Two new faculty are on board at the Center for Health Equity and Quality Research (CHEQR), further bolstering the resources available for research at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville.
Sunita Dodani, M.B.B.S. (M.D.), M.S., Ph.D., and Sean E. Lynch, Ph.D., M.A., M.S.W., both started in the last two months.
Dodani is a cardiovascular epidemiologist and an associate professor in the department of medicine, division of cardiology. Lynch is a social worker and mental health researcher who is also an assistant professor of psychiatry.
Both Dodani and Lynch will do their own research and also be of service to faculty working on projects that fit either Lynch’s or Dodani’s strengths, said David L. Wood, M.D., a pediatrics professor and director of CHEQR.
"There’s a real synergy here. We need content experts that are also experienced at developing and conducting grant-funded research. Sunita is an accomplished researcher in cardiovascular health disparities and has a strong NIH funding record. Sean has excellent clinical and methodological training and is focused on children’s mental health services research. In addition to developing their own research projects, they are important potential collaborators for other faculty at UFCOM-J," Wood said. "That’s what we are here for at CHEQR – to help our faculty develop and conduct research."
Dodani was the founding director of the Center for Outcome Research and Education at University of Kansas, where she was also on faculty in the internal medicine department. She specializes in researching the causes of cardiovascular disease in minorities, particularly African Americans, and looking at programs that are based in the church. For example, Dodani led a study that examined diabetes prevention programs at 20 predominantly black churches in Georgia before moving to Kansas.
Dodani earned her medical degree from The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, and has a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Lynch will be the lead evaluator on an effort to create a children’s mental health system of care, a project funded by a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant. Jeffrey L. Goldhagen, M.D., M.P.H., a UF professor and chief of community pediatrics in Jacksonville, is the primary investigator on the grant.
Lynch’s research focus is attesting models of care that enhance mental health services integration with primary care.
Lynch comes to UF from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, where he was doing postdoctoral research in pharmaceutical health services. Lynch has a doctorate in mental health policy from the University of California, Los Angeles.
CHEQR was established as a research center in 2008 by UF as a partnership with the Duval County Health Department. The organization supports research and education on health disparities, health equity and the quality of health care.
For information on CHEQR or getting assistance for a research project, please call (904) 244-9223.