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Core Faculty

Zachary F. Meisel, MD, MPH, MS


Zachary F. Meisel, MD, MPH, MSHP is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and director of the Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research and at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as the Patient Safety Officer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the primary hospital of Penn Medicine. Dr. Meisel’s research interests include pain treatment and opioid prescriptions, narrative communication, guideline adherence, opioid use disorder, patient safety, emergency medical services, and patient centered comparative effectiveness research. He has a specific focus on using and testing persuasive narratives to promote evidence translation to patients, providers and policy makers. Dr. Meisel studies ways to improve the translation of research evidence, particularly around prescription opioids. He is the principal investigator of the Life STORRIED study (Life Stories for Opioid Risk Reduction in the Emergency Department) a multiyear, multicenter Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funded clinical trial focusing on the comparative effectiveness of probabilistic versus patient narrative enhanced risk communication for pain management following emergency care. He also directs the Policy and Dissemination core for the NIDA-funded Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (  He has served as principal investigator or co-PI of major grants from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the WT Grant Foundation, focused on the translation of evidence to providers and patients. He is also member of the executive committee for the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC).  Dr. Meisel is also a medical columnist for Slate and Time with expertise in dissemination translation of health services research results for audiences such as patients and policy makers. He is Senior Associate Editor for Health Communication for the journal Academic Emergency Medicine. He served on the Philadelphia Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in 2017.

Anish Agarwal MD, MPH, MS

Core Faculty

Anish Agarwal, MD, MPH, MS is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Agarwal attended Tufts University as an undergraduate and went on to complete his medical and public health training at the Tufts University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He completed his emergency medicine training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Agarwal has completed health services research fellowships within the Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research prior to his residency and later joined the National Clinicians Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Agarwal’s research interests lay at the intersection of health care delivery, innovation, and digital health. Dr. Agarwal seeks to utilize advancements in mobile health to help create and build learning health systems. His work specifically has been applied to the opioid epidemic, provider wellness, patient engagement, and patient satisfaction.


Dr. Agarwal’s work has been published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Circulation, Resuscitation, and Critical Care Medicine. His work has been featured throughout Penn Medicine, the University, and multiple media outlets. Dr. Agarwal’s work is currently funded by the Food and Drug Administration. He is an associate fellow within the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) and an innovation fellow within the Center for Health Care Innovation’s Center for Digital Health.

Kit Delgado, MD, MS

Director of Education and Mentorship

M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology and a practicing trauma center emergency physician.  He leads the Behavioral Science & Analytics For Injury Reduction (BeSAFIR) lab, which applies data science and behavioral economics for preventing injuries and for improving acute care. His clinical research is focused on developing and testing health system interventions for promoting opioid stewardship for acute pain management and for facilitating the treatment of patients with opioid use disorder in the emergency department.  He currently leads the Acute Pain Workgroup of the University Pennsylvania Health System Opioid Task Force.  His public health research is focused on preventing motor vehicle crashes from distracted and alcohol-impaired driving by leveraging smartphone technology and insights from behavioral economics.  Finally, he serves a mentor and collaborator on studies of the health care outcomes of acutely ill and injured patients.


His work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.  He is a Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) Senior Fellow and a faculty member in the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC), and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP).  He currently serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Acute Pain. He has previously served as a member of the NASEM Committee on Accelerating Progress to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities. He received his M.D. from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and his M.S. in Health Services Research from Stanford University.

Ari B. Friedman, MD, PhD

Core Faculty

Ari B. Friedman, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, is Core Faculty at the Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research, and is a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.  His research investigates the industrial organization of the unscheduled care system (primary care clinics, urgent care and retail clinics, and emergency departments), access to care and insurance, and financial integration of population health into the medical system. His work has been cited more than 1,500 times, with an h-index of 14, and has been published in journals such as Health Affairs, The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and JAMA Internal Medicine. Ari completed his M.D. at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, his Ph.D. in Healthcare Management and Economics at the Wharton School, and his residency at the Harvard Affiliate Emergency Medicine Residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He has held fellowships at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, the Harvard Initiative for Global Health, and at the Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research.

Austin S. Kilaru, MD, MSHP

Core Faculty

Austin Kilaru, MD, MSHP is an emergency physician and health services researcher. He seeks to innovate new models of delivering care for acute illness -- and policy approaches that support innovation and value.

Dr. Kilaru studies the transition of patients from the emergency department to outpatient services, with focus on systems to support patients at risk for worsening morbidity and address social determinants of health. His expertise also includes care transitions for patients with opioid use disorder. His work has been published in journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, JAMA Network Open, and Health Affairs.

Dr. Kilaru is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended Yale University, where he studied English, and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He trained in emergency medicine at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California, where he served as chief resident. Prior to joining the Penn faculty, he completed the National Clinician Scholars Program and received a master's degree in health policy research. He is thrilled to work alongside his talented colleagues and mentors at Penn and CECPR.

Raina M. Merchant, MD, MSHP, FAHA

Core Faculty

Raina M. Merchant, MD, MSHP, FAHA is an Associate Vice President at Penn Medicine and an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has secondary appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care. She is the Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Digital Health and Co-Director of the Penn National Clinician Scholars Program.

Dr. Merchant attended Yale University for her undergraduate degree, University of Chicago for Medical School, and the University of Pennsylvania for a Masters of Science in Health Policy Research and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. Her research is at the intersection of digital media and health. She has specifically conducted projects evaluating health behaviors and communication on digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, and Google.  One of her projects in this area involves “banking language” through the development of a unique longitudinal database of social media data merged with health record data. Much of her work also bridges new technologies in the field of cardiovascular health and resuscitation science. In this context, she is the Director of the MyHeartMap Challenge, a social media and crowdsourcing project aimed at improving (automated external defibrillator) AED access and awareness by engaging the public to serve as citizen scientist.

Dr. Merchant is currently funded by the NIH and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as NEJM, JAMA, Circulation, and Health Affairs. Her work has been featured in Wired, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal and others. She is a member of the editorial board of JAMA. She is an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow and was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 10 young investigators likely to have a significant impact on the future of health and healthcare in the US.

Jeanmarie Perrone, MD

Core Faculty

Jeanmarie Perrone, MD is a Professor and the Director of the Division of Medical Toxicology in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Perrone has led several investigations and initiatives in opioid stewardship to mitigate the harms of the evolving opioid crisis. She founded and leads the ED pathways to OUD treatment to offer on site medication and immediate referral into treatment from each of the health system Emergency Departments.  She was recently awarded a grant to collaborate with Independence Blue Cross to study factors and incentives to augment ED provider initiation of buprenorphine.  She and co-authors characterized the fentanyl cocaine crisis in Philadelphia in the New England Journal of Medicine and led a study on veterinary opioid prescribing recently published in JAMA Open.  She has served on the Philadelphia Mayor's Task Force, The PA State Opioid and PDMP task forces, and several advisory committees with the CDC and FDA addressing judicious opioid prescribing. She has advocated and lectured at the state and national level for harm reduction and ED treatment for Opioid Use Disorder and is frequently featured in news media. She has won numerous awards for education and mentorship of students, residents and fellows.   In 2014, she was elected into Penn's Academy of Master Clinicians.

Frances Shofer, PhD

Core Faculty

Frances Shofer, PhD is the Director of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and a core faculty member in the Occupational Medicine (OM) residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency, and the Masters of Public Health Program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she teaches courses in Epidemiologic Research Methodology (OM & PM&R) and Introduction to Biostatistics (MPH).  For the past 34 years, as a PhD-trained analytic epidemiologist, she has collaborated with faculty, residents, and students on numerous clinical research projects providing statistical and epidemiological support from initial design to final analysis and presentation, at the medical, dental and veterinary schools.  Additionally, she has mentored 100s of residents and students on clinical research projects, served as the biostatistician on federally funded grants, and has coauthored over 350 publications in peer reviewed journals, authored several textbook chapters and published one book.   She has an expertise in design and evaluation of clinical emergency medicine based studies and continues to regularly collaborate with faculty on projects from concept to publication.

Eugenia South, MD, MS

Core Faculty

Eugenia South, MD, MSHP is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. South's research focuses on how neighborhood context impacts health and safety in urban environments. She is interested in understanding the ways in which the physical attributes of where people live, work, and play influence chronic stress, cardiovascular and mental health, and violent crime. She has worked on a series of studies evaluating the impact of vacant lot greening on violent crime, perceptions of safety, physiologic stress, and mental health.  This work has been published in JAMA Network Open, PNAS, and AJPH, and has been featured in national and international media outlets including NPR, NBC News, TIME, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Dr. South's current research portfolio includes studying the impact of a blight remediation intervention on chronic stress, evaluating the impact of a City of Philadelphia low-income housing repair program on health and crime, and developing an intervention to increase the amount of time children and their families spend outside in green space. Dr. South received her MD from Washington University School of Medicine in 2008 and her MSHP from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, during which time she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.

Benjamin Sun, MD, MPP

Core Faculty

Benjamin Sun, MD, MPP is an emergency physician and health services researcher who is nationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of safety, quality, and value in health care. Dr. Sun has served as the principal investigator on 15 grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and private foundations with total funding of $11 million. His research has resulted in a substantial body of scholarly work in journals including Circulation, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Annals of Emergency Medicine.


Dr. Sun completed his undergraduate, Master of Public Policy, medical doctorate, and emergency medicine residency training at Harvard University. He completed a fellowship in Health Services Research through the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. He joins Penn Medicine from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland.

adjunct Faculty

Shoshana Aronowitz, PhD, MSHP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN

Adjunct Faculty

Shoshana (Shoshi) Aronowitz, PhD, MSHP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN is a family nurse practitioner, PhD prepared nurse scientist, community-engaged health services researcher, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. 

Dr. Aronowitz completed a health services research fellowship in the National Clinician Scholars Program where her work focused on innovative delivery models for substance use disorder treatment and harm reduction services as well as racial disparities in care. Her nursing master’s thesis qualitatively explored the experiences of individuals who lost access to medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) during incarceration.  As a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholars pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, her dissertation work focused on racial disparities in pain treatment in the context of the opioid overdose crisis. Her masters in health policy research thesis was based on findings from a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded study focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the work of harm reduction community organizers, advocates, and addiction clinicians. 

Dr. Aronowitz's clinical and service work is focused on equitable healthcare access and quality care for marginalized populations, especially people who use drugs, people experiencing unstable housing, and justice-involved individuals. She provides substance use treatment at two low-barrier substance use treatment programs and at a family planning clinic, and co-leads a free naloxone-by-mail program serving Philadelphia residents. 

Carolyn C. Cannuscio, Sc.D., Sc.M.

Adjunct Faculty

Carolyn Cannuscio, Sc.D., Sc.M. is a social epidemiologist who believes in working with communities to remedy health disparities. She is dedicated to using her skills as a researcher, her partnerships with strong organizations, her position at Penn, and her experience as an urbanite to improve population health. With her incredibly inspiring team, she is committed to answering the Institute of Medicine’s call to “eliminate health inequities and improve health for all.” She leads the team with a firm belief that every individual brings boundless creativity and potential to generate positive social change. As an Italian mother of four and as a mentor, she is dedicated to good health and full bellies for all. Visit us and you will not leave hungry.   

Dan Holena, MD

Adjunct Faculty

Dan Holena, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care, and Emergency Surgery. He is currently on K12 training grant while in the MSCE program at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. His research interests include systems of trauma and emergency surgical care delivery, telemedicine, and time sensitive surgical disease states.

Margaret Lowenstein, MD, MPhil, MSHP

Adjunct Faculty

Margaret (Maggie) Lowenstein, MD, MPhil, MSHP is a general internist, addiction medicine physician, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine.

Dr. Lowenstein’s research focuses on novel strategies for implementing evidence-based harm reduction and treatment for opioid and other substance use disorders. She is particularly interested in the use of innovative touchpoints to reduce barriers to care, including emergency departments, public libraries, and mobile outreach. Dr. Lowenstein has also conducted research on state policies related to opioid prescribing and is engaged in research and advocacy to increase uptake of opioid use disorder treatment in general medical settings.

She received her undergraduate degree at Williams College, a Master’s degree in Biology and Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge as a Herchel Smith Fellow, and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in the UCSF primary care program and then a fellowship in the National Clinicians Scholars Program Penn.

Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH

Adjunct Faculty

Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH is a CHERP Core Investigator. A focus of her work is to improve health numeracy and related self-management skills for patients with chronic disease. She recently led a pilot study funded by the VISN 4 Center to Evaluate Patient Aligned Care Teams (CEPACT) to develop a prototype of a health numeracy tutorial for primary care patients with Chronic Health Failure (CHF). She was also a Co-Investigator on a VA HSR&D project A Partnership with Veterans Groups to Enhance Weight Management in VHA, (IIR 10-327, Whittle). The goal of this study was to develop and evaluate a peer support intervention that decreases obesity among Veterans. She has expertise in the field of shared decision making, particularly related to cancer screening and treatment decisions. Dr. Schapira was recently awarded pilot funding from VA HSR&D to address the quality of clinician-patient communication and decision making for patients with lung cancer. Following this year-long project, she plans to develop interventions to help Veterans construct preferences and participate in the decision making process regarding lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. This area of study will help to address whether differences in patient preferences and values across race, ethnic, gender, and age groups, contribute to variations in cancer outcomes.

Douglas J. Wiebe, PhD

Adjunct Faculty

Douglas J. Wiebe, PhD is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Wiebe's research interests include the impact of the environment on health-related behavior and the use of geographic data in planning healthcare delivery systems. He holds an Independent Scientist Award from the NIH (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) and is the Co-Director of the Cartographic Modeling Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Visiting Scholar appointment in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, England, where he spends time conducting research each summer.

Research Staff

Dina Abdel-Rahman, BS

Research Project Manager

Abby Dolan, MPH

Research Project Manager

Jessie Hemmons, MS

Research Project Manager

Rachel Gonzales, BA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Kehinde Oyekanmi, BS

Clinical Research Coordinator

Brittany Salerno, BA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Evan Spencer, BS

Clinical Research Coordinator

Current Student CECPR fellows
  • Matthew Abrams

  • Eden Engel-Rebitzer

  • Ijeoma Unachukwu

Former CECPR fellows
Former CECPR fellows
  • Edouard Coupet, MD

  • Elizabeth Brown, MD, MSHP

  • Tiffani Johnson, MD, MSHP

  • Brandon Maughan, MD, MHS, MSHP

  • David Lee, MD, MSHP

  • Kristin Rising, MD, MSHP

  • Maggie Kaslow-Samuels, MD

  • Brendan Saloner, PhD

  • Michael Richards, MD, PhD, MPH

  • Shoshana (Shoshi) Aronowitz, PhD, MSHP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN

  • Utsha Khatri, MD, MSHP

Former resident cecpr fellows
  • Jennifer Love, MD

  • Anish Agarwal, MD, MPH

  • Tiffany Johnson, MD

  • Andrew Sheep, MD

  • Na Ju, MD

  • Alexander Katz, MD

Former student cecpr fellows
  • Michelle Munyikwa

  • Albert Yu, MD

  • Lauren Sinnenberg, MD

  • Simon Basseyn, MD, MBA

  • Robert Smith, MD

  • Kevin Padrez, MD

  • Austin Kilaru, MD

  • Charlotte Lawson, MD

  • Rachel Graves, MD

  • Isabella Cuan

  • Ezekiel Richardson, MD

  • Vivien Wong

  • Joy Li

  • Max Jordan Nguemeni Tiako, MS

  • Daniel Stokes, MS

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