Meet the Team
Tetyana Shippee, PhD
Tetyana is an Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy Management, University of Minnesota.
Dr. Shippee is a social gerontologist whose work focuses on improving quality of life and quality of care for older adults. As part of her research, she spent two years living in a long-term care facility. Dr. Shippee’s work focuses on advancing equity and quality in long-term services and supports. Dr. Shippee has over 50 peer-reviewed publications in top journals in the field of aging, book chapters and reports and also serves in leadership positions for national organizations.
Tricia Skarphol, MA
Tricia, MA, is a research coordinator who has worked in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota for the past 18 years in the divisions of Health Policy and Management and Epidemiology and Community Health.
She has worked in a number of research roles on various projects at the U of MN, including 18 years on a long-term, multi-center trial evaluating the effects on weight loss in individuals with type 2 diabetes working as an interventionist, intervention coordinator and program coordinator.
In 2016, she joined the EQUALs team and has managed a variety of projects addressing health disparities in long-term services and supports. Her work on these projects focuses on qualitative data gathering and data management, dissemination support and regulatory and grant support. Tricia has enjoyed working in health services research, particularly the direct interactions with nursing home residents and staff, community members and other individuals working to improve care and services for older adults.
Odichinma Akosionu, MPH
Odichinma (Odi) is a PhD student in the Health Economics track of the Health Service Research, Policy and Administration program at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health.
She received her master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health (2014). As a part of her dissertation, Odi is interested in exploring nursing home ownership and the impact on quality of care and quality of life, with a focus on how ownership changes may impact racial inequities in health, quality of care and quality of life outcomes for long stay residents.
Odi has been on the EQuaLS team since 2017. She works on the R01 study where she has conducted resident and staff interviews, and presented preliminary findings at the 2019 ARM and GSA conferences. She is currently working on the Minnesota Assisted Living report card development project which has produced two reports so far: (1) Literature Review and Environmental Scan: Identifying Quality Measures in Assisted Living and (2) Stakeholder Feedback on Identifying Quality Measures for a Minnesota Assisted Living Report Card. Odi also supports the EQuaLS team’s partnership and work with the Minnesota Diverse Elders Coalition (MNDEC), including a community forum for diverse elders to learn about experiences of communities of color in accessing and utilizing long term services and supports, as well as co-presented with MNDEC at the CTSI’s Power of Partnership event in February, 2020.
Yinfei Duan, MSN, PhD
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing, Edmonton, AB, Canada. I have been working with EQuaLS team since 2016, when I was a PhD student in Nursing at the University of Minnesota. I continue to collaborate with EQuaLS team as a Post-Doctoral Fellow.
My research focuses on quality of care and the delivery of person-centered care to older adults who need long-term care. The overall goal of my research is to improve quality of life for older adults living in both the community and nursing homes, and to help them achieve positive and successful aging. Particularly in the EQUALs, I participate in two projects that focus on racial disparities in quality of life and care for both nursing home residents and community-dwelling adults receiving home-and-community-based services.
Mark Woodhouse, B.A.
Mark is a database designer and data analyst who has worked in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota for the past 17 years, principally supporting research in the Division of Health Policy and Management’s Center on Aging.
Most of the research he has been a part of has been in the areas of long-term care policy, with special focus on nursing home quality of care and quality of life measures. His particular area of expertise is in the use of nursing facility reporting data such as the CMS Minimum Data Set to monitor and measure facility performance. He serves as a subject matter expert and maintains research databases for a variety of projects.
Taylor Bucy, MPH
I am a PhD student in the Division of Health Policy & Management in the School of Public Health.
My research interests center around the financing and delivery of long-term care/long-term services and supports, as well as the regulatory and policy landscape that contributes to barriers in equitable access of such services. I am particularly interested in the provision of end-of-life care as it relates to both aging in place and state-level assisted living regulations. While completing my MPH, I worked on a national assisted living policy project to examine the potential impacts of state assisted living regulatory environments on the health outcomes of residents with ADRD. As part of the EQuaLS projects team, I am working on a study to examine racial/ethnic disparities in quality of life and quality of care for residents with ADRD and serious mental illness, ultimately designed to improve care and further inform policy.
PhD student in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration Program
Shekinah Fashaw-Walters, PhD
Shekinah is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management. She is a faculty collaborator for the EQuaLS team.
Providing quality care for all means dismantling structural inequities and providing equitable high-quality care for the most marginalized. As a health services researcher, Dr. Fashaw-Walters’ program of research focuses on understanding the inequities in aging while elucidating and explicitly naming racism as a fundamental determinant of health inequities within long-term care. She conducts research focused on both nursing homes and home- and community-based services and her work is inspired and guided by her commitment to anti-racist work that moves beyond the classroom.
Dr. Fashaw-Walters is a health equity and aging tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Policy & Management at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. She received her PhD in health services research from Brown University, and her MSPH in Health Policy and Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida and alumna of the McNair Scholars TRIO Program. Dr. Fashaw-Walters envisions a society where the strength, autonomy, dignity, and independence of all older adults are enhanced by LTSS policies and practices that promote healthy and equitable aging. And to get there, as she says, “there is much work to be done.
Zachary Baker, PhD
Zach is an Assistant Professor at the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University. He is a faculty collaborator for the EQuaLS team.
My aim is to better understand, develop, evaluate, and disseminate technological tools and psychosocial resources that help caregivers and persons with dementia to thrive during and after the dementia caregiving process. This is accomplished through the use of advanced methods (e.g., interventions, longitudinal studies, event momentary assessment, dyadic data collection), statistics (e.g., multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, response surface analysis), and psychological theory/perspectives (e.g., self-determination theory, attachment theory, positive psychology). I also consider collaborating with my community partners an essential part of the work I do and convene the Supporting Dementia Caregivers After Death Community Advisory Board.
Manka Nkimbeng, PhD, MPH, RN
Manaka is an Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management. She is a faculty collaborator for the EQuaLS team.
My research interests center around understanding the causes of health inequities in minorities and improving health outcomes for older adults. Encompassing my research and policy expertise, I work to develop and test interventions that can be translated into health policies and clinical practice to improve health and eliminate health inequities for older adults.
Romil is a PhD candidate in the division of Epidemiology and Community Health at UMN School of Public Health.
I am interested in research that informs equitable improvement in quality of life and value based care for older adults. I am working with the team as a Health Equity & Aging Research Fellow.
Dionne is a PhD student in the Health Services Research, Policy and Administration program.
Dionne has research interests in health and racial equity, access to affordable healthcare, and gentrification. Dionne would like to focus her research on Black older adults.
Kelly is a PhD student in the Health Services Research, Policy and Administration program at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health.
Her research interests include topics surrounding long-term care for older adults, such as quality of life and quality of care, disparities and access to care, workforce challenges, and policies impacting how long-term care services are financed.
Andrew is an alumnus from the University of Minnesota’s Master’s in Public Health program where he developed an interest in health disparities research in aging, sexuality, gender, and health.
As a PhD student, Andrew gained experience with both quantitative and qualitative study methodology as tools for evaluating these interests. Andrew Joined the EQuaLS team in 2023, and he will be working closely with other team members to explore interventions that improve health and care outcomes for aging LGBTQ+ adults.
Dana Urbanski, Au.D., CCC-A is an audiologist and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota.
She is working with the EQuaLS team to examine utilization and quality of long-term services and supports. Dana aims to apply this knowledge toward improving the accessibility and quality of hearing healthcare for older long-term care recipients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.