NPA 2018 Copello Physicians Health Advocacy Fellows

Nancy Ewen Wang, MD
Stanford, CA

N. Ewen Wang is a Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Associate Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center. In additional to caring for patients, including the under-served and uninsured, she conducts epidemiologic research investigating disparities in access to and quality of care for vulnerable populations. Dr. Wang is dedicated to building programs that address social determinants of health for her patients. She founded and directs a unique postgraduate fellowship program in Social Emergency Medicine, which addresses social determinants of health through engagement in research, education, and service activities. The program provides Emergency Medicine physicians with clinical, research and education training to understand and advocate for specific vulnerable populations. Under her leadership, the SEM program has implemented ED-based interventions that include alcohol screening, insurance linkage in the ED, and screening and referral of patients to social and legal community resources. Dr. Wang is actively involved in both undergraduate and medical school education. She has taught international public health, the social determinants of health, population health and research methods to undergraduates and graduate students.

Ross Kristal, MD
New Haven, CT

Ross Kristal is a resident-physician in the Yale Internal Medicine Primary Care Residency Program. He received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In medical school, Ross founded a student organization, which is an umbrella for community-based events, collaborations, and initiatives focused on improving physical activity and diet. In collaboration with Montefiore’s Office of Community Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, he worked on an initiative to link primary care with local public health agencies and community partners to promote healthy behaviors of patients and communities in the Bronx. He was awarded the Isadore Rossman Memorial Award for Commitment to Community Health for his efforts in medical school. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Ross will serve as the Community Health and Advocacy Chief Resident for the Yale Primary Care Residency Program.

Mara Divis, DO
Chicago, IL

Mara practices full-spectrum family medicine at Erie Family Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center on the Northwest Side of Chicago, which serves a large immigrant community. Her responsibilities also include inpatient obstetrics, newborn care, and teaching family medicine residents at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Childhood obesity, motivational interviewing, and mental health are among her clinical interests. Lack of health equity and rising threats to her patients’ access to care inspired Mara to study and engage in advocacy for health system reform. She is active with Doctors for America, speaking at DFA rallies in support of preserving and strengthening the Affordable Care Act. A graduate of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mara completed a family medicine residency at Grant Family Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, where she served as chief resident. After finishing a primary care obstetrics fellowship, she began her community health career on Chicago’s West Side. Mara enjoys running, playing the fiddle, reading fiction and, when fortunate enough to travel, hiking in America’s national parks.

Nicky Mehtani, MD, MPH
Baltimore, MD

Originally from Sacramento, CA, Nicky Mehtani has been a Baltimore City resident for the past seven years, where she is currently a second-year Internal Medicine resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital through the Urban Health track. She studied biochemistry and global health technologies at Rice University prior to moving to the East Coast to pursue medical school at Hopkins and an MPH as a Watt/Hansell Scholar at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her interests focus on infectious disease epidemiology, structural determinants of patient health outcomes, and patient advocacy.

Chanelle Diaz, MD, MPH
Bronx, NY

Originally from Miami, Florida, Chanelle Diaz attended Williams College where she graduated with a BA in Political Science, focusing on global health and comparative health policy. Prior to medical school she worked in public health research at the Miami-Dade County Health Department STD clinic. Throughout the time that Chanelle was earning her MD/MPH from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, she was also actively involved in harm-reduction advocacy work, including co-founding the Florida Needle Exchange Initiative and co-authoring a study on the cost of injection drug use to Miami’s safety net hospital. The study was highly influential and effective in supporting the Infectious Disease Elimination Act, legislation which consequently led to the establishment of Miami’s first pilot syringe exchange program. During medical school, she was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She completed the UCLA South American Program in HIV Prevention Research in Lima, Peru, where she conducted an analysis of cardiovascular outcomes among men and women with HIV infection in the IPEC/Fiocruz cohort in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is currently completing residency in Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. Her research interests include human rights based approach to health care delivery, health equity, and racial disparities; innovative approaches to HIV prevention in vulnerable populations, treatment access, and research-based advocacy.

Elizabeth “Betty” Kolod, MD
Bronx, NY

Elizabeth “Betty” Kolod graduated from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Prior to medical school she completed a joint BA/MA in the design of beta-lactamase inhibitors at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. There she developed her interest in human rights activism. During medical school she led students in advocacy projects ranging from HCV outreach to single payer health care. Betty was inducted into to the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She is a second year resident At Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, in the Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine Program.

Lata Cherath, MD, PhD
Belle Mead, NJ

Lata Cherath pursued a nontraditional route to becoming a physician after being a research scientist, a middle school math and science teacher, and a medical writer. Following completion of a PhD in Microbiology from SUNY – Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse she received an NIH post-doctoral fellowship and an advanced post-doctoral research grant from the New Jersey Governor’s Council which enabled her to complete 3 years of post-doctoral research work in Molecular Biology at Rutgers University, New Jersey, in Dr. Kiran Chada’s laboratory. While her children were very young, and before deciding to pursue a career as a physician, she taught math and science teacher at a private middle school in Princeton, NJ, and did freelance medical writing authoring numerous articles for several science encyclopedias and high school reference books. After graduating from Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School with an MD she chose to do a year of training in psychiatry at NYU – School of Medicine (Bellevue Hospital). However, very soon it became clear to her that a career in primary care was what she was cut out for and she returned to New Jersey to complete a residency in Internal Medicine at Rutgers University. Her desire to stay in an academic medical stemmed from a deep-rooted desire to teach medical students and residents and serve as a mentor and role model for them. She joined the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems as a Hospitalist and is now a Clinical Assistant Professor at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. While working as a Hospitalist she has served on several medical missions as a physician volunteer including at the Za’atari refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. Along with other physicians and volunteers, she was instrumental in creating and improvising mobile health clinics to serve the refugees in Thessaloniki, Greece. She also volunteered in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricane Maria. In an attempt to better understand the workings of a hospital, be an advocate for patients, and a physician-leader, she serves on several committees within her hospital system. She is currently interested in exploring the correlation between frequent hospitalizations and noncompliance to cost-prohibitive medications. Although she wears several different hats – as a scientist, a physician, an educator, a science writer, humanitarian and a medical volunteer – it is in her service as an advocate for patients that she has found her true calling.

Michelle K. Nemer, MD
Cleveland, OH

Michelle K. Nemer is an internal medicine physician practicing primary care at Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Born to Mexican parents in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she is dedicated to the primary care of traditionally underserved patients, with a particular interest in Latino populations. Michelle completed her medical education at Washington University in St Louis, and did a Fulbright Fellowship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, working within the Ministry of Health and at a government Family Health Center. She then completed her residency in Primary Care and Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she stayed on to serve Chief Medical Resident. She recently joined Metro Health, the public hospital system in Cleveland, where practices primary care, inpatient medicine, and teaches medical students and residents. She is delighted for the opportunity to learn how to advocate for patients, particularly around the issue of drug costs, through the NPA’s advocacy fellowship.

Rhea Powell MD, MPH
Philadelphia, PA
Rhea Powell MD, MPH is a general internist and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. She is also a health services researcher interested in understanding how public policy and the delivery of healthcare influence patient access to and utilization of healthcare. Dr. Powell received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed both her internal medicine residency and a general medicine fellowship at Columbia University in New York. Outside of work she loves spending time exploring her home city of Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

Peter Capell, MD
Seattle, WA

My wife and I have lived in Seattle, WA for the past 46 years. We raised 2 children and are the proud grandparents of 3 bright and talented grandchildren (our evaluation). My medical career, save for 2 years in the army during the Viet Nam war, started in private practice and later moved to the Division of Endocrinology at the U. of Washington School of Medicine. I retired from the U. of Washington in 2011.

Born 1943. Raised in Rochester, NY, Attended Purdue University B.S. Graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine 1968

Internship: Presbyterian University Hospitals, Pittsburgh 1968-9
Internal Medicine Residency: U. Cal. San Diego 1969-71
Endocrine Fellowship: University of Washington School of Medicine

Private Group Practice in Endocrinology 1975-1996
Clinical Prof. of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, U. Washington 1996-2011
Primary areas of interest: treatment of advanced thyroid cancer; care of diabetics

Since retirement, I have continued my involvement in medicine by mentoring medical students, attending Medical Grand Rounds and working with the cost control committee of the National Physicians Alliance. I have served on the board of Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle and continue to serve on the board of the University of Washington Press. I attend classes at the U. of Washington undergraduate college to study topics I did not have time to take in college. Travel has also been a focus with an emphasis on trips that concentrate on archaeology or theater. My wife and I set a goal (and are very close to completing) of hiking in every national park in the lower 48. Hobbies also include golf and cooking.