Meet the Team

Tetyana Shippee, PhD

Principle Investigator 

Tetyana is an Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy Management, University of Minnesota.

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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

Project Manager 

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.

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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

Research Assistants 

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.

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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.

Weiwen Ng, MPH

Weiwen Ng is a PhD student in HSRPP.

Yinfei Duan, MSN

I am a PhD candidate in nursing and have been working with the EQUALs team since 2016. 

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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.

Data Manager

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.

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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.

Ta’Mara Hill, B.A.

Ta’Mara (Tuh-Mair-uh) is a second-year graduate student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs pursuing a Master of Human Rights degree.

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Ta’Mara’s interest are heavily in the examination of public policy through the prioritization of human rights, progress, and quality of life. Ta’Mara believes understanding racial health disparities is an important step to solving them and is excited to be a part of the EQuaLS team. 

Ta’Mara has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Minors: psychology and social work) from Wiley College, a historically black college in East Texas. Ta’Mara has lived/worked in three different countries and has experience working in public policy, secondary and higher education, and in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, she finished up a summer internship with the D.C. based nonprofit the National Academy of Social Insurance, where she researched domestic and international health policies.

Taylor Bucy, MPH

I am a PhD student in the Division of Health Policy & Management in the School of Public Health.

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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.

Ann McLaughlin

Ann is a Master of Healthcare Administration student. Her research interests include racial/ethnic disparities in LTSS as well as quality of life improvement initiatives.

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For EQUAL, she has worked on the RO1 project and is currently on the HCBS team.

Kelly Moeller, B.S.

Kelly is a second-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, pursuing a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on policy and administration. Her research interests include quality of life for people experiencing dementia as well as end of life care.

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