Sara S. Bachman, Ph.D, Interim Director and Director of Research
Sara S. Bachman, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Research Department at the Boston University School of Social Work and Research Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. She has twenty years' experience with health policy research and program evaluation, especially in the area of state health policy for youth and adults with disabilities or complex health and social conditions. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Catalyst Center, one of six national centers, funded to improve financing of care for children with special health care needs. Bachman previously served as Co-Principal Investigator of HRSA’s SPNS Innovations in Oral Health Evaluation and Technical Support Center.
Bachman has also participated in several studies of access to health care services for adults and children with disabilities across the spectrum of disability. She has served as a research partner with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health investigating the transition of youth with disabilities to adulthood. Bachman has evaluated health reform initiatives using data from the Massachusetts Survey of Insurance Status and has studied the cost and impact of mandated benefits. She was Co-Principal Investigator of a project to examine the specific role of the Commonwealth Connector in the Massachusetts health reform initiative.
Bachman has served as Co-Principal Investigator of two program evaluations sponsored by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. One is an evaluation of an outreach and case management program for injection drug users at risk for HIV and the second is an evaluation of an outreach and case management program targeting men who have sex with men.
Bachman has an M.S. in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health, and this perspective has informed her approach to understanding disability and public health issues. Bachman received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University's Florence Heller School where she was a Pew Health Policy Fellow. Bachman teaches Research Methods to Master's and Doctoral students at the Boston University School of Social Work, where she also directs the school’s doctoral program. Bachman chairs the Boston University Charles River Campus Institutional Review Board. She has been nominated by students four times to receive the School's Teaching Excellence Award.
Edi Ablavsky, M.A., Communication Specialist
Edi Ablavsky manages marketing and communication strategies and projects within the Health & Disability Working Group (HDWG). In this capacity, she designs and updates project websites and oversees and implements communication strategies that incorporate social media, e-newsletters, online surveys, print materials, and video. She has more than ten years' experience creating and managing web and print communication. Prior to joining the HDWG team, Ablavsky was a web editor at Fidelity Investments, and before that she served as principal marketing communication specialist at Stratus Technologies. Her areas of expertise include copywriting and editing, web usability best practices, and website accessibility for visually and motor-impaired users. Ablavsky holds a B.A. in German and French education and an M.A. in English Language and Linguistics from the University of New Hampshire. She also served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal.
Through Boston University's Metropolitan College, Ablavsky is working towards an M.L.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on communication for nonprofits that address social disparities. She also serves as a volunteer and community advisory board member for the Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights at Boston Medical Center.
Meg Comeau, M.H.A., Project Director
Meg Comeau is the Project Director for the Catalyst Center. She is responsible for direct day-to-day operations and management. Comeau has a master's degree in Healthcare Administration from Simmons College. She has earned several honors, including the Linda Roemer Award for Excellence in Community Service from Simmons College, a Young Investigator Award from the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies for her work with Elaine Meyer, R.N., Ph.D. on parental design preferences in the pediatric intensive care unit and the 2000 David S. Weiner Award for Outstanding Leadership in Child Health from Children's Hospital. Comeau is a member of the Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society for healthcare management. Prior to joining the Catalyst Center in the summer of 2005, Comeau was a member of the Children's Hospital Boston Center for Families staff for seven years, where she was the coordinator of the Family Initiatives program. In that role, Comeau was responsible for facilitating family input into hospital policy and programming design. Her major projects focused on issues related to pediatric palliative care and bereavement support, health care quality and improving parent/professional communication. She was the parent co-chair of the Family Advisory Committee, chair of the Family Faculty program and a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee. Comeau continues to be a faculty member with the Program to Enhance Relational and Communication Skills (PERCS) at Children's. She is also the chair of the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Consortium for Children with Special Health Care Needs.
Beth Dworetzky, M.S. Assistant Director
Beth Dworetzky is the Assistant Director for the Catalyst Center. She contributes to Week in Review, Catalyst Center Coverage, and researches issues of health care financing and how they affect health care coverage for children and youth with special health care needs. Prior to her joining the Catalyst Center team, Dworetzky was the Project Director for the Massachusetts Family-to-Family Health Information Center at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, where she developed an individualized technical assistance protocol to help Massachusetts families navigate the MassHealth eligibility and application process for their children and youth with special health care needs. She is also an at-large member of the Massachusetts Child Health Quality Coalition, created as part of the state’s CMS-funded Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstration project that works towards improving child health outcomes for all Massachusetts children.
Jane Fox, M.P.H., Project Director
Jane Fox, MPH joined the Health and Disability Working group as the Project Director for Evaluation Center on HIV and Oral Health in August of 2007. She is responsible for direct day-to-day operations and management. Fox has a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Education from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Fox has 15 years of experience in both HIV prevention and care dating back to the early 1990's when she started her career as the Executive Director of the Nevada AIDS Foundation. Throughout her career she has worked on community, state, and regional levels to promote HIV prevention and care services for persons infected with HIV. Prior to joining ECHO, she worked closely with medical and oral health providers and other HIV professionals working in community clinics and organizations to conduct needs assessments and trainings on HIV issues at the Southeast AIDS Education and Training Center at the Emory University School of Medicine.
Rose Hamershock, B.S., Research Assistant
Rose Hamershock is a research assistant for the Catalyst Center. Her main responsibilities include data cleaning, management, and analysis, performing literature searches, helping with technical assistance questions, and assisting in product formatting. She has a B.S. in mathematics from Muhlenberg College with a concentration in biology. She is currently pursuing her MA in biostatistics from Boston University. Prior to joining the Catalyst Center, Hamershock was a participant in the National Science Foundation-funded Research Education for Undergraduates at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. She also participated in the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics at Boston University.
Serena Rajabiun, M.A., M.P.H., Senior Evaluator
Serena Rajabiun holds Master's Degrees in Public Health and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Hygiene and Public Health and School of Advanced International Studies. She is currently a Senior Evaluator on HRSA-funded Center for Outreach Research and Evaluation.
Rajabiun’s areas of expertise include maternal/child health and nutrition and HIV/AIDS. She has over eight years’ experience working on these issues in the United States and other countries. As the Maternal/Child Health Specialist for USAID’s Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project, Rajabiun worked with non-governmental organizations and host country governments in Peru and Bolivia to improve maternal/child health and nutrition programs. She has also assisted the Government of Peru in developing a national nutrition strategy while an employee of Tufts University. In Malawi, she conducted research on nutritional issues for persons living with HIV/AIDS and worked with donors, governments, and community-based organizations to develop policy and program guidelines for nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
Additionally, Rajabiun has worked in programs in Bolivia, El Salvador and Guatemala to promote improved health and nutrition practices, conducting qualitative research and designing and implementing training and education programs for health workers and communities on improved health and nutrition practices among pregnant women and young children under age 5 years. Rajabiun is trained as an HIV counselor, and has previously worked as a women’s health and HIV counselor for Thundermist Health Center in Rhode Island.
Mariana Sarango, M.P.H., Program Manager
Mariana Sarango is the Program Manager for the HRSA-funded Minority AIDS Initiative Retention and Re-Engagement in HIV Care Project. She is responsible for coordinating activities of the multi-site evaluation and technical support team and responding to the needs of clinical programs at three HIV primary care sites in San Juan, PR, Miami, FL, and Brooklyn, NY. Prior to joining the Health and Disability Working Group in this capacity, she worked with the group as an intern for the PEER Center. In this capacity, she assisted in the development of Building Blocks to Peer Success, a toolkit for training HIV-positive peers to support people living with HIV/AIDS. Ms. Sarango holds a B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University and an M.P.H. with a concentration in Urbanism and the Built Environment from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.