People

Faculty

Contact:

Email: enguidan@usc.edu
Office Phone: (213) 740-9822

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Susan Enguídanos, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor of Gerontology

Susan Enguídanos, PhD, MPH, is an associate professor of gerontology at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California (USC).  Enguídanos conducts research in the field of palliative care, including a home-based model that is currently being implemented in myriad health care settings. She has conducted extensive research in investigating ethnic variation in access to and use of hospice care, work that led to the development and implementation of theoretically-driven interventions aimed at improving access to hospice care for these populations. Enguídanos is currently working on evaluating community-based models of palliative care implemented in primary care settings. She obtained her bachelors in psychology at UCLA, her master’s degree in public health at California State University, Long Beach, and her doctoral degree in social work at USC.

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Contact:

Email: rahma@usc.edu
Office Phone: (213) 821-9758

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Anna Rahman, PhD, MSW

Research Assistant Professor of Gerontology

Anna Rahman, PhD, is a research assistant professor at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California (USC). Her research and advocacy work focuses on improving care and quality of life for the most vulnerable older adults, including frail nursing home residents and seriously ill adults near the end of life. Much of her work has centered on translating evidence-based, person-centered practice into routine practice in settings across the care continuum.

Dr. Rahman obtained her BA from Yale University,  her masters in Social Work from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her PhD in Social Gerontology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She did postdoctoral research at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.

Staff

Contact:

Email: lomelimo@usc.edu
Office Phone: (213) 821-9759

Sindy Lomeli, MPH

Project Manager

Sindy Lomeli, MPH, received her Master’s in Public Health from University of Southern California (USC). She began her career working in several research projects with the Department of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine at USC. She recently joined the Enguídanos research team at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Sindy grew up in Southern California and likes outdoor activities and a good brunch.

Contact:

Email: kiaramej@usc.edu

Kiara Mejía, MPH

Project Assistant

Kiara Mejía, MPH, received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Southern California (USC). Kiara has worked in several programs and studies such as the Children’s Health Study with USC on participant retention efforts, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and the It’s Your Game…Keep it Real program on sexual health through the Department of Public Health. 

Richard Brumley, MD

Geriatric Medicine

Richard D. Brumley, MD, long active in promoting pain and symptom management for seriously ill patients, helped pioneer the practice of palliative medicine. Residency-trained in Family Medicine, he was among the first physicians in the U.S. to be board-certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Presently he is the medical director for a community-based hospice agency in Orange County, California. Before that, he was the medical director of the Kaiser Permanente Hospice and Home Health Department for the TriCentral Service Area in Downey, California, as well as an associate clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, where he instructed Family Practice residents in hospice and home health services.

Between 1999 and 2000, Dr. Brumley, Dr. Enguidanos, and colleagues at Kaiser Permanente launched and evaluated one of the nation’s first home-based palliative care programs. Based on their positive findings, they conducted a randomized controlled trial of the program. In a now-widely cited journal article published in 2007, they reported that, compared to usual care, the home-based palliative care program improved satisfaction with care while decreasing medical service use and the cost of care.

Dr. Brumley now works with the Enguidanos research team to replicate the Kaiser model of home-based palliative care in primary care clinics that operate under accountable care organization contracts.

Torrie Fields, MPH

Senior Program Manager

Torrie Fields, MPH, leads the development and implementation of programs and processes at Blue Shield of California that work to improve the quality of life for individuals with serious illness and their families. In addition to her work with Blue Shield of California, Fields acts as a curriculum developer for The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and California State University Palliative Care Institute. She works with health plans, purchasers, and educational institutions to assist them in understanding the impact of palliative care on the medical system.

Prior to joining to Blue Shield, Fields acted as the director of palliative care at Cambia Health Solutions, leading the development of highly successful palliative care initiatives including benefit design, case management, caregiver support, medical home development, and policy and engagement efforts. She has extensive experience in health policy development and implementation and health services research. Fields holds a Master’s in Public Health in health management and policy from the Oregon Master of Public Health Program, a Certificate in Gerontology from Portland Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Portland State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication theory from University of California, San Diego.

Wendy Mack, PhD

Professor of Biostatistics, Keck School of Medicine

Wendy Mack, PhD, is a professor of biostatistics in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She co-directs the department’s Division of Biostatistics graduate programs and directs Biostatistics Resources at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI).

Professor Mack has more than 20 years of experience directing biostatistical and data coordination activities, primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her expertise includes design, conduct and analysis of multiple single-centered and multi-centered clinical trials and observational studies. She also directs biostatistical activities for the USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and for other basic and clinical research programs.

Michael W. Rabow, MD, FAAHPM

Professor of Clinical Medicine and Urology, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Michael W. Rabow, MD, FAAHPM, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Palliative Care, is a professor of Clinical Medicine and Urology in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco. Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Care, Dr. Rabow directs a leading outpatient palliative care program–the Symptom Management Service–at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Rabow is a national expert in outpatient palliative care research and service delivery. He has conducted both controlled and longitudinal trials of outpatient palliative care consultation, as well as multiple surveys of current outpatient palliative care consultation practices nationally.  He has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

An expert in community-based palliative care, Dr. Rabow also serves as a consultant to medical centers nationally, working to develop or expand their palliative care services, and as a consultant to numerous prominent professional and philanthropic organizations dedicated to expanding palliative care access and quality. Dr. Rabow served as the lead of the project advisory board for the “Improving Palliative Care in the Outpatient Setting” (IPAL-OP) initiative at the Center to Advance Palliative Care. He is on the advisory board to the Palliative Care Institute of the California State University at San Marcos, which provides online education and certification for members of the palliative care interdisciplinary team.  In 2016, Dr. Rabow was selected as the winner of the AAHPM PDIA National Palliative Care Leadership Award. He is a past recipient of the Soros Project on Death in America award and the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award.

Doctoral Students

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Valeria Cardenas

Research Assistant

Valeria Cardenas recently obtained her Master’s in Aging Services Management at the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to attending USC, she received a BA in Social Welfare and Justice, as well as Public Relations. Her primary interest is end-of-life care.

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Deborah Hoe

Research Assistant

Deborah Hoe’s primary research area is in health literacy and palliative care.  Her secondary research interests are ageism in media and its effects on self-perceptions of aging.  Trained in Mathematics (B.S.), Digital Storytelling (M.A.), and Gerontology (M.Soc.Sc.), Deborah loves storytelling and is a certified pet loss and bereavement counselor, a certified guided autobiography instructor, and an Emmy nominee.

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YuJun (Fisher) Zhu, MSG

Assistant Analyst

YuJun (Fisher) Zhu, MSG, recently received his Master’s in Gerontology from the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. He is the assistant analyst for the Enguídanos Lab. He is highly knowledgeable about computers and software support.

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Meki Singleton, MSW

Research Assistant 

Meki Singleton is a first year PhD student at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Prior to attending USC, Meki earned her BA in Psychology and Gerontology in MSW from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. She worked as a Health Educator Consultant for the Florida Department of Health for two years before moving out to California to pursue her PhD. Her research interests revolve around the older adult LGBTQ population and end of life care and advance care planning.

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Olivia Wang

Research Assistant 

As a first-year doctoral student, Olivia works under the supervision of Dr. Enguidanos. Her main research interest is about Advance Care Planning in Chronic Kidney Disease populations. Her secondary research interest is about the bereavement and palliative care.

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Gillian Fennell

Research Assistant 

Gillian Fennell is a first-year PhD student in the Leonard Davis school of Gerontology. She recently graduated with a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University in May 2019. Her primary research interests include the emotional and psychological consequences of chronic pain and pain-related coping at the end of life.

Undergraduate Students

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Denisse Suastegui Olivares

Research Assistant

Denisse Suastegui Olivares is an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Sociology. She is interested in the effects of social and cultural factors on health and medicine. She aspires to attend medical school and become a physician in the future.

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Melissa Wenceslao

Research Assistant

Melissa Wenceslao is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and Spanish at the University of Southern California. She is interested in social determinants to healthcare access in Southern California.