Our team is dedicated to fostering research that advances a national Culture of Health in which everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life. We work closely with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to guide overall program direction and development and make funding decisions. Please read below to learn more about our team members' individual backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Nancy Adler, PhD

Dr. Adler provides the overarching vision and direction for the Program and its administration, facilitates an inclusive and collaborative culture of research, and builds consen

sus about research needs and values. Dr. Adler is the Lisa and John Pritzker Professor of Medical Psychology, Director of the Center for Health and Community, and Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry. She is Director of the NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship “Psychology and Medicine: Translational Research on Stress, Behavior, and Disease.”

Dr. Adler’s research spans two areas. One focuses on health behaviors, investigating why individuals engage in health-damaging behaviors and how their understanding of risk affects their choices. This research has primarily been in reproductive health, examining adolescent decision-making regarding contraception, conscious and preconscious motivation for pregnancy, perceptions of risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and use reproductive technologies for infertility.

Her second area of work is on the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on health and the role of psychosocial mediators. As Chair of the MacArthur Foundation Network on SES and Health, she led an interdisciplinary group spanning from neuroscience to anthropology that examined how social, psychological and biological factors associated with SES act together to determine the onset and progression of disease and these associations differed depending on gender and ethnicity. She is currently working to implement recommendations from an Institute of Medicine study she co-chaired on the collection of data on social and behavioral determinants of health in electronic health records.

David Vlahov, RN, PhD

Dr. Vlahov provides the overarching vision and direction for the Program and its administration, facilitates an inclusive and collaborative culture of research, and builds conse

nsus about research needs and values.

Dr. Vlahov is Professor and Associate Dean of Research at the Yale School of Nursing. He brings experience in inter-professional and interdisciplinary education and research. He previously served as Professor and Dean at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, on the faculty as Professor of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities and as an Adjunct Professor in Medical Schools at Cornell, Mount Sinai and New York University and the College of Nursing at New York University. He brings research expertise in epidemiology, infectious diseases, substance abuse, and mental health.

Dr. Vlahov conducted studies of urban populations in Baltimore for over 20 years, including several longitudinal cohort studies for which he received the NIH MERIT Award. More recently, Dr. Vlahov led epidemiologic studies in Harlem and the Bronx, which have served as a platform for subsequent individual- and community-level intervention studies and community-based participatory research to address social determinants of health. This work has contributed information on racial/ethnic disparities in health and approaches to address such disparities. Uniting these interests, Dr. Vlahov initiated the International Society for Urban Health, serving as its first President.

He was a Visiting Professor at the Medical School in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to develop their programs in urban health, and has been an expert consultant to the World Health Organization’s Urban Health Center in Kobe, Japan. He also served on the New York City Board of Health. Dr. Vlahov is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Urban Health, has edited three books on urban health and published over 650 scholarly papers. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Maria Glymour, ScD, MS
Associate Director

Dr. Glymour aids in Program development and goals. She is a social epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University o

f California, San Francisco. Dr. Glymour's research focuses on how individual and contextual social factors experienced across the lifecourse, from infancy to adulthood, influence cognitive function, dementia, stroke, and other health outcomes in old age. A separate theme of her research focuses on overcoming methodological problems encountered in observational epidemiology, in particular analyses of social determinants of health and dementia risk. 

Laura Gottlieb, MD, MPH
Associate Director

Dr. Gottlieb aids in Program development and goals. She is Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Gottlieb’s cu

rrent research focuses on designing and evaluating methods to integrate interventions to address social needs into health care. These interventions include volunteer-powered social services Help Desks, Medical-Legal Partnerships, and other efforts to identify and address social needs in medical practices, like re-designing electronic health records to incorporate data on social determinants and improving social work capacity.

Dr. Gottlieb is also a co-founder of HealthBegins, a non-profit organization providing education, consulting, networking, and technology services to health care providers interested in joining the effort to move medicine upstream. She also founded the Bay Area Regional Help Desk Consortium, a collaboration between multiple hospitals and legal aid and university groups investing in volunteer Help Desks across Bay Area health systems. Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Gottlieb was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at UCSF/UCB. She completed her MD at Harvard Medical School and both her MPH and residency training at the University of Washington. 

Erin Hagan, PhD, MBA
Deputy Director

Dr. Hagan is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Program, including managing the proposal submission and review process, providing assistance to applicants and gran

tees, coordinating with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and overseeing administrative and programmatic activities. Dr. Hagan received her PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Connecticut and her MBA from Seton Hall University.  She earned her B.S. in Nutrition and Fitness from the University of Missouri. She joined the staff at the Center for Health and Community at the University of California, San Francisco in 2015.

Over the course of her career Dr. Hagan has worked across a variety of sectors including non-profit, academic, and public. She brings experience in social, economic, and health equity, cultural humility, public policy, business, and evaluation.  Prior to joining the National Program Office, Dr. Hagan was the Acting Director of Policy and Government Affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She also previously worked with PolicyLink – a national social and economic equity advocacy organization – where she served as the Technical Assistance Team Lead for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, among other responsibilities. 

Stephanie Chernitskiy
Communications Associate

Ms. Chernitskiy supports the communications and dissemination activities of the program. In her role, she aids in the development and implementation of communication strategies,

development of program materials, and management of the website and social media platforms. Ms. Chernitskiy received her bachelor’s degree in 2006 from the University of California at Berkeley and joined the Center for Health and Community at the University of California, San Francisco in 2010.

Ellicott Matthay, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Matthay is a postdoctoral scholar for the Evidence for Action Methods Laboratory. She focuses on methodological challenges that arise when seeking to generate rigorous evide

nce on how systems, programs, and policies influence population health and health inequalities. She seeks to identify these issues, provide relevant evidence and tools to overcome them, and spark attention to these challenges in the broader community of quantitative researchers. Dr. Matthay received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley and her Masters of Public Health from the University of Washington while she was a Post-Bachelor Fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Dr. Matthay’s research interests and areas of expertise include social determinants of population health, causal inference and epidemiologic methods, evaluation of large-scale social and economic programs and policies, and self-directed and interpersonal violence. She joined Evidence for Action 2018.

Christine Phung
Grants Management Associate

Ms. Phung supports the application and grant making activities of the program. In her role, she coordinates program activities, tracks and monitors applications and grants, and

provides assistance to applicants and grantees. Ms. Phung received her bachelor’s degree in 2014 from the University of California at San Diego and joined the Center for Health and Community at the University of California, San Francisco in 2015.

Jennifer Taggart
Financial Manager

Ms. Taggart supports the Program by managing site reporting. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and has been with the Center of

Health and Community at the University of California, San Francisco since 2003.

May Lynn Tan, DrPH, MHS
Research & Policy Specialist

Dr. Tan supports the Program in building research capacity among applicants and grantees and optimizing communications strategies for disseminating research results. She joined

the Center for Health and Community in 2017, bringing expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies as well as experience in management, evaluation, and advocacy. Her research has focused on child food insecurity, diet quality, and national school meal programs. Prior to her current work, she served as Executive Director of Global Pediatric Alliance, a non-profit organization working to improve maternal and child health in indigenous communities in Latin America. She has also coordinated health education and evaluation programs for the CA Department of Public Health and worked as a Nutritionist for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Dr. Tan received her Doctorate in Public Health from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and also holds a Master of Health Science degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University.