Research Coordinator

Amanda Szymanski is a research coordinator at L&M with over 10 years of experience in health policy research, healthcare, and social science research. At L&M, she provides research support for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She currently assists with a CMS Office of Minority Health analytic and support contract to advance health equity; monitoring and evaluation support for Medicaid Section 1115 demonstrations; and public comment analysis for the physician fee schedule. 

Before joining L&M, Ms. Szymanski worked as a project manager at Arbor Research Collaborative for Health where she managed and contributed to several multi-year projects related to end-stage kidney disease, dialysis, home health, and population health. She has also held positions at the University of Michigan Health System supporting cardiac surgeons, and the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, where she helped with a Department of Defense funded large-scale survey of mental health among military personnel. Ms. Szymanski holds a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Michigan, where her qualitative research in sociology earned two writing awards.  

Nikhita Allam

Research Associate

Nikhita Allam is a research associate at L&M with experience in population health consulting, economic evaluation and health policy analysis, grant writing, and public health equity research. At L&M, Ms. Allam performs quantitative and qualitative evaluation for federal clients including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as private client research contracts. Using both STATA and SAS, Ms. Allam works with survey data, Medicare claims data, and publicly available datasets providing analytical support to the L&M team.

Amanda Szymanski

Research Coordinator

Amanda Szymanski is a research coordinator at L&M with over 10 years of experience in health policy research, healthcare, and social science research. At L&M, she provides research support for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She currently assists with a CMS Office of Minority Health analytic and support contract to advance health equity; monitoring and evaluation support for Medicaid Section 1115 demonstrations; and public comment analysis for the physician fee schedule. 

Lauren Blatt

Senior Researcher

Lauren Blatt is a senior researcher at L&M. She has spent nearly 20 years using qualitative and quantitative research methods and analyses to inform, evaluate, and improve health care programs and performance. Ms. Blatt is also experienced in developing outreach, education, and application and decision-support materials and tools for a variety of target audiences and has conducted hundreds of key informant interviews, in-depth cognitive and usability interviews, focus groups, and small group discussions with consumers, Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers, health care providers, and other professionals.

Michael Cavanaugh, M.A.

Senior Researcher

Michael Cavanaugh is a senior researcher at L&M. Mr. Cavanaugh is an expert in community based participatory research, ethnography, working with tribal communities, and qualitative research methods. He has conducted hundreds of interviews and focus groups with hard-to-reach populations on a range of sensitive issues, including food security, intergenerational trauma, substance use, mental health, early childhood education, and child welfare.

Sally Crelia, M.P.H.

Senior Research Director

Sally Crelia, M.P.H., is a senior research director at L&M. She has extensive experience in various methods of qualitative research, including designing, conducting and analyzing results from cognitive and in-depth interviews, small group discussions and focus groups, and key informant interviews, in English and in Spanish. Ms. Crelia has a particular interest in conducting healthcare related research with vulnerable populations, including a wide range of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and their caregivers; racial and ethnic minorities; persons with limited English-speaking capability; and the uninsured and underinsured. She has also conducted research with a variety of healthcare professionals, community-based organizations and advocacy groups that serve vulnerable populations.

Finn Dobkin, M.P.P.

Research Assistant

Finn Dobkin is a research assistant at L&M with quantitative research experience in healthcare policy and public health. He has contributed to quantitative and qualitative analysis for government reports, as well as academic manuscripts. At L&M, he provides research support for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as the District of Columbia Department of Healthcare Financing (DCHF). He currently assists with descriptive analyses of access to high quality pharmaceutical networks for beneficiaries of the Preferred Cost Sharing Pharmacy Program under Medicare Part D. He also provides support to DCHF Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver Substance Use Disorder (SUD) intervention project by ensuring data quality for Medicaid claims data used in project analyses.

Colleen Dobson, M.S.

Senior Researcher

Colleen Dobson, M.S., is a senior researcher at L&M. Ms. Dobson has more than a decade of experience conducting qualitative research to support health care communication and evaluation projects, with a particular focus on Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace. She has conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews and focus groups with consumer audiences, including Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, Marketplace enrollees, uninsured individuals, and individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions, as well as key informant interviews with information intermediaries, consumer groups, providers, and state/local governments.

Julia Doherty, M.H.S.A.

Senior Research Director

Julia A. Doherty, M.H.S.A., is a senior research director at L&M Policy Research. Ms. Doherty has over 30 years of experience in health care management, policy, and research. She has held executive posts in an HMO, a major academic hospital, a community health center, and a management consulting firm prior to joining L&M. Ms. Doherty focuses on health delivery system improvements, Medicare and Medicaid value-based care models and the impact of policy changes on vulnerable populations. She currently manages projects examining various aspects of health care quality, reimbursement, access, and efficiency.

Lisa H. Green, Ph.D.

Founding Principal

Lisa H. Green, Ph.D., is a founding principal of L&M and brings over two decades of experience as a health services researcher focused on health care access, quality and costs for populations covered under federal health care programs. Dr. Green has a particular interest in how these programs impact overlooked communities and the role of health care reform in reducing long-standing health and health care disparities.

Margaret Edder Johnson, M.B.A.

Director

Margaret Edder Johnson, M.B.A., is a director at L&M. She has over 25 years of experience in federal and state health care policy, research, and management. She brings skills in primary research data collection, including leading key informant interviews with providers, payers, consumers, and employers; conducting in-depth formative and cognitive interviews with consumers; and moderating focus group discussions with consumers and providers.

Ferhat Q. Kassamali, M.Sc., M.P.H.

Senior Researcher

Ferhat Q. Kassamali, M.Sc., M.P.H., is a senior researcher at L&M. He joined L&M in 2009 and has over 20 years of experience in financial analysis and modeling, strategic planning, business processes, data analytics, prospective payment systems, program evaluation, and general health care policy and research. Mr. Kassamali has extensive project management experience having successfully managed numerous multi-year projects, as well as project teams involving multiple subcontractors. Recent work includes leading a multi-year effort to assist state Medicaid Program Integrity Units improve and build upon current operations, leveraging the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in managing public comment periods, supporting overall education and outreach activities for Medicare value-based purchasing programs, and ongoing measure maintenance for quality reporting and performance. Mr. Kassamali has also lead L&M’s multi-year project prototyping and implementing the Outcome Measures Framework in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Registry of Patient Registries, leading an evaluation of CMS’s Medicare Part D opioid policy, contributing to an evaluation of Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Accountable Care Organization initiatives, and various other projects involving program evaluation, operations improvement, physician payment, and methods to combat fraud, waste, and abuse.

William Lane

Senior Researcher

William P. Lane, is a senior researcher at L&M. He has more than 25 years of experience in organizational strategy and operations, managed care operational assessments, and formative and evaluative research, including key informant interviews and case studies with consumer groups, providers, government agencies, and consumers across a range of health care topics. Notable project work includes coordinating the first health insurance conferences in India and Egypt, several managed care evaluations for participating in the Medicare or Medicaid programs, and assessing communications strategies for a number of products involving targeted populations in order to increase the use of services, particularly preventive healthcare.

Mahad Mohamed 

Research Assistant

Mahad Mohamed is a research assistant at L&M with experience in qualitative and quantitative research. At L&M, he provides support for multiple federal evaluations, regulatory comment review and consumer research projects. He supports qualitative research activities for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) including for the evaluation of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model, Public Comment Review for the Physician Fee Schedule and to improve Marketplace tools, outreach, and education programs. 

Alyson Emily Marano, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.H.

Senior Researcher

Alyson Emily Marano, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.H., is a senior researcher at L&M with more than twenty years of experience working on public health policy issues and conducting program evaluation for a variety of audiences, including Medicare and Medicaid eligible populations as well as the uninsured and populations experience health disparities. Ms. Marano is skilled in qualitative research, including the design of studies as well as leading key informant interviews with providers, payers, consumers, and employers; conducting in-depth formative and cognitive interviews with consumers; and moderating focus group discussions with consumers and providers.

Madelyn J. McDonald, M.P.H.

Research Coordinator

Madelyn J. McDonald, M.P.H., is a research coordinator at L&M. She has expertise in behavioral health, health policy, substance abuse research and treatment, population health, and infectious disease transmission. Ms. McDonald has extensive project management experience, having successfully managed numerous multi-year projects spanning government, academia, and private institutions. Her current work includes supporting a regulation and comment analysis project on physician payment and Medicare Advantage for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and a project for the CMS Office of Minority Health offering analytic and initiative support to advance health equity.

Heather McPheron, M.P.H.

Director

Heather McPheron, M.P.H., is a director at L&M. She has over 15 years of consulting experience in health care delivery, policy, and payment innovation. In her role, Ms. McPheron focuses on program planning and management, evaluation of new models of payment and care delivery, and regulatory analysis. She specializes in data analysis, working with large qualitative datasets, and primary data collection.

Kelly Moriarty

Senior Research Director

Kelly Moriarty is a senior research director at L&M. She has spent two decades conducting health care research, focusing on consumer research and communications, quality measure development, and program implementation and assessment. She has conducted hundreds of cognitive interviews with Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers, moderated focus groups with patients and providers, convened technical expert panels, and conducted key informant interviews with consumer groups, providers, and state and local government agencies.

Alexandra (Rose) Nagele

Research Associate

Alexandra (Rose) Nagele is a research associate at L&M Policy Research. Ms. Nagele contributes to qualitative research informing the development of web tools and outreach and education materials for the federally-facilitated health insurance exchange. She assists with formative research, usability testing, consumer testing, and end-to-end testing of the HealthCare.gov website through in-depth-interviews, focus groups, and small group discussions. Additionally, she contributes to primary data collection and analysis for the evaluation of the Home Health Value Based Purchasing Model, an initiative of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), and the District of Columbia’s 1115 demonstration to improve services for Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorder (SUD) and serious mental illness (SMI). Ms. Nagele’s other work at L&M includes supporting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) during proposed and final rulemaking processes through comment review and assisting CMS with the monitoring and evaluation of active section 1115 demonstrations. She also worked on a project supporting the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP) Learning Collaborative.

Judy Ng, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Senior Research Director

Judy Ng, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a senior research director at L&M Policy Research. For over two decades, Dr. Ng’s research and professional work has focused on inequities in health care access and quality, quality of care measurement, patient-reported health and functional outcomes, opioid use disorder, and Medicare and Medicaid policy. A mixed-methods researcher, Dr. Ng has directed and published research on health inequities among Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, health care access and quality gaps among underserved populations, conceptual underpinnings of health inequities, and best practices in care across diverse settings – from pediatric immunizations to chronic condition management in older adults.

Heather Onuma-Brennan, M.P.H.

Senior Researcher

Heather Onuma-Brennan, M.P.H., is a senior researcher at L&M Policy Research, bringing twenty years of experience conducting public health research, planning, and health communications projects, with a primary focus on underserved populations. Ms. Onuma-Brennan is skilled at directing fast-paced, complex, team-based qualitative research projects, while contributing thoughtful, creative energy and strategies to meet client needs and ensure representative samples of hard-to-reach populations. Her work touches a diverse set of health policies, health communications, and patient and provider audiences.

Jessica (Jess) Pentel

Research Assistant

Jessica (Jess) Pentel is a research assistant at L&M Policy Research. Ms. Pentel has experience in qualitative research in public health and health policy. At L&M, she supports projects through environmental scans, cognitive interviews, focus group facilitation, and literature reviews.

Angel Rollo, M.Eng.

Research Associate

Angel Rollo, M.Eng, is a research associate at L&M Policy Research. Ms. Rollo has experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research and using quality and process improvement tools in the field of healthcare. She currently supports several projects for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), through activities, such as environmental scans, stakeholder interviews, and quantitative data analyses. Ms. Rollo currently works with the CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH) to build the business case for health systems to engage in activities that advance health equity through the use and dissemination of a Disparities Cost Calculator (DCC) and quality improvement tools. Additionally, she provides support on CMS’s Division of Value Incentives and Quality Reporting (DVIQR) Program Support (DPS) project, assisting with updates to communication materials for CMS’s value-based payment and public reporting programs for hospitals, and she provides support during the proposed and final rulemaking processes, managing, triaging, and reviewing public comments in response to proposed regulatory action. Additionally, Ms. Rollo supports various consumer research activities, including survey data analysis, individual in-depth interviews, and focus groups, for the Medicare program and the federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace.

Monica Sarmiento, M.A.

Director

Monica Sarmiento, M.A., is a director at L&M. She has over 15 years of experience in the areas of project management, health care research, and monitoring and compliance activities. Ms. Sarmiento has developed and translated materials into Spanish for various target audiences and has conducted in-depth cognitive and usability interviews and research with dyads and focus groups of consumers, Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers, health care providers, and other professionals in both English and Spanish.

Claudia Schur, Ph.D.

Senior Research Director

Claudia L. Schur, Ph.D., is a senior research director at L&M. Dr. Schur has more than 30 years of experience in health policy research, program evaluation, survey design and implementation, and quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Vladislav Slanchev, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher

Vladislav Slanchev, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at L&M. Dr. Slanchev brings research experience in quantitative analysis, evaluation design for assessing the performance of health care payment models, development of econometric models to explain the determinants of individuals’ decisions and outcomes, and survey design.

Isabella Smith, M.P.H.

Research Assistant

Isabella Smith, M.P.H., is a research assistant at L&M Policy Research. Ms. Smith has experience conducting quantitative health policy research to evaluate the impact of federal, state, and local policy decisions on a variety of health and economic outcomes.

Myra A. Tanamor, M.P.P.

Founding Principal

Myra A. Tanamor, M.P.P., is a founding principal of L&M and has spent more than 20 years working on health care financing, delivery and health communication strategies. She has extensive project management experience, directing many small- and large-scale qualitative studies for the federal government, non-profit organizations, foundations, and professional associations. These studies have included focus groups, in-depth interviews, site visits, and surveys with a focus on the elderly and low-income populations (particularly those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid), individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities and their caregivers, health care providers and administrators, small employers and employees, and advocacy organizations.

Russ Tisinger, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher

Russ Tisinger, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at L&M. Dr. Tisinger’s work focuses on health-related consumer choice and social marketing messaging. He currently conducts surveys and focus groups to inform outreach messaging and advertising for the Health Insurance Marketplace as well as qualitative  research to support the development and evaluation of HealthCare.gov, the online portal for the Marketplace.

Lisa Tomai, M.S.

Senior Researcher

Lisa Tomai, M.S., is a senior researcher at L&M. She has over 25 years of experience in healthcare analytics and research in both public and private settings. Ms. Tomai has worked extensively with large healthcare claims and administrative databases from sources including Medicare, Medicaid, Worker’s Compensation, and commercial carriers.

Services & Capabilities

L&M has proven experience across a range of research services. Our depth and breadth of knowledge reaches across a full spectrum of health care topics and programs.