Meet Our Team
Miriam Ryvicker, PhD
Dr. Ryvicker is a sociologist with extensive experience in health services research and social gerontology, who has led numerous federally funded investigations of health service delivery, health disparities, and social determinants of health. Her data analytics expertise extends to evaluation projects, which have leveraged administrative data from Medicare and Medicaid billing systems, electronic health records, and geospatial environments. Prior to joining VSC, Dr. Ryvicker was a Senior Research Scientist. She lives with her daughter in Brooklyn, NY, and enjoys dancing, running, playing piano, and dabbling in the ukulele.
Nina Alesci, PhD, MPH
Dr. Alesci is an epidemiologist and health services researcher whose experience in policy/program evaluation and quantitative data analysis is complemented by extensive project-management and report-writing expertise. A leader in health promotion, she has led projects to evaluate interventions on physical activity, healthy eating, and tobacco use, an area in which she has also implemented participatory research and action projects. Dr. Alesci has evaluated numerous health policies, including CMS’ Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, and has developed academic journal articles, reports, and presentations to communicate findings to relevant stakeholders. She lives with her family in Minnesota, and enjoys fitness training, cooking, and volunteering at her daughter’s school.
Kristen Cribbs, MPH
Ms. Cribbs is multidisciplinary public health practitioner who participates in programmatic, policy, and research initiatives to promote older adults’ well-being. In recent years, she has served as Deputy Director of Educational Services at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, where she managed professional training and education initiatives and was involved in capacity-building and outreach; Director of the Human Research Protection Program at the City University of New York School of Public Health; and on a national Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative to standardize palliative care practice across VA inpatient care settings. Originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, Kristen now lives in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, running, and DIY projects.
Estevan Garcia, MD, DRPH, MPA, CPE, CPPS, CPHRM, FAAP
Senior Clinical Advisor
Dr. Estevan Garcia is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Massachusetts. Prior to this role, he held a number of progressively senior administrative positions in New York City, including Associate CMO for Quality and Safety at Maimonides Hospital and CMO at Brookdale Hospital, where he was part of a team of senior leaders charged with turning around a safety-net hospital that was on the verge of closure. At Brookdale, Dr. Garcia instituted hospital-wide peer review processes, developed physician quality champions, and launched executive walk rounds and unit-level patient-safety huddles, resulting in significant quality improvement and institutional stabilization. Most recently, Dr. Garcia was Vice President and Medical Director of Hospitals Insurance Company, a risk management organization where he led safety initiatives in the areas of inter-hospital communication and medical simulation. In his free time, Estevan enjoys cooking, watching his children compete in local sporting activities, and engaging in cardio at the gym.
Emma Hersh, MPA
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Ms. Hersh applies more than 12 years of experience in project management and business development to identify, initiate, and manage collaborative partnerships that extend VSC’s corporate impact and reach. She was previously an economic development consultant at the Westside Development Corporation and Senior Program Manager at the GlobalGiving Foundation and Vital Voices Global Partnership. A native of the DC area, Emma and her family reside in Washington, where she enjoys cheering on the local sports teams, trying new restaurants, and volunteering.
Ramon Llamas, MPH
Business Development Specialist
Mr. Llamas is an independent consultant who assists non-profits and early-stage startups in public health, healthcare, and social services with business and program development, organizational strategy, and strategic partnerships. He is committed to firms that seek to improve public health and reduce health disparities via social entrepreneurship, social innovation labs, and personalized health communications. Mr. Llamas is an advocate of empowering individuals to be proactive participants in their own health and well-being. A native Californian, he currently lives in North Carolina.
Wendy Vaughon, MPH
Ms. Vaughon is a qualitative health communications expert with nearly 20 years of experience helping professional organizations communicate complex health and scientific information to a broad array of non-technical audiences. Among her notable achievements is the development of numerous innovative academic detailing programs, which combine clinical resource tools for providers and educational materials for patients to promote evidence-based best practices for improved clinical care. Ms. Vaughon has published several peer-reviewed journal articles, technical reports, and book chapters. A native of Hawaii, she resides in New York City with her husband, who is a cardiologist, and their cat.
Rachel Lane, PhD, RD
Science Communications Consultant
Dr. Lane is a science communications consultant whose clinical experience and research training help translate science into medicine. She works to improve the clinical relevance of novel biotechnology and expedite the conversion of scientific findings into medical applications. Dr. Lane pairs her basic science training with her experience as a registered dietitian to develop creative, effective communication solutions that facilitate the translation of research into clinical applications. She is actively engaged in the medical writing community, serving as Secretary of the American Medical Writers Association Southeast Chapter. She resides in Huntsville, Alabama.
Ashley Symons, PhD
Science Communications Consultant
Dr. Symons is a science/medical writer and consultant with more than 10 years of experience in scientific research and publication. A pharmacologist by training, Dr. Symons’ proficiency extends from therapeutic development to post-market surveillance, with supplementary skill in medical-document generation and grant writing. She lives in a seaside town in the region of Apulia, Italy, and spends her spare time riding horses and competing in dressage.
Izabela Aleksanderek, PhD, BHSc
Science Communications Consultant
Dr. Aleksanderek is a medical communications consultant with extensive experience developing formulary dossiers, manuscripts, and presentations in the North American and European markets. Certified in clinical trials management, she has supported value-proposition narratives for diagnostic product launches across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including autoimmune disease and oncology. Dr. Aleksanderek lives outside Toronto, Ontario with her husband and two daughters. A lover of travel and food, she is always looking forward to her next adventure.
Wendy Lui Leung, PhD
Science Communications Consultant
Dr. Leung is a geneticist and scientific-manuscript editor with a demonstrated record of success “from the bench to the keyboard.” An expert in molecular biology and gene expression profiling, she has led or contributed to many scientific manuscripts and communications tools. Dr. Leung is lifelong New Yorker, having lived in Queens, the Bronx, Syracuse, and now Long Island. She enjoys traveling, exploring different cuisines, hiking, and listening to podcasts.
Amy Frankel, MPH
Health IT Consultant
Amy Frankel has over 10 years of experience in healthcare, 8 of those years in health information technology. As a consultant, she has worked directly with numerous state Medicaid offices, developing and completing health IT landscape assessments, roadmaps, and strategic plans; securing federal funding through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and implementing and monitoring health IT projects. She offers expertise in stakeholder engagement, provider relations, and population-health project design. Amy lives in the Bronx, NY with her husband and two baby girls. Away from work, she’s a fitness coach and cycling instructor.
Aleef Rahman, MPH, MBA, MSc, CPH
Clinical Outcomes Research Consultant
Mr. Rahman is a clinical outcomes researcher with interests in translational bench-to-bedside innovations. He has extensive experience as a consultant in public health, healthcare administration, and medical innovation. He was previously the Director of Research for the Department of Surgery at Mt. Sinai Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was responsible for ensuring the scholarly activity requirements behind the hospital’s ACS Trauma Level 1 Accreditation. Mr. Rahman has received numerous medical research grants and has served as a grant reviewer for multiple agencies. He has previously worked with the United States Agency for International Development and the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation. Mr. Rahman is currently an M.D. candidate and holds the Ferdinand C. Valentine Urology Research Fellow at the NY Academy of Medicine. A native New Yorker, he currently resides in the Bronx, NY, and spends his spare time dabbling in photography.
Amit Pradhan, MD, MPH
Dr. Pradhan has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with particular expertise in health information technology and software development. A physician and health services researcher, he has managed clinical simulation, health economics and performance improvement programs at major academic medical centers such as the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Pradhan is a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, and lives in New York City.
Anthony Eller, MPH
Mr. Eller is a multidisciplinary public health practitioner who supports research and qualitative evaluation projects. A policy expert and health interventionist, he has participated in initiatives that encourage childhood nutrition, primary care to uninsured immigrants, non-stigmatization of drug use, and awareness of/access to opioid overdose-reversal medication. Mr. Eller has also helped craft legislation to incorporate evidence-based treatment for incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders. A native of Missouri, he currently resides in New Haven, CT.
Huiwen (Samme) Chan, MPH, MBA
Ms. Chan is a dedicated and thorough public health advocate who supports research, data management, statistical analysis, and scientific report writing. In addition to her work at VSC, Ms. Chan is a data analyst at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she manages the medical and healthcare databases for the Initiative for Early Lung Cancer Research on Treatment (I-ELCART), a multi-center, international cohort study. A native of Belize, she lives in New York City, and enjoys traveling and cooking.
Ms. Mullins is indispensable as organizer, scheduler, and overall “go-to” for getting things done. A dedicated military wife, she has devoted countless volunteer hours to serving school-aged children and military families in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and New York. She currently resides in West Point, New York with her husband, two sons, and two rescue cats.