Immersing Penn SUMR Scholars in Annual AHRQ NRSA Conference

Immersing Penn SUMR Scholars in Annual AHRQ NRSA Conference

Washington Event Provides Connections to Postgrad Grant Recipient Community
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Photos: Hoag Levins

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Welcoming Penn's Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) Scholars to the 25th Annual AHRQ National Research Services Award (NRSA) Conference is Francis Chesley, MD (above, podium), Director of the AHRQ Extramural Research, Education and Priorities Office. The annual event brings together health services research postgrad students from across the country who have received NRSA grants for their first independent research projects. For SUMR Scholars, the event provides a window into the potential next phase of their own development, should they elect to move toward PhD studies after earning their bachelor's degrees. Listening intently to the proceedings (above, left) is Penn SUMR Scholar Jay Sangani, a junior from Case Western Reserve University, majoring in Economics and Chemical Biology. (Click images for larger)

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Gathered at the entrance to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center are the 23 Penn SUMR Scholars attending the NRSA Conference. They are sophomores and juniors from Penn and 11 other schools across the country who are pursuing undergrad courses in areas like economics, chemistry, biology, global public health, and health policy and management. The three-month SUMR curriculum at Penn enables them to explore the field of health services research as a potential career path beyond their future graduate degrees. Twenty years ago, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) and Penn's Wharton School teamed up to create the program.

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The day-long conference featured 41 research presenters in the plenary session and eight breakout panels ranging across topics from "Disparities and Health Equity" and "Population Health Across Lifespan" to "Health Policy" and "Quality Measures and Improvement." Above, left, discussing which breakouts they should attend, are SUMR Scholars Jonathan Delgadillo Lorenzo of Penn, Phiwie Ndebele-Ngwenya of Philander Smith College, and Tilaye Seblework of Penn. Above, right, are SUMR Scholars Brian Valladares of Williams College, and Brittany Wiafe of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Meng-Yun Lin, PhD (above, left), of Boston Medical Center detailed her study of the impact of ACO physician-hospital integration on health care spending and utilization. Maningbe Keita (above, right), a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, spoke of exploring new ways to identify safety issues related to hospital-to-home transitions of older adults.

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In the audience, above, left, are SUMR Scholar Kaliya Greenidge of Penn, and Joanne Levy, Director of the SUMR program. Above, right, are SUMR Scholars Phiwie Ndebele-Ngwenya of Philander Smith College and Khalid El-Jack of Boston University.

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A poster session highlighting NRSA-funded research is a major element of the conference; this year's had 54 poster presenters. Arriving at the poster displays (above, left) are SUMR Scholars Brittany Wiafe of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jason Mazique of Williams College, Jay Sangani of Case Western Reserve University, Jessica Davis of Penn, Tilaye Seblework of Penn, and Phiwie Ndebele-Ngwenya of Philander Smith College. Above, right, Harvard PhD candidate Pragya Kakani explains her study of racial health disparities in acute myocardial infarction to SUMR Scholars Brian Valladares of Williams College, Jason Mazique of Williams College, and Nitka Gupta of Penn Dental.

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Speaking with Brandeis University School for Social Policy and Management PhD candidate Sasha Albert (above, left) are SUMR Scholars Kaliya Greenidge and Emma Britz Ferrante, both of Penn. Above, right, SUMR Scholars Jonathan Delgadillo Lorenzo of Penn and Josephine Carrier of Union University talk with Jessica Chang, a health services research PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota. She is researching the negative unintended consequences of new policies that curb opioid prescribing in various hospital departments.

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SUMR Scholars Abeselom Gebreyesus of the University of Maryland and Khalid El-Jack of Boston University (above, left) greet University of Michigan's Susan Parker, MPP, MS. A PhD candidate in the School of Public Health, she is using natural language processing of medical record text to locate and classify where non-fatal shootings occurred. Above, right, SUMR Scholar Kayla Dunn of the University of Virginia reads about a study of perceived stress and ethnic discrimination among a multi-ethnic Latino population.

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Beth Prusaczyk, PhD, MSW (above, left), of Vanderbilt University explains her implementation science study of bedside medication delivery to SUMR Scholars Jessica Davis and Margaret Lee, both of Penn. Above, right, SUMR Scholars Jay Sangani of Case Western Reserve University and Victoria Pham of Berea College chat with Nadya Belensky, PhD candidate at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She's studying health insurance availability and trends among women with both mental health issues and HIV.