statistics, and joined CIVIC in 2020. She has also provided programming and analytic support to the Women’s Health Clinical Research Center at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC) at Stanford University, and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Her current VA work includes a mixed methods study aimed to improve critical care for veterans hospitalized with acute respiratory failure. She also supports the Health Economics Resource Center (HERC) at VA Palo Alto, where her work focuses on an economic evaluation of a national telehealth program established to increase veteran access to primary and mental health care.

Sarah Shull, PhD

Sarah Shull, PhD, is a CIVIC Health Services Research Data Analyst supporting multiple CIVIC research projects, primarily through cohort identification and preparation of analytic data sets utilizing VA Electronic Health Record data. Dr. Shull trained in cognitive linguistics and has worked in clinical data management and database programming for clinical trials across a wide spectrum of treatment areas, including metabolic disease, oncology, gastroenterology, and dementia. She has worked in Electronic Health Record-based research since 2012. Her interests include database programming and design, linguistics, natural language processing, cognitive science, and mental health. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Two Domestic Felines.

You can contact Sarah Shull by email at