Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, obtained funding for ECHORN and oversees all aspects of the project. Dr. Nunez-Smith is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Core Faculty in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, and Research Faculty at Yale’s Global Health Leadership Initiative. She is also an Associate Professor in the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Department at the Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Nunez-Smith’s research focuses on promoting healthcare equity for vulnerable populations with an emphasis on healthcare workforce development, patient assessment of healthcare experiences, and healthcare system strengthening to address chronic disease in low and middle resource settings. She is the principal investigator on several NIH and foundation-funded research projects.
Dr. Peter Adams attended school in Guyana, before going to Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London where he obtained a BSc in Biochemistry. He was appointed lecturer in Family Medicine in 2002 and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Cave Hill in 2008. He coordinates both the undergraduate and postgraduate Family Medicine teaching at this campus. His research interests are chronic non-communicable diseases (diabetes, hypertension and obesity) and sexually transmitted infections.
Dr. Cruz Nazario-Delgado, PhD obtained a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health. She is a tenured Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico and teaches graduate courses on epidemiological methods, cancer epidemiology, and community research. She has mentored several doctoral and Master in Science in Epidemiology students. Dr. Nazario has over 35 years of experience in health services research, outreach, and education in Puerto Rico and the United States and has published extensively in the areas of chronic disease epidemiology and disease detection and monitoring.
Dr. Maxine Nunez, DPH, MPH, MSN, CNE, RN is professor of nursing at the University of the Virgin Islands and former Academic Dean of the St. Thomas Campus. She studied community health/public health administration and research at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene where she earned her doctorate. Research activities include serving as research core director of the EXPORT center and Exploratory Center from 2004 to 2009 at UVI. During this time she mentored junior researchers, reviewed research proposals and designed and conducted her own research study in the area of diabetes self-management in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the first study of its kind in the territory. Through the research activities of ECHORN she intends to counter the negative impact of the spiraling occurrences of NCDs and their complications.
Dr. Rohan Maharaj is a graduate of the St Augustine (BSc), Mona (MB, BS) and Cave Hill (DM) campuses and a Family Physician in private practice since 1989. He also completed his Master of Health Sciences (Family Medicine) at the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians since 2009. Dr. Maharaj has been a lecturer since 2000, a Senior Lecturer since 2009 at the St. Augustine campus where he has worked to develop the MSc and DM in Family Medicine and the Master of Public Health. His research has been focused on depression and other psychosocial issues in primary health care.
Dr. Josefa Martinez received her Master of Health Sciences degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her doctoral degree from Yale University. She is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and the Director of the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN) Coordinating Center.
Her research interest is in maternal and child public health nutrition, specifically, how community-based behavior change, health communication, and systems-level interventions can be used to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g., breastfeeding) and the effects these interventions have on reducing the risk of overweight and obesity across the life cycle. Her current work and previous experience (at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence – formerly the Health, Emotion, & Behavior Lab) focuses on the application of social and behavioral theory to interventions designed to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors. She is also interested in the use of process and summative evaluation approaches to assess the quality and effectiveness of evidence-based public health programming. Her dissertation examined the consequences of excess gestational weight gain and the predictors of exclusive breastfeeding in low-income minority women.