The new CICADA scientists of the 2022-2023 cohort are Yehoda Martei, MD, MSCE; Anarina Murrillo, PhD; and Onome Osokpo, PhD, RN.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Improving Care Delivery for the Aging (CICADA) has announced three new postdoctoral and junior faculty to become the program’s fifth cohort of CICADA Scholars pursuing pilot research and receiving training and mentorship in health services research.

Established on the Penn campus four years ago, CICADA is funded through a five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as a new Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR).

CICADA is a multidisciplinary research initiative aimed at improving the diversity of the health services research (HSR) workforce studying aging and health care issues.

The three new grantees for the 2022-2023 CICADA cohort are:

Yehoda Martei, MD, MSCE, an attending physician in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her CICADA pilot project is entitled “Disparities in Guideline-Concordant Care Delivery and Survival Outcomes in Elderly Patients with Stage I-III Breast Cancer.”

Anarina Murillo, PhD, an incoming Assistant Professor at Brown University, beginning in August 2022. Prior to joining Brown, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at New York University. Her CICADA pilot project is “Evaluating Spatial Inequities in Health Services Use Among Medicare-Enrolled Diabetes Patients.”

Onome Osokpo, PhD, RN, a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health in the Penn School of Nursing. His CICADA pilot project will focus on “The Relationships Between Patient-level Factors and Intervention Fidelity and Acute Care Resource Use Among Hospitalized Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions.”

Health Services Research Focus

Launched in 1997 with centers at a handful of universities, the NIA’s national RCMAR program has 18 research and training facilities across the country. Each center focuses on a different aspect of aging and health care. Penn’s program is one of a few that focuses on the discipline of health services research and the study of how health care delivery is organized, financed, managed, quality-controlled, and regulated.

The essential goal of RCMAR is to recruit, mentor, and develop minority junior faculty members into accomplished research scientists, a process that begins with pilot research projects they undertake with their mentors. Since its founding 25 years ago, more than 400 research scholars have come through the RCMAR program, most going on to academic research careers.

Diverse Perspectives

The broad RCMAR programs are informed by the fact that underrepresented researchers bring essential diverse perspectives and, often, personal experiences to bear in understanding the social, economic, political, and environmental determinants of racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. According to the federal Office of Minority Health, underrepresentation in research leads to underfunding of health research as well as a lack of culturally appropriate theories, models, and methodologies.

The CICADA program is facilitated through Penn LDI and links to all of Penn’s 12 schools. CICADA mentors are drawn from across the University, creating an interdisciplinary approach to training.

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