Core Team

Waridibo (Wari) Allison MD, PhD, FACP, CPE, FIDSA

Principal Investigator/ Program Director

Dr. Waridibo Allison is Vice President of Health Policy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) and Executive Director of their Center for Health Policy. She directs the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded National Rural Telementoring Training Center. Dr. Allison is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease with a PhD in Public Health and Community Medicine. Broadly, her work encompasses access to health care and work force development and support for underserved populations. Her work has received consistent federal funding for several years and she is Principal Investigator and Clinical Director of the HSC South Central AIDS Education Training Center and directs the Integration of the National HIV Curriculum e-learning Platform into Health Care Professions Programs project.

Jim Bridges, BS

Database Manager

Mr. Bridges supports all aspects of data management for the RTTC including REDCap database building. He has worked in data management for over 36 years. Previously at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Mr. Bridges helped develop PEDSYS a pedigree-based database. He built and maintained several data files for pedigree information retrieval and analysis. He also coordinated data from several different laboratories and institutions for large program projects. Within the RTTC, Mr. Bridges builds and manages several REDCap databases. Mr. Bridges has also been involved in innovative ways of utilizing REDCap for the UT Health San Antonio ECHO program and the TACKLE HIV/HCV program.

Erin Finley, PhD, MPH

Implementation Science Co-Investigator

Dr. Finley is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio, and a Research Investigator with the Center for the Study of Implementation, Innovation, and Policy (CSHIIPP) at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Healthcare System. Dr. Finley is a medical anthropologist, health services researcher and implementation scientist with expertise in mixed methodology, evaluation, and the implementation of evidence-based practices in inpatient and outpatient settings. She contributes D&I methodological expertise to the RTTC and guides its implementation evaluation efforts.

Erin Finley Headshot

Erin Halvey, BA

Senior Communications Specialist

Erin Halvey is the Senior Communications Specialist for RTTC. Erin works to amplify the project through communications, storytelling, and outreach. She serves in the same role for the Center for Health Policy in the Division of Research and Innovation at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) where she supports a variety of other projects.

Charde’ Jones

Senior Administrative Coordinator

Ms. Charde’ Jones serves as the Senior Administrator, Executive Support for the Center for Health Policy in the Division of Research and Innovation. Ms. Jones joined the UNT Health Science Center in 2018 and has served in various office management roles assisting high-level executives, facilitating all aspects of internal and external communications and coordinating special projects. As part of her experience, Ms. Jones has helped improve office procedures, managed office budget tracking systems all while maintaining a high degree of excellent customer care.

Keito Kawasaki, MPH

Research Associate

Ms. Kawasaki supports all components of the RTTC including administration and communication, training and technical assistance, evaluation and policy and dissemination.  She supports program data collection and analysis of its implementation and communication activities as well as contributing to scholarly output. She graduated from Tulane University School of Public Health with an MPH, with a focus on global health. Her research interests include HIV, hepatitis C, social determinants of health, health systems strengthening, health program management, and program monitoring and evaluation. Prior to coming to the United States, she lived in Japan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. She embraces diversity and as a RTTC team member, she is eager to contribute to improving access to quality healthcare for all who need it regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, and socio-economic status.

Keito Headshot

Sarah Lill, MA

Business Operations Lead

Ms. Lill oversees the business and administrative operations of the RTTC. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and an MA in Arts Management from George Mason University.  Ms. Lill has provided overall management and oversight of financial and administrative operations of the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) at UT Health San Antonio since 2016 and has over a decade of experience in financial and budgetary management, strategic management, entrepreneurship, and public relations in non-profit and higher education settings

Charles Mathias, PhD

Policy Co-Investigator

Dr. Mathias is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio.  His research focuses on improving health outcomes stemming from behavioral health risk and its interaction with community systems.  His policy work applies a Culture of Health Framework in promoting solutions for population well-being through cross-sector collaboration.  He is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship, Dr. Mathias guides RTTC activities related to strategic communication and health policy.

Trisha Melhado, MPH

Evaluation Staff Lead

Ms. Melhado leads evaluation efforts across the RTTC, including the development of telementoring quality measures, an evaluation toolkit, and dissemination of program findings. As a Senior Research Scientist, she brings experience in various research roles, where she provides research guidance to faculty and residents on all aspects of the research process with an emphasis on study methodology and statistical analysis. She has collaborated with faculty from multiple institutions to implement multi-year grant funded projects and has worked on CPRIT, DOD, and HRSA funded grants as well as provided analytical and statistical expertise to projects. She has presented research at local and national conferences in addition to co-authoring several publications based on her analytical contributions.

Jason Rosenfeld, DrPH, MPH

CHC Co-Investigator

Dr. Rosenfeld is an Assistant Professor of Medicine/Research and the Assistant Director of Global Health Education for the Center for Medical Humanities at UT Health San Antonio’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine. He has dedicated his career to empowering under-resourced communities around the world with the knowledge, skills, and social support to address health disparities and inequities using Community-Based Participatory Research approaches. Dr. Rosenfeld has 20 years of experience collaborating with community health workers in Africa, the Caribbean and South Texas to implement and evaluate community-based health promotion programs that focus on water, sanitation and hygiene, reproductive and sexual health, nutrition and physical activity, and infectious disease prevention. For the RTTC, Dr. Rosenfield guides the adaptation of the Community Health Club (CHC) telementoring model into an all-virtual format designed to educate and empower rural health workers.

Jason Rosenfeld Headshot

Blake Ross, MPH

Research Assistant

Blake Ross is a Research Assistant at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Department of Research and Innovation, Center for Health Policy. He earned his Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from UNTHSC.  As a part of his MPH practicum, Mr. Ross spent time working with urban farming projects and discount food events in Southeast Fort Worth and gathered extensive data on the food inventory of vendors across Tarrant County.  From these experiences, his professional desire is to contribute to innovative and multifaceted approaches to building healthier and more resilient communities.

Suyen Schneegans, MA

TTA Staff Lead

Suyen Schneegans is a Research Scientist for the Rural Telementoring Training Center at the Research to Advance Community Health at UT Health San Antonio. Suyen has been with UT Health San Antonio since 2004. She has a MA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in Bicultural Bilingual Studies with a concentration in Cultural Studies and is a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word with a BA in Spanish, Literature and Language and a minor is Psychology. Ms. Schneegans has worked on various social science projects pertaining to substance use disorders, community health, and screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment (SBIRT). She is also a qualitative researcher and has presented at numerous local and national conferences and co-authored several publications.