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Research

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Edward C. Jauch, MD, MS FAHA Edward C. Jauch, MD, MS FAHA
Department of Research, Chair
email Edward.Jauch@mahec.net

Dr. Jauch joined the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in 2022 as Chair of the Department of Research. Before joining MAHEC, Dr. Jauch served as Chief of System Research and the Director of the Mission Research Institute in Asheville, NC, and the National Medical Director for Neurosciences Research for the HCA Healthcare Research Institute in Nashville, TN for 4 years.

Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Jauch completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Dayton and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering (bioengineering) at Cornell University, after which he joined the faculty in the Departments of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Kansas and the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Jauch completed medical school and an emergency medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati, subsequently joining the faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Team in 1997. Dr. Jauch was recruited to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 2008 to help develop the Emergency Medicine Residency Program, assist in the creation of the MUSC Comprehensive Stroke Center and Telemedicine Program, and eventually serve as Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Professor, Department of Neurology, and faculty in the College of Graduate Studies at the MUSC, and adjunct Professor of Bioengineering, Clemson University. Dr. Jauch is completing a Masters of Business Administration program from the University of North Carolina - Wilmington with an emphasis in data analytics.

Dr. Jauch has been involved in research and research mentoring since his undergraduate days. He has held positions as Vice Chair for Research in Departments of Emergency Medicine and Medicine for over a decade. Dr. Jauch has participated in and led numerous Phase II and III clinical stroke trials over the past 30 years, with significant industry and federal funding. Dr. Jauch continues to serve as a mentor for Emergency Medicine and Neurology faculty at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and MUSC.

Dr. Jauch is very active in numerous national organizations, including serving as past Chair of the Stroke Council for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and current President of the Southeast AHA Board of Directors. At state levels, Dr. Jauch served on the Ohio Stroke Task Force, as chair of the South Carolina Department of Health’s Stroke Advisory Committee, and currently serves on the North Carolina Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force Stroke Advisory Committee and as a consultant to the NC Department of Health and Human Services Coverdell National Acute Stroke program. Collectively, Dr. Jauch’s research and advocacy efforts have focused on improving access to and the quality of overall stroke care for all patients.


C. Micha Belden, PhD C. Micha Belden, PhD
Research Scientist, Mixed Methods
email Micha.Belden@mahec.net

Micha is a mixed methods health services researcher and implementation scientist with 20 years of experience studying interventions that address health disparities for underserved populations. He completed his PhD at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Systems Research at UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center and Duke University's Global Health Institute.

He is passionate about the dissemination and implementation of innovative interventions for people experiencing mental illness, substance abuse, and physical health conditions. His experience includes working with populations in the US Deep South with HIV, HCV, mental illness, and substance abuse; children with disabilities, clergy health and wellbeing; orphan care, sexual and gender minority health in low- and middle-income countries; and veterans. His work has been funded by foundations, HRSA, NIH, SAMHSA, and the Veterans Health Administration.

When not at work, Micha enjoys spending time with his dog, paddleboarding, and touring the mountains in WNC.


Scott A. Davis, PhD Scott A. Davis, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
email sdavis81@email.unc.edu

Scott A. Davis, PhD, is a research assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He completed his PhD at UNC in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, and an Implementation Science fellowship with NC TraCS. He works closely with MAHEC investigators to execute and publish the results of MAHEC's innovations in practice. Among his more than 110 peer-reviewed publications, recent publications include studies on improving preconception health and reproductive health counseling by implementing routine screening in primary care clinics.

Outside of work, he enjoys music, the outdoors, and playing Fantasy Premier League.


Jacqueline Halladay, MD, MPH Jacqueline Halladay, MD, MPH
UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC Research Liaison
Faculty, Department of Family Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
Research Fellow, UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research

email Jacqueline_Halladay@med.unc.edu

Jacquie serves as a research liaison, connecting and developing teams of researchers that span Chapel Hill and Asheville, while also working with regional medical and public health professionals to develop their research portfolios. She is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill and a research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. She also serves as co-director of the North Carolina Network Consortium, a statewide practice-based research network.

Jacquie's research interests focus on enhancing care delivery for patients with chronic conditions, which complements the population health research that is a priority at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC.


Chelsea Atkins, MS, MPH Chelsea Atkins, MS, MPH
Research Associate
email Chelsea.Atkins@mahec.net

As a Research Project Coordinator at MAHEC, Chelsea provides research support to a variety of faculty, learners, and MAHEC employees.

Chelsea received an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from the State University of New York, and a master's degree from Mercyhurst University. She worked for over a decade as an educator and behavioral health clinician. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in epidemiology through East Carolina University. Chelsea's research experience includes work with vector-borne illness, single-subject behavior analytic studies, and environmental epidemiology. Additionally, she has worked to assess occupational stress in public school educators. Chelsea's research interests include Neglected Tropical Diseases, infectious disease, epidemiology, vector-borne illness, parasitology, occupational health, and environmental health.

Outside of work, Chelsea enjoys spending time with her husband and dogs, kayaking, traveling, reading, and running.


Lorinda Baker, BA Lorinda Baker, BA
Inpatient Research Project Coordinator
email Lorinda.Baker@mahec.net
phone 828-257-4744

As an Inpatient Research Project Manager, Lorinda provides a point of contact for MAHEC residents working at Mission Hospital, particularly in the Department of Surgery. She connects residents and Mission faculty with UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC personnel to assist in developing, executing, presenting, and publishing research projects. Lorinda is located full time at Mission Hospital. She ensures that researchers at Mission have easy access to the resources at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC.

Lorinda earned her bachelor's in biology at University of California, Santa Cruz. She began as a technician in neuroscience laboratories, exploring drugs of abuse with animal models. This evolved into lab and project management. She began work in research administration at the University of Chicago, supporting the animal research ethics and biosafety committees. Lorinda grew up in California, then became a Chicagoan, before moving to Chapel Hill then Asheville. She enjoys volunteering on the weekends at the Western North Carolina Nature Center, reading science fiction, and finding free live music outdoors.


Sarah Friedman, MPH, MA (she/her/hers) Sarah Friedman, MPH, MA (she/her/hers)
Research Associate
email Sarah.Friedman@mahec.net

Sarah supports research and scholarly efforts across various departments at MAHEC. She provides expertise in qualitative research methods and analysis, examining cultural considerations in health care, IRB application and management, and clinical research including industry research. Sarah’s previous experience in health services research is contraception access and trends, palliative oncology, prostate cancer outcomes and treatment, care for transgender patients, vaccine and cancer screening communications, and evaluating community based perinatal healthcare. Her research interests include reproductive health and justice, understanding sexual violence and consent, and addressing health inequity. She studied at San Diego State University with a focus in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science. During her time in the Southern California Borderland region Sarah spent time as an intern at UCSD Moores Cancer Center and at multiple programs in the Pro-Salud organization around Tijuana.

Sarah cherishes her time spent in nature, baking, enjoying time with friends, and spending as much time as possible in the ocean.


Phillip Hughes, MS Phillip Hughes, MS
Research Data Analyst
email Phillip.Hughes@mahec.net
phone 828-407-2107

Phillip provides support to various research activities at MAHEC based on project needs, including data management and quantitative analysis. He has experience working with complex modeling techniques to assess underlying causal relationships. Phillip's research interests include the psychosocial development of at-risk populations, disparities in healthcare access and outcomes, evidence-based policy, and statistical analysis.

When not at work, Phillip enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, eating at local restaurants, collecting antique books, and watching movies.


Wendy Nuzzo, MS Wendy Nuzzo, MS
Research Data Analyst
email Wendy.Nuzzo@mahec.net

As a Research Data Analyst at MAHEC, Wendy provides data analysis support to Graduate Medical Education programs. Wendy's educational history consists of an undergraduate Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, a Secondary Math Education Licensure from North Carolina State University, and, most recently, a Master in Statistics from Portland State University in Portland, OR. Her research experience has focused on program evaluation of topics such as early childhood interventions, juvenile justice, youth education and engagement, suicide prevention, and substance use disorders. Her research interests include education at any level, mental health, and substance use. In particular, she enjoys investigating equity, racial and otherwise, in these areas.

When she is not at work, she loves festivals and outdoor entertainment, traveling, reading, and playing cards and board games.

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